Week 12: Finishing Up

This week has really been about finishing up assignments and getting everything ready to submit. I’ve thankfully finished all four of my rhetoric posters for project 3!


This is my addition poster which uses opposition to “bring together elements which are in opposition to each other” (Dyer 2008, p. 133). I also think that this particular poster could also represent similarity as well, with the similarity being the tree, and the difference being the state of it.



This is my finished suppression poster. This one uses circumlocution as its main rhetorical figure, which involves part of a figure being left out, but linked to another through similarity (Dyer 2008, p. 138). The suppression here is obviously the tiger, and is linked to its outline through the similarity of form, and also its environment.


My finished substitution poster. This one uses substitution of similar elements as its main figure. It uses metaphor, which includes transference of meaning form one context to another (Dyer 2008, p. 143). The metaphor here is the city as a symbol for progress which has led to deforestation of the bear’s natural habitat.


And finally my poster for figures of exchange. This poster uses oxymoron, a message “where two elements remain contradictory” (Dyer 2008, p. 146). Here the two elements are the arctic natives, the polar bear and penguins, and the tropical island. This is used to represent the melting of ice which is leading to loss of habitat for these two animals.

The overarching theme for my posters has been the impact of anthropogenic global warming on animals, and I’ve tried to create a unified series of posters to reflect this message throughout. I’m hoping they reflect each figure of rhetoric accurately in their execution, and create a series of posters which also make sense as a whole.


Reference List:

Dyer, G 2008, Advertising as Communication, Taylor and Francis, Florence.



Figures of Rhetoric

This week we have started learning about Durand’s Figures of Rhetoric, which can be categorised into four different groups:

  1. Figures of Addition
  2. Figures of Suppression
  3. Figures of Substitution
  4. Figures of Exchange

Valdman_My Masterpiece is Finished

In looking at this political cartoon, I’ve identified the forms of rhetoric which may have been used.

Figures of substitution is the main category which has been used in my opinion, predominantly substitution of similar elements, being a metaphor which allows one figure to stand in for another; in this case, it is the statue and the bulldozer standing in for Gillard’s Carbon Tax policy, and Abbott’s scrapping of it once he was elected. The black smoke coming out of the bulldozer could also represent Abbott’s reticence to acknowledge the impact of Global Warming. False homology is also used here, which uses puns as a play on words – the word ‘finished’ is given two meanings, being completed and destroyed. Figures of addition, particularly double meaning, could also be used here for the same reason.




Reference List:

Valdman n.d., ‘My Masterpiece is Finished’ [image], My Masterpiece is Finished, Pinterest, viewed 6th January 2016, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/12947917649349934/


Semiotic Principles

I’m working on project 1 – transformation object this week, and I’ve narrowed down my list of semiotic principles that will be used in my game:

  1. Colour as Signpost. Will be used for each category of words, representing a different colour.
  2. Division – Absence. Absence will be represented by the spaces left on the scenario cards.
  3. Signifier/Signified. Will be used as the words (signifier) inserted into the scenarios, and overall meaning created when the two are put together (signified).
  4. Myth. This will be represented by each player’s drawings, which will be influenced by their cultural/historical backgrounds.
  5. Currency. The value placed on correct answers/drawings as points in the game.
  6. Author/Reader. Authors will be the creator of the scenarios and the drawings, the reader will be the player guessing the scenario.
  7. Image. The image is represented by the drawings created based on the scenarios provided, which will be based on personal reflection of the drawer’s thoughts.

Hopefully this will be developed further before submission!

Exploring Type

card draft  card draft_v2card draft_v3

This week I have been expanding my idea for my transformation object further, and looking at presentation, in particular how type will work for the game.

In looking this week about how type can influence meaning, I’ve been exploring the different typefaces that will be used on the scenario cards. I’ve made a few mock-ups using different typefaces. I think each gives a different feel to the presentation. I’m also considering which will have the most readability for children. While the sans serif is easily read for children, the way it interacts with the layout and space on the card doesn’t seem to gel as well as the sans serif, so I think a simple sans serif typeface will most likely be the best option.

More development to come!


Transformation Object Development

This week I’ve been looking at different ideas for my Transformation Object for Project 1.

I’ve been developing my ideas from last week, and decided to go with the idea of a game for children.

There will be four players, in teams of two. The first team picks up a card which describes a scenario but is missing a few words; they then choose from a box of words to fill in the blanks on the card.

