Item description for Symbols -- Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms by G Liungman Carl...
Symbols--Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms contains approximately 2,500 Western signs. In 1,600 articles their histories, uses, and meanings are thoroughly discussed. The signs range from ideograms carved in mammoth teeth by Cro-Magnon men to modern corporate logos and subway graffiti.
A unique system for classifying signs according to graphic structure lets the reader look up the meaning of any sign in seconds. A comprehensive Word Index and a large number of cross-references throughout the book make it equally easy to find signs that are related to each other.
In addition, this edition contains 100 pages of in-depth articles on topics that are especially interesting from a symbologist's point-of-view -- such as the Mystical Pentagram, the Polarity of Meanings of Elementary Graphs, the Astrological System of Symbols, ancient American ideograms, and the signs of the Alchemists.
This book serves both as a resource for professionals and a general reference tool for anyone interested in our graphic cultural heritage.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Symbols -- Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms?
Very useful Oct 13, 2005
This book is a visually rich resource, providing the reader with 2,500 graphically clear drawings of signs in black and white, alongside with Carl G. Liungman's explanations of their origin and uses. Browsing the pages is rewarding for the artist looking for inspiration. There is plenty of it -- the book contains some 1,600 articles, and an additional 100 pages with essays on ubiquitous/especially interesting signs or sign systems (such as the Mystical Pentagram, or the signs of the Alchemists).
The explanations are usually to the point, although I find that Liungman occasionally strays too far away from the subject at hand. The sections about the astrological systems of signs are particularly abundant in information, and would have gained from being more carefully edited. The selection of signs, however, is excellent; it even includes modern ideograms from the Internet age, such as the At sign.
Symbols -- Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms really excels when it comes to searching for signs that the reader does not yet know the name of. Using a taxonomy scheme of his own, Liungman has classified the signs into 54 distinctive groups. The reader can navigate to any of the groups simply by describing the sign in terms of "Crossing lines/Not crossing lines", "Single-axis symmetric/Asymmetric" and so on. A quick glance at the right group overview page is all it takes to find the right match.