semiotics and typography

scwr's picture

hi, I need an understanding of the semiotics in/of typography. i have made some web searches but I haven't found any clear articles. any help would be greatly appreciated!

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Don’t bother too much on Semiotics.

Perhaps you find some related inspiration here. Scroll down, there is an English version Pdf.

blank's picture

i have made some web searches but I haven't found any clear articles.

Don’t expect to find much beyond jargon riddled doggerel by MFA candidates.

dezcom's picture

Seems I have been one of those MFA candidates but that was back in the early 70s. Look into linguistics if you want hear the jargon. The old classic designers book would be Diethelm's "Signal, Signet, Symbol".

or else, you could wait another dozen years for me to finally finish my dissertation ;-)

Nick Shinn's picture

I haven't found any clear articles…

You won’t.
That's the nature of the subject.

flooce's picture

Don't make it too complicated. We humans are born in a way that we see signs everywhere and in many things. We are experts in interpreting them. Everything we see we interpret with the informations we already have.

So a sensible approach to study the semiotic aspect of a subject is to understand what other people, or even the creator, say about the studied subject, not as facts or knowledge, but as interpretation or “reading”. Yes, depending on the “ aesthetic database” and the level of awareness people will say different things, but that can be put into the respective context of the person making a statement. People will always do interpretative work anyhow on things we understand as signs, because they try to figure out the meaning.

Btw, I send you a message through the forum software to your mail account you are registered here with.

Tromley's picture

These are not type specific bit you can look up Hanno Ehses rhetorical handbook and design papers 1-6. Stuff from those is pretty transferable because it's all about visual language, and the semiotics in type is visual language for the mass audience.

scwr's picture

thanx everybody. flooce, I've mailed you back!

ben_archer's picture

“i have made some web searches” – you're looking in the wrong place.

Go to your university library and borrow copies of Ellen Lupton's Design Writing Research and David Crow's Visible Signs. Should get you started...

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