Social Relations Image Analysis x 2

Student Name: Kaela Wallace

Date of Post: 6 September, 2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Week 5/6 Semiotics 

(1)  (High Natural Modality)

6b63c2f3-1166-46db-8eb3-a47a8d4d6a73

Artist: Bernie Boston

Title: Flower Power

Year of Creation: 1967

Dimensions: Unknown

Collection/Source: Famous Pictures

Technique/Material: Photography

Genre: Landscape

Style: Anti-Vietnam War Protest, black and white

Image url/Origin: http://www.famouspictures.org/flower-power/

 This photography was taken by Bernie Boston during an Anti-Vietnam War Protest which was titled Flower Power. It depicts a protestor, George Harris, putting flowers into the barrels of advancing police officers as mentioned by Boston (1965, para. 3), giving it the title “Flower Power”. There are many building blocks and elements which make up the strength of this photograph and the messages it represents. 

The elements which appear to make up this photograph include the police officers, the rifles, the flowers and the protestors. It is a very simplistic but powerful photograph. When discussing the signifiers and signifieds in the photograph, it is obvious that the main protestor (George Harris) has unintentionally appeared white as a symbolic signifier, and makes a relationship with the signified as a representation of the innocent and harmless. This is then anchored down by the contrast of the signifiers of the police officers which also unintentionally but strongly act as another symbolic signifier and signified for power, death and evil which can then be attached to the representation of war. So this acts as a strong and powerful photograph which represents the innocent against the powerful. However, there is a main signifier which dominates this photograph, however small it is, it is the key to the meaning of this image. The flower is the main symbolic and index signifier as it represents the signified of beauty, love and peace. This is an example of the syntagmatic sign which represents peace and works to anchor both the powerful signifier of the police officers and the innocent protestor signifier to create an overall understanding and message to the situation in the photograph. In terms of Dyers list, the bodies,manner, activity and props all play a large role in the significance of this photograph. In the photograph there are the (appears to be) older men officers who stand as opposition on the left and the protestors (young men) on the right. This gives significance to the young men who were brave enough to commit to a (peaceful) act which is risking their lives. It also shows the hierarchy of the older men in uniforms surrounding the younger men. The expressions on the two individuals who stand out because of the ability to see majority of their faces, lead to assume that the man in the uniform on the left is confused and almost objecting from the act, acting on orders and power. However, the man on the right is almost expressionless, acting not personally but generally for a hope for peace. The act of the protestor putting the flower in the rifles of the uniformed men is also a strong index signifier which represents the signified as an act of peace against an act for war and power. This is the strength and focal point of the photograph and the fact that it appears that the uniformed men are advanced at the protestors with rifles aimed at them, and the protestor not resisting but as a response placing the flowers into their rifles makes the meaning of the photograph that much stronger. The audience is first drawn to the centre of the photograph (the protestor putting flowers into the rifles), and then to the surroundings which anchors down the action within the scene and the meaning behind it. 

Discussing the visual social semiotics representationally, compositionally and interactively, there is a lot of analysis that can be made about this photograph. This photograph is clearly representing a active narrative of what the Flower Power movement was. In terms of the interactive meaning, the contact is offer because this photograph is offering the audience photographic evidence of the real event which took place in a Anti-Vietnam War Protest. The audience can almost experience the scene. The photograph has been deliberately taken from a long shot to allow for the audience to get a full view of the action and context to gain a better understanding of the situation and its visual strength. Although this distance prevents a more intimate view of the people and the scene, the audience can also feel intimate with the issue of peace and war. The point of view is very interesting in this photograph as it has been shot from above as that is where the photographer was sitting at the time. It was not intentional that it be shot from above but there can be meaning found within it. It could be proposed that looking down onto this scene could represent symbolically the inferiority and foolishness of war and conflict. In terms of the composition of the photograph, the information value mainly rests centrally, with all the elements holding each other together. However, it can also be depicted as left to right, war to peace and in the middle is love which can ease/end the conflict. The framing is connected with the photo being from 1965 (thus its black and white colour) and its absence of frame lines. Salience wise, it is George Harris (the protestor in the white sweater) who stands out the most because of is contrast against the surroundings due to his white coloured sweater in contrast and his central positioning in the photograph. This photograph has a naturalistic high modality because it is a photograph of a real event which took place. It is a photographic reality with its only indifference to the view of the naked eye being its representation in black and white (due to the lack of photographic technology in the 1960s).

Famous Pictures. (2013). Flower Power. Retrieved from http://www.famouspictures.org/flower-power/

(2) – (Low Natural Modality) 

wifetoday3

Artist: Uknown

Title: Wife of Future

Year of Creation: Uknown

Dimensions: Unknown

Collection/Source: Tone TeluguOne Comedy

Technique/Material: Hand drawn/Computer generated

Genre: Landscape

Style: Futuristic 

Image url/Origin: http://www.teluguone.com/comedy/content/wife-jokes-659-6501.html 

Above is an illustration created to represent the future of wives in contrast to people’s knowledge of the past role of wives and husbands. There are very obvious and important building blocks to this illustration which contribute to its message and representation. 

