Semiotic Theory Definition

Semiotic theory is the identification of the philosophical meaning behind signs and symbols. More specifically, and in line with this unit, social semiotic analysis of visual communication is the study of semiotic resources and what can be said and done with images (and other visual means of communication). How things people say and do with images can also be interpreted. Visual social semiotics is functionalist; therefore it sees visual resources as having been developed to do specific kinds of semiotic work. There are three main kinds of semiotic work, which are always performed, these kinds of work are called metafunctions, and they are as follows.

Ideational Metafunction (Representation): The function of creating and representing.

Inter-Personal Metafunction (Interactive): The part language plays in creating interactions between writers and readers or speakers and listeners.

Textual Metafunction (Composition): Brings together the individual components of representation and interaction to create a whole that can be recognised as specific kinds of text or communicative events.

 

 

James Lee – Week 7 Semiotics (Social Interaction)

Social Interactions #1 

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 6 Lecture

alec-guinness-ben-obi-wan-kenobi-and-mark (1)

Contextual Information:

Director – George Lucas
Pictured – Alec Guiness & Mark Hamill (left to right)
Title – Star Wars: A New Hope
Year of creation – 1977
Dimensions – 16:9
Technique, Material – Film
Genre – Science Fiction
Style – Action, Science Fiction
Image URL / originhttp://media.theiapolis.com/d4/hTZ/i1Q05/k4/l1QF2/w17W/alec-guinness-ben-obi-wan-kenobi-and-mark.jpg

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

 alec-guinness-ben-obi-wan-kenobi-and-mark-01 

  1. Signifier 1 is Ben Kenobi. He calmly stands his ground, whilst trying to calm Luke Skywalker. His calming influence and his aged characteristics signify him as the wise old man.
  2. Signifier 2 is Luke Skywalker. While Kenobi’s gaze is fixed solely at Luke, he does not seem to reciprocate, fighting against the calming influence. He signifies a resistance to change and a resistance to follow.
  3. Signifier 3 is the rubble of the destroyed transporter that lies in the visible background. This seems to explain Luke’s restlessness. The rubble symbolically signifies and instigates a need for change.
  4. Signifier 4 is Kenobi’s touching of Luke’s arm. It helps to establish that Luke needs help and Kenobi is calmly trying to push him in the right direction.

Representational – The interaction is quite transactive in nature with a solid narrative picture. The two parties are duelling over opposing ideologies, change versus known, instigated by the scene in the background.

Interactive Meaning The close up shot helps to place a sense of connection with the characters and a heightened awareness that this scene is quite intimate and emotive. The viewer is also placed at eye level to build a sense of equality with the characters.

Compositional The conversation is structured very effectively. Both characters are framed on opposite sides of the screen. The informational value works on two levels. Firstly Kenobi is situated on the left of screen and according to Kress and van Leeuwen that is what is known, however the younger Luke is positioned on the right depicts what is new (1996). On another level, Kenobi seems to be gesturing for Luke to head toward the right of screen, to the new adventure, whereas Luke looks to want to go in the other direction. The salient element in this image is Kenobi. Due to the darkness in his robe, viewers are drawn to him. Also due to his robust nature and the colouring of the coat, it seems as if Luke will not be able to head in the direction he wants. The modality is high and natural.

References

Kress, G. & Van Leeuwan, T. (1996). Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge, London.


 

Social Interactions #2

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 6 Lecture

Clone-Wars-2003-Anakin-Obi-Wan-star-wars-clone-wars-micro-series-2003-35573407-600-336

Contextual Information:

Artist – Genndy Tartakovsky
Title – Star Wars: Clone Wars
Year of creation – 2003
Dimensions – 16:9
Technique, Material – Animation
Genre – Science Fiction
Style – ‘Samurai Jack’ style
Image URL / origin -http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/35500000/Clone-Wars-2003-Anakin-Obi-Wan-star-wars-clone-wars-micro-series-2003-35573407-600-336.jpg

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

Clone-Wars-2003-Anakin-Obi-Wan-star-wars-clone-wars-micro-series-2003-35573407-600-336-01 

  1. Signifier 1 is Obi Wan Kenobi. He stands tall and arms crossed as if he is currently being scolded. He signifies the morally bound one, taking his punishment from his superior, whilst Anikan (3) sits and gazes away in the distance signifying his lack of consideration for hierarchy.
  2. Signifier 2 is the hologram projection of Mace Windu. His arms tucked behind his back, gaze solidly locked with Obi Wan’s. He signifies the superior in the conversation.
  3. Signifier 4 is R2D2. He is the unassuming intermediary in this conversation, simply broadcasting. His eye is fixed upon Obi Wan.

