What is a signal?

What is a signal?
The signal is a kind of sign that has the specific purpose to inform or give specific directions to a general audience. They are positioned and designed so that 99% of people understand their meaning. The signal may use visible, audible, smell or tactile media. They are made with the intention to communicate. In example, although the presence of smoke can be released by some people as a SIGNAL of a fire, it really is a SIGN of a fire, since there is not intension to provoke the smoke in order to communicate the presence of a fire; if the smoke instead is manufactured specifically by human beings to communicate that there is a fire, only then the presence of smoke will be taken as a SIGNAL.

How it works?
As the main objective of a signal is to give notice to a general audience, regardless of profiles such as literacy, skin color, religious beliefs, culture of provenance, etc., the signal must be obvious and easily interpretable, so that its relation to reality should be as reliable and simple as possible. When designing a signal, it must be taken into account that the advice can be represented through a quick and simple sign. Thus, if we realize, a fire alarm is not precisely a symphony it goes straight to the point “there is fire, get out of here!”, and the red signal at traffic lights is not a Mondrain because it holds not other idea than to say “STOP”.

What is it for?
Signals allows to communicate advices and information with the aim that many recipients understand them quickly.


We recommend:
ALAN PEASE, Signals: How To Use Body Language for Power, Success and Love.
ALAN V. OPPENHEIM, et. Al., Signals and Systems.