Happy New Year!
6 steps to creating a symbol
1. Boil down (in a single word if possible) the main idea you want to communicate. For example: “growth”.
2. Find the physical sensation or movement that suits your concept. For example, growth=elevation, enlargement, pushing.
3. Define the sensation more clearly: vertical elevation, horizontal extension.
4. Find the proper archetypes (generic and universal images) for your idea. Think of cliches, myths, allegories, stereotypes etc. Vertical elevation=growing tree, enlargement=Big Bang.
5. Begin sketching out a symbol based on simple geometric shapes. Work and rework it. Your symbol should not lose its initial inspiration, but not be so literal as to look like Microsoft Word clipart.
6. If you don’t succeed with #5, return to more standardized images and start again. Example: budding flower=extension. Volcano=pushing upward.
(Or, you can do like me and simply make it a joke about your last name.)