Representational – While the interaction would be classed transactive in nature Mace Windu (3) is the dominant party scolding Obi Wan and Anikan.

Interactive Meaning The viewer is quite detached from the scene. This is indicated not only by the characters neglect of the figurative camera, but also due to the long shot, which further creates a sense of detachment. The viewer had been offered or invited to experience the scene. The long shot also works to show the possibility of noise, as if Mace Windu is shouting.

Compositional By framing the two parties, Mace (2) on one side and Obi Wan (1)/Anikan(3) on the other, it helps to create a sense of divide and disconnect. The main salient point in the image is Mace Windu due to the highly vibrant colours of the hologram. The modality is low and natural.


 

Social Interactions Further Critique

Both images were quite similar in their composition. They both featured an implicit struggle. That was a hierarchal struggle in the second image and the age-old struggle, new versus old in the first one. Both images were able to easily discern between the more powerful figures, especially with the use of height and colour. The high modality and the close up shot of the first image helped to show the emotion of the conversation and were easier to convey themes of restlessness and haste. The low modality image was attentive to the bigger picture, relying more on the characters speech to provide a better contextual basis. Knowing these subtle compositional elements on how to position elements to implicitly extract meaning will be of great benefit to me as a designer.

 

 

James Lee – Week 6 Semiotic Analysis (Advertisements)

Basketball Advertisement #1 Nike KD7 

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 5 Lecture

 nike-kd-vii-badd35t-header

Contextual Information:

Advertising Agency – Weiden + Kennedy
Brand – Nike, Nike iD
Title – Bad, Badder, Baddest
Year of creation – 2014
Dimensions – 1024px x 768px
Technique, Material – Poster, Digital Image
Genre – Advertisement
Style – N/A
Image URL / originhttp://cdn.solecollector.com/media/up/2014/06/images/nike-kd-vii-badd35t-header.jpg

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

nike-kd-vii-badd35t-header 

  1. Signifier 1 is the photograph of the back of the head, with the word BAD shaved into it. It signifies the bad parts of basketball culture, iconographically shown by the recent trend of cutting shapes and words into hair.
  2. Signifier 2 is the image of the man playing basketball, dressed in baggy clothes, glasses and jewellery. It signifies the BADDER parts of the basketball culture, symbolically referencing the over-indulgent, consumer oriented swagger culture.
  3. Signifier 3 is the slogan The Badd35t. It flips the meaning of the other two, signifying the word ‘baddest’ in association with skill and power. The word bad, often takes on new, connotive meanings in sport (especially basketball). The number 35 and the Nike logo also help to index a relationship with Kevin Durant, as 35 is his jersey number and Nike, his brand.
  4. Signifier 4 is the new KD shoe. In conjunction with the third signifier it is able to display this notion of taking on this new meaning of

Representational – The advertisement is representational at two levels, firstly when denoting the different meanings of bad. It has a strong narrative structure where bad and badder embody the standard meaning of the root word. Finally baddest flips the meaning.

Interactive Meaning Without any direct contact through the advertisement to the viewer, they are positioned in a more passive and detached state. However by using close up shots it creates a more personal and intimate offer to viewers, attempting to trigger a need to embody this new meaning of bad.

Compositional In terms of information value, the whole advertisement works to read as a narrative from right to left, relying on a Z-pattern layout. All signifiers are connected by the z-pattern. The ad explicitly uses frames to break up meaning, especially by horizontally halving the ad. Due to the strong vibrant colours and bold lines, the shoe (signifier 4) and the tag line (Signifier 3) are the most salient elements, drawing the eye down the page. The neutral modality also makes the shoe look attainable.


