Smart icons design – common European standardization

In collaboration with Accessibility Editor, Heidi Sivebæk, DR Design has developed four icons to illustrate accessibility services linked to DR’s programs - subtitles, sign language, spoken subtitles and audio description.

(Foto: DR Design)

It is DR’s ambition to share the use of the icons to other broadcasters and media providers - in Denmark as well as internationally.

Several broadcasters have already started implementing the icons, and the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) through its Access Services Group of Experts is supporting the initiative. The goal is to ultimately increase quality through standardization.

Usage of the icons does not require DR’s permission - and DR encourages users to share DR’s description of the icons for an unambiguous understanding.

The four icons were developed in autumn 2013, and used for communicating symbols of DR’s accessibility services - the icons may be used for communication about accessibility services tied to specific programs, articles etc. They are also used for publicity, marketing campaigns etc.

(Foto: DR Design)

They are formed in a modern design, easy to handle, and works internationally. Since the icons can be typed on keyboard, they can easily be included in descriptive meta data and can be read out loud.

Simple solutions are often the easiest – for example: the icons are easy to read for a blind user, using a screen reader with ex. a text-to-speech output.

(Foto: DR Design)

The four icons can be typed on a keyboard - like the classic smiley :-)

(Foto: DR Design)

... and thus, automatically integrate into a television program's meta data.

(Foto: DR Design)

The icons appear everywhere - on listings in print media, web tv, streaming tv, info channel, etc.

How to type an icon

  • Choose a sans serif typography in bold version (ex. Arial, Helvetica)

  • Enter the desired icon:

  • Use contrasting colors to maximize readability (ex. black and white)

[=] AltGr + 8 Shift + 0 AltGr + 9

[o] AltGr + 8 Shift + o AltGr + 9

[··] AltGr + 8 Alt + 0183 Alt + 0183 AltGr + 9

[<] AltGr + 8 < AltGr + 9

The icons can also be used for graphic decoration, and for that purpose, vector files can be retrieved here

(Foto: DR Design)

Examples of icons used for graphic decoration.

The icons support increased public service, for the benefit of the Danes and now Europe as well...