2. Barthes Project

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by amandaziegler » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:48 pm

Barthes Article Response:
In Roland Barthes’ text, The Responsibility of Forms, he dissects an advertisement for Pates Panzani pasta, pasta sauce, and Parmesan cheese. He analyzes this ad by discussing the linguistic, denotative, and connotative messages that are portrayed by the combination of image and text. The linguistic message is the textual data shown on the packaging of the food as well as the lower right-hand corner of the ad that reads, “Pates-Sauce-Parmesan A L’Italienne De Luxe.” Barthes’ describes the denotative message as the message that depicts what is actually shown or is actually happening in an image. In the Panzani ad, the denotative message is the presence of the string bag holding pasta, sauce, Parmesan cheese, an onion, mushroom, tomatoes as well as the colors in the advertisement of red, yellow, and green. Without having any prior knowledge to Italian food, the French language used, or any art historic background, the denotative message is what is presented and what we see. Lastly, Barthes’ describes the connotative message as being a message that is implied or is symbolic. For instance, in the Barthes’ advertisement one of the connotative messages lies within the cornucopia shape of the string bag that is shown overflowing with fresh vegetables, and ingredients for the pasta. Art history has shown us that when a cornucopia is shown in a painting overflowing abundantly with food, the message depicted is that there is a wealth of food. Further, wealth in food implies satisfaction and pleasure. The Panzani ad uses the aesthetics that a cornucopia painting portrays, and uses this symbolism in the ad to depict that by using their Panzani product’s (pasta, sauce, and parmesan cheese) there is an abundance in food. We can apply Barthes’ knowledge of linguistic, denotative, and connotative messages when looking at any other image or video. For example, I will now discuss how I used Barthes’ image-theory when viewing both Youtube video’s “Dove Evolution” and “Dove Evolution Parody.”

Personal Image Analysis:

In this picture that I pulled out of one of my albums, I can also use Barthes’ theory on finding the message that lies within an image. Though there is little evidence of any linguistic messages portrayed in this image, the viewer can read text on the back of the bags of chips. By viewing the text on the back of the bags, the viewer can assume it is a commercially mass-produced product of some sort of food. The only really text that the viewer may be able to pick out is on the back of the bag on the right of the picture that reads “Nutrition Facts.”

Further, the denotative message depicts two young girls photographed at night with bags of chips shoved down the front of their shirts. The female on the right is giving an awkward smile and a peace sign to the camera and has her arm around the girl on the right. On her left hand, that is seen wrapped around the other girl’s shoulder, are tiny drawings. She is wearing a white tank top shirt and a bracelet on her right wrist. The girl pictured on the right is looking down at her chest frowning. Her shirt is off her shoulder and her bra is showing. She is seen staring down at the bag of chips that is stuffed down her shirt. She is seen wearing a black shirt and a silver necklace around her neck. The denotative message, again, is what we see as an audience, rather than what we know.

Finally, the connotative message comes from background knowledge that the photographer (which happens to have been me) is aware of. The scene takes place in the middle of a street in Isla Vista in Goleta. These two girls are on their way to a birthday party and were stopped by some people in the middle of the street giving away free snacks. The girls pictured took the snacks and then presumed to pose for a picture of them wearing the snacks. What is implied is that these girls were out partying in Isla Vista because the scene takes place at night and neither of the girls are smiling directly into the camera which would signify that they were completely coherent. It is also implied that these girls were hungry because there are multiple bags of chips shown in the picture.

I thought this picture was interesting to dissect because it shows a picture of two girls in the Santa Barbara night-life. I chose this picture because I thought it related to my video because both have to do with advertisement. The girls shown in this photograph can be viewed as advertising the food products, although showing the product backwards. This comes across comical because if you were trying to sell a product, you would probably not make this mistake and would show the product properly. Also, I found it interesting because the photographer was me and I was in control of what was to be shown in the picture. The focus of the picture was to show the two girls with the bags of chips shoved down their shirts, completely disregarding what was going on in the background. As the photographer, I was able to depict a scene from a crazy and random night in Isla Vista.

Barthes’ text on how to read the message that lies within an image is helpful on dissecting photographs. It makes sense that both text and image play a role on how a message can be interpreted and how in order to understand the full message, we must dissect first the linguistic message, the denotative message, and the connotative message individually to understand how those messages can act and stand on their own. Then, when we put the messages and outside knowledge we have about a certain image together, we can receive a deeper meaning and interpretation of the image.

Advertising Analysis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-kSZsvB ... re=related "Dove Evolution Parody"

“Thank God our perception of real life is distorted. No one wants to look at ugly people.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hibyAJOS ... re=related "Dove Evolution"

"No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted."