 

Basketball Advertisement #2 Adidas Adizero Crazy Light

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 5 Lecture

 adidas-derrick-rose-youngest-mvp-ever-01

Contextual Information:

Advertising Agency – 180LA
Brand – Adidas
Title – Adizero Crazy Light
Year of creation – 2011
Dimensions – 1024px x 768px
Technique, Material – Poster, Digital Image
Genre – Advertisement
Style – N/A
Image URL / originhttp://static.tumblr.com/sejc2n7/4fJm44vhx/adidas-derrick-rose-youngest-mvp-ever-01.jpg

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

adidas-derrick-rose-youngest-mvp-ever-01-01

  1. Signifier 1 is the central figure of Derrick Rose. He symbolically signifies the enhanced user of the shoes, someone with unnaturally athletic abilities and stardom.
  2. Signifier 2 are the shoes, situated behind the figure. It symbolically signifies wings with the connotation that these shoes will make users fly, like Derrick Rose.
  3. Signifier 3 is the tag line, “Youngest MVP ever,” and “Adizero Crazy Light – Lightest ever 9.8oz.” This aims to build the credibility of Derrick Rose and the product.

Representational – The advertisement takes a syntagmatic approach in using all signifiers to build an over arching meaning of a superior shoe for a superior athlete.

Interactive Meaning Like the Nike advertisement, this ad does not directly contact viewers. However Adidas implicitly makes offers toward the viewer according to what the shoe can give users (ie. More athleticism, higher ambition to win). The medium length shot also gives the sense of a social relationship with the figure, telling viewers that they won’t be Derrick Rose, but they could be like him.

Compositional By composing and framing all the information around the central figure it creates a sense of all surrounding elements have a subservient value to Derrick Rose. If Rose uses the shoes and he is able to perform at high levels, users will be too. It also has a high modality to the image, creating a sense of hyper reality.


 

Basketball Advertisement Further Critique

While both advertisements don’t directly speak to viewers, they do help to offer enhanced experiences by using the products. Nike is proposing the ideals of being the BADDEST and Adidas proposes heightened athleticism and changes in personal winning mentalities. While Adidas explicitly uses Derrick Rose to promote the shoe and its values, Nike lets the shoes take on their own meaning, with the image of Kevin Durant become secondary.

James Lee – Week 5 Compositional Interpretation (Selfies)

Selfie #1

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 5 Lecture

 ManBoobSelfie

Contextual Information:

Artist – Unknown
Title – N/A
Year of creation – circa 2014
Dimensions – 960px x 720px
Technique, Material – Digital Photograph
Genre – Selfie
Style – N/A
Image URL / originhttp://tosh.cc.com/blog/2014/01/13/has-anyone-seen-my-phone

Content – The image displays an unknown man in a bathroom. He stands in an intimidating fashion, brandishing his middle fingers, whilst thuggishly pouting. The image is taken from his phone, lodged underneath his right breast.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis – The selfie features a majority of brown and yellow hues, drawn mostly from the warm light source and the warm colours from the bathroom walls. It is not a very saturated image, making it look flat and the multiple layers of depth blend together. The only highlight in the image is the highly vibrant and bright phone.

ManBoobSelfie

Spatial organization – Due to the context of this image being a selfie viewers unconsciously look for a face as the focal point. The eye is then drawn down the image, toward the hand gestures. Finally it rests on the phone, positioned under the male boob. By subtly positioning the phone in the position it is, the creator (whilst probably unintentional) is able to create a sense of suspense and comedy, leaving the viewer asking the simple question, “why?” The image is quite closed in nature. With the subtle addition of the framed mirror helps to insist that all the content needed is inside the frame.

Light – There is a single light source situated on the roof in the image. It casts a warm glow over the whole room. It is also quite a soft light creating a fairly flat image, devoid of a lot of defining contrast. Due to the warm and flat nature of the light it helps to enhance the colder brightness of the phone screen and draw the eye to that secondary focal point.

Expressive content – A selfie is supposed to be an intimate snapshot into a personal experience for the art of sharing that also can trigger perceptions of self-indulgence and narcissism (Rutledge, 2013). This image seems to take a sarcastic and satirical stance on the art of the selfie and place his views on society with a comedic lens.

