I am having a hard time coming up with the right pictograms.

I am making a video game that features simulated industries, like mines, smelters, sawmills, bakeries, and so on.

And I need to annotate the map of the world with these industries in such a way that I can show the state of the supply chain.

A concrete example: if you consider the smelter, which takes as input coal plus iron-ore, and produces steel.

I need to convey three different situations:

  1. The factory is low on ingredients (coal/ore) and is throttled.
  2. The factory's product inventory (steel) is full and is throttled.
  3. The factory is running satisfactory: there is neither a supply shortage, nor a build up of superfluous inventory.


But I want to use pictograms, not words to show the state of all the factories on the map.

Any ideas on how to depict these states? Or is there an online resource like a pictogram database that lets you search for concepts and their associated pictograms?

2 Answers 2


There are many ideas searching inventory icon at Google Images

Like the lift truck:

enter image description here

Another place to find ideas is thenounproject.com

enter image description here

  • 1
    Thanks. The "missing" part is communicated well here, but I would still need to discern between "input" inventory, and "output" inventory. I guess I need to add 2 arrows, and a factory icon to it, before I can communicate that.
    – Bram
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 23:41

I might consider using simple "old-fashioned" scales as a motif for explaining which things are "missing" or "full"... that way you can switch the item on the scale platform for each symbology - I'd go with flat platforms versus baskets - something like this perhaps:

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.