A few rebus puzzles and the Rebus design project
Created by students in Graphic Design at the University of Central Oklahoma. Answers

Word rebus examples

• Law Sand Jealous

• She Ever Lay

• Age Happen He Scar


Rebus design project

A rebus is a series of pictographs or symbols that clearly communicates a word or phrase.
The word rebus comes from the Latin ‘raybus’ which means ‘by things’. A good rebus is usually simple, clever, and easy to understand. Below is a rebus that Paul Rand designed for IBM in 1981 (he had earlier designed the now-classic logo for IBM):

Consider a variety of common phrases, cliches, titles, and slogans. Determine which best lend themselves to being communicated visually (use phrases that are object oriented). Clearly communicate the phrase using only simple renderings or symbols: no words nor letters may be used. Try to see your work objectively: what you think is being said may not be what the viewer perceives. A symbol for lake might be easily perceived as pond, sea, ocean, water, waves, etc. How can one clearly communicate a body of water to be a lake? Does the heart shape now mean ‘love’ to everyone or could it still mean heart? Test your renderings on non-design majors. Design the page layout composition. Refine the visuals and ink them neatly. Write out the phrase on the back only. They will be passed around in class for deciphering.
If you do more than one, put each on a separate page.

• Black ink on 11x8.5 white paper

• All specs followed precisely.
• Degree of complexity of the rebus phrase.
• Drawings that communicate clearly with little confusion.
• Thorough use of symbols and pictographs (little or no text).
• Pictographs rendered neatly.
• Pleasing page layout composition.

To make decisions regarding appropriate phrases and selection of symbols to clearly communicate a phrase, with minimal confusion, so others can easily understand the information.