Category Archives: semiotics

website production progression

wireframe color scheme/formal element experimentation. and then finalization, and working my way into developing all the aspects into adobe muse.

anchor vs relay

roland barthes introduced and termed the concepts of anchorage and relay. these two concepts were developed to give definition to the combination of text with image. the visual and verbal go hand in hand to give the imagery straight forward clarification or guide you into the right interpretation. advertisements, comics, and newspapers all exemplify anchorage and relay in their contents. here are my attempts to give these two different signs definition.

changing connotations

connotation plays an important role in design. predicting and being aware of what connotations the viewer gets from the imagery is a crucial aspect that designers have to take into consideration. here are five renditions of the same sign [express clothing logo] that portray a new connotation through typography and use of color.

process sketches //

semantic annotations

denotation // direct, obvious meaning, definition

connotation // second level of meaning that uses the viewers experiences and learned conventions, meaning affect by viewer’s background

anchorage // text that gives an image one particular meaning

relay // text which gives a different meaning that what is directly seen in the image

after learning a few more words and assessing the components with semiotics, i broke down the imagery in this kashi advertisement:


annotate safari – city block

for my panoramic view i used a portion of grand boulevard in the power and light district. this block seemed perfect for identifying signs with its plethora of businesses. when annotating it came clear that signs can take on all three roles of icon, index, and symbol. signs can have a straight forward message and simultaneously it can also be complex when representing the different levels of imagery found in the sign.


philosopher Peirce and the linguist Saussure developed the ideas for which we call semiotics.

the semiotic theory suggests communication is the production of meaning.


semiotics // learning of the meaning of signs and symbols

sign // something that indicates something else; two levels: denotation and connotation

icon // physically represents the thing it signifies

index // a reference to figure out the object from the signs

symbol // subjective, learned representations for ideas

signifier // the physical form of a sign

signified // the idea indicated by the sign

syntagm // a sequence of units that have a particular linear relationship to one another

paradigm // units in a set have familiar characteristics; pattern or model for the syntactic roles of a set

code // a culturally approved set of signs

polysemy // coexistence of different meanings for one particular thing


Visible Signs & Visual Communication