Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Semiotic Standard and the Creature's Lifespan

Ron Cobb's design for Alien's spaceship, the Nostromo, incorporated pictogram utility signs which he referred to as "Semiotic Standard". These symbols, stick figures wrapped in red boxes, lurk in the background of scenes. Two examples:

The Auteurs posted a wonderful article about the foreshadowing in one of these designs.

Original designs for the derelict alien spaceship called for hieroglyphics explaining the creature's lifespan. I submit that this idea materialized in Ron Cobb's signs, and that this Semiotic Standard anticipates the whole film.

Alien (1979)
dir. Ridley Scott

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