References

Rutledge, P.B. (2013, July 6) Making Sense of Selfies: Taking Selfies seems problematic because we aren’t used to them. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/positively-media/201307/making-sense-selfies

 


 

Selfie #2

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 5 Lecture
 vanilla_ice-620_1743486a

Contextual Information:

Artist – Vanilla Ice
Title – N/A
Year of creation – 2013
Dimensions – 720px x 720px
Technique, Material – Digital Photograph
Genre – Selfie
Style – N/A
Image URL / originhttp://img.thesun.co.uk/aidemitlum/archive/01743/vanilla_ice-620_1743486a.jpg 

Content – The image shows a selfie taken by ex rap artist Vanilla Ice in the foreground and the rappers from the Insane Clown Posse in the background sitting on a set of stairs, seemingly unaware of the photograph being taken. It is assumed that the photo has been taken outdoors and during the day. However this is not clearly identifiable due to a lack of environmental cues.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis – The colours in the selfie are realistic in essence. With the hefty amount of brown values in the image, it throws a subtle brownish hue over the image, where the vibrant blues, whites and blacks piercing the hue. The eye is drawn across the image to the points of high vibrancy.

vanilla_ice-620_1743486a-01

Spatial organization – The eye is drawn to Vanilla Ice’s face in the foreground, and then moves toward the highly vibrant and contrasted areas of the hat and toward the background figures. The high eye level (blue line) suggests that the image is to be viewed from above and gives the impression that Vanilla Ice is in a submissive state, letting the viewers in and giving them a look into his life. It is also a friendly stance that could be misconstrued if Vanilla Ice took a more imposing pose over the camera. The distinct perspective lines that run from right to left helps the eye along the image. The image is quite open in nature with unresolved lines of perspective (green) and the unknowing of where the photo has been taken.

Light – Due to the soft shading and downward trajectory of the shadows a single light source from above is suggested. It is most probably from the sun. Due to the soft nature of the light source, depth is not easily perceived. However the angle of the light does highlight Vanilla Ice’s face drawing the eye directly to it.

Expressive content – Like most selfies Vanilla Ice is trying to give his fans a snapshot into his life. An image free from context of why and where, just a simple and friendly selfie.


 

Selfie Further Critique

The two selfies are completely different in nature. The first seems to be throwing a satirical lens on the narcissistic undertones of the selfie culture. The other is traditional snapshot of self, aligned with the stereotypical values of selfie practitioners. Too an extent Vanilla Ice’s selfie can be viewed in a more tongue in cheek manor as it does feel a little staged, with the Insane Clown Posse ‘unassumingly’ sitting in the background. By throwing a little satire in the mix, the first selfie works really well to engage viewers through comedy and it does implicitly raise questions about the narcissistic culture of selfies. This could be a good practice to implement in my work practice. Comedy is able to engage.

 

 

 

James Lee – Week 3 Compositional Interpretation (Sequences)

Sequence #1 Drive

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 3 Lecture

drive-sequence

Contextual Information:

Director – Nicholas Winding Refn
Title – Drive
Year of creation – 2011
Dimensions (Aspect Ratio) – 2.35:1
Genre – Neo Noir Art-house Action Crime Thriller Film
Image URL / originhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuUvRb2TqNA
 

Content – One of the opening shots of the movie, it features a man driving through the streets of, what looks like Downtown Los Angeles. The radio broadcast of a basketball game plays in the background. The car pulls up outside a warehouse, where three hooded men quickly pace from across the road and proceed to break into the warehouse complex as the camera pans and follows their journey.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis – The streetlights casting yellowish tones to where the light hits, where blue hues arise where light is not cast. It creates a very antagonistic scene with the strong contrast in tones. The contrast also works to create a sense of tension and an implicit struggle between good and bad. The colour works to enhance it.

Light – The lighting, whilst ambient and soft, is artificial in nature, coming from the streetlights and other random sources such as car lights and shop fronts. The quick changes in light sources due to the intermittent street lights also creates a sense of tension and unease with changes in light, colour and contrast.

