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CHI member’s paper published in Social Semiotics

CHI member, Christian Mosbæk Johannessen’s paper “Experiential meaning potential in the Topaz Energy logo: a framework for graphemic and graphetic analysis of graphic logo design” has just been published in Social Semiotics.

Humans exhibit the puzzling behaviour of embellishing practically every surface of built environments, artefacts, foodstuffs and even our own skin with graphic markings. In urban environments, corporate logos have become especially salient over the course of the last half a Century. In “Experiential meaning potential in the Topaz Energy logo: a framework for graphemic and graphetic analysis of graphic logo design” Johannessen attempts a discussion of how bodily dynamics act upon the "look and feel” of corporate logos thus acting as a constraint on some aspects of our behaviour.

 

Abstract

Based on the premise that corporate logos are all pervasive in the semiotic landscapes of the post-industrial, globalized world order, the article contends that there is an increasing need for understanding how logos make meaning thus constraining human behaviour. The article argues that conventional wisdom about the meaning potential of visual texts offers limited insight into logos because they are structurally too simple to convey, for example, ideational meaning as typically understood. Instead, the article argues, we can approach the meaning potential of logos “from below” from phonetic- and phonemic-equivalent strata of graphics. The article suggests graphetics and graphemics as general studies of the expression plane of graphics and tentatively outlines a descriptive and analytical framework for them. The article proceeds to demonstrate the analytical potential of the approach by discussing how the logo for Irish fuel and convenience retail chain Topaz can be interpreted using the concept of experiential meaning potential.

You will find the paper here :-)

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