Typography & Semiotics

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Adam's picture
Joined: 29 Apr 2008 - 3:49am
Typography & Semiotics

“Typography is embedded into our everyday life therefore it becomes part of our culture”

“Can the semiotic theory be applied to topical typography thus bringing more meaning and importance to the chosen subject matter AND typeface?”

I'm looking at topical typography. Designing a typeface based on a specific area. I have chosen the area, it is a landmark that deals with two cultures and the reclaiming of land.

I'm thinking of pulling the semiotics out of the area and visually working these into letter forms giving a more meaningful typeface and a deeper visual/verbal representation on the specific area.

Sound like an interesting project? Perhaps not?

What other area's of design would you recommend considering when using type?



- typeface design
- 3D type
- interactive type

Alessandro Segalini's picture
Joined: 5 Oct 2005 - 5:14pm

What other area’s would you recommend considering when using type?

Hello, what do you mean with “area's” ?

tfncruz's picture
Joined: 25 Jun 2008 - 3:40pm

I think it's a very interesting project.
I remember Pigiarniq, a typeface that was developed for a small region in Canada named Nunavut. "... the government of the region has decided to design a new typeface to enable its 28.000 citizens to use all four languages in a uniform manner."
From a semiotic point of view, everything someone does has some kind of meaning because he/she did "X" instead of "Y". A sign is a representation of something, not the thing. And because of this, a sign is always the construction of meaning (when interpreted).
The reason why the Pigiarniq's Typographer opt for that shape of letters sure has some kind of meaning and this meaning sure is related to this region of Nunavut.

Other areas of study, I suggest:
The Elements of Typographic Style, Robert Bringhurst (obvious)
Information Design (Edward Tufle's books)
Visual Perception (Rudolf Arnheim's books)
and perhaps it will help to take a look into Graphic Design history to see how typography has being used over the centuries in order to convey meaning. (perhaps Meggs History of Graphic Design?)

Hope this information helps...

Best Luck for the project!

Chris Lozos's picture
Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am

Also read Roland Barthes