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December 17 - 19
National Institute of Design
Yukio Ota

Tama Art University
Tokyo, Japan

Yukio Ota is a graphic designer and member of the Japan national delegation to the ISO technical committee, ISO/TC 145 Graphical symbols. He is Professor of the Design Department, Tama Art University, and President of the Japan Society for Science of Signs, as well as Chair and Director of the Non Profit Organization (NPO) Sign Center.


Evolution of Intuitive Communications

LoCoS - invented in 1964 as proposal for an universal solution to solve people's communication barriers has not lost its original purpose almost 50 years later. Today it is even more evident than then, that global citizens need communication systems which are accessible, easy to learn and understand, and which engage people's innate desire to share, express, and refine language.

Visible Language has the power to capture at once situations of all kinds - from seemingly irrelevant everyday activities to high risk contexts which require expert communication and confirmation.
LoCoS has been developed as a Visible Language that can be learned effortlessly in very short time.

Visible Language evolves from situational semantics, situational syntactics, and situational pragmatics. It can not be conceived without the acknowledgement that language is innately context dependent. Language can not be thought of as an abstract construct. LoCoS has been developed with the purpose to find the most adequate and least arbitrary visualisations for concepts, occurrences, and things and beings that we encounter in our own particular environments. Transcending the vernacular to reach out to the world of common sense, where communication between people happens instantaneous and whole.

Apart from all sorts of practical implementations, LoCoS is also a case study on how communication informs the perception, thinking, and reasoning of those who are practicing it: framing mindsets, exacting formalistic rules, and simplifying what would need the attention of detailed accounting are attractors of every language. LoCoS is a critique of language and at the same time represents a vision of open mindedness beyond the constraints of cultural constraints and preconceptions.

LoCoS, invented in 1964 by the Japanese graphic designer Yukio Ota. AM+A reviews the fundamentals of the language, which can be learned in only one

Bliss, C.K. (1965). Semantography (Blissymbolocs). Sidney, Australia: Semantography Publications, second edition, 882 pp. The book presents a system for universal writing, or pasigraphy.

Lin, Sears (2005): 'Graphics Matters: A Case Study of Mobile Phone Keypad Design for Chinese Input.' Proc., Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2005), Extended Abstracts for Late-Breaking Results, Short Papers, Portland, OR, USA, pp. 1593-1596.

Marcus, Marcus, Aaron (2003). 'Icons, Symbols, and More,' Fast Forward Column, Interactions, 10:3, May-June2003, pp. 28-34.

Ota, Yukio (1973). LoCoS: Lovers Communications System (in Japanese), Pictorial Institute, Tokyo

Ota, Yukio (1973). 'A New Visual Language: LoCoS', Kodansha, Tokyo

Ota, Yukio (1973). 'LoCoS: An Experimental Pictorial Language.' Icographic, No. 6, pp. 15-19. ICOGRADA, the International Council of Graphic Design Associations, London.

Ota, Yukio (1987). Pictogram Design, Kashiwashobo, Tokyo, ISBN 4-7601-0300-7, 1987.

Ota, Yukio (1995). 'A Story of Pictogram', Japan Association for Standardization, Tokyo

Ota, Yukio (1996). 'Visual Interface', Kyoritus SHuppan, Tokyo

LoCoS Demo at Aaron Marcus+Associates

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