The Semiotic Dimension of the Pictogram

This book is the final output of my master thesis. The MA thesis project (MA in Communication Design at Politecnico Milano) is intended to analyzes the origin, functioning and design of the pictograms providing a comprehensive definition of what has been collected; the research has value both for the individual pictogram and for a system of pictograms.

The decision to develop this topic come from my personal curiosity to understand the functioning of a pictogram from its meaning and not from the mere graphics; that lead me to the use of semiotics as an analysis tool.
In the course of the analysis I tried, as far as it was possible to me, to delineate the origins of the pictogram and the very concept of communication through representation. From the historical analysis made I've formualted a definition as comprehensive as possible to semiotically clarify what a pictogram is.

This definition is followed by a general analysis of the graphic techniques that can be used for the construction of a pictogram. A much more substantial analysis on the semiotic questions concerning the pictogram complete the analysis. The research I developmed lends itself as a starting point for future various developments, such as the delineation of a design method for the creation of pictograms which is inclusive of the communicative and semiotic dimension.

Finally, I designed the following book as a "container" of my research; all the illlustrations are made by me based on the material of of previous research, so they could fit with the genearl aesthetic of the book. As cover, I decide to use a detailed fabric, as a tribute to classic publications.

Alessandro Riva Copyright © 2021