Semiotics- Pictogram & Icon Graphics

When researching types of communication, I came across semiotic designs. Semiotics is the study o signs and symbols and their use of interpretation.  I found this interesting because they are used as a method of communication. Semiotics can introduce ideas, command and inform without the use of text.  The general appearance is very simple, yet effective. No matter on the individual- their nationality, culture etc, you instantly get some understanding of what the image is trying to tell you.  Below shows some general examples of semiotics.

Semiotic page

When I went to the library, I came across a book called “Pictogram and Icon Graphics 2”.  Pictogram and icon are terms meaning the same thing, a simple visual form created to convey a message.  It is perhaps the earliest extension of a hand gesture to visually suggest an object, action or feeling.  I found this particularly interesting because it works very similar to the way in which hand gestures are used. I like the idea of experimenting with semiotics- like pictograms and icons because I feel they are very simplistic and greatly taken for granted. I was to create my own version of semiotics, I would try to make it stand out from the norm.

Semotic Scan book

Icons and Pictograms can have character.  They can be friendly, authoritative, smart, silly express joy, etc.  Often Icon systems are designed to be part of our lives for a long period of time.  They not only inform and help us find our way, they contribute to the quality of our lives.  When you have a system of icons it is important that each has its own identity to avoid confusion and help the purpose of the icons.  It is helpful if any icon or image can be identified and easily referenced in any language.

Pictograms and icons have a similar style and approach- being simple with minimal colour.  However, they all look very different.  Each has its own different character and representation- whether it is to advise, inform, direct, or just put a smile on somebody’s face. The images shown below are scans from the “Pictograms and Icon Graphics” book. I chose carefully which pages to include. I wanted to show the similarities between semiotics as well as how versatile they can look and be used. I found this book very helpful when researching.