We, humans, are driven by a desire to make meanings. This is where your Branded Story can take a U-Turn. Visual syntax as a signifier ‘open’ can also mean different signals.
You fly to the United Kingdom, and you have an afternoon to shop in London. You see the store pictured in the photo on the right. You cross the street, enter the store, and proceed to look at everything! You get to the far back of the store and hidden away on a small gated and aging door you see that old familiar sign that simply says ‘open.’
Knowing what it means, of course, you look around, pull the gated door and proceed to walk in. There is no new extended shopping area of the store, but a room smaller than your broom closet at home with three worn buttons in front of you!
You are in a lift, or in the U.S., what we refer to as an elevator. The button that says ‘open’ signifies opening the door of the lift. The suggestion of the idea here is that the sign changes its meaning in different contexts. There is no shopping and no store to shop in. What refers to as the visual syntax’ value’ of a sign depends on its relations with other signs within the cultural system that you know– a sign has no ‘absolute’ value independent of this context.