ICONSPEAK Makes Iconic Apparel That Lets You Communicate With Foreigners

If you're looking to bridge the language gap without learning the language, ICONSPEAK makes products that helps you do that.
ICONSPEAK t-shirt

Two German friends started a company called ICONSPEAK. It’s a simple, yet genius idea that helps you overcome language barriers when you’re travelling.


You finally bought that ticket to Peru. You’ve had your mind set on visiting every corner of the country, including La Rinconada, for months now.

The time has come.

But you don’t speak Spanish and you have no intention of learning the language past “hola” and “gracias”.

So how will you bridge the language gap?

You could rely on Google Translate. But that requires your mobile phone’s battery to be ship-shape at all times. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to keep it charged.

Besides, Peruvians might think it disrespectful if you’re on your phone and communicating with them.

You could take an English-Spanish dictionary. Hmm, more money to spend, and that, for one visit. Not a good idea.

You could also book a course through Berlitz. But that’s a long-term strategy…

What if you could wear or carry the Spanish language?

Heck, ALL languages of the developed world.

A company called ICONSPEAK has made this possible with a range of apparel imprinted with icons.

Let’s take a look…

How does it work?

ICONSPEAK makes shirts, phone cases and bags imprinted with icons representing everyday things and actions.

You point to an icon and hope the local understands why you’re stabbing yourself in the chest with a finger while uttering unintelligible foreign words over and over again.

Point to an icon on your ICONSPEAK shirt and hope the local understands
Point to an icon on your ICONSPEAK shirt and hope the local understands.

Editions

ICONSPEAK gives you four main “editions” to choose from, with a further 16 sub-editions. Here they are:

  • World Edition
  • Story Edition
    • Surfer
    • Lumberjack
    • Diver
    • Safari
    • Sailor
    • Unicorn
    • Beach
    • Winter
    • Relax
    • Yoga
  • ONE Edition
  • Customised Editions
    • TalkTalkBnb
    • Babbel Rio de Janeiro
    • Build Abroad
    • Slow Food

Most of these are gimmicks. They’re nice designs and what not, but not practical. For instance, they make hats with a single icon on the front. That won’t get you far in trying to figure out things.

If you’re looking for a practical solution, go for the World Edition. The World Edition has most of the icons you’ll need to carry on a less weird conversation with locals.

The original ICONSPEAK t-shirt World Edition contains more icons than a Hollywood blockbuster
The original ICONSPEAK t-shirt World Edition contains more icons than a Hollywood blockbuster.

Product range

The ICONSPEAK product range includes the following…

(I only look at the World Edition range of products in this post.)

Shirts

Their World Edition shirts come in six styles:

  • Men’s traveller shirt
  • Women’s tank top
  • V-Neck traveller shirt
  • Women’s traveller shirt
  • Men’s long sleeve

All shirts share the same construction:

  • Tubular construction
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder tape and seamed collar
  • Double-needle bottom hem
  • Rib sleeve cuffs
  • Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Certified

Drawstring bags

Their drawstring bag is made from 100% cotton.

Measurements:

  • Width – 37 cm (14.5 inches)
  • Height – 46 cm (18.1 inches)
  • Capacity – 12 litres (2434.61 US teaspoons)

The bag is available in a natural colour only.

The iconic ICONSPEAK drawstring bag
The iconic ICONSPEAK drawstring bag.

Tote bags

The ICONSPEAK tote bag is made from 100% cotton.

Measurements:

  • Width – 37 cm (14.5 inches)
  • Height – 39 cm (15.5 inches)
  • Handle length – 56 cm (22 inches)
  • Capacity – 12 litres (2434.61 US teaspoons)

The tote is available in black and natural colours.

The iconic ICONSPEAK tote bag
The iconic ICONSPEAK tote bag.

iPhone cases

ICONSPEAK makes a range of phone cases with their icons for the following iPhones:

  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

…in these colours:

  • Black
  • White
  • Cyan
  • Magenta
  • Yellow
The iconic ICONSPEAK iPhone case
The iconic ICONSPEAK iPhone case.

There’s good news for non-iPhone smart phone users. ICONSPEAK’s partner, Caseable, allows users of a select range of Android and Apple products to create their own case.

Final thoughts

Most of ICONSPEAKS’s products are handy, but all their products are stylish.

Their products make it easy to communicate the basics with locals when you’re travelling.

If you need a toilet, it’s a poke in your chest away.

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