The elements within this illustration which contribute to the semiotics of this image include mainly the wife and the husband and their props (to be mentioned later). In discussion of the signifiers, the wife and husband both act as iconic signifiers, both representing the past roles and responsibilities of each other and signifieds which read boss: wife and slave: husband. This is a humorous illustration to represent the changed world where the husband (in the past) was the one sitting down reading the paper, smoking a cigarette or cigar, and the wife was the one bringing tea and wearing the apron and bandana. These small signifiers which represent a wife and husband stereotype help bring meaning to this illustration and its message. These two also act as paradigmatic signs because what they appear, is not what they are because of the opposite stereotypes dominating the individuals. For example, the male is the husband, however is not within the husband stereotype because that role is being filled by the female (wife) and vice versa. According to Dyers list, it can be assumed that the illustration has been drawn to represent a typical marriage of a wife and husband with this being communicated through gender and ethnicity. The expression (or lack-there-of) on the husband and wife is also an indicator of tired and almost scared look on the husbands face as he walks and is looking directly at his wife. And then there is his wife making no eye contact because she is the superior individual in the relationship. The props which the husband and wife are using also helps create a further stereotype to assist the audience in understanding the ‘now’ roles of the husband and wife.

In analysation of the visual social semiotics of the illustration, it can be acknowledged that the representation of this illustration is a narrative action because of it representing a story. It represents a story of the future wife, where the husband is the slave to the wife and the wife sits around reading the newspaper. This is a denotive sign which uses the text ‘Wife of Future’ to describe and anchor down the image of the wife now taking charge of the husband/male role. The interactive meaning of the illustration in terms of contact is offer because neither individuals are looking at the audience. The wife’s eye contact is not even visible in the illustration, however, the husband’s eye contact is focused upon the wife, allowing the audience to look upon the event rather than have a closer relationship with it. The distance of the illustration is a long shot, displaying more of a scenario of a random/typical married couple, allowing the audience to have no personal connections to the illustrations but perhaps a personal connection to the idea that the illustration is portraying. The point of view is slightly above, but not enough to make a difference to its portrayal of power or superiority. When referring to the information value in the illustration, there is slightly a horizontal positioning in terms of the elements with the ideal on the left and the reality on the right (from the perspective of a husband/male). There are no frame lines or contrasting in colour which relates to the communication of the illustration, thus the image is a connected frame. In terms of saliency, it is obvious that the husband has been placed as a focal point with his whole body being in view but the body of the wife being cut off. The husband is also the salient point because of his slightly larger body to the female and the amount of space he takes up in the entire illustration in comparison to the female. This illustration has a low naturalistic modality because of the unrealistic cartoon representation of a husband and wife marriage. The concept may be a correct observational modality, however, the illustration is not a representation of the view of this action by the naked eye.

Advertisement Image Analysis x 2

Student Name: Kaela Wallace

Date of Post: 6 September, 2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Week 5/6 Semiotics 

(1)

Ad1_Analysis

Artist: Coca Cola

Title: Everybody’s Happy … Have a Coke

Year of Creation: 1945

Dimensions: Unknown

Collection/Source: Online

Technique/Material: Hand drawn/Computer generated

Genre: Portrait

Style: World War II

Image url/Origin: http://annhetzelgunkel.com/food/cokeimages.htm

Above is an advertisement for Coca Cola and designed by Coca Cola. When analysing it at a more complex level, a semiotic reading of the image helps bring out the messages within the advertisement. In terms of the building blocks and elements which make up the advertisement, it has approximately half and half of graphics and text. It consists of a focal point image taking up majority of the advertisement page, and then the rest is text and some smaller graphic images representing the Coca Cola brand. When discussing the signs within the advertisement specifically, it can be observed that the main image serves as an index signifier, the Coca Cola bottle and brand image acts as an iconic signifier and the text serves as an anchor for these images. The relationship the signified and signifier of the main image is index because of message the image is conveying which is a good time which is communicated by the people in the image and their body language and they are representing an index signifier of a good time with the product. There is also an iconic signified relationship with the signifier specifically within this image which is the uniform and badges on the clothes of the people in the image. This communicates them as war veterans. The Coca Cola bottles and brand images which have an iconic signified and signifier relationship, communicate the brand and also help anchor the image with the brand’s message. The ‘Everybody’s Happy, Have A Coke’ title at the top also acts as a symbolic signifier where the signified is these words which represent that you have a coke when everybody’s happy. Dyer’s list can also help when analysing the image specifically. In the image which is a key focal point of the advertisement for Coca Cola, they’ve intentionally used young adults in a relaxed environment but energetic scene to reach out to a specific target audience. The different genders and uniforms of the veteran officers also helps to represent the Coca Cola brand as universal for men and women, and the different uniforms also represent an iconic signifier of which the signified is navy, army and nurses. It communicates that this is what veterans drink to leisurely. The manner and activity of the veterans in the image also represents the scene as happy and relaxed where all are smiling and/or interacting with each other. They’ve also placed Coca Cola’s in their hands as an iconic signifier to represent the brand and further connect the brand with the scene and message of the product. The relationship with the image and the title text act as a syntagmatic sign working together to represent the ideals of the product and the text particularly working as anchorage leading our perception of the message.  

