A functioning pictogram:
The first glance: The most important qualities of an object are perceived.
The second glance: The less important qualities of an object are perceived.
The third glance: Additional details are perceived.
A modern graphic designer should sacrifice their individuality in favor of the subject matter that they're trying to convey. The most important point of an icon is that it needs to immediately convey the idea, so most often it is better to use simplistic, primitive representations. Our icons need to be things that can be internationally understood, and understood by anyone without explanation.
Seeing the NYPL logo and it's evolution was very interesting, and it was lovely to see all of the other elements that the logo is meant to embody besides an icon of a lion. It's funny that they mention that it might look like Simba, because that's the first thing I thought of when I saw it. But associating any picture of a lion looking upward with the Disney movie Simba something that might only bother people of our generation, since older folks don't know what it is, and for young children it's a dated move they probably haven't seen. Anyway, it seems like a really successful icon that helps give the library a much-needed facelift. It uses bold outlines to define the face of a proud lion, and the whole thing is framed in a nice round circle. Seeing it small on the web banner and seeing it large on the totes, it also holds up well no matter what size it's placed at.