I am interested in the complexities and paradoxes of visual language and the difficulties that we inevitably encounter when attempting to make images that communicate to a mass audience. Numerous approaches have been tried and various systems implemented with more/less success but the relationship between speech based language and visual language is a complicated one. Above is the cover image from Norm's book Die Dinge [The Things]. It is worth looking at. Norm attempt to rationalise the communication of visual things by developing a grid based system to reduce all things to visual icons/ideograms/heiroglyphs. Whether or not you agree with this approach is academic the fact remains that as human beings we know that imagery has the power to communicate in a much more sophisticated and powerful way than can be quantified by words but we wrestle with its inefficiency and ambiguity and its reliance on the interelationship between subjectivity and objectivity on the part of the viewer.
I said to David when we looked at this book, "look, its a speech bubble" he replied " or a wingmirror!"
Idea: Language and Design