When analysing the advertisement further in terms visual social semiotics, a more descriptive and detailed analysis can be made. The analysis can be broken down into three criteria of visual social semiotics. These include representational, compositional and interactive meaning. When describing the representational communication in the advertisement, it is clear that it is attempting to convey a narrative within the main image, with a collection of vectors and actors communicating a specific message about the people and their relationship with the product. This type of communication is transaction with the use of individuals and product in their hands only. In terms of the advertisements interactive meaning, the individuals in the scene are displaying a contact offer, due to the lack of eye contact with the audience and more of interaction with other individuals in the scene. This is creating more of a distant relationship with the audience and more displacing something to us about the product, rather than getting us (the audience) involved. The distance in this advertisement image also plays a large role in the communication of the scene. They’ve deliberately used a medium shot of all the individuals interacting with another, creating more of a social relationship with audience. In terms of point of view, they’ve used a direct engagement with the scene to allow the audience to feel more involved in the scene and create more of an equality with the scene, the product and the audience. In discussion of the composition of the advertisement, the graphic image has a central information value rather than given or ideal, because it neither displays old and new or fantasy and reality. In this case, the advertisement has the image at the top and anchoring text at the bottom, holding each other together in terms of communication for the product. This advertisement uses a connect framing to bring the vectors of the ad together with the similar colours, empty spaces and rhythm communicating this. The salience of the advertisement can relate directly to the focal point image which dominates the ad as an explosion of activity, colour and size. The modality of the advertisement can be referred as a high naturalistic modality because of the depiction of the individuals in the image very realistic and most probable in terms of representation of real life and the very minimal-none distortion. Scientifically speaking however, it has a low modality because the advertisement is attempting to propose a plausible realistic scene rather than present truth and facts.

(2)

Ad2_Analysis

Artist: Pepsi Cola

Title: Pepsi-Cola The Light Refreshment

Year of Creation: 1953

Dimensions: Unknown

Collection/Source: Online

Technique/Material: Hand drawn/Computer generated

Genre: Portrait

Style: 1950s

Image url/Origin: http://graphic-design.tjs-labs.com/show-picture?id=1174874534

Above is an advertisement for Pepsi Cola which is designed by Pepsi Cola and is a competitor against Coca Cola. This advertisement is very different in its communication and arrangement making it a good candidate for the first images under the analysis of semiotic reading. The building blocks which make up this advertisement, however are similar when comparing the Coke and Pepsi ads. This Pepsi Cola advertisement is made up of various graphic images, titles and a body of text to anchor down the message of the product. The woman centred in the middle, however, acts as representation of the users (or potential users) of Pepsi and also a focal point for the advertisement itself. In analysation of the signs within this advertisement, there is the comment ‘Pepsi-Cola The Light Refreshment’ which acts as an index signifier, which signified the Pepsi Cola as a ‘light’ refreshment, also conveying as a denotive sign which describes the product and can be read also as the ‘skinny/thin/healthy’ refreshment, which then anchors down the centre woman signifier. This woman in the middle, is the first signifier which is noticed by the audience and was illustrated to obviously target a female audience. The audience are drawn to this advertisement because of the illustration of this skinny, independent looking, powerful woman (an iconic signifier), and this signified a skinny, independent woman who drinks this product which is then anchored down by the surrounding images and text. The iconic signifier which anchors these images down is the graphics of the brand, helping to communicate the message and representing the purpose of the advertisement, which could be that Pepsi Cola is for the women who want to enjoy a refreshing drink without getting fat. Plain and simple. The image of the dinner table and Pepsi-Cola in the glasses also acts as an index signifier, which signified that the product can be enjoyed with meals. Through Dyers list, the woman in the centre can also be further analysed to gain a clearer understanding of her positioning. In terms of this advertisement, the woman displayed in the centre is clearly a focal point for Pepsi Cola’s message and representation. They’ve chosen to represent a woman in this advertisement, communicating that they intentionally made her a powerful, thin-figured woman to aim for an audience of women. Her eye contact and expression also represents her as a superior being with her head tilted above the audience and her eye sight looking slightly indirectly over the audience also representing her as superior. Her body language also communicates a lot in conjunction with her manner with her hands on her hips making her appear large and is an assertive gesture. As an advertisement for Pepsi Cola, the signs which make up the building blocks seem to work collectively to convey a message which reads that Pepsi-Cola is a light and refreshing drink which is for women who want to stay skinny.

