Welcome to Language Icon

The universal symbol for language selection.

Initiated in 2008 by Onur Mustak Cobanli and later redesigned by Farhat Datta in 2011, the Language Icon has emerged as a pivotal solution for simplifying language selection across digital platforms. As the internet and digital interfaces become increasingly multilingual and multicultural, the necessity for a standard, recognizable icon that transcends linguistic and geographical barriers has never been more apparent. The Language Icon represents our commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and global communication.

Download the Icon

The Significance of a Universal Language Icon

Before the advent of the Language Icon, selecting a language on digital platforms was often confusing and inconsistent. With the digital world's expansion, the need for a clear, universally understood symbol for language selection has become increasingly important.

Since 2008, the Language Icon addresses this by offering a simple, recognizable symbol that transcends cultural and language barriers. It eliminates the confusion associated with the use of flags, which often represent countries rather than languages, and other ambiguous symbols.

Benefits of the Language Icon

  • Universality: Easily understood across different cultures and languages, enhancing global accessibility.
  • Consistency: Provides a consistent experience for users navigating multilingual websites or applications.
  • Flexibility: Adaptable to various design needs, with options for customization in color and size to fit any interface.
  • Efficiency: Simplifies the design process for developers and designers, streamlining the implementation of multilingual support.

Designed for Clarity and Universality

The Language Icon was meticulously crafted to be simple yet immediately recognizable. Drawing inspiration from universal symbols and ensuring it is distinguishable at small sizes, the icon embodies the essence of language selection with an abstract representation that transcends specific linguistic features.

Its design is optimized for digital environments, allowing for easy integration into web pages, applications, and software, regardless of the platform or device.

Accessibility at the Forefront

Accessibility is a cornerstone of the Language Icon's development. With adaptability in color, size, and contrast, the icon is designed to be inclusive for all users, including those with visual impairments. These features ensure that the icon can be seamlessly incorporated into diverse design schemes while maintaining its functionality and visibility.

Moreover, the icon's scalability ensures that it remains effective and legible across different resolutions and screen sizes, from desktop monitors to mobile phones.

Implementing the Language Icon in Your Projects

The Language Icon is designed for easy integration across different platforms and environments. Whether you're developing a website, a mobile app, or any other digital interface that requires language selection, the icon can be seamlessly incorporated to enhance usability and accessibility.

For Web Developers

Integrating the Language Icon into your website is straightforward. Utilize the SVG, PNG, or any preferred format by embedding it directly into your HTML. Additionally, leveraging CSS, you can customize the icon's appearance to match your site's design, ensuring consistency and visual harmony.

<img src="path/to/language-icon.svg" alt="Select Language">

For App Developers

Mobile app developers can also benefit from the Language Icon's versatility. Whether you're working on Android, iOS, or any other platform, the icon can be added to your project's resources and used within the UI to indicate language selection options.

Remember to account for different device resolutions by including appropriately scaled versions of the icon.

Customization and Best Practices

While the Language Icon is designed to be universally recognizable, we encourage customization to ensure it fits well with your project's aesthetic. You can adjust the color, size, and even the stroke width to match your design needs. However, it's crucial to maintain the icon's integrity by keeping its distinctive shape recognizable.

Adhering to best practices, such as placing the icon near the language selection dropdown or menu and ensuring it's visible across all pages of your interface, will further enhance the user experience.

Stay Updated & Get Involved

Keep abreast of the latest developments, updates, and community stories surrounding the Language Icon project. If you're interested in contributing, sharing feedback, or have any questions, we encourage you to reach out through the A' Design Award platform, the esteemed organizer behind the Language Icon competition.

This collaboration has been pivotal in fostering the Language Icon's growth and ensuring its relevance and utility across digital platforms worldwide. Your insights and contributions are invaluable to us as we continue to evolve and adapt the Language Icon for global communication needs.

Visit A' Design Award to learn more about how you can contribute to the Language Icon project and to communicate with us directly.

