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International Communicology Institute



 The Conceptual History of the Sign:  


The ICI logo symbol ⌘ is familiar to most computer users as the symbol which appears on the "command" key of their computer keyboard. The symbol is ancient with varying archeological-historical sources across many cultures. It is commonly called a "knot" and that name yields various explanatory accounts and culture specific versions through the centuries. The symbol has many modern imitators including various artistic stylizations that allow for copyright or trademark designation. The most visible example is the corporate trademark logo of Microsoft that expands some of the loop parts of the symbol and adds multiple color gradients and image shadows. The symbol per se cannot be owned by anyone. Perhaps best known across many cultures is the Zodiac symbol for Gemini. The Gemini "twins" (one white, one black) have their arms locked locked together, hence the symmetry (vertical and horizontal) of most styles of the sign, where the creating (natura naturans) and the created (natura naturata) are forever both the linking and the linked, or semiotically, the Signifying (Sr) and the Signified (Sd).


Among the many common semantic designations for the symbol (beyond "knot") are:















A common cultural example is the use of the symbol ⌘ on maps, road signs, and buildings in Denmark to mark Tourist Information offices. It is a common cartographic sign indicating "ancient ruins or monuments". In Germanic countries the sign means "St. Han's or St. John's cross". Similarly, Apple computer fonts includes within its Technical Symbols the sign ⌘ which is defined as "Place of Interest Sign". One of the most simple versions is the West African sign of the bond or knot [mpatapo] which means Pacification or Reconciliation. More complex versons include the Space—Place design of outdoor gardens, and works of art like the many versions of Celtic knots engraved on stone and metal, pottery and ornamentations on artifacts from the native cultures of the Mississippi River Valley area of the USA, or, European art such as the continuos single thread engraving of Leonardo da Vinci.




            DENMARK TOURIST SIGN                                   WEST AFRICAN  MPATAPO SIGN                AFRICAN ASHANTI SIGN             EUROPEAN HERALDIC SIGN        GEMINI  ZODIAC  SIGN         







    CHINESE KNOT — SIGN OF LONGEVITY                                              BUDDHISTIC SIGN                                  THE I C I   SEAL                                           UNITED NATIONS SIGN












 Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs                                   J. Samuel Bois (1966)                                                       LOGO

        U.S. DEPT. OF STATE - LOGO                                      GENERAL SEMANTICS DIAGRAM                   Hong Kong Polytechnic University                                       JAPANESE STYLIZATION






          STYLIZATION SIGN                                                          STYLIZATION  SIGN                                                  STYLIZATION SIGN                                                  S-S-O  MONOGRAM DESIGN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     by  A. A. TURBAYNE  (c. 1906)




                        CELTIC SINGLE THREAD KNOT SIGN                          CELTIC LOVE BIRD KNOT SIGN                        OLDEST  CELTIC KNOT — 1000 CE                GOLD BROOCH    4 KNOTS AS A KNOT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       DENMARK    1000 CE






                          CELTIC KNOT SIGN                                 CELTIC KNOT SIGN                                  CELTIC KNOT SIGN                               KNOT OF KNOTS PATTERN




                                                                                                                                                                    LEONARDO  DA  VINCI  KNOT                                                  PICTURE STONE FROM HABLINGBO

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               GOTLAND, SWEDEN


 NATIVE CULTURE (USA)                                NATIVE CULTURE (USA)                          NATIVE CULTURE (USA)                                  SHARD circa 15TH C. 

                                                                           Middle Mississippi Valley Group            Temple Mound II Culture, Tennessee                      Neamt Monastery Museum

                                                                                                                                                  "Buzzard Cult" Woodpecker Symbol                        Modovia, ROMANIA