Hall, Sean. This Means This, This Means That: A User’s Guide to Semiotics, Laurence King Publishing, 2012. pgs 21-67
- How has language shaped design historically?
- Can visual design accomplish things that language cannot? Why?
- How are signs, signifiers, and the signified employed in visual communication? Provide examples from contemporary or historical advertising.
- How are non-literal devices used to convey meaning in advertising? Provide examples from contemporary or historical advertising that use simile, metaphor, metonym, synecdoche, irony, lies, impossibility, depiction, or representation.
The way language has shaped design historically would be that since there are people with different cultural backgrounds and the difference in languages. The way we view things makes it unique because it’s a way how people are able to experience and remember what they have seen. Words are borrowed and reinvented to create new meanings, so with design, a designer is able to create and invent something new.
Visual Design can accomplish things that language cannot because it’s something that is straightforward and clear. It’s being able to communicate ideas visually through color, shapes, icons and more. People are well aware of the word of an object being shown. Learned to look at things visually and know what it is.
Signs, signifiers, and the signified employed in visual communication would be that the viewer has an established idea about the object, and what it looks like. Just from its appearance it gives a connection between the object and it’s meaning. An example would be a contemporary design of a logo of Polo Ralph Lauren, which uses a horse. You can just tell from the way it looks and its characteristics.
Non-literal devices used to convey meaning in advertising would be that it creates a sense of familiarity with things that are unfamiliar and same goes with unfamiliarity that are familiar. It’s also a way to create new insights with a whole new meaning. An example would be a metaphor used for fashion, cosmetics companies that use beautiful models to embody their products. This type of advertising lures people(especially women) to buy their products because this gives them the indication that getting this product will make them feel beautiful or enhance their beauty.