Episode 17: The Language of Entrepreneurship – part 3

Creativity in language and visual communication

In the first part of the episode, Erika mentions the following study on how colour influences investment decisions:

  • Chan, C. R., & Park, H. D. (2015). How images and color in business plans influence venture investment screening decisions. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(5), 732-748.

Veronika published some of her work on the links between colour and language in this article:

  • Koller, V. (2008a). ‘Not just a colour’: Pink as a gender and sexuality marker in visual communication. Visual Communication, 7(4), 433-461.

Moving on to individual logos, here are  the Toblerone bear and the crest of the city of Bern:

We specifically mention the logos of three places where we live or were born, resp.: Ghent (Belgium), Dunaszerdahely (Slovakia) and Stroud (UK). Here their logos and crests – as you can see, Bernard and Veronika are not too sure about the logos of the places where they live:

We also discuss what changes in logos and type fonts can signalise, and Veronika mentions the case of Lancaster University, which had such a change in 2014:

Old logo

New Logo

Companies that have changed their type font, not always to critical acclaim, include Ikea and Google:

Some fonts can indeed elicit strong reactions, as evidenced on the website comicsanscriminal.com. The form and connotations of type fonts were theorised by Theo van Leeuwen:

  • van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Towards a semiotics of typography. Information Design Journal, 14(2), 139-155. 

For a general interest read, try this book: 

  • Garfield, S. (2010). Just My Type: A book about fonts. London: Profile Books. 

Bernard then reveals a different side of himself when he talks about the irregular type fonts and idiosyncratic spelling used by heavy metal bands:

To conclude our discussion of logos, we return to travelling and mention how many airline logos suggest both stability and flight:

At the end of the first part, we talk about names for a company and Erika mentions a study showing a correlation between length of a domain name and visits to a website. 

In the interview, Chris Arning mentions, among other works that have influenced him:

  • Jakobson, R. (1981). Linguistics and poetics. In Selected Writings. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton, pp. 18-51. 

 Semiotics is about understanding the building blocks of meaning. Not just words but images, multi-media, moving texts. Semiotics involves deconstructing sign systems. (Chris Arning, Words and Actions S2E17)


In the third part of the episode, we analyse linguistic creativity on the website visiticeland.com. This is not an overview website but one to be explored through interacting with it, so have a look. Erika observed that the designers seemed to have followed a model called ‘persuasion matrix’:

McGuire, W. (2013). McGuire’s classic input–output framework for constructing persuasive messages. In R. Rice, & C. Atkin Public communication campaigns (pp. 133-145). SAGE Publications, Inc., https://www.doi.org/10.4135/9781544308449.n9

The red thread for this episode has been travel. You can take a flight of fancy and read about the language and semiotics of luxury destinations here

  • Thurlow, C., & Jaworski, A. (2012) Elite mobilities: The semiotic landscapes of luxury and privilege. Social Semiotics, 22(4), 487-516

or learn about Gosia Drewniok’s research on the language branding of luxury hotels here – happy travels and see you again for the next episode.

Listen to the episode here

Full transcription of the episode

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