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.
“BLACK MONOLITH” NORM: A black package, mysterious and forbidding, suggesting a brand that is constantly seeking breakthrough innovations.
“BLACK MONOLITH” FORMS: Product launch hype: “Maybe the biggest breakthrough since…” “Discover the new classic.” Never satisfied: “Our experts are constantly exploring new ways to marry style and function.” “One step ahead.”
From a 2020 audit of the Men’s Personal Luxury space.