Course syllabus

Product Semiotics

AFOA10, 5 credits, G1 (First Cycle)

Valid for: 2013/14
Decided by: Education Board D
Date of Decision: 2013-04-19

General Information

Main field: Industrial Design.
Compulsory for: KID2
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English on demand


The aim of the course is to train the ability to analyse products from a semiotic perspective, i.e. the way in which everyday objects, packages, ads and marks communicate their qualities to those that will use these products. It is also an aim to train the ability to discuss design in the perspective of a general cultural analysis.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must


The course introduces product semiotics and the way it is linked to various semiotic theories. The focus is on the way products (home ware, marks, ads, packages, interiors, etc) speak to the user through visual appearance. The course contains the following (with a reference to author/literature):

The course consists of lectures and exercises that aare critically reviewed in group sessions. A short paper should be written and is discussed with course leader. A free choice of working material is preferred and theymay be previous own work or existing market products. The tasks require of the student to work relatively fast and conceptual.

Examination details

Grading scale: UG
Assessment: Four exercises are handed in for evaluation and review. One is a group exercise and is handed in as such. Two of the exercises are visual presentations (presenting sketches, concepts and models), one is a short written thesis and one is an account of a group discussion. All exercises provide the ground for critical group reviews. When all of these exercises are approved, the student has fulfilled the requirements of the course, provided that he/she has also attended 80% of the lectures and reviews.


The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: AFO160

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: univ.lektor Gunnar Sandin,