Discuss The Role Of Symbols In Communication?


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Connor Sephton answered
Symbols may strengthen or weaken communication, depending on how or where they are used, and depending on the level of understanding each involved party has about what specific symbols mean. For example, if someone sent an email where they compared a company CEO to a "lion", all would be well, as long as the recipient understood that a lion is a symbol of bravery and power in most cultures. However, if the person did not understand the context of the symbol, the email would just seem odd or even stupid. Therefore, culture, background, education and sophistication all play a part in the role of symbols in communication.

  • Logos

Logos are used all of the time in mass media, and they add symbolism and impact to brand names or other labels. Advertising executives, who certainly do understand the relationship between symbols and communication, look for the right symbols for the right target audience. The age, gender, income and interests of each demographic will be painstakingly considered before a final graphic symbol is chosen and added to products, packaging, signage and promos.

  • Symbols sell products

One shining example of symbols and communication is the Ferrari stallion, which is used on all of the auto merchandise and  red Formula One racing cars - the stallion is a beautiful rendition of an elegant, spirited thoroughbred horse, and it really does encapsulate the appeal of Ferrari's vehicles, which are, like the elegant stallion, fast, refined, and rare.

To learn more about symbols in communication, flip through a glossy magazine and look at all of the logos you see - each one probably features a symbol that you can associate with certain emotions, thoughts, and impressions. Logos are an easy way to see the impact that symbols have on daily life, buying choices, and other important factors of modern society.

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