FireSigns: A Semiotic Theory for Graphic Design
Graphic design has been an academic discipline since the post-World War II era, but it has yet to develop a coherent theoretical foundation. Instead, it proceeds through styles, genres, and imitation, drawing on sources that range from the Bauhaus to deconstructionism. In FireSigns, Steven Skaggs offers the foundation for a semiotic theory of graphic design, exploring semiotic concepts from design and studio art perspectives and offering useful conceptual tools for practicing designers. Semiotics is the study of signs and significations; graphic design creates visual signs meant to create a certain effect in the mind (a “FireSign”). Skaggs provides a network of explicit concepts and terminology for a practice that has made implicit use of semiotics without knowing it. He offers an overview of the metaphysics of visual perception and the notion of visual entities, and, drawing on the pragmatic semiotics of the philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, looks at visual experience as a product of the action of signs. He introduces three conceptual tools for analyzing works of graphic design — semantic profiles, the functional metric, and the visual gamut — that allow visual “personality types” to emerge and enable a greater understanding of the range of possibilities for visual elements. Finally, he applies these tools to specific analyses of typography.
About the Author
Steven Skaggs is Professor of Design at the Hite Art Institute of the University of Louisville. A semiotician, calligrapher, and font designer, he explores the connections between the visual and verbal worlds.
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Historically, “queer” was the slur used against those who were perceived to be or made to feel abnormal. Beginning in the 1980s, “queer” was reappropriated and embraced as a badge of honor. While queer draws its politics and affective force from the history of non-normative, gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities, it is not equivalent to these categories, nor is it an identity. Rather, it offers a strategic undercutting of the stability of identity and of the dispensation of power that shadows the assignment of categories and taxonomies. Artists who identify their practices as queer today call forth utopian and dystopian alternatives to the ordinary, adopt outlaw stances, embrace criminality and opacity, and forge unprecedented kinships, relationships, loves, and communities. Rather than a book of queer theory for artists, this is a book of artists’ queer tactics and infectious concepts. By definition, there can be no singular “queer art.” Here, in the first Documents of Contemporary Art anthology to be centered on artists’ writings, numerous conversations about queer practice are brought together from diverse individual, social and cultural contexts. Together these texts describe and examine the ways in which artists have used the concept of queer as a site of political and institutional critique, as a framework to develop new families and histories, as a spur to action, and as a basis from which to declare inassimilable difference. Artists and writers include Nayland Blake, Gregg Bordowitz, Leigh Bowery, AA Bronson, A. K. Burns, Giuseppe Campuzano, Tee Corinne, Barbara DeGenevieve, Dyke Action Machine!, Elmgreen & Dragset, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Simon Fujiwara, Malik Gaines, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Gran Fury, Sunil Gupta, Hahn Thi Pham, Harmony Hammond, Sharon Hayes, Hudson, Roberto Jacoby, Derek Jarman, Isaac Julien, Mahmoud Khaled, Zoe Leonard, Lesbian Avengers, Catherine Lord, Ma Liuming, LTTR, Allyson Mitchell, Zanele Muholi, Carlos Motta, Ocana, Helio Oiticica, Catherine Opie, Ridykeulous (Nicole Eisenman & A.L. Steiner), Marlon Riggs, Emily Roysdon, Prem Sahib, Assoto Saint, Tejal Shah, Amy Sillman, Jack Smith, Wolfgang Tillmans, Toxic Titties, Danh Vo, David Wojnarowicz, Wu Tsang, Yan Xing, Las Yeguas del Apocalipsis, Akram Zaatari, Sergio Zevallos”
Written for pre-service and in-service early childhood professionals in child care, preschool, or kindergarten through third grade settings, Art & Creative Development For Young Children, 8th Edition, takes a child-centered approach to art education. Updated throughout, the book includes an in-depth discussion of technology to aid teachers in understanding the role that technology can play in children’s visual art appreciation and production. Guidelines for establishing an inclusive art program in classrooms for young children are included for early childhood professionals. Activities and recipes make the text a valuable resource for in-service teachers.
About the Author
Jill Englebright Fox is a professor of early childhood education and the Director of Assessment at the University of Houston—Victoria. After teaching kindergarten and first grade in the Texas public schools for eight years, she received her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of North Texas. She continues to be active in early childhood classrooms as a volunteer, a professional consultant, a researcher, and a teacher educator. Robert Schirrmacher was an instructor with the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District. He received his Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Illinois. His experience includes teaching preschool, kindergarten, and first grade as well as teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels. He has assisted in Montessori schools and directed programs for young children. Dr. Schirrmacher has served as a consultant to parent groups and public and private early childhood programs. As an advocate for developmentally appropriate education and quality care for young children, he has been involved in professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels.
The Fashioned Body provides a wide-ranging and original overview of fashion and dress from an historical and sociological perspective. Where once fashion was seen as marginal, it has now entered into core economic discourse focused around ideas about ‘cultural’ and ‘creative’ work as a major driver of developed economies. With a new preface and new material on the evolving fashion industry, this second edition gives a clear summary of the theories surrounding the role and function of fashion in modern society. Entwistle examines how fashion plays a crucial role in the formation of modern identity through its articulation of the body, gender and sexuality. The book offers a much needed synthesis between the literature on fashion and dress, and the sociology of the body, offering an updated critique of the issues raised in the first edition. Entwistle shows how an understanding of fashion and dress requires an understanding of the meanings acquired by the body in culture D since it is the body that fashion speaks to and which is dressed in almost all social situations and encounters. She argues that while fashion refers to a specific system of dress originating in the west, all cultures ‘dress’ the body in the same way, making it a crucial feature of social order. Drawing on the work of theorists, the book offers insights into the connections that need to be made between the body, fashion and dress. The Fashioned Body will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the social role of fashion and dress in modern culture.
This is the story of how the xerographic copier, or “Xerox machine,” became a creative medium for artists and activists during the last few decades of the twentieth century. Paper jams, mangled pages, and even fires made early versions of this clunky office machine a source of fear, rage, dread, and disappointment. But eventually, xerography democratized print culture by making it convenient and affordable for renegade publishers, zinesters, artists, punks, anarchists, queers, feminists, street activists, and others to publish their work and to get their messages out on the street. The xerographic copier adjusted the lived and imagined margins of society, Eichhorn argues, by supporting artistic and political expression and mobilizing subcultural movements. Eichhorn describes early efforts to use xerography to create art and the occasional scapegoating of urban copy shops and xerographic technologies following political panics, using the post-9/11 raid on a Toronto copy shop as her central example. She examines New York’s downtown art and punk scenes of the 1970s to 1990s, arguing that xerography — including photocopied posters, mail art, and zines — changed what cities looked like and how we experienced them. And she looks at how a generation of activists and artists deployed the copy machine in AIDS and queer activism while simultaneously introducing the copy machine’s gritty, DIY aesthetics into international art markets. Xerographic copy machines are now defunct. Office copiers are digital, and activists rely on social media more than photocopied posters. And yet, Eichhorn argues, even though we now live in a post-xerographic era, the grassroots aesthetics and political legacy of xerography persists.
About the Author
Kate Eichhorn is Associate Professor of Culture and Media Studies at the New School. She is the author of The Archival Turn in Feminism.