It’s no surprise that following a year with the rampant use of lightning bolts and twinkling four-pointed stars, designers lead a scavenger hunt in search of their next little star. And this is exactly where they’ve netted out with the asterisk, which literally translates from Latin as “little star.” Whether parading in the five, six or eight-pointed variety, this punctuation icon is now firmly rooted in the designer’s graphic vernacular. Incorporated as a bit player in a more involved logo or cast in the solo starring role, this mark tops our list with the most annual credits and will likely be found for a few years to come in brands currently in pre-production. Though Walmart and FedEx Office have been sporting asterisk derivative marks for better than a decade, the resurgent popularity generally focuses in on the sans serif iteration. This clean aesthetic scales well and reads universally as a sun, a star, a flower, a spark or an idea and of course as a signal of possible omission or to take note. Oddly an alternate iteration is also gaining traction where the symbol is being modified by visually dropping the convergence point to create an off center representative of cannabis. Shall we refer to this as a poterisk? The asterisk is proving to be much more flexible than as a character place-holder for passwords. Visually, this symbol can be broadly interpreted and embellished without losing its imbued linguistic meaning. The only down side seen here is the vigilant consumer, head tipped downward scanning for the qualifying footnote.


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