Semiotics – How we read the world

Various road signs both with writing and just pictures

Semiotics is a very large and confusing subject that can’t really be easily explained but I plan on attempting to explain just one part; I’m going to be focusing on signs – both written and picture form.

Signs are everywhere, from signs with written instructions to basic pictures. Signs with words such as a door sign with ‘open’ or ‘push’ are generally easy to understand but do have disadvantages such as not understanding the language the sign is written in or being too young to understand the sign. Some signs would be far too big or complicated if they were written out when the same message can be said using a simple easy to read picture.

There are signs that can be read across the board by everyone in the world regardless of what language they speak or what country they are in. these signs are generally wordless and consist of pictures. We are taught what most signs mean at a very early age, we even pick some of these up before we learn the words for them, for instance we are taught very quickly what things are bad or harmful – the colour red means bad so if a picture has a red ring around it or has a cross through it then that is probably bad or dangerous.


About ellenhdiscourse

I'm an artist studying Illustration and Printmaking at UEL. This blog will be used for my Discourse assignment.
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