Applied Semiotics to Study the Characteristics of Graphic Symbol Encoding and Decoding
Dr. Tien-Chun Chang
Dr. Sheng-Houng Lin
|關鍵字:||圖像符號;建構;解讀;紮根理論;共質點;graphic symbols;encoding;decoding;ground theory;point of consistency|
Abstract This study examines the subject of designers' encoding of graphic symbols and viewers' decoding of meaning, explores the context of encoding and decoding, and investigates the characteristics of agreement and understanding. The study was performed via open, in-depth interviews with senior teachers and professional designers. Methodologically organized data categories were used to Ground Theory, and the interactive relationship between graphic symbols and meaning discussed from the point of view of semiotics. It was discovered that characteristics from the design of graphic symbols to the decoding of meaning included the three major categories of "encoding of graphic symbols," "decoding of graphic symbols," and "point of consistency between encoding of graphic symbols and decoding of meaning." 1. The "encoding of graphic symbols" encompasses the designer's process of encoding graphic symbols and design considerations. During the early stages of encoding, relevant aspects include design motivation, deliberation over time, the accumulation of knowledge, and the designer's attitude in the face of encoding problems. When encoding is being performed, relevant aspects include the applicability of graphic forms, correspondence with form of presentation, the contextual influence of presentation level, and the synthesis of a visual symbolic language that can be read by viewers. 2. The category of "decoding of graphic symbols" is composed of the three stages of "decoding premise," "freedom of decoding viewpoint," and "decoding discrepancy." The decoding premise is the point of attraction induced by the aspect the viewer feels is interesting. Guided by the appearance of the symbols and the content of his or her emotional reaction, the viewer is able to understand the content of the message. The creation of a point of attraction, the associations influencing decoding, and stimulation of interest are therefore all factors affecting decoding. Freedom of decoding viewpoint implies that viewers pay attention to different focal points due to differences in their decoding preferences, and this causes discrepancies in the decoded meaning. 3. Agreement between the encoder and decoder must be reached via a "point of consistency." A "point of consistency" is composed of the three stages of "point of consistency function," "point of consistency entry," and "highlighting of a point of consistency." The point of consistency function is reliance on the message content, conditions guiding the message, and the basis of the recognition faculty. The point of consistency entry is influenced by variables causing differences in the background of the subject of appreciation. The viewer distinguishes the subject's scope and feels interest from the topic of the message, and connective and associative aspects develop a cognitive graphic domain conforming to the viewer. The highlighting of a point of consistency is influenced by the cognitive conditions of the subjects, consumer habits, and coherence of graphic forms. This is the highlighting function that causes the content of the message to be communicated.