Today we went over symbols, icons and index. These all are used as visual graphics to represent things. The first one we went over were icons. These are a representation of the actual item that looks like it. An example would be an illustration of a cat. The cat represents the way the actual cats look like. Next a symbol is a representation of something with no real resemblance. Lastly the index is recognized for meaning something but not being the illustration of that. It represents something such as a deer drawing can mean watch out for deer.
Semiotics are a study of symbols & signs and their impact on civilization on society. Something that I did not know is that in North America and Northern Europe are considered low content societies. This means that the visual message is interpreted literally. In contrast, high context societies such as Europe and Latin America have more complex interpretations. This is low context societies usually have people from all over the world. A clear and literal representation that can be understood in any language is what best fits with our inhabitants.
Factors that must always be taken into consideration when designing are culture, age, gender, and experience. The audience must always be kept in mind. Location and surroundings also play a major part.
Watching the move “A man without qualities” was a movie we watched made up of symbols. What was interesting about this movie was that it only consisted of symbols, movement of these symbols, sound and color to show a mans whole life. It only had the bare essentials but the way it was clear to understand. This is a difficult thing to do since no real words were spoken. This made my see how a person’s creativity mixed with limited options can still accomplish many things and applies to the way we must design.