Digital Semiotics

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The study of semiotics - broadly understood as systems of signs and meaning - has been largely left as an esoteric academic subject. Championed by critical theory and linguists, there are few "applications" of semiotic theory- apart from some exciting postmodern art practices.

But if the link between a sign (denotative object) and its meaning (result, significance, purpose, etc.) is arbitrary and culturally constructed, than the fields of emergent digital culture, particularly design, ought to think critically about it.


My rekindled interest in Digital Semiotics spawns from a NYC MeetUp group [1] that first met in the HousingWorks Cafe in Soho on April 22, 2012. At this first meeting, we talked about potential directions for the group, questions that we had about the subject and it's nature, and our own backgrounds. Curiously, the room was largely filled with UX and Advertising people, then rounded out with a few software developers and a few online education people.

Subject Resources

Skeumorphism in Digital Design

  • Skeumorphism & Storytelling [2]
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