Models are a big theme emerging in advertising and popular culture at the moment.
Talk Talk’s UK 2012 ad shows figurines from a toy village coming to life after the visitors have gone home.
Honda’s Channel 4 idents feature models of the brand’s crowning glories past and present.
Ikea has brought out doll’s house furniture – not just for kids, designed to become adult collectibles too.
Beyond advertising and consumer culture, artists and designers such as Slinkachu and Christopher Boffoli (below) are also using models, miniatures and figurines.
In Brighton, digital agency Developing Dreams and artist Emilia Telese have created an installation enabling people to be ‘printed out’, by a 3D printer, as a mini figurine.
Semiotics can help spot emerging patterns like this one, identifying the bigger cultural meanings behind its diverse expressions. Here we can see a growing interest in the process of ‘making’ – the model implies the maker, and the miniature implies the power of craft, skill, technology and the human hand itself. Many brands are now looking to explore this space and semiotics can provide the wider cultural awareness and conceptual tools to help them do so.