Infographic of the Origins of Common User Interface Symbols

Origins of UI Symbols

Ever wonder why the symbol for Bluetooth is made of triangles or why the USB symbol is a trident? Designer Sofya Yampolsky in partnership with Warm Gun and 500 Startups, created this infographic based on the 2010 Gizmodo article, “The Secret Histories of Those @#$%ing Computer Symbols“.

They are road signs for your daily rituals-the instantly recognized symbols and icons you press, click, and ogle countless times a day when you interact with your computer. But how much do you know about their origins?

So the next time you turn on your computer with a power button, reply with an @ sign or get that @#$%ing spinning beach ball of death, you’ll not only know what the symbols mean, but the meaning behind the symbols as well.

image via Sofya Yampolsky,