In Mcloud's "The Vocabulary of Comics" I found that I disagreed (unless I missed his point) with his description of non-pictorial icons. McCloud says that in "non pictorial icons, meaning is fixed and absolute. Their appearance doesn't affect their meaning because they represent invisible ideas' (McCloud 28). The picture example used was that of the letter M and a peace sign. I want to focus on letters in general. McCloud says that this is a non-pictorial example. How can anything not be a "pictorial example," especially letters. Everything is an image. Words, letters, pictures, photographs. Everything is some kind of visual that we look at. Back to the letter example though. Think about sports teams. Often fans show their support for their team by donning team apparel. Separately, the letters F,S, and U may not represent anything, but together they create "FSU" and which might bring to mind a representation of Tallahassee, our football team, or school spirit. How then can letters not be pictorial icons? Letters create words which create meaning or transmit an idea. These ideas are not "invisible ideas."
In the next box on page 28, McCloud then says that "In pictures however, meaning is fluid and variable according to appearance. They differ from" real-life" appearance to varying degrees." Isn't a picture a pictorial icon? What's the difference between a picture, icon, pictorial, or an image? Why do we need all these different words for the concept of image? I think that "meaning" will always be fluid and variable according to appearance because everything we view is something that is seen uniquely through one's own lens or eyes. I guess an example of this would be someone who was colour-blind or had some type of ocular dysfunction that made them see colors in different shades than the officially recognized color. I might see my version of "red" differently from everybody else and not even know it.
It might be in another chapter of McClould's book, but I wonder how McCloud would define typography. Especially typography that creates an entirely new image like this one.