Mise-en-Scene           

Frames: The sequence features a typical wide screen ratio (2.35:1) (IMDB, 2011), which is standard in most modern feature films. The way the sequence is framed is quite unorthodox and erratic however still all receptive information is within the shot, with little need for inclusion of information outside the frame. Refn’s use of combining and intertwining the three screen planes is extremely engaging and helps to assimilate the audience with the environment and the main character. The frame plane helps to show the blankness and calm nature of the driver. While the geography of the area is not explicitly known, the mix of the geographical and depth planes help to show the inner city background and implicitly set the scene. 

Shots: Most of the shots in the sequence are head and shoulder shots, focusing on the facial expressions of the driver. The shot distance then becomes longer and longer, where the final shot of the sequence is a panning long shot of the other figures. The closer the shot, the more the viewer feels a connection with the figure, the further away the figure, the less the connection is. Most of the shots are in a shallow and sharp focus. Refn uses the shot focus to guide the viewer’s eyes. Whilst in the car the Refn uses a shallow focus to direct the eye to the main character’s facial expression. He then re-focuses to a deep focus to draw the eye to the other figures. The camera also positions itself as a third person, seemingly a part of the sequence, yet only observing.

Montage – The cuts in the sequence are all unmarked and out of rhythm with the beat of the music. The cuts are quick and help to give a sense of tension in the scene; this is further compounded by the calm, yet serious look of the driver. By cutting out of sync with the music it gives the sequence an uneasy feel as if something is off beat or amiss.

Sound – The sequence features three sources of sound. The first and most predominant is the music track; it seems to build up the tension, yet draw out the experience with a slow and bass filled beat. The second source is the radio. While it helps to break the overpowering music, it actually subtly sets the scene by hearing a man commentate an NBA (basketball) game. The announcer heard saying, “19,000 fans on their feet here in the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.” When shots changes to the car stopping, the radio falls silent, helping to establish a sense of space, reaffirming the camera as a third party participant. The camera cuts back to inside the car and the radio begins again. As the car is in park and the camera changes to a deep focus the music fades back to a background capacity. The sequence is very Art Noir by definition with the lack of speech from the characters, relying however on outside sounds and expressions to help the story along.

Expressive content – Expressively Refn is trying to build suspense and tension. This is perfectly done through the subtle use of sound, colour and the un-rhythmic cuts of the scene. However due to the drawn out nature of the scene Refn has still been able to keep viewers engaged, without boring them by adding subtle changes in sound and filming.

References

IMDB (2011). Drive. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780504/

 


 

Sequence #2 2001: A Space Odyssey

Student name: James Lee
Date of post: 7/9/14
Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Week 3 Lecture

2001-sequence

Contextual Information:

Director – Stanley Kubrick
Title – 2001: A Space Odyssey
Year of creation – 1968
Dimensions (Aspect Ratio) – 2.20:1
Genre – Science Fiction Film
Image URL / originhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wJQ5UrAsIY

Content – In this single shot sequence an astronaut in a space station is seen entering a chamber via the hatch at the top of the screen. He proceeds to climb down the ladder and then walk down a path to his crew-member at the bottom of the screen.

Analysis using Compositional Interpretation

Colour analysis – The colours used depict a space that is unnatural and man-made, the glistening white chamber overpowers the shot. Hues of blue are cast from the shadows and help to enhance the sense that the men in the shot are in a truly artificial space. The spotless white and blue colours project feelings of a sterilised and uninhabitable space, devoid of natural colours.

Light – There is only one main light source in the sequence. It is situated on the column above the second man sitting down in the galley. It casts an artificial yellowish tone upon the scene. It also is used to guide the eye toward the first mans destination, as if reaching the pot of gold.

Mise-en-Scene

Frames – Kubrick’s 1967 masterpiece was shot in a widescreen screen ration (2.20:1) (Berger, 1996), one of only two films Kubrick filmed in this widescreen format (Warner Bros, 2000). This widescreen format worked extremely well for other scenes in the movie to show the isolating nature of space, however in this sequence the widescreen format does not do the scene justice. If the ratio was smaller it could really help to create a sense of claustrophobia. The screen frames are quite closed, as the chamber the sequence is shot in is isolated to begin with. All other information is not valued or needed. Kubrick’s intersection of the screen planes in this scene is both disorienting and masterful. By removing a sense of up and down on the geographical plane Kubrick is able to cause confusion.

