Andy Cuevas – February 11th

Semiology is the study of sign systems that explores how words and other signs make meaning. Semiology defines a sign as anything that stands in for something other than itself. Semiotics focuses on both linguistic and nonlinguistic signs, on the other hand, linguistics refers to the scientific study of languages and their structures.

                        Signs and symbols present a quick way of communicating our feelings. They are also used to reinforce the message conveyed through speech. One uses signs to easily strike resonance with whoever they are talking to thereby building communication and thought. Symbols can be used to identify different individuals, the groups and the organizations they subscribe to.

                        The signified is seen as the mental imagery that one gets from a sign while the signifier represents the tangible part meaning something that can be accessed by the human senses. We apply this component in developing speech communities where certain signs are related to specific words in the system from which we derive meaning. An example is a red light in the traffic lights which signifies danger.

                        Language is the use of structured words in communication by people. Visual language emanates from art forms that bear a message to the viewer. Graphic communication uses graphic elements to bear a message to the viewer. These graphic elements are varied and may include symbols and images. The similarity between this component is they all are aimed at delivering a message which is communication. The difference arises in the senses that are applied in interpreting the information with graphic and visual communication achieved through the eyes while language is mainly through the mouth and ear.

Andy Cuevas – FEBRUARY 4th


According to the readings, Rudimentary communication systems are very important for contemporary information systems. Their importance can be understood mainly from two perspectives. Developments over many epochs, and in different societies, such as the use of symbols and signs in denoting countable objects, or numbers,  formed the basis of the numbering system as is today, which is the basis for the counting system used in computer programming, base two, the ones and zeros. On the other hand, the development of writing styles over the years, such as the Carolingian writing scripts, paragraphing, use of periods and other punctuation marks and styles, such as italics, bolding, and underlining, has been integral to the development of programs, such as word processing software programs.
Design is a visual language. Ultimately, the design is about the person’s object interface and how people see and perceive objects. Important to note, as evidenced by the transitions from counting using objects, such as fingers, stones, tokens, and the abacus, to the development of numbering, writing styles, and other systems, such as pictograms, hieroglyphics, and isotypes demonstrate an ever-evolving field. Contemporary designers, therefore, should concern themselves with archaic or medieval counting, writing, and printing techniques because they contextualize modern day design. Modern day designers can only become better if they have a better understanding of developments and changes over the years that have influenced the development and formation of the field as is today.
Evidently, from the foregoing, design, termed as the language of vision, is continuously evolving as evidenced by the changes and developments experienced over different eras in different societies and cultures. Key tenets of these developments that form the basis for modern day design is that they have their roots in the general environment and interactions between different societies and cultures. The process of the development of hieroglyphics and isotype, as well as other pictograms, provokes ideas for new design strategies. A look at the environment, society, interactions, and everyday living is a key source of inspiration for the design. For example, emoticons or emojis are continuously being developed for use on the growing social media and other information technology communication platforms, and it is evident that they leverage these same ideologies and principles of design strategies and initiatives; photography, even with the absence of words, achieves and delivers meaning.