The Modalities of Meaning in Graphic Design

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This proposal is about the visual semiotics in the specific context of graphic design.Graphic design has become one of the most important communication disciplines and its expression discourses have incidence in all the cultural contexts: politics, advertising, education, information, recreational activities and even environment and special spaces. That is the main reason to reflect in the several meanings that society is receiving from the visual messages and the different kind of interpretations that people is doing constantly. This process is changing the way of understanding the world, the other and phenomena like images and objects. Also the designed objects and its messages make a great impact in different spheres. This has been described as the image phenomenon but it is more complex because, since the semiotic point of view, in the graphic design are combined the morphologic, typographic, chromatic and photographic codes, some of them emerge from established languages and others become languages or meta-languages. Graphic design cannot be studied since syntagmatic concepts, its meaning modalities belong to paradigmatic dynamics; neither can be understood since the communication semiotic, it is a signification semiotic target. This is comprehended from visual grammar ideas to graphic discourses, all of them have been made conditional from the modalities of meaning: conceptual, connotative, social, affective, reflected and thematic meanings. The results of this reflection will create the main basis from the visual communication and its transcendence to semiotics as a frame of reference for the humanities.

Keywords: Semiotics, Graphic Design, Meaning
Stream: Aesthetics, Design
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Modalities of Meaning in Graphic Design, The

Prof. Luz del Carmen Vilchis Esquivel

Professor, Visual Arts Postgraduate Program
National School of Visual Arts
National Autonomous University of Mexico, CUMULUS and Design Research Society


Professor in Posgraduate Program of National School of Visual Arts in National Autonomous University of Mexico. Pioneer in Mexico using digital resources in arts and design. First woman director of National School of Visual Arts at UNAM (2002-2006), has published four books about Graphic Design Theory, Graphic Design Metodology, Non-linear languages semiotics and Graphic Design Hermeneutics, 32 research papers and 18 didactic manuals. Manager from two diferent firms: a technologic center and a graphic design place. Teacher during 30 years, is oficial tutor from postgraduate program in the lines of researching projects, semiotic and hermeneutic studies; participating in academic events in Mexico, Dominicana Republic, USA, Canada, Greece, Spain, Cuba, Peru, Holland, Uruguay, Argentina, Germany and Prtugal and presentating conferences in Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Spain, USA, Lisbon and other countries; also, being advisor thesis from more than 120 researching student thesis works in different universities.
Professional graphic designer, working in Mexico, USA and Canada in firms like BMG Entertainment, Environmental Law Institute or UNESCO in traditional and digital way. Visual artist, has exposed digital art, collage and visual poetry in more than 30 exhibitions in Mexico, Panama, USA, Rusia, Spain, France, Greece, Palestine and Frankfurt.

Ref: H08P0070