Personality and clarity
ABOUT AFTERGLOW DESIGN
For a number of years, I designed the interface elements and iconography for a large range of software firms.
With any of these applications, their purpose was sometimes difficult to convey and the app also needed visual metaphors that were familiar to a large range of people.
For all of the iconography work, there are a set formula to producing icons. It always started with a dictionary to find the most widely accepted meaning for a term. This helped a lot of cultural biases to be neutered at the start..
For all of the iconography the items had to live alongside either a family of icons or other different applications. So a metaphor had to be clear and attractive but also be comfortable in particular environments.