Ferdinand de Saussure; Image source Wikimedia Commons
Semiotics is the study of signs and their meaning in society. A sign is something which can stand for something else – in other words, a sign is anything that can convey meaning. So words can be signs, drawings can be signs, photographs can be signs, even street signs can be signs. Modes of dress and style, the type of bag you have, or even where you live can also be considered signs, in that they convey meaning. This chapter will introduce the idea of signs, how they function within systems and as tools of communication, and situate signs within codes.