After this, one person from the second team gets to see the card and the words, and has to draw their interpretation of it in less than a minute.

The third person then has a minute to try and guess what the scenario is.

If they guess their team receive a point, if they don’t the other team receives a point.

The game continues until all of the cards have been depleted; every turn the teams switch roles, and the team with the most points at the end is the winner.

I’ve drawn up some simple ideas of how this might work below:

week 4 post_image

Transformation Object Concept Work

This week I’m looking at my work on Project 1 for Visual Language, where we create a transformational object which explores semiotic theory.

I’ve made some initial drawings about a concept I have…


Basically I’m thinking of creating a digital game/experience which will be either an app or website. The idea is to show a series of images in a few different categories, and these will change over the course of the ‘game’, which will be the transformation part. A word (signifier) will be shown underneath, and users will have to click through each image in each category to find the image they think best matches the word. After all words have been shown and choices made, a scoreboard will show up which will compare the user’s results with other players, showing a percentage per image.

The semiotic theories I think I will be including are signification (the word displayed at the bottom), and the denotations will the images themselves, which will then be applied with meaning via the word. Colour will also be explored as a category, and possibly differentiation. I think the concept of myth could factor into the scoreboard/comparison at the end, showing how each person’s cultural/historical beliefs lead them to choose a specific image compared to others who may have different responses.

At the moment I’m still playing around with this idea… hopefully it will be more developed by next week!


Seeing & Knowing

Amnesty International Advertisement

(‘Amnesty International: Eyes’)

“The way we see things is affected by what we know, what we believe” (Berger 1972).

In this post I will explore how two advertisements reflect this statement, and analyse how Daniel Chandler’s concepts on Semiotics are portrayed in each example.

The advertisement for Amnesty International represents the above statement – the signifier is the image of a child’s bruised face and the text; the signified, however, reveals knowledge required to understand the advertisement as intended. The connotations are that the child has been abused; presumably by the child’s father based on the caption. If one didn’t know this the interpretation would be different; therefore this advertisement is affected by what we know.

Chandler’s concept of the Symbol/Symbolic applies to this advertisement, where the signifier doesn’t immediately represent the signified, with the exception of the connection between the two in the sign. If the text were to be placed in front of a smiling image of a child, for example, the signified would change as a result.

Lego Advertisement: Create

(Jung von Matt Hamburg, ‘Lego: Create’)

The second advertisement approaches this idea differently – the signifiers being a toy and human hand, the logo and ‘Create’. The signified reveals the advertisement’s meaning – this is dependent upon the viewer’s familiarity of Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’. The knowledge being that a child playing with Lego acts as God of his creations. Without this knowledge, the advertisement wouldn’t be effective in capturing the experience of playing with Lego.

Michelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam'

Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam (RasMarley 2009).

Lego Advertisement: Plane

(‘Lego: Plane’)

Chandler’s concept of Differentiation can be explored here – particularly by looking at another Lego ad. This advertisement features a different signifier and signified than the previous advertisement, but using differentiation to combine the two signs (being advertisements), we can provide meaning to them. The two ads can be seen as part of a set if we apply the signified of Lego allowing a child to use their imaginations to create. The meaning (signified) becomes more apparent if we combine the two advertisements than on their own, although the juxtaposition of the each allows them to be seen as more effective individually.

Reference List:

Amnesty International (n.d.) ‘Amnesty International: Eyes’ [image], 25 Powerful Advertisements That Will Make You Stop and Think, From Up North, viewed 12th November 2015, <http://www.fromupnorth.com/serious-advertisements-1001/&gt;

Berger, J 1972, Ways of Seeing, Ways of Seeing, viewed 12th November 2015, <http://waysofseeingwaysofseeing.com/ways-of-seeing-john-berger-5.7.pdf&gt;

Jung von Matt Hamburg (n.d.) ‘Lego: Create’ [image], 71 Brilliant, Clever and Inspirational Ads That Will Change the Way You Think, Pinterest, viewed 12th November 2015, <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/189432728054035864/&gt;

Lego (n.d.), ‘Lego: Plane’ [image], 5 Creative and Effective Minimal Print Ads, Pinterest, viewed 13th November 2015, <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/322570392039233303/&gt;

RasMarley 2009, ‘Michelangelo Buonarrati (1475-1564) – 1511c The Creation of Adam (Sistene Chapel, Vatican)’ [image], in RasMarley’s Photolist, Flickr, <https://flic.kr/p/6bAyqx&gt;