Came across the term “Semiotics” today relating to branding.

From I understand, it’s the study of how cultures understand visual signs.

Some examples are as follows:
:+1: = good
:blue_square: faucet = cold water
:red_square: faucet = hot water
:green_circle: traffic light = go

For those that are curious, there’s an article about it here:

Is this a term that you’ve heard of before?

I’ve heard of it before. It’s been a while so I’m rusty but it’s basically just the study of sign and symbol communication.

They couldn’t have gotten a lower resolution (or blown up the image any larger) of the traffic light?

Very bad pic.

I found it fascinating in Japan they don’t have signs for construction sites as we have them - as such, they have a person bowing, which is a request to show respect.


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Yep I heard the term before. Insofar as it applies to graphics and design, symbology and even colours are very culture-specific as evidenced by the examples from Japan. Semiotics is to a large extent the study of this effect in a particular culture, whilst being aware of the differences between cultures.

As designers, we have to be aware of this, although we don’t often think of it as semiotics.

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Ian Paget’s Logo Geek podcast has a good episode on Semiotics and how it relates to logos and other graphic design.