Semiotics--the study of signs and sign systems--has become part of the curriculum of most art schools, and this accessible, visually outstanding introduction to the subject strikes the perfect balance between theory and practice. By examining text and image in advertising, as well as "high art" versus "popular culture," it reveals the difference between signs (such as a word or picture) and signifiers (the concept or object to which it refers). Every image has been created or carefully chosen from contemporary graphic practice and the fine arts to illustrate and thoroughly clarify a particular idea. Pull-out quotes from the main text focus the reader on the main points discussed in each spread. Students will gain an invaluable and practical understanding of how meaning is formed, and how language and speech work to communicate.