I am currently absorbed in Megg's history for Graphic design and I came across certain terms that seem to have incredibly ambiguous meaning (Pictography, Ideography, Symbols & Signs) and one that doesn't even have a meaning at all (Picture-symbols). I have scoured the entirety of google to make sense of these words but I ended up finding myself in a blackhole of confusion.
After my research, I understood that:
- Pictographs generally describe simple pictures that lean towards simplicity
- Ideographs are pictographs but with a meaning different from the images or word. They are, more often than not, pictographs that are alluding to something that isn't tangible.
- Signs are marks used to describe a word or a complex notion
But then there are Symbols, which is a very confusing word.
According to Merriam webster:
A symbol is:
- something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance
- a visible sign of something invisible
- an arbitrary or conventional sign used in writing or printing relating to a particular field to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities
- a letter, character, or sign used instead of a word to represent a quantity, position, relationship, direction, or something to be done
- an object or act representing something in the unconscious mind that has been repressed.
So, I came to an unsure conclusion that both Signs, Symbols and Ideographs are represented pictographically but Signs and Symbols are a form of Ideographs.
Also, there is the compound word I mentioned earlier "Picture-symbols" that I don't understand. I searched google for that word but I arrived at a dead end, I couldn't find the meaning to that compound word. So, my assumption is "Picture-symbol" is just a word that's similar to the single word "Symbols"
Now, my question is: Is my conclusion and assumption right?
I attached an excerpt of the book for better context