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        In this assignment, I shall explain how
successful and effective visual communication produces a unity of meaning, and
how exactly this relates towards the process of problem solving or at least a
visual solution. Moreover, covering the history of semiotics  and the development throughout their knowledge
towards the subject.

         There are many
types of visual communication that are used every day, sometimes without us
even knowing it’s there. Visual communication is the transmission of the
information and ideas provided, using symbols and imagery. Although there are
three main types of communication, along with verbal and non-verbal, it’s been
believed that visual is the type that the majority of people rely on most,
furthermore, visual communication can include signs, graphic signs, films,
typography. In addition to this, there has been past discoveries of linked
evidence suggesting the oldest form of communication in a primitive sense, regarding
dated back cave paintings for example, these simplistic drawings were engraved
into the rocks and they even depict representations of different types of
animals and landscapes.

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        From an
academic point of view, the exercises regarding  symbols and visual communications are known as
semiotics. The purpose of semiotics are to convey how people interpret ways to
make meanings from visuals out of the use through symbols. Everyone is a semiotician
without even acknowledging it, we all unintentionally constantly interpret the
definition of symbols around us. A suitable example would be traffic lights, how
we instantly recognise the colours and further associate them with their individual
meanings. Charles Sanders Pierce, one of the founders of semiotics categorized
signs as being one of three types. An icon has a physical resemblance to the
signified, that’s being represented, for example, a simple photograph because
it certainly resembles whatever it depicts. Ferdinand de Saussure, who is one
of the original founders, perceived signs as the basic unit of meaning as he
defined two parts of the signs themselves, a signifier is the main form of a
sign, this could insinuate that it may be either be a sound, a singular word, a
photograph, a facial expression or a painting. However, the signified is quite
different compared to the signifier as it involves a concept or an object
that’s represented, it could be a physical item, a directed command to stop or
a warning that’s aimed at something specifically.


Moving on with the index, the purpose of index is to show
evidence of what’s being represented, one example that would be useful for
this, would be using an image of smoke, further indicating fire. Finally, a
symbol has no resemblance between the signifier and the signified, as the
connection between them must be culturally learned. One good example would be both
numbers and alphabets, if I chose the number 7, there’s nothing inherent
regarding the number alone in any way necessary to indicate what it may
represent, hence why it must be culturally learned.

         One of my sources convey that a man call Dan
Roam thinks “we are all capable of using visual thinking to solve complex
problems in everyday life”. He goes onto discussing that we understand
schematically how the visual mind works, how our brains work is that it
intentionally divides the way we see the world in 6 separate segments. The
first section he describes as who and what, the second is how much, the third
is where, the fourth is when does it happen, how it happens and then finishing
with simply why does it happen. All these factors show how us as creators delve
deep into the thought process of who we’re going to draw, what we’re going to
draw, how much we will draw, where are they going to be displayed, using
composition. Ultimately breaking down the problem and the thought process of a
creator by running this diagnostic. Furthermore, Dan Roam explains the perfect
example to convey one of the most successful and effective visual
communications through a conversation between two men in a story he was
describing referring to the first official airline from Dallas, Houston and San
Antonio, they did this by producing a map of the states, labelling the 3 major
cities and connecting them by drawing a simple line from each dot that marked
their locations, therefore creating a simple image of a triangle within a
square and from this, made the iconic logo for their idea for the successful
airline that was to be, in the end, clarifying what kind of airline they wanted
to create. With all this in mind, with the finished small diagram of the three
cities and the triangle-like shape conveying that in such a simplistic way, it
proves that the visual communication that was present, gave out a unity of
meaning towards finding a visual solution for their problem regarding the final
plan for the future of the airline travel system.

        Overall, there
are many ways to portray visual communication and unique ways to also express
it too, whether it be through verbal and non-verbal techniques, it all just
results with the same outcome. Furthermore, regardless of the fact that many of
the factors mentioned  may be different
in their own way, they all have the same aim, to get the message across to the
audience, to grant them an easy way to discover what the semiotics are trying
to show.


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