A sign stands FOR something TO someone.
SIGNIFIER + SIGNIFIED = SIGN
The sign is not the thing itself!
The someone (interpretant) assigns meaning to the sign.
Signs can be:
There are three types of signs:
- Iconic: the signifier resembles the signified (picture of pipe)
- Symbolic: the signifier bears no relationship to the signified, but is determined by (cultural) agreement: “pipe”
- Indexical: a cause/effect relationship between sign and signified: smoke = fire: no smoke = no fire.
A sign has no meaning unless it is interpreted. The interpretation is a “construction” of the sign.
(Daniel Chandler, Semiotics: The Basics, Routledge, 2006)