the Euro sign (December 12, 1996)


Unicode (1990)


the resin identification code  (1988)


the ISO 8859 standard (1985)




emoticons (1982)


Umberto Eco's Theory of Semiotics ((1975)


symbology (1970s)


awareness ribbons (1970s)




the use of the at sign (1971) was introduced by Ray Tomlinson. Email had started in 1965


the recycling symbol (1970)


the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals (November 8, 1968)


Hervé Bazin's Plumons l'oiseau (1966)


hexadecimal (mid 1960s)


the Happy Human (1960s)



the Smiley (1963)


ASCII (1963)


biohazard (1960s)



Carriage Return (1960)


Vexillology (1957)


Jewish badge (1941-1945)


Charles W. Morris' Foundations of the Theory of Signs (1938)


the Enneagram figure


the Hakenkreuz (1920-1945)


Hammer and sickle (1917)


Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics (1916)


Olympic rings (1913)


bumper stickers




maritime signal flags (1901)


Iconography (late 19th century)


the Irony mark (late 19th century)


license plates (1890)



the International Phonetic Alphabet (1888)


Traffic lights (December 10, 1868)


the Red Cross (1864)




the dollar sign (1770s)



the all-seeing eye (18th century)




the summation symbol


f(x) = sin(x) + x³


the f(x) function symbol (1734) was introduced by Leonhard Euler


" "


Quotation marks (1714) began to be used to quote direct speech


the maple leaf (18th century)




the percent sign (18th century)



modern musical symbols (late 17th century)




the Division sign (1659) was first used by John Pell, an English diplomat and

mathematician, c.1630 and Johann Heinrich Rahn, a Swiss mathematician



the Infinity symbol (1655) was first used by John Wallis, an English mathematician




the Multiplication sign (1631) was first used by William Oughtred, an English mathematician




the Less-than sign (1621) was first used by Thomas Harriot,

an English astronomer, mathematician, and physicist




the Greater-than sign (1621) was first used by Thomas Harriot,

an English astronomer, mathematician, and physicist


Bartholomaeus Pitiscus is credited with inventing the decimal point in his trigonometrical tables (1612)

it was subsequently accepted by John Napier in his logarithmic papers


a standardized sign language (1600s) began to be used in Italy




the semicolon




the Question mark (1587) was used by Sir Philip Sidney, an English poet, politician, and soldier




the Asterisk sign (1587) was used by Sir Philip Sidney, an English poet, politician, and soldier



the = sign was introduced (1557) by Robert Record




the Exclamation mark (1553) was first used by John Day, an English printer




Paolo Dagomari (1534) an Italian mathematician, first used

the comma to separate large figures into units of three


the radical symbol (1525)


Zinken (15th century)




the decimal point (1492) was first used by Francesco Pellos


Aldus Manutius (1490) started his printing press in Venice



the arithmetic symbols for addition and subtraction (1489) were invented by Johannes Widmann


William Caxton (1475) printed the first book in english





Johann Gutenberg (re)invented the printing press (1455)


Papal coat of arms (13th century)



the Latin translation of al-Khwarizmi's book On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals (twelveth century)

introduced the use of the positional number system and the number zero to Europe




the number sign (Middle Ages)




the Hyphen (11th century)


Heraldry (late 11th century)


Signet rings (Middle Ages)


Coat of arms (Middle Ages)




the Section sign



the Pilcrow (Middle Ages)


Interword separation (800)


the Square and Compasses




the earliest known text to treat zero as a number in its own right (628) was Brahmagupta's

Brahma Sphuta Siddhanta (The Opening of the Universe), a work on astronomy and mathematics,

which gives methods to solve quadratic equations, sum series, and compute square roots


Star and crescent (330)





runes (150)


the Mark of the Beast




the Ampersand (1st centur ad)


Celtic cross




the Colon



Taiji (4th century bc)



the Ichthys ()



the Tree of Life


the Rod of Asclepius










traffic signs






the babylonian zodiac (ca. 500 bc)



the Star of David



Vesica piscis




the circumflex



the Phoenician alphabet (1200 bc) is the predecessor of several other alphabets:

Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin (via the Old Italic alphabet), and Cyrillic







Cattle branding




the Pentagram


I Ching trigrams




cuneiform script (late 4th millennium bc)


Cylinder seals


hieroglyphs (3200 bc)





the Flower of Life


the Ouroboros


the Swastika



Tally marks



the Sun cross



Cave paintings (40,000 bc)