Amazon Web Service teams sure have been rocking their architectural icons across their storytelling lately. They standardized a set of icons for each of their cloud services and published in a variety of formats as the AWS Simple Icons for Architecture Diagrams. I am a big fan of the Noun Project API for use across my storytelling and find having a standardized library of meaningful images and icons to be extremely valuable in helping quickly convey meaning (or entertain).
I was reading optimizing Amazon S3 for high concurrency in distributed workloads from AWS and the diagram they provided, daisy chaining each of the AWS services at play, really brought the concept home for me. I read a lot, but I also scan a lot, and meaningful diagrams like this can go a long way to help me get up to speed as quickly as possible.
I have been an advocate for establishing icon sets for common API technologies and even service providers, and I think that I will add individual API resources to the stack. It would be valuable to have icon sets for common API resources like images, video, storage, etc. — icons that speak to what they did, but also clearly identify them as an API resource and allow them to possibly be daisy-chained together like Amazon does.
API industry icons will have to wait until some benefactor steps up to invest in this crazy idea. I'm graphically challenged; I know what looks good, but I can't craft anything graphical to save my life (look at my logo). Even if we don't have an industry-wide set of icons, it might be something individual API providers would want to consider creating for their API resources, like Amazon does. It is something that could help make your storytelling more impactful, and provide a common set of icons for everyone to use when referencing specific API resources.