AVA Academia is a new list of college textbooks, which aims to bridge the gap between traditional text-heavy reference books and the visual eye candy of showcase books. Each title will be written by a leading college professor or lecturer and will be edited to fit into the diverse curricula of art schools and colleges around the world. One of the first titles in this series, "Visible Signs" introduces design students to the fundamentals of semiotics. Basic semiotic theories are taught in most art schools as part of a contextual studies programme, but many students find it difficult to understand how these ideas might impact on their own practice. This text tackles this problem by explaining basic communication terms and theoretical contexts through visual examples of graphic work. Concepts such as signs and signifiers, language and speech are all explored through examples of contemporary graphic design and fine arts.