What they mean and how we use them. It offers a fascinating visual examination of how signs and symbols developed as a means of communication throughout history in art, religion, psychology, literature and everyday life. It shows how signs weave a continuous fabric of communication throughout our cultures, and how modern systems still depend on ancient symbols. It contains a visual directory of more than 1000 icons, graphic motifs, ideograms and symbols, together with 170 stunning photographs and fine art paintings. Throughout history hundreds of icons and symbols have been developed, interpreted and reproduced; from cave paintings to computer iconography and advertising. This book brings together these variant themes and shows the iconographical and symbolic strands that connect them all, whether it is the universal circle, the hammer and sickle, or the cross that goes far beyond being a symbol of Christianity. The book includes a directory of over 1,000 signs and symbols, from alchemical symbols to the Adinkra signs of Ghana, demonstrating the extraordinary breadth of subject matter and concepts that can be expressed with such simplicity.