Basic semiotic theories are taught in most art schools as part of a contextual studies program, but many students find it difficult to understand how these ideas might impact on their own practice. Visible Signs tackles this problem by introducing key theories and concepts, such as signs and signifiers, and language and speech, within the framework of visual communication.
Each chapter provides an overview of a particular facet of semiotic theory, with inspiring examples from graphic design, typography, illustration, advertising and art to illustrate the ideas discussed in the text. Creative exercises at the end of the book will help exemplify these ideas through practical application.
The third edition of Visible Signs features new material from international designers and new creative exercises to accompany each chapter. This new edition also features a new design and layout.
David Crow studied Communication Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. He subsequently worked as a designer in London for Assorted iMaGes and as Art Director for Island Records before running his own consultancy. As a freelance designer he worked for a range of clients in the cultural sector including Rolling Stones Records, Virgin Records, Phonogram and The Royal Shakespeare Company. Crow then moved into academia as Head of the Department of Graphic Arts at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. He is now Dean of the School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.
Introduction Chapter 1: Components. What is Theory?; Agreement; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 2: How Meaning is Formed. Categories of Sign; Value; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 3: Reading the Sign: The Reader; Convention and Motivation; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 4: Text and Image: Digital and Analogue Codes; Advertising Writing; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 5: Official and Unofficial Language: Habitus; The Production of Legitimate Language; The Competition for Cultural Legitimacy; Unofficial Language; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 6: Symbolic Creativity: Hyperinstitutionalisation; Play and Identity; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 7: Junk and Culture: Dirt and Taboo; Rubbish Theory; Rubbish as a Resource; Portfolio; Exercises. Chapter 8: Open Work: Information and Meaning; Openness and the Visual Arts; Openness and Information; Form and Openness; Portfolio; Exercises. Bibliography Index Acknowledgements and Picture Credits