Mark Boulton published his thoughts about Icons, Symbols and a Semiotic Web at his weblog:
“We’ve established that semiotics is the study of signs, and signs can be made up of all sorts of stuff like language, pictures, body language etc. but what does all this mean in a practical sense? Well, it might help to give you a brief overview of the field of semiotics, then go into some of the theories that help make up it’s core.
Modern day Semioticians, not only study ‘signs’ – it goes much deeper than that – they study how meaning is formed. They study how people first of all interprate a sign, how they then draw on cultural or personal experience to understand a sign. In that sense semiotics is about communication (see the parallels with design?).
There are three main areas of semiotics; the signs themselves, the way they are organised into systems and the context in which they appear.
We’ll have a look at the first of these in this article.”