In the Youtube video titled “Dove Evolution Parody,” the short act mocks the “Dove Evolution” video created by Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty.” In the “Dove Evolution” video, the video depicts a young, average looking woman getting pampered, airbrushed, and photo shopped for a billboard campaign for a beauty company. Dove’s goal in broadcasting this video was to exemplify why society’s perception of beauty is tainted-the beautiful women used in advertisement’s often have their image completely altered by the time the final photograph is completed. The Dove company wanted to demonstrate to female’s that women should not compare their beauty to model’s and actresses used in advertising because the “ideal” beauty shown in the advertisements are fictitious. In the video (“Dove Evolution Parody”) I am referring to for my project, the ad pokes fun at Dove’s goal in creating the ad—promoting self-esteem for young women. The parody of this video takes a stab at the Dove campaign by depicting an average looking male and creating him to be a slob by using the same airbrush and photo shopping that the Dove advertisement portrayed. Please note that in order to fully understand the parody video, it is useful to have viewed the original video of the “Dove Evolution.”

Linguistic Message: The linguistic message displayed in the “Dove Evolution Parody” clip is shown in the opening sequence of the video when the words “a film: Slob Evolution” are flashed across the screen. The second linguistic message is displayed 51 seconds into the video-clip when the word “Lardo” is shown next to an overweight male on a billboard. Lastly, 1 minute and 1 second into the clip, the words “Thank God our perception of real life is distorted. No one wants to look at ugly people.” As the video is coming to a close, a website address is shown saying http://www.campaign against real life.com. The linguistic message that Barthes’ describes in his text can be applied to this video as well because there is text shown in the short clip. The linguistic message strengthens the message portrayed by the denotation and connotation that is shown by the images that are viewed. The linguistic message illustrates that society is more pleased when good-looking models or people are used in advertisements.

Denotative Message: The denotative message shown in this parody film is represented by a young male coming into a studio for a casting call. He is shown chugging beer, smoking cigarettes, taking shots of hard liquor, eating mass amounts of food, gaining weight, getting bags under his eyes, visibly looking older, looking grungy, and then being photographed, airbrushed, and photo shopped to look as ugly as possible. His ugly mug shot is then displayed on a billboard following a closing view of a bird with a cigarette in its mouth. The denotative message is the message that the audience views—the message that is literal. We literally view the evolution of this man from an average looking male, into an overweight and unattractive slob. This message is portrayed without ay prior knowledge from the viewer—hence the original “Dove Evolution” video.

Connotative Message: The connotative message represented in this parody video comes from having knowledge about the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” video that is titled “Dove Evolution.” In the “Dove Evolution” video, the goal is to portray an average looking female and show how the advertising industry destroys female perceptions of beauty because of the overuse of Photoshop and image altering tricks that are used in beauty campaigns. Having seen this video, the “Dove Evolution Parody” video implies that the reason ugly people are not portrayed in advertisements is because the audience wants to look at attractive people. It also takes a stab at the Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty” because although Dove reports using “real women” to model for their campaigns, there is still a heavy amount of Photoshop and other image altering settings applied to their advertisements. The parody is pointing out how ironic it is that this “real campaign” rallying for positive self-esteem for women, in actuality is completely hypocritical because if the message wanting to be interpreted is for real beauty, then the campaign should not Photoshop or image alter anything in their advertisements. The connotative message also implies that our modern American society is shallow and dependent on looks—therefore, when a company is attempting to advertise a product, the company should choose good looking models or people to represent the product because that is what our society wants to look at. Our American society would choose to look at good-looking people, rather than ugly people.
Image for Personal Picture Analysis.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by jliu » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:08 am

Barthe's Article:
In this article, Barthe states how images can give viewer messages and that there are three basic ways to intrepret those images. He talks about linguistic message, coded iconic message, and non-coded iconic message. Linguistic message is when the image has actual texts that acts as an "anchorage" which mean to "lead the viewer to read the image in a particular way". Coded iconic message is having an image represent something or having that image remind you of something else. Non-coded iconic message means to have an image not have any specific meaning but once text is placed along side he image, it gives it a certain meaning. Barthe also talks about Denotated and Connotated images. Denotated whos what's represented the literal image and the connotated is what's implied in the image. A lot of advertisements are shooting for "naturalness" by using photographs to show that it is more believable. Barthe uses the Panzani ad as an example of photo manipulation to have the image represent freshness by exaggerating the color of the tomatoes and the other foods. The composition of that advertisement and the form of the net with the products has the connation of it having a cornucopia style which represents being plentiful. The colors of red, yellow, and green occuring in the advertisment symbolizes the Italianicity of the product. Barthe ties in how semiotics is seen in popular culture.

Advertisement Analysis:
In this comical nivea hair care advertisement, it shows a dead woman showing only her skull half buried in the dirt and her long luscious hair being revealed above the dirt. The denotated in the image is the skull, dirt, and the long healthy looking hair. The connotated message shown in the image is how the skull represents death and the hair represent beauty and the condition of the hair shows that it is healthy. The dirt symbolizes the decay of the physical body. This advertisement is directing to women. They think that women are more inclined to care for their hair and care about beauty. So they used this ad to say how this nivea hair product can give your hair long-lasting health and beauty even after you die.

