Moving Towards A Meaningful Set Of Icons For The API Community

There are many inconsistencies I struggle with in the API space, and the lack of meaningful icons to express myself is one of them. I was meeting with my friend Jerome Louvel of Restlet this last week, and he also articulated (again), the lack of imagery that represents APIs. To understand what we are talking about simple icons, like what RSS has, but to represent an API, instead of an XML feed.

When I need an image to represent an API, I always borrow the simple icon from the API Commons. Like my API Evangelist logo, it is a pretty simple, black and white, minimum viable representation of "API". The folks over at Restlet also have their own, image, that they use across the platform, and suggested it as one potential design that could be used. This is a concept that I would like to push forward. I think branding, and iconography is very important, and is something long overdue for the API space.

I would like to see a single universal, community driven icon to represent the concept of a web API. I would also like to see similar icons for formats used across the space, as well as vendor specific icons. If you look at my personal API stack, as well as my overall stack, you see me using a mix of format, and vendor icons to document a pretty complex assortment of API driven resources, and information. I'd like to step this up a bit, be able to standardize across not just my network of sites, but the overall API community. 

I am guessing this is something I will have to slowly push forward, like the numerous other areas of my API industry research, but would love to hear your input, and see what else we could do to establish a common set of API industry icons. I'm already working with a handful of API vendors to define their API driven embeddable strategy, and looking to push forward my API branding research, so I wanted to make sure and publish a story on this--which in my world is essential to the ideation process, and essential to moving anything forward.