In terms of the visual social semiotic analysis of this advertisement, the Pepsi-Cola, like the Coca Cola ad can be analysed under representation, interactive meaning and composition. In reference to the representation in the advertisement, the Pepsi-Cola ad is conveying more of a conceptual argument rather than narrative which is what the Coca Cola ad does. The Pepsi-Cola advertisement more-so visually defines the product and users of the product via the woman in the centre and the supporting textual annotations. The interactive meaning of this advertisement, in comparison to the Coca Cola ad is creating a demand type contact with the viewer rather than offer because of the almost eye contact with the woman in the advertisement who is leading the audience to drink the product and represent a person who is both skinny and drinks the product. She is also depicted as a dominated character as they direct her eye level down to the viewer.  In terms of the distance between this woman and the viewer, they’ve opted for a long shot of this woman to better shower figure and body language to further amplify the meaning of the advertisement, however, even with this long shot, the woman still manages to create a similar interests type relationship with the audience. She acts as a ‘this could be you’ type of representational figure. The point of view is also very important to this advertisement as they depict her as vertical and having power over the viewer. Compositionally, the advertisements informational value is almost ideality vs. reality. Where the audience could become this by drinking the product; Or is centrally held together to communicate an overall message about the product. The framing of this advertisement can be referred to as connected with the images and text having common qualities. For example, the red lipstick of the woman, the red in the picture of the dinner and the red in the label helps tie these visual elements together. And the textual font of the body of text being the same. It is obvious that the salience of the advertisement rests on the woman in the middle who stands out due to size, colour and contrast. Her dominant size over the page makes her eye-catching and her black attire with the cream background contrasting her greatly. There is a level of medium naturalistic modality in the image as she is represented as a beautiful skinny woman, however the filters and slight distortion in the illustration lowers the natural modality of the sketch. Scientifically, it has a low modality because it is more representing an idea than a fact.

 

Definition of Semiotics

Student names: Kaela Wallace, Matt Hillesheim, Kelly (Chin-Han) Chiu, Charlene (Chung Yan) Chan

Date of post: 4 September, 2014

Topic and relevant lecture weeks: Lecture 5/6 Semiotics 

Semiotics is the study of the underlining analysation of the building blocks and signs which make up an image. The use of the semiotics framework to study images, allows us to discover hidden meanings within the images and also gain more of an understanding of the physical and emotional messages that the image is trying to communicate.  

To dissect and analyse the images using the Semiotics theory we first understand the signs. It is divided into signified and signifier. Signifier is a object or something in context that represents another thing which is the signified. For example, a leopard can represent speed, violence, killing. Therefore, the leopard would be a signifier and the signified is speed, violence, killing.

Design theorist Pierce also state sign is understood as: Icon, index and symbol. Icons are the image indicators that we see in everyday life, the toilet icon, no smoking icon etc. We read the icon and interpret the meaning of it. Index is a signifier, eg. smoke is a sign of fire or hot water. Symbol can often be read subconsciously, eg. a shadow in a dark environment symbolises danger.  

Visual Social Semiotics then expands on this theory and describes the relations between the viewers of the image and the people, places or things in the image. They are understood by analysing the representational, compositional and interactive meanings of the image.   

By looking at elements of the composition this way, we can identify and analyse the images better and more precisely . 

Week 6 Image Critique

Student Name: Chin-Han (Kelly) Chiu n8862419

Date of Post: 3rd of September 2014

Topic and Relevant Lecture Week: 6 – Advertisement Critique (Semiotics)

Semiotic Advertisement Image Analysis 

Contextual information:

Artist – Creative Agency: Brad

Title – 55 Years of the Brick

Year of creation –2013

Dimensions – Unknown

Collection/source – Lego

Technique, material – Illustration and Computer Graphics

Genre – Advertisement poster, Graphic Design

Style – Minimalistic

Image URL / originhttps://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151261827243403.461113.6665038402

Background: This is a Lego advertisement designed to test the viewer’s imagination and pop culture knowledge. There is a total of 55 poster puzzles referenced to children stories, films and songs and is used to illustrate 55 years of Lego. 

Critique:

Semiological Analysis:

In order to identify the meanings of the image, the signs of the image must be studied. Rose mentioned that there are two parts to a sign: a signified, which is a concept or an object and a signifier, which is a sound or an image attached to the signified (2001, pg.74).

The Signs: 

  1. The most obvious sign is the Lego logo on the right hand side of the image. The logo is the signifier and the company as well as toys are therefore the signified. This is also an example of a symbolic and synecdochal sign. Synecdochal sign is either a part of something standing in for a whole, or a whole representing a part (2001, pg.82). Therefore, the logo of Lego is a synecdochal as well as symbolic sign of bricks and toys.
  2. The second sign is the bricks. The signifiers are the bricks and the signified are construction and building. This is an example of a symbolic sign mention in Rose’s Theory, where there is a conventionalized by clearly arbitrary relation between signifier and signified (2001, pg.78).
  3. The third sign is the caption. The signifier is the story and the signified is the words: Imagine a Children’s Story. However, this sign could not be identified without interpreting its relationship with the bricks.

