Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sign Vs. Symbol

What is a sign? What is symbol? Both are very different in there purposes. Signs consist of a graphic that has universal meaning in any culture and geographic location. For example when you use the washroom and on the door it has graphic element of human shape. The head consisting of circle and the body rounded ends and long straight thick lines that make the shape of body. No matter what language the word "Men" is in a person will see the graphic element previously described and know it is the "Men's Washroom". Graphic elements of the sign utilize geometric shapes, and are designed to be used in a cohesive series. If your designing a series of signs that will have human shape if you use a circle for the head in your first one, you use a circle for head on all of them. Symbols on the other hand are not as universal, they can have different meanings and shapes. They are dictated by the cultures and geographic locations. One example is the star, stars have been used since ancient time and have represented gods, geographic location etc. The five pointed star on the American flag represents each of the 50 states, opposed to the six pointed star found on the flag of Israel. The six pointed star is associated with King David, Judaism and the State of Israel. Both stars are uniquely and stand apart from each other through their shape and color. Designers should always be aware of the use of symbols in their work.

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