‘ Pictogram of critical contribution to a definition ‘ published by Shaker dining, volume of the series Essen studies on semiotics and communication research “is published by now March 30, 2009 the 27 Shaker. On 153 pages, its author, Alexander Christian, investigates in all thoroughness the question what constitutes the expression icon”is understood and as he is closer to be. Locates in larger contexts of semiotic and communication science problem, the study by Alexander Christian for the first time offers a comprehensive analysis of the different definitions of pictograms relating to the everyday, the design as also the scientific debate. A distinction from other character classes such as ideograms, icons, logos, trademarks etc. leads to the generic term”graphic symbols.

Just then, when it comes to secure agreement on certain knowledge or cultural boundaries, without for that language and font to be sure, taking for many centuries to pictograms or related character types. Icons of various kinds surround us in everyday life and offer seemingly limitless possibilities: from orientation and traffic control, the regulation of community life General information on complex instructions up to the operating instructions and information dissemination. To such signs of globalization”, as pictograms are called sometimes quite idealistic, linked thus again high hopes, who disappointed in many cases. As the investigation itself as a critical contribution to the definition, the current usage is questioned by pictograms and the requirements to be relativized. An example from the field of environmental and transportation planning shows a way to a more moderate use of pictograms.

A digression about principles of standardization and difficulties of international standardization leads the author to a concentrated examination of pictograms, their constitutive characteristics, and their Using contexts of scientific communication and semiotic perspective. Immediately after the question which role of icons in communicative processes for the control and coordination of social coexistence, Alexander Christian stimulates finally a partial redefinition of the concept of pictogram k. Langer, as well as Charles Sanders Peirce, referring to Karl Buhler, Susanne, which focuses on the reference is on Peirces Trichotomy icon, index and symbol. Based on the conceptual theoretical, a historiographical views on the problem area and some essential contributions to a history of the pictogram is the reader. Besides the educational function frequently associated with the pictograms, especially their close association with efforts to international languages or universal languages emerges clearly. Otto Neurath’s ISOTYPE, a the intention after international picture language, deserves particular attention, since it affected also our present pictogram inter alia by the principle of standardization. As examples of modern systems of The Olympic sports pictograms and road signs and signals used pictograms, which had great influence on an international spread of pictograms. The series Essen studies on semiotics and communication research “relies on the institutional merger of their three editor, Prof. Dr. H. W. Schmitz, Prof. Dr. Achim Eschbach and Prof. Dr. Jens Loenhoff, in Essen communication science of the University of Duisburg-Essen. In addition to current issues of communication and semiotic research, a special attention in the wide range of topics in the series is also everyday mundane problems. Against the background of the Essen Institute for communication science, the editor with the support of the publishing house Shaker promote the steady development of the Essen studies. Robin A. Kurilla (MA) Faculty of Arts and Humanities Institute of communication studies University of Duisburg-Essen / Essen University. 12 campus room: R12 T03 E09 45117 food phone: + 49-201-183-3255 fax: + 49-201-183-2808 Internet: kowi