on 12 May 2009
This book is a godsend for anyone who's ever been confused by semiotics (I am one of these people).
A lot of the graphic design books I've used before have mentioned semiotics in passing, but usually in a fairly laboured way. They tend to make cryptic and contradictory references to the importance of "signs" and "signifiers", almost as if the writer doesn't know what they are.
This book is the answer to all of this. It's a clear and interesting introduction to this topic. The writing itself is worthy of praise, but when combined with the fantastic illustrations, most of which come from Crow's own work, the two become more than the sum of their parts.
A great book, well designed, well researched, well written. For anyone in the slightest bit interested in this fascinating subject (and this should be all designers and design students) this book is the perfect guide.
on 23 April 2004
If ever there was a time and a place for a visual introduction tosemiotics then this is where to come.
Crow weaves his own work into this ideal introductory companion for thegraphic design student. If you always wanted to know what all that 'sign'and 'signifier' stuff was all about and you feel you really would like to(a) understand how the world of advertising works or (b) want to add somereal bite to your work, then buy/borrow/steal this book !
The book is littered with visual communication examples and neatly coversthe marraige of semiology and linguistics. I've always thought of thestudy of semiotics as being a little like understanding algebra - usefulwhilst studying but not much use in the real world of commercial (graphic)design - but this book really does help the design practitioner too.
on 19 February 2007
Visible Signs explores Semiotics and the impact that it has on our lives in engaging and vividly clear terms.
Semiotics is the `study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behaviour', and is both a fascinating subject and an essential tool by which to deconstruct the elements of our media dominated reality.
As a designer, `Visible Signs' has given me a great deal to consider when creating artwork; how semiotics can be used to guide a viewer's reading of the work, and suggest mood, tone, meaning and even historical context. However, this is not a book just for designers and artists. The subject matter is pertinent to every one of us and every moment of our lives. It helps us to understand the importance of common interpretations of road signs (for example) and also the visual language used in advertising and the tools by which our emotional responses can be manipulated.
The book itself is incredibly well made and its contents quickly and easily digestible. The observations made are illustrated well with visual references, which serve to both unlock the example image and David Crow's explanation of the particular concept.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in opening their eyes to the often unacknowledged backdrop to our modern visual culture, as well as to the countless echelons of meaning within the visual arts.
I was told that, as an artist, this is essential reading, and I will in turn convey this sentiment to all other artists and designers who may not have read this.
on 19 August 2010
This book is a great read for anyone looking to understand the complex subject of semiotics. The author has successfully balanced such a tricky subject area with an easy to read and comprehensive style of writing and beautiful illustrations.
Semiotics is often mentioned or discussed in other design literature but few rarely venture into the depths of the subject. Crow has done this successfully, providing a detailed introduction to the subject and covering different theories relating to Semiotics.
As with all ava books I have read, Visible Signs is laid out in a beautiful format with useful illustrations and examples. The content covered in the book is well researched and summarised suitably for anybody interested in the subject. I would definitely recommend this book to any designer as it holds relevance in most fields and people studying design... this book is a great place to actually understand what this `semiotics' everyone keeps mentioning is all about.