Ancient man used a series of symbols to transmit knowledge, and the world today is not much different. While there is a definite distinction between signs and symbols, they are still a part of the communication medium used centuries ago. Modern literacy rates have given the majority of societies an opportunity to spread information through words, but symbols still play an important role in helping people navigate through life without the need to stop and read each word of a warning sign or directional assistant.
Arrows are one of the most used symbols today, and they help people find their way to different places. An arrow above a spot will often be used on a public map to show people where they are when reading it, and they will then be able to find a path to their destination. For those who need to know which side of the road their exit is on, an arrow can be placed on a sign above the road to show them the way.
One of the most common needs of society appears to be understanding what is forbidden, and a circle with a line through it is the symbol most commonly used across the modern world. Those who need to know that entering a one-way street is wrong will often see just that type of sign. Communities where litter enforcement has become an issue will often put a dented can inside the circle to let those passing the sign know they will not tolerate it, so it is an easy way to get the message across.
Icons have become an important part of the electronic age, and there are plenty of them available on personal devices. These are symbols with specific meaning to those who will use them, and they can tapped to connect users to the program they need. Some of the most common ones are for phone, text and internet access.