Pictograms for Kuntaliitto


A modular pictogram system for the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities (Kuntaliitto).

PictogramsVisualizationGraphic designIllustration
Examples of pictograms from the project


Anni Tolvanen

Within a pictogram system, the pictograms depicting humans tend to be all alike. The people are usually implicitly male, white, young or middle-aged, and able-bodied—with a few exceptions such as the symbols for the ladies’ bathroom, or disabled parking.

We wanted to challenge this assumption in the pictogram system we designed for Kuntaliitto, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. Here, the pictograms depicting humans are constructed from modular components which makes it easy to vary their implied gender, age, and ethnicity. The aim is to have the pictogram people better reflect the diversity of our society.

Reference characters used for building the modular pictogram system.

Examples of different character variations.

Examples of pictograms depicting concepts, people, objects and places.

Two examples of pictograms related to construction sites.

Various examples of pictograms depicting people in different activities and environments.