It’s a Sign

Dear Scott McCloud,

A close friend of mine has this fancy French microwave. It can cook food perfectly evenly and at extremely high temperatures. It is also nearly impossible to set the damn thing because the symbols on the control panel are practically indecipherable except perhaps to hieroglyphic experts and extra-terrestrial creatures. Each time I attempt to use it, I think back to your book ‘Understanding Comics’ and shake my head at the French designers who must have never read it.

I’m a visual learner. There is something intuitive to about seeing an image and it communicating an idea. Within everyone exists a personal threshold where an symbol goes from recognizable to abstract. At it’s most effective,  a symbol is almost universally understood (though I assume there is some cultural barriers at play).

But back to the microwave. This thing is sleek. I mean it really ties the kitchen together. Except function was sacrificed for aesthetics. And now I accidentally burn everything.

Please continue to educate the world on communicating visually. It really changed the way I look at every sign, symbol, and icon. Also, please consider translating the book to French. Wait, it looks like it already has been, they just don’t care. No surprise.


Oddly enough, the subject of visual communication and visual education is a subject of my next book! No joke. 🙂

Thank you for the feedback.
Best Wishes,
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One thought on “It’s a Sign

  1. mike says:

    The standard sign communicating not to use the elevators during a fire is a graphic of a stick person walking downstairs, with flames at the top of the stairway. But it takes on a whole new context when posted in a funeral home.

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