Symbols VS Sign

Danger Sign

(1) A Sign is anything that represents something else directly. Think of traffic signs or the male and female signs on restrooms or the + and = sign in a mathematical equation. These signs all have a literal meaning. The = sign means 'equals' no more and no less.

Symbols

(2) A symbol has no definition at all but many levels of meaning. It represents a concept or idea, a feeling or emotion which is initially difficult to order or grasp intellectually. Symbols include works of art, mythologies, plays, literature, images and dreams which defy any simple description of all their nuances. (if you can define it precisely, it may have changed from a symbol to a sign).

See http://www.designboom.com/history/cross_symbol.html

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