Its complicated…

  • Locate an example of a complex image.
  • discuss the signifiers/denotations (what is represented)
  • And the signifieds/connotations (what the image might mean)
  • Is it possible to read this image in more than one way?


Involves our ability to interpret visual codes within media texts and is an extremely useful analytical tool underlying all types of communication and is what my course (Media and Communications) is all about. It brings attention to ways in which society understands, accepts, disagrees and/or comprehends signs. As you probably didn’t realise but signs are anything and are everywhere thus continuously involved in our way of living. Contributing a major role within: communications, art, education and even is the science of branding, marketing and advertising. Definitely relevant to most of us! Whether we choose to acknowledge it or were simply always unconscious of it. I know everyone in their lifetime would have examined various texts, images, and films methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain it in deeper interpretations for work or school purposes.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 3.54.37 pm

Additionally this discovery of competence of semiotics can lead to deeper understandings of how people read and perceive “normal “everyday images. Although we must accept, that what you visualise may be dissimilar to the sign I envisage. As denotations may evoke connotations and arouse emotions, feelings or cultural stories that are personal and different to each individual.



Lets utilise this complex image as an example. Hence inspired by the fact that university is already frying my brain as I sit here struggling week by week to come up with something intriguing in my blog posts…


Image credit: CSA Images/Archive

What do you interpret here? As I read this image, the denotations are the anatomy of a brain that includes the cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem demonstrating the signifier. The signified (connotations) I distinguish is clever thinking. Also perceiving intelligent people such as Albert Einstein, doctors, scientists, mathematicians and even last night’s headache is visualised.

However referring to the source ( dissimilarly comprehends the sign as an explosion and reflects connotations of the “technological complexity associated with developing nuclear weapons” (Allen, 2017.)

This could be due to the fact, that besides what is shown in movies or news, I’m not exposed to a great deal of nuclear weapons in my everyday life whereas Allen lives in USA where guns are legal.

It is guaranteed that this image can be comprehended in disparate ways. Hence also revealing why semiotic analysis is so advantageous in everyday life, as by making the link between the concept (signified) and the sound/visual (signifier) of the sign; a writer, marketer, artist, advertiser, brand managers, teacher etc. can gain a better understanding of the cultural and social connotations that are associated with the sign and the responder, allowing for consistency and clarity of messages with one another.

So please let me know your concepts after reading this blog!!


YouTube. (2007). Semiotics: the study of signs. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Seymour, F. (n.d.). Why semiotics. [online] Sign Salad. Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Allen, G. (2017). Thank Goodness Nukes Are So Expensive and Complicated. [online] WIRED. Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Chandler, D. (2014). Semiotics for Beginners: Introduction. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2007). Semiotics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Cooler Insights. (2012). The Role of Semiotics in Marketing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].


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