Visible Signs : an introduction to semiotics in the visual arts / by David Crow.

by Crow, David, 1962- [author.]Looking glass.

Series: Required reading rangeCourse reader: Publisher: London ; Fairfield Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, [2016].Edition: Third edition.Description: 192 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 27 cm.ISBN: 9781474232425.Subject(s): SemioticsLooking glass | Semiotics and artLooking glass | Visual communicationLooking glassNote: includes bibliographical references (page 188) and index.
List(s) this item appears in: Camberwell MA GDC Reading List | Camberwell BA Illustration
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Basic semiotic theories are taught in most art schools as part of a contextual studies program, but many students find it difficult to understand how these ideas might impact on their own practice. Visible Signs tackles this problem by introducing key theories and concepts, such as signs and signifiers, and language and speech, within the framework of visual communication. Each chapter provides an overview of a particular facet of semiotic theory, with inspiring examples from graphic design, typography, illustration, advertising and art to illustrate the ideas discussed in the text. Creative exercises at the end of the book will help exemplify these ideas through practical application. The third edition of Visible Signs features new material from international designers and new creative exercises to accompany each chapter. This new edition also features a new design and layout.

includes bibliographical references (page 188) and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1 Components
  • What is Theory?
  • Agreement
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 2 How Meaning is Formed
  • Categories of Sign
  • Value
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 3 Reading the Sign
  • The Reader
  • Convention and Motivation
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 4 Text and Image
  • Digital and Analogue Codes
  • Advertising Writing
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 5 Official Language
  • Habitus
  • The Production of Legitimate Language
  • The Competition for Cultural Legitimacy
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 6 Unofficial Language
  • Unofficial Codes
  • The Graffiti Writer
  • Unofficial Language and the Visual Arts
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 7 Symbolic Creativity
  • Hyperinstitutionalisation
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 8 Junk and Culture
  • Dirt and Taboo
  • Rubbish Theory
  • Rubbish as a Resource
  • Portfolio
  • Chapter 9 Open Work
  • The Open Work
  • Portfolio
  • Self-directed Study: Exercises
  • References
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Acknowledgements and picture credits

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This is the third edition of Crow's book (which was first published in 2003), and that speaks to its popularity. For this edition, Crow (dean of the School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan Univ., UK) added more up-to-date illustrations and rewrote the captions. Those who own the first or second edition will not need this updated edition, but those who do not should acquire it because it is one of the few books to discuss various semiotics theories of design. (A comprehensive study of the Peircean semiotic theory of graphic design will be published by MIT in 2017, but until then Crow's is one of the more complete.) Crow does a fairly good job of explaining the differences between Peircean and Saussurian semiotic perspectives, but the really outstanding parts of this book are the excellent illustrations and the exercises. This book is aimed at undergraduate programs in graphic design, and it hits the mark. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. --Steven Skaggs, University of Louisville

Author notes provided by Syndetics

David Crow studied Communication Design at Manchester Metropolitan University. He subsequently worked as a designer in London for Assorted iMaGes and as Art Director for Island Records before running his own consultancy. As a freelance designer he worked for a range of clients in the cultural sector including Rolling Stones Records, Virgin Records, Phonogram and The Royal Shakespeare Company. Crow then moved into academia as Head of the Department of Graphic Arts at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. He is now Dean of the School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

Other editions of this work

No cover image available Visible signs : by Crow, David, ©2003
No cover image available Visible signs : by Crow, David, ©2010
No cover image available Visible signs : by Crow, David, ©2003

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