These signs are connected to create meaning and represent the whole advertisement and the most important sign. For example, the caption is a sign but we do not know what the signifier/ story is. Therefore if we link the caption to the colours and arrangement of the bricks, we will understand what the actual sign is. The actual signifier is therefore the story of “The Three Little Pigs” and the signified is the three pink bricks, the house, the black brick as well as the caption “Imagine and Children’s Story”. This is also an example of objective correlates mentioned in Roses Theory (Williamson’s analysis) where signified attached to certain signs in advertisements get transferred to other signifiers (2001,pg. 83-84).

Visual Social Semiotics: 

Representational

This is an example of a conceptual representation. It is a conceptual representation due to the similarity and reference to “The Three Little Pigs”. They define the children’s story through the use of colour and the position of the bricks (pink brick representing the pigs secure in the brick house and black brick representing the wolf on the exterior). 

Interactive Meaning

Although there are no direct contact between the image and the viewer because there is no character shown in the advertisement, but the image still acts to offer us a new way of thinking and a new way of understanding the story.

Compositional

The top left corner contains a brick that has 55 and years on its surfaces and on the bottom there is the caption as well as the Lego logo. The problem and question is on the top left: what is 55 years? The solution is on the bottom right: Lego is 55 years old. The centre holds the question and solution together and shows the portrayal of “The Three Little Pigs”.

The term ‘framing’ indicates that elements of a composition can either be given separate identities, or represented as belonging together (2001, pg23). The image is clearly framed off by the placement of the text and logo. The gap in-between the logo and the edge of the poster form the border of the image and disconnect the image from continuity. On the other hand, the colour of the background is connected to the  pink bricks as well as the outline of the house. This connects the poster to the colours of “The Three Little Pigs”.

The term ‘salience’ is used by Kress and van Leeuwen (1996) to indicate that some elements can be made more eye-catching than others (2001, pg25). The logos as well as the black brick are made to be more salience. This is because the rest of the image looks very harmonious in terms of its pink colour. Therefore there is a strong contrast between the soothing pink and the sharp black and red. In terms of size, the image of the house is place directly in the centre making it the focus and salience of the image.

As an illustration of the story, this image has a low nature modality. However this increase the audiences’ involvement as they guess what the bricks and the houses represent. The bricks are higher in modality due to its simplistic original shape.

 

 

Semiotic Advertisement Image Analysis 

Contextual information:

Artist – Revolve, Canada

Title – Brain Candy Toys Advertising Campaign

Year of creation –2011

Dimensions – Unknown

Collection/source – Brain Candy Toys

Technique, material – Illustration and Computer Graphics

Genre – Advertisement poster, Graphic Design

Style – Minimalistic

Image URL / originhttp://www.wabbaly.com/brain-candy-toys-advertising-campaign/

Background: This is an advertisement for a company called Brain Candy Toys in Canada that sells 3D puzzles, science and math kits. This campaign consists of 4 different designs that reference classic fairy tales through the use of math equations.

Critique:

Semiological Analysis:

The Signs:

  1. One of the sign is the animal. The signifier is the wolf and the signified is violence due to its sharp teeth. The signifier is the pig and the signified is food and the story “The Three Little Pigs”. They are iconic signs where the signifier represents the signified by apparently having a likeness to it (2001,pg.78). The features of the characters are iconic making it easy for the viewers to identify what type of animal it is.
  2. The other sign is the equation. The signifier is mathematics and the signified is the hard equation associated with mathematics.
  3. The objects are also signs. The hay is the signifier and the signified is weak and easy to blow off. The wood stick is the signifier and the signified is breakage. The brick is the signifier and the signified is tough and endurance.

These signs are connected to create meaning and form a new sign. The signifier is now “The Three Little Pigs” and the signified is three pigs, the wolf and the different houses.

Visual Social Semiotics: 

Representational

This is also an example of a conceptual representation. It is a conceptual representation due the use of iconic illustrations of pig and wolf that define the characters of “The Three Little Pigs”. The addition of the equation helps associate the iconic illustrations to the story.

Interactive Meaning

The viewer is eye levelled with the character making a direct contact between the image and the viewer. The crying pigs also have their eyes directed to the viewer, making us feel sympathy as the wolf attacks them.

Compositional

The information value is demonstrated in the centre of the image with the equations divided into top, middle and bottom. The top equation is the ideal because it’s the fastest way to build a house but the bottom equation is the real because its it’s the only way to avoid the attack and it’s the final solution. The middle equation links the top and bottom together. The position and structure of the equations makes the story easier to follow and understand.

In terms of Salience, the attention is mostly drawn to red on the bricks. This is also the solution to the equation, thus making it the most important in the advertisement.

Even though this image is illustrated, it still is high in modality because it is very similar to the original story. However, this image follows a scientific modality where the illustration of the story is displayed in a form of equations.

Further Critique:

These two images share a very similar style and are both very minimalistic. Although they are intended for the same purpose: to sell their toys and share the same story: “The Three Little Pigs”, they are still very different in terms of their approach. The Lego advertisement involves the audiences to think behind the image whereas the Brain Candy Toy advertisement involves the audiences to think while reading the advertisement. Therefore both of the images are memorable and keeps the audiences engaged.

