Image-creating signs

Signs belong to our environment, they are elements of our everyday culture. A sign is always a visually self-contained configuration created by pictorial means in the broadest sense. Signs have to be comprehensible, informative, concise, honest, then they are aesthetically right.
A sign stands for something, it denominates, it is an equivalent for a thing or a situation.
A sign becomes a symbol if a value is attached to it.
As a company's mark, it is a visual configuration with an emblematic character that displays understanding for an institution.
A logogram, colloquially abbreviated as "logo", is a visual-linguistic sign that lacks the phonetic dimension.
Sometimes, more is demanded of the elements used to identify business companies than those elements can achieve. This may be because the quality of the design is not good enough for the proper visualization, or because there is not enough knowledge of the problems of creating signs.
It is a known fact that our means of communication are today used in different ways. This is probably due to the dizzying pace of developments within the information-based society. The media technologies available tempt to practise a type of design which is thought of as contributing to the viewers' entertainment rather than giving them pertinent information. Elements of amusement or decoration are applied where visual information should provide objective or factual explanation. This does not achieve the purposes aimed at when conveying messages.

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© Herbert W. Kapitzki, Berlin 2003
last changes: 8/6/2003