COULD BE A SIGN

COULD BE A SIGN: Ways of Communicating

Could be a sign

Everything and everybody is trying to tell us something. And so are we all, no matter what we’re doing.  We communicate with imagery and built form, in gesture and physicality, in language both oral and textual.  And it is all accumulating and being revised constantly.

What are we trying to say? And is our message received as it was intended? Ambiguity is in the nature of communication and can add layers of humour, empathy or misunderstanding. As we move away from the human voice by texting and tweeting, it may be faster but it’s not necessarily clearer.

With this issue we look at some of the media we use and the implications of how we communicate.

Hungary Thai restaurant.SIGNPOSTS

by Schuster Gindin
Although some change moves in the direction of interesting and unique, most is more like the ‘malling’ of the city.

Greek textbook.IT’S ALL GREEK TO ME

by Miria Ioannou
When we moved to Toronto in the mid-1960s, the transformation of the city from an Anglo enclave to a more cosmopolitan, diverse terrain was just beginning, but I had to learn English.

Let neighbours sleep sign.CAFÉ INSTRUCTIONS

by Schuster Gindin
A London café gives strict instructions on how to behave while you’re there. Could it really be the type of place that once fostered tolerance and civility?

Yang featureISOLATION

by Shubo Yang
OCAD University graduating student Shubo Yang creates haunting images that express her relationship to her Canadian environment.

Trans featureBODY LANGUAGE FROM A TRANS PERSPECTIVE

by Christine Newman
Stop what you’re doing and take a quick look at the positioning of your body. Is your body language appropriate for your gender presentation?

Sign person featureTHE HAZARDOUS EXISTENCE OF THE SIGN FIGURE

by Elizabeth Cinello
In every country in the world we encounter the intrepid sign figure. Is there a narrative through line for this character?

Variety store fairy.MURAL TORONTO

by Kurt Lund
Murals are everywhere in Toronto. They appear under bridges, the sides of buildings, on garage doors and in other unexpected locations.

commas and hashtags featureCOMMAS AND HASHTAGS

by Miria Ioannou
We’ve been hearing a lot about the Oxford comma recently. How can that be when we’re consumed with effective hashtags and struggling to contain our communication efforts to 140 characters?

St. Clair brain.THE POLYGLOTS OF ST CLAIR

by Elizabeth Cinello
Scientists at Duke University and MIT have found the area of the brain that is sensitive to speech – the superior temporal sulcus (STS). The polyglots of St. Clair West have a very active STS. They even mix up languages to create a hybrid communication.

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