They are similar in terms of the choice of colours (although one uses pink and the other uses green as the dominant colour) because they both use a vibrant colour to fill the entire background. This makes the advertisement look very energetic and appealing to younger audiences.

Both of the advertisement contain more than one sign but are all connected to create meaning. This is very important in design when you have to relate the sign of the product back to the sign of the character and etc.

References:

Jewitt, Carey and Oyama, R. (2001). Visual Meaning: A Social Semiotic Approach. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.134 – 157) [SAGE]. Retrieved from http://srmo.sagepub.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/view/the-handbook-of-visual-analysis/n1.xml

Rose, G. (2001). Visual metrologies : an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials [ProQuest]. Retrieved from site.ebrary.com/lib/qut/reader.action?docID=10080966

Week 6 – Advertisement Analysis (Semiotics )

Student name : ChungYan (Charlene) Chan
Date of post: 1st September 2014 
Topic and relevant lecture week: Week 6 – Semiotics – Advertisement analysis   

 

IMAGE 1 – Coca-cola 

CokeMini_Happiness_04

Artist : unknown – Coca-cola 
Title : Happiness now served in mini size 
Year of creation : unknown
Dimensions : unknown
Collection/ Source : Online, Coca-Cola
Technique & Material : Photography, computer graphic 
Genre : Advertisement poster 
Style : Minimalistic 
Image URL : http://upthink.tv/projects/coca-cola-mini-sleek-open-happiness/ 

This advertisement is promoting the new Coca-Cola mini packaging. This poster is landscape orientation, with text located in the centre of the poster and the graphic image in the centre. The graphic image is a ladies hands holding up a can of Coca-Cola from the bottom with the hands sideways. By holding it this way it seems like she is offering someone with the Coke but she does not seem too friendly.The overall composition is very simple with a minimalistic style. 

Sign : signifier and signified

Title : Happiness now served in mini size – happiness as index meaning Coca-Cola equals happiness 
Can – portable, easy to carry 
Artificial nails  – feminine, aiming for female audience
Tanned hands – healthy, outgoing, female 
Thought bubble : 90 calories per can – light, slim, less fat, fit, for ladies 
Text fading – whisper, feminine, gentle, 
Typography serif, round- bubbly
Centred- holds everything together  

Title ‘Happiness now served in mini size’ slowly fades out; the fading effect is a signifier of a whisper or someones voice fading out. The word ‘Happiness’ indicates Coca-Cola in this context, Coca-Cola is now served in mini size. 

The artificial nails on the woman’s hands are iconic because it directly represent the hands being a female’s hand. Her tanned hand is a index of a healthy young woman holding a can of coke. The feminine hand symbolises subtlety to the targeted audience. Overall it represents this product – mini Coca-Cloa is designed for sporty, healthy, outgoing female that are trying to keep fit or lose weight but also want to enjoy the sensation of Coca-Cola. Therefore, they introduce a smaller portion for this particular group of people. 

With the hands positioned sideways representing this product is not aimed for everybody, it is only targeted for certain group. It is not as welcoming for the viewers, the sideways hand is also not attempting to have a connection with a general viewer but make like watch this happen like a third person. By the hand passing on the can upwards it is offering to somebody better than them and someone that deserves the can. 

 

IMAGE 2 – Pepsi – new pepsi mini cans 

pepsiCollage

Artist : unknow – Pepsi company 
Title : New Pepsi mini cans 
Year of creation : unknown
Dimensions : unknown
Collection/ Source : Online, Pepsi 
Technique & Material : Photography/ Computer graphic 
Genre : Advertisement poster 
Style : Surrealism 
Image URL : http://ulfablabla.free.fr/index.php?Publicite/p196 

This is an advertisement from Pepsi advertising their new mini can product. They have used a more creative way to present this idea.The focal point of this series of posters have to be the huge fingers holding the tiny ice cubes, straw and glass. Each of them are placed right in the centre of the image allowing the viewers to look at it right away and get it straight to the point. The design for the rest of the poster is very simple and minimalistic, with only a catch line at the bottom right corner. The viewers would first look at the centre then move on to the bottom right corner. The plain background helps them focus on the graph image on the page. A gradient is also added to the background for a three dimensional effect and texture to the poster. 

To analyse this image with Semiotics theory, first have to identify the signs. 

Sign : signifier and signified

Ice –  cool, cold, freeze, fridge 
Straw – drink, thirst, suck, beverage 
Glass of coke (drink) – drink, thirst 
Finger/ Finger nails – small, fragile, protective, neat, tidy,minimal space 
Finger – young male, energetic, small but powerful
Finger holding … – light, easy, accessible, friendly
Using only two fingers – fragile, tiny
Blue background – pepsi 
“new Pepsi mini can” – experience, explore, light, easy, tiny, young, portable, convenient 

Pepsi used contrast as a method to illustrate the new mini pepsi coke. Finger nails can be seen as something that is small, making a glass of pepsi that is even smaller than the finger nails indicates that it is very small. This over exaggerated contrast bring some fun aspects into the new pepsi mini can poster design.  

