Semiotics is an investigation into how meaning is communicated and how meaning is made. Its roots lie in the academic analysis of how symbols and signs (visual and linguistic) produce meaning.
It’s a method of seeing the world, as well as understanding culture and the landscape in which we live has a gigantic effect on all of us.
Ideas and our activities – what we do are governed by a set of conventions and messages, and dependent upon our ability and instantly.
As an example, once we see the colors of a traffic light, we know how to respond to them. This is known by us without even considering it. However, this is a sign that has been established by tradition during an extended time period and which we learn as kids, and needs a deal of knowledge to comprehend its significance.
Everybody is a semiotician – since everybody is unconsciously interpreting the meaning around them the shapes of cars, the design of buildings, and the design of cereal packaging.
And signs do have to be visual – they could be signs that are aural or sonic also, like a police siren’s noise, before the car is seen, usually heard.
We will need to comprehend the context in which a sign is communicated to comprehend its real significance, and hence act. To be able to interpret its significance what’s happening around the signal is as important for us to know itself.
Semiotics is an integral tool to make sure that intended meanings (of for example a part of communication or a new product) are unambiguously known by the individual on the receiving end. There are good reasons if somebody does not understand the real intention of a message and semiotics will help unravel that confusion.