Shots – The singular shot is from a long distance, showing the majority of the space. It is not too far away to recognise who the men are. Kubrick has used a deep focus to show everything in the shot. The combination of a long distance zoom and deep focus helps to define the area in which a lot of the action takes place and familiarise the viewer with the space. The shot is on a fixed position high up in the chamber with an overhead angle of elevation. This overhead angle and the fixed position of the camera help to establish a feeling that a third person is viewing this scene. This is further compounded by the camera slowly panning too follow the moving character. It gives the impression that someone is spying on the men in the scene.

Montage – The sequence analysed is a single long shot, which does not have enough supporting information to analyse the editing components. 

Sound – The start of the sequence features the tail end of a music track, extended from the end of the last scene, supposedly done to join the cuts together. The music then fades out to nothing. The closer the man is to the camera the louder the actions he is performing are. Pressed buttons and the ruffling of clothes can be heard. However the further away the characters are the less to hear. This further solidifies the fact that Kubrick intended to make the camera the spying third person. The absence of sound also helps to re-affirm the isolation of the men in space. Ominous and looming is the sense of aloneness, far away from external human contact.

Expressive content – While unassuming and seemingly out of place in the scheme of the movie, this scene is pivotal in showing the fact that the men are not alone. While HAL (the artificial intelligence computer) is shown in previous scenes, it is not until now that we are suggested that HAL is ubiquitously everywhere on the ship. The slow pan builds a sense of uneasiness and invasion of privacy, especially when the men are just going about their every day business.

References

Warner Brothers. (2000) Frequently Asked Questions. Kubrick Films. Retrieved from http://kubrickfilms.warnerbros.com/faq/general_faq.html

Berger, J L. (1996) Aspect Ratios. Widescreen.org. Retrieved form http://www.widescreen.org/aspect_ratios.shtml

 


 

Moving Images Further Critique

Both sequence provide a third person point of view to give the appearance of a third entity in the scene. This is especially evident in the 2001 scene, to show that HAL is ever watching the astronauts. In Drive the perspective is used to show the facial expressions of the characters, in a scene devoid of speech. Subtle uses of sound, or lack of sound, also add another layer of meaning to the sequence. In 2001 the lack of sound helps to solidify mans isolation from natural society and help to frame HAL’s limitations. This isolating theme and a sense of limitation is also compounded by the lack of gravity, showing how unnatural human life is in space. While 2001 plays with these themes, Drive helps to build a sense of tension and unease.

In both scenes it seems that the mantra was to keep it simple. There is no receptive overloading and the meaning or feelings both scenes are trying to evoke can be extracted with ease. For my personal design style I wish to emulate this mantra. I do not want to convolute the meaning my designs are trying to evoke with over embellishment.

Week 7 – Semiotic Analysis | Social Interactions

STUDENT NAME Mika Campbell
DATE OF POST 7/9/14
TOPIC AND RELEVANT LECTURE WEEKS Week 6 Lecture

760003_1988254_2832x4256-game-of-thrones-season-4-finale-re-live-tyrion-s-escape

Contextual Information:

DIRECTOR  Alex Graves
PICTURED  Tyrion Lannister & Jaimee Lannister (left to right)
TITLE  Game of Thrones: The Mountain and the viper
YEAR OF CREATION  2014
DIMENSIONS  1.78:1
TECHNIQUE, MATERIAL  Film
GENRE  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
URL / ORIGIN http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/760003_1988254_2832x4256-game-of-thrones-season-4-finale-re-live-tyrion-s-escape.jpeg?width=588&height=290

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

1) Tyrion Lannister is the first signifier. He sits with his head tilted down and slouched body posture confiding with his older brother. He perceives to be unsure and defeated about something.

2) Signifier 2 is Jaimee Lannister. He stares deeply at his brother with a look of confusion. His body posture is slightly better but still looks to be slouching down to speak with his little brother. He seems to be trying to assure him, but is unsure about the matter himself.

