2020 - Year of the Icon?

2020 will be remembered for many things (big sigh) but from a design viewpoint, it could be the Year of the Icon.  Many of those graphics are available either in Office directly or imported from elsewhere – we’ll show you both.

Everywhere you go there are signs reminding us of the new life we have to lead, to protect ourselves and others.

Using simple graphics or icons (Microsoft’s term) is simple, cheap and more effective than words alone.

Office 365 and Office 2019 have Icons that come from Microsoft’s cloud service.  Office 365 has the largest range while Office 2019 has a smaller list to choose from at Insert | Icons.

The sign above, bottom right, is from a large UK department store. All six icons used are the same as ones in the Office 365 collection.  We’ll show them all to you now.

We’ve also includes links to Google Image Search to find more SVG/Icons on the Internet.  The links show results for SVG graphics compatible with Office 365 and Office 2019.  Most of the sources also have a JPG or PNG link for earlier versions of Office.

Office 365 icons

There are pandemic-ready icons in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 365 like these.


Search SVG graphics for Man in Google Images


Search SVG graphics for Woman in Google Images


Search SVG graphics for Group People in Google Images

Wikimedia has a nice multi-colored graphic with shadow effect.


No help if you’re looking for a glove icon – unless it’s a boxing glove.

Search SVG graphics for Glove in Google Images


Though one of the ‘Hand’ icons might just do …

Search SVG graphics for Hand in Google Images

Don’t symbol Overlay

Any of the icons can be overlaid with the “Don’t” circle with slash.

Search for ‘Stop’ to find the ‘circle n slash’ icon or use the similar Insert | Shape for something a little more flexible.

Search SVG graphics for Stop Circle in Google Images


The ‘masks’ options aren’t at all suitable for modern needs. They are OK if you’re snokeling, theatre going or attending a masquerade ball!

There’s no medical mask nor face with protective mask.

Search SVG graphics for Medical Face Masks in Google Images


See Biohazard symbol for Word, PowerPoint and more for details on the various biohazard options available.

Microsoft has let customers down

We’ve mentioned before how Microsoft has notably let customers down during the pandemic.  The company boasted about their help during the first half of 2020. but most of that ‘help’ had selfish aims.  For example, the many changes and extensions to Teams was trigged by the sudden popularity of Zoom.

Microsoft could direct some of their considerable resources to the Icon collection for Office 365 customers.  Icons are a cloud service, Microsoft could add more at any time and they’d appear in Office 365 right away.

But that would not generate more sales in Microsoft’s current marketing plan, so nothing happens. 

Face mask graphics for Word and PowerPoint
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Biohazard symbol for Word, PowerPoint and more