Abstract

In the late nineteenth century, as new technologies, social needs and commercial opportunities emerged in industrialised societies, communication design evolved in line with them. The massive development of mass media and mass communication brought on by cultural globalisation created various levels of complexity for communication design. Understanding the different kinds of translation that take place between cultures, languages and systems will improve the comprehensiveness, quality and inclusivity of communication in multicultural contexts. This in turn demands new knowledge, competencies and skills that will allow designers to create inclusive intercultural communications to serve the current societal and cultural needs of audiences. This paper reports on a traffic awareness project initiated by the UAE Traffic Department to raise public awareness of road safety. The project was intended to explore the role of designers as cultural mediators through an iterative, research-based design process. Students were invited to create culturally relevant posters to communicate intended meanings in a multicultural community. Here, the resulting process of transmuting the visual into verbal and the verbal into visual within the communication design process is examined as inter-semiotic translation (Jakobson 1959), an interactive process that creates connections between different cultures and media in visual communication. This paper highlights the role of such translation in mediating communication among individuals and communities of different cultures.

Keywords:

Communication Design, Intercultural Communication, Inter-Semiotic Translation, Multiculturalism, Traffic Awareness

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Inter-Semiotic Translation in Intercultural Communication Design

In the late nineteenth century, as new technologies, social needs and commercial opportunities emerged in industrialised societies, communication design evolved in line with them. The massive development of mass media and mass communication brought on by cultural globalisation created various levels of complexity for communication design. Understanding the different kinds of translation that take place between cultures, languages and systems will improve the comprehensiveness, quality and inclusivity of communication in multicultural contexts. This in turn demands new knowledge, competencies and skills that will allow designers to create inclusive intercultural communications to serve the current societal and cultural needs of audiences. This paper reports on a traffic awareness project initiated by the UAE Traffic Department to raise public awareness of road safety. The project was intended to explore the role of designers as cultural mediators through an iterative, research-based design process. Students were invited to create culturally relevant posters to communicate intended meanings in a multicultural community. Here, the resulting process of transmuting the visual into verbal and the verbal into visual within the communication design process is examined as inter-semiotic translation (Jakobson 1959), an interactive process that creates connections between different cultures and media in visual communication. This paper highlights the role of such translation in mediating communication among individuals and communities of different cultures.

 

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