3) Signifier 3 is the deep gaze the two characters hold representing a serious and heavy conversation.

REPRESENTATIONAL 
The picture is held together by the characters transactive connection and narrative imagery. They present heavy feelings as they converse and comfort one another. The viewer investigates each side of the narrative, collecting all the signs to depict the story behind the two characters.

INTERACTIVE MEANING 
As both the characters torsos are facing the viewer, they are inviting the audience into their conversation. The viewer sits at eye level perceiving equality and enabling the viewer with the ability to relate. Although the image isn’t completely zoomed up to their faces, the positioning of the characters still evokes a close connection.

COMPOSITIONAL
The two characters sit on either side of the framed shot, providing a nice composition. Although the lighting is of a low value, there are highlights strategically present on the characters , coming from the top left. This gives the frame an intimate feel. The salient moment in the photo is the intense gaze two the characters share with one another, as the viewers eye follows back and forth from one face to the other. The background is comprised of a lower value again, and seems to be a structure that is underground, perhaps a dungeon. 


STUDENT NAME Mika Campbell
DATE OF POST 7/9/14
TOPIC AND RELEVANT LECTURE WEEKS Week 6 Lecture

studio

Contextual Information:

DIRECTOR  Hayao Miyazaki
TITLE  Studio Ghibli Princess Mononoke
YEAR OF CREATION  1997
DIMENSIONS  1.85:1
TECHNIQUE, MATERIAL  Film/Animation
GENRE  Adventure, Animation, Fantasy
URL / ORIGIN http://wallpoper.com/images/00/31/46/66/princess-mononoke_00314666.jpg

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics 

1) Signifier 1 is Ashitaka. He stands confidently and straight as he smiles up at Princess Mononoke. His stance along with his expression while he looks up at the princess evokes a level of respect for her.

2) Princess Mononoke is the second signifier. She also sits confidently and content as she looks down at Ashitaka. Although she is at a higher eye level she does not depict an overarching authority over him or the viewer.

3) Signifier 3 is the wolf the princess rides. He looks up at her as if he also has a level of respect for his superior.

4) The fourth signifier is the Red Elk, Yakul. Like the wolf, he also gazes over to the princess, listening into the conversation. He mimics his friend Ashitaka with his strong stance.

REPRESENTATIONAL 
The image depicts a transactive narrative, as the two characters share a moment of content.

INTERACTIVE MEANING 
The frame of this image detaches the viewer with its wide angled approach, exposing the audience to an abundance of green scenery and depth.

COMPOSITIONAL 
The wider frame allows room for the characters to exchange gazes and place the image into context with the greenery and calming blue skies. The two parties (Ashitaka & Yakul) and (Princess Mononoke & her wolves) convey a departure, as they go their separate ways satisfied with the journey that may have been prior to this moment. The lighting added to the modality of the image, assisting with its appearance to be bright and happy. 


COMPARISON
While the two images both share a transactive narrative through their interactions, they still prove to be very different images. The first images focaliser where the main content in the image, being the two characters faces as it was a closer frame with more intimacy. Whereas Princess Mononoke’s image was more of an open shot that included a vast selection of the scenery surrounding the characters and their animals. The colour palettes and lighting were completely opposite within the two images, one depicted a dark sorrow frame, and the other was colourful and happy. It’s definitely important as a graphic designer to ensure that every element in your images are conveying the correct messages. If you really want to express the image to it’s full ability you have to think about every part of the composition and if it’s not working you have to direct it otherwise. 

Week 6 – Semiotic Analysis | Advertisements

STUDENT NAME  Mika Campbell
DATE OF POST 7/09/14
TOPIC AND RELEVANT LECTURE WEEK  Week 5, Semiotics 1

Contextual Information

TITLE  Sanzer Hand Gel – What do you really touch?
YEAR OF CREATION  2010
BRAND Sanzer
MATERIAL  Photo
GENRE Advertisement
URL/ORIGIN http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/sanzer_hand_gel_doorknob

doorknob

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

1) The first signifier is the dirty hand. It is a symbol for what you are really touching whenever you turn a door handle. It is also a metaphor for a doorknob. This acts as the main message within the ad. The hand is position as if it is reaching out to the viewer to shake their hand, creating an unwanted feeling.

