Saturday, October 8, 2011

Illiteracy Is The Only Difference

To the illiterate, iconograpy and typography are indistinguishable.
-Ace Edmonds

Written language is nothing more than a series of symbols with an agreed-upon meaning, and literacy is nothing more than understanding that meaning, or the potential meanings contained therein. It's not so very different from the relationship between money and value, where money is just an IOU with an agreed-upon value.

Iconography, then is art and message containing pictures and idealized symbols. Essentially the same as typography, except where typography is open to a less-broad range of interpretation because of the added value of agree-upon symbolism. We agree that a word represents the meaning of that word, at least within a single language, though our imagery associated with that word may differ, they are still relatively close. Images, however, while they may be more explicit in that the imagery is defined by the piece of art, the emotional and lingual translations have the potential to be considerably greater.

As a writer, I use words to create emotion. It's a difficult balance to strike, since we all feel differently in similar circumstances. I may feel indifference when sitting at work and having no success at hitting my goal for the day, while you may feel disappointment in yourself or the customer, or resentment against the supervisor for setting a goal that might be unrealistic (or at least feels unrealistic). My goal is to get past our differences and strike the same tone.

I know I sometimes make it look easy, but I assure you that is far from the truth.