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picture this

Umberto Eco’s A Theory of Semiotics (1976 ) defines a sign as anything which may be interpreted to ‘stand for’ (or

substitute for) something.

Semiotics is the science of communication and sign systems, or simply of the ways people understand phenomena and

organise them mentally. Although natural and artificial languages are therefore central to semiotics, its field covers all non-

verbal signalling and extends to domains whose communicative dimension is perceived only unconsciously or

subliminally. Knowledge, meaning, intention and action are thus fundamental concepts in the semiotic investigation of

phenomena.

Roland Barthes' (Camera Lucida) ”…every sign comes from a signifier and a signified. It also states that every sign has a

meaning- there are no empty signs. While this theory seems to be of a mathematical and scientific nature, it is not. These

signs are interpreted by individuals, each interpretation being influenced by that person's experiences and background.”

PS.  The origin of the popular faux-Chinese proverb saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" is attributed to Fred

Barnard, an US advertising manager in the early 1920s. Barnard's claim was not about information content, but affect -

when used in advertising, a picture draws attention more than text