2) Secondly, there is the signifier at the bottom of the ad that poses the question “What you really touch?” This makes the viewer question what they have really been touching, works as an anchor to reiterate the message and suggests action to be done about it.

3) The logo is a signifier for the solution. Providing the answer to signifier 2 and consequently encourages the viewer to purchase the sanitiser so that they can prevent their hands from feeling like signifier 1.

REPRESENTATION
The dirty hand represents both a doorknob, suggesting that you wouldn’t touch a hand that dirty, and secondly how dirty or ‘filled with germs’ your hand may be/get throughout the day. 

INTERACTIVE MEANING
As the viewer gains a feeling of disgust while focusing on the hand; the ad implies that they need to buy the product to prevent this. The hand is a sign that is associated with

COMPOSITION
As the hand works as the focal point and main signifier, the viewer starts of on the hand and down to the text, then logo. This spatial syntagm works as a conglomerate of all the signifiers, as they are all organised in different physical positions to produce a meaningful whole (O’Neill, 2008, p.74).

REFERENCES

O’Neill, Shaleph, (2008). Chapter 5 : Semiotic Theory : Signs and Signification. In O’Neill, Shaleph, Interactive media : the semiotics of embodied interaction, (pp.67 – 82). London : Springer.

 

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STUDENT NAME  Mika Campbell
DATE OF POST 7/09/14
TOPIC AND RELEVANT LECTURE WEE  Week 5, Semiotics 1

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Contextual Information

TITLE  Goorej – Freedom to touch
YEAR OF CREATION  2013
BRAND  Protekt
TECHNIQUE/MATERIAL  Photo/Typographic
GENRE  Advertisement
IMAGE URL/ORIGIN  http://www.productioncars.com/vintage-ads.php/Daihatsu/Hijet

Analysis Using Visual Social Semiotics

1) The heading “Just 15 Seconds to Bid Adieu to all Germs”, signifies that there are germs on the audiences hands. With facts under it to convince the viewer that the product is promising and will help them. The text works as a relay-function as it complements the image instead of being classified as ‘not that important’ (Gillian, 2001, p. 81)

2) The writing on the hands work as a signifier for germs and signified as illness and anything you can catch by not keeping your hands sanitised.

3) Signifier 3 is the actual product itself and suggests that it will give you ‘freedom to touch’. Meaning you can sanitise your hands with the product after you come into contact with anything. Again, it symbolises and implies the solution to the problem.

REPRESENTATIONAL
The words of illness and germs on the hands represent consequently becoming sick because of not having clean hands. The syntagmatic composition works as all the signifiers convey that the product is the resistance towards said illnesses.

INTERACTIVE MEANING
The viewer gets taken on a journey, firstly a feeling of guilt for not keeping their hands clean as they read the illnesses they can catch, the viewer then reads up to the text about what the product can do for them.

COMPOSITIONAL
The composition of the advertisement is mostly balanced except for the empty space on the top right hand corner. It isn’t overtly noticeable as the viewers eye is directed diagonally from the top left to the bottom right of the page. Starting off at the text, to the image, and finally to the product. However, as the hands are the focal point of the advertisement, the audience starts there and directed up to the text, and back down to the product/solution.

REFERENCES

Gillian Rose., (2001). Chapter 2: The Good eye. In Gillian Rose., Visual methodologies : an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, (pp.33 – 53). 

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COMPARISON

Although both advertisements are similar as they outline problem with the symbol of dirty hands, they convey the message with very different approaches, imagery and style. It’s interesting that the second image was made at a more recent year as the first ad is a lot more effective and the design is far more resolved. The ads contrast well as the first ad concentrates on imagery and evoking a visual representation of either what your hands actually look like after touching things (if the germs were visible) or how many germs the doorknob actually has attached to it. The second ad has more of an old school design, with the classic ‘text, image then product’ layout. It also states facts on the ad and more words than a lot of the simplistic ads that are currently out there. Similarly, the both present a problem (dirty hands, illness, germs) and a solution, the product being the hand sanitisers.