Webinar with Charlotte van Hooijdonk | The sense and nonsense of icons and pictograms

Image promoting webinar on 23 February

All PLAIN members are invited to join our first webinar with Charlotte van Hooijdonk of Utrecht University. We are honoured that Charlotte is willing to present her research on the comprehensibility of icons and pictograms.

When: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Where: Online on Zoom
What time: 19.00 – 20.30 Central European Time
About: The sense and nonsense of icons and pictograms

What’s the webinar about?

In this webinar we discuss using icons for more inclusive communication in the Netherlands and Flanders (Belgium).

At the start of the corona crisis, governments had to communicate about all kinds of new measures that citizens had to adhere to, for example ‘keep 1.5 meters distance’ and ‘avoid crowds’. It was important to share this information in an understandable way, given that Dutch is not the mother tongue of all citizens, and the written word can form a barrier. Icons, highly simplified images that express a message, could help to optimize communication with these groups. The idea is that images are easier to understand than written language. But is that true?

Charlotte van Hooijdonk and Lisanne van Weelden of Utrecht University conducted research into this at the request of the Municipality of The Hague (The Netherlands) and the City of Ghent (Belgium) and on behalf of the Taalunie (Language Union). In this webinar Charlotte presents the striking and sometimes startling results.


The main presentation will be in English. After the presentation we will discuss the implications for PLAIN members in our daily business. We will moderate this discussion in 3 languages: German, Spanish and English.

You can watch the webinar on the PLAIN site.