Signs & Symbols

Signology Image | Symbology

Signology - Signs and Abbreviations have been used for centuries and the use of symbols and abbreviations are as old as the use of alphabets! Symbols and abbreviations were originally used where space was an issue, for example on a coin where an abbreviation would be used to represent a long latin phrase. Hieroglyphs were a formal writing system that was used by the ancient Egyptians, they combined alphabetic and logographic elements - Signs

A comprehensive guide to signs and symbols. Discover facts and information about a huge range of signs and symbols! Symbols are a universal language understood by people all over the world. Their use to portray a message, warning or information is an ancient method of expression.
A symbol is an amazing instrument used by different religions and cultures all over the world and language is not an issue! We recognise hundreds of symbols every day from road signs, currency signs and keyboard symbols to Electrical and Zodiac signs.

Signology | Signs & Symbols

Symbols - Definition
What are symbols? The definition of a symbol is something that represents something else through association or resemblance. A symbol is a sign, emblem or an image. In writing, letters or characters are symbols. Businesses and other organisations use logos to identify and represent their name or brand. Hieroglyphics are another form of symbol used in ancient Egyptian writing.

Signs - Definition
What is a sign? A sign can be described as an indicator, a clue, hint, reminder, gesture or a cue. A sign used by a brand is known as a trademark. Signs refer to objects in a more literal way, such as pointing something out or standing for something.

Signs & Symbols
Click on one of the links below to read the history, origin and meaning of a huge selection of signs:

Zodiac Symbols Flags - Symbol Birds -  Symbol
Musical Symbols Color Symbols Religious Symbols
China - Symbols Symbol List Codes Used for Symbols
Japan -  Symbols Peaceful Symbols Keyboard - Symbol
Freemasonry Symbols Mathematical Symbols China -  Zodiac
Symbols for Tattoos Astrology Symbol India - Symbol
Flow Charting Symbols Monetary Symbols Strength Symbol
  USA Symbols  

Signs & Symbols - The Difference!
Although the terms 'Sign' and 'Symbol' are often used together, they are in fact very different! A sign is used to depict or represent something. For example a road sign warns us of the speed limit or of impending danger. Designer clothes display a sign for all to see how expensive our shirts, shoes and even sunglasses are whereas a symbol has a deeper meaning. Signs and symbols share the same function but the often spiritual and religious meaning of a symbol give it a different quality to that of a sign.

Signs & Symbols - Origin
The meaning of the word 'symbol' is 'to throw together'. It is derived from the ancient Greek word 'symballein'. Symbols, Signs and Abbreviations have been used for centuries and the use of signs and abbreviations are as old as the use of alphabets! Signs and abbreviations were originally used where space was an issue, for example on a coin where an abbreviation would be used to represent a long Latin phrase. Hieroglyphs were a formal writing system that was used by the ancient Egyptians, they combined alphabetic and logographic elements.

Different Types of Signs

There are many different types of signs and symbols including:

  • Pictograms
  • Ideograms
  • Trademarks
  • Hallmarks
  • Logos
  • Monograms
  • Coat of Arms
  • Abbreviations
  • Phonograms


Signs & Symbols - Symbolism
Symbolism is an international language used for centuries. The term 'a picture speaks a thousand words' is an ideal way to describe a symbol. A simple picture or image can convey a message often too complicated to be explained in several sentences. We see symbols everyday of our lives, some help us to identify the correct speed to drive on a road or warn us of danger ahead. Others such as the Christian crucifix identify an individuals belief. We consult magazines and newspapers to read our horoscope, recognise our 'sign' from the astrological symbol. Company symbols, better known as
logos are easily identified no matter what country we are in or the language spoken. The logo for our favorite fast food restaurant is instantly recognisable whether we are in London, Cairo or Beijing!

Signs and Symbols Image - Zodiac

Signs & Symbols - Use
A symbol can be created from a variety of sources. A religious symbol identifies an individuals spiritual belief or is used to identify a building belonging to a particular faith. Tarot cards use individual signs to predict our future fate or destiny. The number of symbols that exist will never be known, new symbols are created every day of the year in every country of the world. New companies are established every day, they design their logo, and use the logo as a symbol associated with its identity. New brands and products are identified by their symbol.

Signs & Symbols - Universal Language
The use of signs and symbols is a great way of saying something quickly, they are a universal language and understood no matter what language or dialect spoken. Corporate logos are an example of this, the Coca-Cola and Mac Donald's sign are instantly recognisable by people from all parts of the world.

Before books when manuscripts were used, abbreviations and signs were very common as they not only saved the writer time due to the fact all the work had to be written by hand, they also saved space and were therefore a more cost effective option.

