Common Desktop Environment: Style Guide and Certification Checklist

International Icons

If your program will be used in more than one country, you should either design your icons for worldwide use or create separate icons for each country.

Worldwide icons are ones that are universally understood. For example, a document icon can be understood around the world because it represents paper, which is used everywhere. Icons for things like a mailbox or trash can are not universal because these objects look different in different countries.

Humor usually does not translate well. Text and symbols are also country-specific and should not be used in icons. Avoid the use of animals or body parts (heads, hands, and so on) because these have varying meanings and may be offensive in some cultures.



Icons should be designed for international use.