The Semiotics of Business Signage: How Typography is Used in Impoverished and Deprived Areas of New Zealand

By David Sinfield.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 4, 2014 $US5.00

There is no disputing the fact that the Auckland Central Business District (C.B.D) is well positioned within the multinational corporate world community. While walking through the streets of Auckland’s C.B.D, one could imagine themselves anywhere throughout the world, as the corporate branding of global companies within the C.B.D are indicative of a globalized society. I work in Auckland’s C.B.D area and on my route to work each morning I travel through one of New Zealand poorest areas, Otara, South Auckland, which has a large percentage of Pacifica residents and has one of the highest rates of unemployment. My daily travel through this town made me notice how the local businesses are designing and displaying their signage and how there has become a synonymous branding, not on a corporate level, but on a community level, one that sits comfortably with the local people. The aim in this paper is to document and examine examples of signage from these poor areas of South Auckland. This research project will outline some of the findings that I have encountered on my journey and how important it is to maintain a sense of community within areas such as these

Keywords: Decaying Signage, Graphic Design, Typography, Business Signage, Corporate Signage, Design in Communities, Semiotics, Linguistics, Urban Geography, Cultural Communications

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 4, Issue 4, August 2014, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 432.092KB)).

David Sinfield

Senior Lecturer, School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand