Design del diagramma, per una semiotica dei grafici - Designing diagrams, a graphics’ semiotic -
Designing diagrams, a graphics’ semiotic is a theoretical essay written for my master degree in communication design at the Politecnico di Milano.
The thesis aims to provide a new method to approach the more and more popular discipline of visualising data by promoting a new semiotic-based method to design such “artefacts”.
Within a two year research the book was mainly inspired and based by the great thinkers’ theories: Umberto Eco, Rudolf Arnheim, Louis Hjelmslev, Roman Jakobson, Roland Barthes, Charles Peirce, Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson, Jacques Bertin and many others. By reinterpreting these reflections and thoughts about semiotic, linguistic and design, I structured the “Design del diagramma” as follows:
The first chapter focuses on giving a brief definition of “Design”, therefore deducing what being a designer means;
The second chapter analyses the current status of data-visualisation, deeply influenced by Bertin’s structuralism of the ’70;
The third chapter proposes a new approach to graphics, suggesting to focus the design process on analogical and iconic feature of the graphics, as well as to investigate different “pertinences” (Sperber & Wilson) of a phenomenon to better understand how it can actually be visualised.
The fourth and last chapter tries to put in practice the theories defined on the earlier pages. A few examples were developed throughout the book in order to give a better understanding of the issues discussed.
The design of the book was kept very simple to encourage reading and to avoid any distraction. The upper part of each page reports information about the current paragraph, chapter and section, providing an intuitive tool to discover the thesis.
The red-plastic package was made to prevent any damage to the book when shipped to all people who supported me in this work. The format was inspired by the Einaudi PBE’s series, a work I’ve always looked up to as a symbol of good design and as a symbol of the spreading knowledge at fair prices.
A great thank you to Salvatore Zingale, the semiotician who helped me out in writing the book, and to Density Design lab.
The work was awarded by the university with top marks (110 out of 110) & honor.