Task 1:

Semiotics is defined as being the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.

It is the study of sign process and meaningful communication such as metaphors and symbolism as well as analogy and signification. The importance of signs and signification has been recognised throughout much of the history of philosophy, and in psychology as well. Plato and Aristotle both explored the relationship between signs and the world.

Colour plays a large role in the world of semiotics as over time people have learn to associate colours with specific things such as:


Semiotics are most commonly found within advertisement as the advertisers normally use a visual image of the product being sold. For example a restaurant that wants to advertise their food may place an image of one of their deserts on a billboard just before their restaurant and this is visually enough to convince the viewer to go. Another example that is more of an association image is if a skull and crossbones was placed onto a packet of cigarettes one would instantly know what the meaning behind it was.

Philosopher/scientist Charles Sanders Peirce (1839 – 1914) categorised signs as:

  • Iconic
  • Symbolic
  • Indexical

Iconic signs look exactly like what it represents:


Symbolic signs are based on cultural association and well know logos:

An indexical sign is a clue that links deeper meanings:

Black Handprint

Task 2:

How could I apply Semiotics to my Social Action Project?

Just like the iconic recycle symbol, their are definitely ways in which you can use art to remind the world to make a positive change. I could integrate this into my project by using a picture of an elephant happy and alive as well as video footage to showcase them rather than using a slogan to not poach them even though that is the message behind the imagery. So instead of writing out a logo to stop people from harming endangered animals I could create a visually interesting image that speaks loud and clear to message I am trying to spread to the world.



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