The kinds of signs that are likely to spring immediately to mind are those which we routinely refer to as ‘signs’ in everyday life, such as road signs, pub signs and star signs, semiotics can include the study of all these and more, people will probably assume that semiotics is about ‘visual signs’.

Fernand de Saussure

Saussure believed that there are three parts to every sign and for a sign to work there has to be an understanding of the sound.

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Charles Pierce 

Charles Pierce has an altered model to Saussure’s.

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  • Signified – Content 
  • Signifier – Text, Images, Colour


Connotations – meaning

Denotation – Content



Icons – A signifier that has a physical resemblance to the signified (Save = Floppy disk)

Symbols – Signifiers that are culturally learnt by learning their meaning (Reading, Writing and Languages)

Indexes – Indexes have a physical connection to the signifier. Signifier only exists because the signified does. (Smoke = no smoke without fire) or (Footprints – Someone had to make them).



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