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August 22, 2011

Presenting the New Save Icon

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

For a generation now, computers have used a disk icon to adorn the Save button in just about every program. That idea is silly and anachronistic, so I’ve come up with a replacement.

Presenting the new Save icon:

Yes, it’s a life preserver. It’s one of those round things you see on a ship, which they toss overboard to help save a drowning person. Or they throw it at the drowning person if they’ve already drown because, well, they didn’t know.

I’m not certain whether the life preserver icon would be universally accepted as a Save button icon for the entire planet. I’m sure there are landlocked countries where they’d scratch their heads over the thing. But, seriously, aren’t we all scratching our heads over the 3 1/2-inch floppy disk icon for Save anyway?

What’s even more hilarious is the use of the floppy disk icon on my phone: The Gmail app for the Android operating system uses a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk icon to save a draft of an email message. What’s up with that?

Now you can’t really use a media card icon. That’s because all the media cards are pretty much parallelograms.

Generally speaking, parallelograms doesn’t mean squat, especially to the majority who don’t know what a parallelogram is.

And besides, my guess is that media cards will change their shape in the future. So it’s not a consistent, worthy icon.

What is consistent and worthy? How about the good ol’ folder. That one works. Or the printer icon, which even though it may look like a 1990s dot matrix printer, still looks something like a printer.

Here’s what the Save command button would look like:

Now maybe the button would have to feature the word “Save” under it at first. My guess is, however, that the thing would catch on almost immediately. People would know what happens when they click the icon. (Hint.)

Whether my idea catches on or not, who knows? I haven’t researched to see whether any software out there uses the life preserver as a Save icon. Someone might already do that. If not, then I’ve just created what the copyright and trademark legal industry refers to as prior art.

Prior art doesn’t mean that I own the life preserver as a Save icon idea. It just means that if Microsoft, Google, or Apple tries to use it in an upcoming product and claim a copyright, trademark, or patent, that because I’ve published this blog entry before that, they have no right to do so.

Oh, there are probably executives in the future who wish they paid me off. Too bad time travel doesn’t work.


  1. It looks like a good icon for save I have always wondered why they still use an icon of a floppy disk, I guess people still remember having to carry around boxes of the things just to save a word document, I wonder if there is another icon for say record. I quite often see a little picture of a tape to indicate recording, I think that one may be more difficult I can’t think of anything else that immediately says record.

    Comment by chiefnoobie — August 22, 2011 @ 3:10 am

  2. I’ve also seen a red dot for ‘record,’ but it has its roots on the tape machines of the last century.

    There’s probably a room full of people somewhere who think up these things.

    Comment by admin — August 22, 2011 @ 6:23 am

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