Dan Christofferson Understands the Power of Visual Symbolism

Symbols can be treated as a form of simplified communication. Using visual symbols, in particular, can help communicate complex ideas in a way that’s both immediate and easy to understand. Designers understand this concept intuitively.

Most recently, we’ve taken notice of the clever use in which illustrator and designer Dan Christofferson utilizes visual symbolism to convey his messages. According to Christofferson, he draws his inspiration from religious symbolism and the way in which a visual language can add another layer of meaning to a story. Such iconography is concerned with humanity’s relationship to the sacred or holy.

“My interest in the use and creation of symbols definitely started off as a way to tell religious stories,” Christofferson told Juxtapoz. “They’re a great way to explore something abstract or unknown while giving the viewer space for their own interpretation.”

But Christofferson’s concerned with humanity’s relationship to the sacred or holyinterest in symbolism also has a more personal layer. “My ancestors come from an exiled religious group that settled in the Salt Lake Valley,” he relayed.

“These early Mormons used a mix of old biblical symbols, icons from freemasonry, and a sprinkling of their own arcane iconography to exchange sacred ideas within their community. It allowed them to talk openly about their beliefs, even proselytize to strangers, while keeping them personal, private, and bestowing the reverence they felt they deserved.”

While religious symbols are meant for wide consumption, Christofferson’s designs are aimed at a smaller audience, creating a bridge between designer and follower. Take a look at some of his more recent work in the gallery below, and follow his work on Instagram.