But this is a sign which has been established by cultural convention over a long period of time and which we learn as children, and requires a deal of unconscious cultural knowledge to understand its meaning.Viewing and interpreting (or decoding) this sign enables us to navigate the landscape of our streets and society.Everyone is a semiotician, because everyone is constantly unconsciously interpreting the meaning of signs around them – from traffic lights to colours of flags, the shapes of cars, the architecture of buildings, and the design of cereal packaging.And signs don’t only need to be visual – they can be aural or sonic signs too, such as the sound of a police siren, usually heard before the vehicle is seen.We know for instance that the following sign in the West means everything is OK.


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