In the first image, the little ice cubes are icons signifying coldness, freezer and temperature. The tiny straw in the middle is iconic and represents the action of sucking and drinking a beverage. It is a connection between the drink and the mouth. The glass in the last image signifies the feeling of thirst and drink. Only use two fingers to carry something so tiny indicates the action to be too easy. From the shape and the skin of the finger, we are able to identify it as a young male’s finger. Young males symbolises power, wisdom and energetic. This says the target audience for this advertisement are for young people that likes to travel everywhere, this light mini pepsi packaging is most suitable for them to do so. 

Using blue as the background for the poster is also a sign of symbolising the brand Pepsi. 

The catch line is a indicator of a new experience and explore this light, easy, tiny pepsi. 

They work together developing a meaning:

To explore a new experience by simply trying pepsi’s new cold mini can for young people, it is portable and very convenient, it is too easy! 

Compare and Contrast 

Both advertisements above are advertising their new mini can packaging. Both companies have used very similar design style to illustrate their new product. Personally, I enjoy looking at the Pepsi advertisement more and for longer. There are things in there that would make me think and find interesting, whereas, Coca Cola just making an announcement. Different to Pepsi, Coca-cola has used a females hands to hold the new can design, on pepsi’s poster we can tell it is probably a males finger but it appears to be more mutual instead of focusing on only one gender. Another difference between the two is also how the hand is gestured while holding up the can. Coca-Cola holds it up from the bottom with the hands side ways seems like it is only on for display. Pepsi holding it up from the side. Personally agree that Pepsi’s advertisement is more approachable because the viewers are in the same level as the poster. 

 

 

Jewitt, Carey and Oyama, R. (2001). Visual Meaning: A Social Semiotic Approach. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.134 – 157) [SAGE]. Retrieved from http://srmo.sagepub.com.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au/view/the-handbook-of-visual-analysis/n1.xml

‘Selfie’ Image Analysis x 2

Student Name: Kaela Wallace

Date of Post: 1 September, 2014

Topic and relevant lecture week: Week 3 Compositional Interpretation

(1)

 10600592_10152595793257010_437823846794850435_n

Artist: Kaela Wallace

Title: ‘Selfie’ portrait photo

Year of Creation: 2014

Dimensions: Uknown

Collection/Source: iPhone

Technique/Material: iPhone

Genre: Portrait

Style: Modern

Image url/Origin: iPhone

The content and purpose of this portrait ‘selfie’ image was to provide an up-to-date profile photo for a social networking service website (Facebook).

In terms of the colour analysis in this image, the portrait photo was edited from the original with a colour filter altered the overall colour of the image, making the saturation of the photo a bit lower and also creating a lighter glow of the image. The colours actually evident in the photo involve the white wall background with a snippet of an artwork on the wall, and the individual wearing a grey top with silver beads, brown sunglasses and a blue pendant necklace. There is definitely colour contrast in this image to bring out the elements of the individual from the background which is the white background to the grey clothed individual. In reference to the spatial organisation of the portrait image, there is definitely some clarity in the definition of it as a portrait image with the white bands on either side. The picture is also organised in a way that displays the individual in the centre from a zoomed in shoulder/head shot. This is to increase the amount of details viewable in this picture such as jewellery and clothing for example. The ‘selfie’ has been shot a bit lower than eye level intentionally to create a longer view of other elements required in photo, or unintentionally due to the natural positioning of taking a self-portrait. The portrait which is shot of shoulder/head also gives context to the photo, in this ‘selfie’ for example shows casual clothing communicating a relaxed environment as opposed to a uniform in a work/study environment. The light evident in this image is mainly natural sunlight coming in through an adjacent window, probably taken when the natural light coming in is at its highest. The expressive content in this ‘selfie’ is relaxed and happy. The audience to this ‘selfie’ is compelled to feel delighted and satisfied by the content in the image. 

(2)

IMG_4290

Artist: Kaela Wallace

Title: ‘Selfie’ portrait photo 

Year of Creation: 2013

Dimensions: Uknown

Collection/Source: iPhone

Technique/Material: iPhone

Genre: Landscape

Style: Modern

Image url/Origin: iPhone

The content and purpose of this portrait is at the Venice Beach Canals in Santa Monica, Los Angeles in California, America and was taken to create a photo memory of my America trip in 2013. 