Download the Language Icon

Ready to use the Language Icon in your project? Download it in multiple formats for web, app, and graphic design. Choose the format that best suits your needs, and start enhancing your platform's language selection functionality today.


Scalable for any resolution, perfect for web and app development.

Download SVG


Ready to use in various sizes for quick implementation.

Download PNG


Ideal for printing and high-resolution graphics.

Download EPS


For customizations and vector edits in Adobe Illustrator.

Download AI

Download the Language Icon Package

Ready to use the Language Icon in your project? Download the complete package in a single ZIP file, which includes the icon in SVG, PNG, EPS, and AI formats. This all-in-one package ensures you have the right format for web, app, and graphic design. Choose the format that best suits your needs and start enhancing your platform's language selection functionality today.

The Journey of the Language Icon

The Language Icon has a rich history that reflects the evolving needs of digital communication and the global community's efforts to address them. From its inception to becoming a widely recognized symbol, the icon's journey is a testament to the power of collaborative innovation.

2008: The Beginning

Conceived by Onur Mustak Cobanli and his team, the original idea for a Language Icon was born out of the necessity to simplify language selection on a multilingual, multinational platform they were developing. The goal was to create a universally understandable symbol that could easily be integrated across various digital interfaces.

2011: A New Design

To create a universal, community-driven democratic and meritocratic icon, a design competition was launched, inviting creatives from around the world to reimagine the Language Icon. Among hundreds of submissions, Farhat Datta's "Turnstile Language Icon" design was selected for its simplicity, elegance, and universal appeal with over 10.000 votes cast.

2012-Present: Adoption and Evolution

Following its official adoption, the Language Icon has been embraced by developers, designers, and corporations worldwide, making it a standard symbol for language selection. Its design has been refined and updated to ensure it remains effective and accessible across all digital platforms and devices. We have updated its website in 2013 and 11 years later once more on 2024.

Media & Awareness

The Language Icon has been a cornerstone in simplifying digital communication across the globe by providing a universally recognizable symbol for language selection. Since its inception in 2008 and redesign in 2011, the icon has been released free of charge for use by all, with the aim of fostering inclusivity and accessibility in digital interfaces.

We kindly invite journalists, bloggers, and media outlets to feature the Language Icon and share its story. Highlighting its development, significance, and the collaborative effort behind its creation can play a pivotal role in enhancing global digital communication. It is an opportunity to acknowledge a project that has contributed to making digital environments more user-friendly and accessible to diverse audiences worldwide.

While the concept of a universal language selection symbol has inspired many, including larger brands who have created derivative works, the Language Icon project seeks to remind the digital community of its original contribution. It is a gentle nudge for acknowledgment and appreciation of an initiative that has been freely shared to benefit the global digital ecosystem. A simple "thank you" or attribution can go a long way in recognizing the effort and thought put into this open-source project.

For media inquiries or to learn more about the Language Icon project, please reach out to us through the A' Design Award platform, which has been instrumental in organizing the Language Icon competition and promoting its adoption.

Together, we can continue to spread awareness about the importance of standardizing digital communication tools, ensuring they remain inclusive, accessible, and efficient for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Language Icon serves as a universal symbol for language selection on digital platforms, helping users easily switch between languages, enhancing accessibility and user experience.

Yes, you are encouraged to customize the Language Icon's color, size, and stroke width to fit your design needs while maintaining its distinctive shape for recognizability.

The Language Icon is available for download in multiple formats (SVG, PNG, EPS, AI). Web and app developers can integrate it directly into their projects by using the provided formats suitable for their needs.

Yes, the Language Icon is released under a CC license, making it free to use for both commercial and non-commercial projects. For digital use, attribution is not required but greatly appreciated. If you choose to attribute or for non-digital use, please attribute to A' Design Awards, Onur Mustak Cobanli, and Farhat Datta. This recognition helps acknowledge the contributions of those who developed and promoted the Language Icon, supporting its mission to enhance global communication.
© 2024 A' Design Award & Competition - Language Icon Project - All rights reserved. | Impressum