Once printed books were introduced, the need for signs and abbreviations was not so great but this did not stop their use. A dictionary of symbols and abbreviations has been provided for reference as well as the history behind the individual signs origins.

 Keyboard Symbols - The at Sign | Copyright

Signs & Symbols - Examples
Other examples of symbols include Road Signs, Musical Notes, Health and Safety Signs, Currency, Zodiac, Astrological and Horoscope Symbols, Tattoos, Chinese Writing Symbols as well as abbreviations and emoticons used commonly in social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as well as mobile phone text or instant messaging where space is limited.

Signs & Symbols - Bird Symbols
Many birds have deep symbolic significance. Birds are said to be able to communicate with gods; they can ascend into heaven and birds are even a feature of the Tree of Life often depicted with a serpent at their feet. The symbol of the blackbird for example has a deep significance to Christians. The Devil appeared to St Benedict to tempt him in the form of a blackbird. In Christianity, Blackbirds also symbolise temptation of the flesh. The bird also has symbolic meaning to particular religions.

Signs & Symbols - Color Symbolism
One of the the easiest ways to identify something immediately regardless of language or culture is through colour. A baby dressed in pink is an obvious sign that the gender of the infant is female despite the language or country. A red road sign warns us of danger even if we might not recognise the symbol instantly. A country or sports team use colors to identify themselves through their flag and its colours. Colours are often mentioned in everyday language as well as literary terms to portray a persons feelings or emotions, being "green with envy" or "in a black mood" are familiar terms to describe jealously and feeling down.

Signs ans Symbols Image - Music

Signs & Symbols - Music Symbols
Find out about a selection of music symbols used to represent musical scores and compositions in music notation. They include well known symbols such as the treble clef and staff but music symbols are also used to represent the pitch, rhythm and tempo of music. Find out about a selection of music symbols as well as their meaning and significance. Did you know that the four elements attributed to music are Rhythm, Melody, Harmony and Timbre (better known as tone-quality)? Read more about each of the individual elements.

Signs & Symbols - Zodiac Symbols
Find out about different Zodiac symbols.  In many cultures it is believed that there is a link between the position of the sun, moon and other planets at the time of a persons birth. This position gives an individual certain personality traits as well as predicting events which are likely to occur in their life. Information on all twelve of the zodiac signs!

Signs & Symbols - Flag Symbols
Find out about a selection of different flags. Did you know that the study of flags is called Vexillology? The idea of flying a flag grew from the requirements of ancient warfare and the battlefield. Shields were painted with emblems or symbols to identify friend or enemy. Warriors needed to know where their leaders were hence the custom of carrying a pole was adopted and subsequently the idea of flags began!

Signs & Symbols - Picture of a Flag | Copyright

Signs & Symbol - Health & Safety Signs
Health and Safety signs and road signs are examples of symbols that are created to be recognised by individuals regardless of the language they speak.

Signs & Symbol - USA Symbols
There are literally thousands of American symbols. Each state has its own unique symbol and there are many patriotic symbols with deep significance to the American people including national symbols such as the Statue of Liberty, the US Flag, the Bald Eagle and the American national anthem 'The Star Spangled Banner'. Discover facts and information about a variety of US symbols.

Signs and Symbols

Signs & Symbols

  • Ancient Chinese & Japanese Signs

  • Meaning of Signs

  • Signs - Origin and History

  • Zodiac, Islam, Christianity and Peace Signs

  • Dictionary of Signs & Symbols

Signs - Image


Signs & Symbol - Types of Signs & Symbols
The following list of signs is not exhaustive, it is just a sample of the many different types of signs we use in everyday life. For information, facts, pictures and images on individual signs, click on the relevant section at the top of this page:

  • Mythology & Religion Signs (Gods, Mythical Beasts, Deities, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism)

  • Nature signs (Trees, Plants, Flowers, Birds, Sea Creatures, Precious Stones, Sun, Moon, Earth)

  • Symbol Systems (Colors, Shapes, Numbers, Music, Astrology, Shapes, Patterns)

  • People - Signs (Clothing, Jewellery, Death, Weapons, Dance, Human Body)

Pictures and Videos of Symbols & Signs
Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to each individual sign and symbol and illustrate the many signs and symbol that we see in everyday life. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Signology Index - a great educational resource for everyone!

Signs & Symbols - Religious Symbols
Lots of useful facts about a huge range of spiritual and religious emblems and signs. Read about each individual emblem and its significance to a particular religious belief. Why do so many religions use prayer beads? What is the difference between them? What is the significance of the Chi-Rho cross for Christians? What is the secret symbol for Christ? Find out interesting facts about the sacred books of the Qur'an, the Bible and the Torah. Discover the answers to these questions and many more, a useful educational resource for everyone.


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