In terms of the colour analysis in the ‘selfie’ photo, there are a range of different colours which make up both the background and the individual. In the background, there are colours which include the blue sky and thus the reflection of the sky on the canal water below, the green vegetation which dominates the background of the image, and also neutral colours like creams and browns which are the houses in the background. The individual is made up of brown hair and sunglasses, a grey and white jumper and a light brown skin tone. The saturation in the image is in the middle with no colours dominating the scene or the individual. However, the skin tone of the individual does stand out as it is the individual which brings the attention initially to them and then to the background. This is a ‘selfie’ photo, however not in the same sense as a portrait type ‘selfie’. It is a landscape arrangement as it involves not only the individual but also a context which needs acknowledgement, thus the individual standing to the left, and the important context to the right which is almost dominating over the space of the individual. The ‘selfie’ is taken at eye level so to show the audience the point of view from the individual. The individual is intentionally shot from head/shoulder length with an appropriate view of the canals. It can be assumed that the shot of the individual in front of the canals was first arranged and then the canals were positioned in the contextual background. The canals have been shot so that the water and the houses on either side dominate the background with only a small sliver of the sky because of its low importance in comparison to the canals and housing. The image was set out with individual on the left and the canal background on the right as the photo was taken with her right hand so it would not be in the photo. This is intentional to make it look less like a typical selfie. The arrangement of the individual on the left and context to the right also encourages the audience to ‘read’ the image from left to right as the natural way of reading a comic for example. The light in this ‘selfie’ is natural sunlight because the photo was taken during the day and outside without any shade obstructions. The expressive content of this ‘selfie’ is delight, perhaps jealousy because of the location of the photo and excitement. 

Week 5 Image Critique

Student Name: Chin-Han (Kelly) Chiu n8862419

Date of Post: 29th of August 2014

Topic and Relevant Lecture Week: 5 – Selfie Critique (Compositional Interpretation)

Selfie Image Analysis

Contextual information:

Artist – Chin-Han (Kelly) Chiu

Title – New hair style selfie

Year of creation – 2011

Dimensions – 1488px × 1984px

Collection/source – Digital Camera

Technique, material – Photography

Genre – Self Portrait

Style – Casual

Image URL / origin – Digital Camera

Critique:

Content: A self-portrait of myself taken after a haircut. I was seated close to my desk and was slightly slanted to fit most of my head and my right arm. The doorframe, floor mat, carpet, tile and my pink slippers were also captured.

Colour analysis: This image consists of mostly yellow and dark brown. The yellowness of the image creates a pastel like filter across the whole image and makes it look very warm. The brown hair colour surrounding the face creates a border like outline that helps distinguish face. The slight pinkness on the cheeks as well as the lip highlights the female facial features. The blurriness of the background makes me look feminine and submissive.

Spatial organization: The camera was tilted, held above and slanted towards me at around 45-degree angle. This creates a V shape from the cheeks to the chin and bringing our eyes down to the hair. The strands of hair on the fridge also direct our eyes down towards the left eye, nose and then the entire face. The desk on the left as well as the doorframe clearly dissects the image, leaving the character at the centre of attention.

Light– The light appears to be shining from above me. My head is lowered; therefore light is not directed straight on my face and instead is reflected on my arm. The hair is also capturing some of the light, causing it to shine and making the strands of hair on the fringe more noticeable.

Expressive content – This self-portrait expresses a calming and soft feeling.

Selfie Image Analysis

Contextual information:

Artist – Woody Photographer

Title –Unknown

Year of creation – March, 2014

Dimensions – Unknown

Collection/source – Instagram

Technique, material – Photography and Computer Graphics

Genre – Self Portrait

Style – Casual

Image URL / originhttp://instagram.com/woodypictures

Critique:

Content: Woody is holding a phone close to his face and is smiling and looking at the device. This same expression and posture is also displayed on the screen of the phone. Woody’s fingers are touching the buttons on the screen and is taking a self-portrait of himself.

Colour analysis: The image is made up of warmer colours like yellow, cream, brown and white. Features like the hair, brows, eye and lips are highlighted with a low value dark brown to indicate the features of Woody’s face. There is a clear cut between the border of the phone as well as the blue in the screen. The blue borders in the screen makes the image in the phone very obvious.

Spatial organization: In terms of the selfie, the camera is positioned in front of character. Woody is holding his phone at his eye level and his face is right in the centre of the frame.

On the other hand, in terms of the whole image, the camera is positioned on the left of Woody. The viewer follows the direction of the character’s eyes and looks straight to the phone that contains the selfie of Woody. Therefore, the phone is the focus and place of interest.

Light: The light appears to be behind and above Woody. This is a type of backlight and spot light purposely set up for photo shoots.   Woody is in the centre of a blurred spotlight with edges that clearly frames and outlines the centre of attention.

Expressive content – The self-portrait expresses an energetic and delighted mood.

Further Critique:

These two selfies share a very similar approach in terms of colour. Both of the images use very warm colours to express the personality of the character. Also, they both contain lighting that helps highlight certain features of their face but does not interfere with the surrounding. This is important in designs that contain photographs of people. The photos could be edited so that a particular person in the image becomes more focused while the surrounding could be slightly burred out.

The camera angles on these two images are very different. The first example is a typical female selfie where the camera is held high above the head and slanted down so that the eyes are bigger and the face is smaller. On the other hand, the Woody selfie is taken with the camera close and in front of the character, capturing the whole face and therefore is slightly more humorous.