The CODE-X series catalogs a vast codex of source codes (aka “signs”) extracted from past audits.
The object of study in semiotics is not the signs but rather a general theory of signification; the goal of each “audit” is to build a model demonstrating how meaning is produced and received within a category or cultural territory. Signs on their own, therefore, only become truly revelatory and useful once we’ve sorted them into thematic complexes, and the complexes into codes, and the codes into a meaning map. We call this process “thick description”; the Code-X series is thin description.
“PET FAMILY” NORM: Pets depicted as friends and family members, treated not as property, nor as wild animals — but as cherished equals.
“PET FAMILY” FORMS: Language expressing love for a family member or best friend. Imagery depicting pets in human contexts, sharing their owner’s lives in meaningful ways. (Not just playing, training, ordering.)
From a 2016 audit of the Pet Food category.