Personal Image Analysis:
This photograph shows my friends and I posing at a bus stop in Korea. The denotated content in this image are the group of asians sitting on a bench, map with asian language text, matress in the background, wet ground, group reading booklets. The connotated contents would be how the group of asians can seem to be friends because of how relatively close they're sitting from each other and how we're all sharing booklets. How we're posing can also determine how we're relating to one another for example, how me and the guy on the far right are both placing our hands on our chin as a sign of thinking or interest while looking at the booklets. The viewer can also assume that it is a light or fun read since one of the girls is smiling and pointing at the booklet. The viewer can also tell that it is a bus station by looking at he bench and the map above it. They could also assume that the location is in an asian country or a city that has a heavy asian culture influence because of the korean text on the map.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by hongt21 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:56 am

Response to Barth’s Article:

When you look at an image from an ad or any type of image, how do you perceive the message that is being conveyed within that specific image? According to Roland Barth’s article, “Rhetoric of the Image,” Barth discusses how images are broken down and interpreted from person to person. Barth also discusses a system of analyzing and breaking down an image by three different ideas. The first of which is a Linguistics message. The idea behind this message is that a person can be deceived or drawn to a totally different idea based off of the creator’s text on an image. The image maker could easily enforce his/her vision of the image and portray it onto the viewer, thus drawing the viewer into a different thought process. The second message discussed is the coded iconic message. The idea behind this message is based on specific ideas or symbols in an image that is particularly used for a purpose. For example Barth describes an ad and states, “A second sign is almost as obvious; its signifier is the congruence of the tomato, the pepper, and the tricolor (yellow, red, green) print of the ad; its signified is Italy, or rather Italianicity…” The reason behind this is that those specific colors for this ad represent the Italian culture relaying the message that this product is authentic. The last message discussed is a non-coded iconic message. This conveys the placement of the objects within an image. Literally the positioning and the layout of the subjects captured in the image.

Personal Image Analysis:
This is an image of a friend, taken at a fraternity's rush event in Isla Vista a few weeks ago. Depicted here is my friend DJing at the event with DJ equipment and an alcoholic beverage in clear sight. One who views this image would immediately notice the subject as a DJ who is doing what he is hired to do: play music that keeps any social event entertained and pumped. The subject has one hand focused on spinning a record and the other hand holding headphones up to his ears. Clearly, he is also smiling which allows the viewer to interpret that the subject is enjoying his work at an event. If we study the image in conjunction with Barth’s article, we can interpret that this image represents a social setting. The headphones, turntables, audio cables, mixer, can of beer, and the DJ are all representations of the non-coded iconic message. This is due primarily to the placement of the objects in relation to each other. Additionally, the linguistics message is practiced here through the use of texts such as "Technics" written on the turntable and "Bud Light" written on the beer can. These messages help the viewer to interpret and decipher the meaning of the image. Despite the concrete words of the image - "Technics" and "Bud Light" - the viewer can interpret this image as an advertisement for DJ equipment and/or alcoholic beverages.

Ad Image Analysis:
I chose an Axe Spray advertisement. In this advertisement, a viewer will find a man with an old beat-up car and an attractive woman in revealing clothing soaping his car. Above the subjects is a message that says, “Save on your axe. Save on car washing. New axe compact $ 2.50.” We can imply that the owner of the less-than-ideal car belongs to the man. Sitting directly in plain sight next to the car is a bottle of the Axe Spray. What viewers are persuaded into believing is that through the smart investment of buying the product advertised - Axe Spray, an attractive woman (who normally would not be attracted to you) would appear out of thin air in revealing clothing for the sole reason of washing your car. The linguistics message of this image implies that buying Axe Spray will save the consumer money as well as aiding in the consumer’s attractiveness. The coded iconic message for this image shows the “compact car” in reference to the “New Axe Compact” message. The two subjects in the image include a male and female. The male is shown pointing at a specific part of the car and staring at the female subject. The female is depicted in barely-there clothes, lathering and washing the male's car. These subjects working together allow us to perceive the idea that the woman is washing the man's car. The non-coded iconic message is depicting the subjects placement within the image that shows the effectiveness of the ad.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by BritRollins » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:38 am

Roland Barthes Rhetoric of the Image
In Barthes’ article on the rhetoric of the image he is attempting to lay out a formula that will allow viewers to break down images in order to interpret and analyze them properly and thoroughly. He structures his formula into three parts: the linguistic message, the coded iconic message, and the non-coded iconic image. The linguistic message is simple; it is the text or written language. The non-coded iconic message is the pure image where knowledge is somehow implanted by using an image that may be widespread. The non-coded message can be something that uses our general cultural knowledge. Lastly the coded iconic message can be seen for example in the cropping, reducing, or flattening of the image. All of these aspects, rather “messages”, in the image the artist or creator has the ability to manipulate. In response to Roland Barthes’ article, I believe that his idea about structuring the way we analyze an image is a good starting point but could be biased depending on who is the viewer. Although Barthes’ formula can produce a pretty good understanding of the message behind an image, it may not be entirely accurate. He uses the example of a pasta ad throughout the article and although he briefly mentions that the message to the viewer would be different depending on whether the audience was Italian or not, he acts rather nonchalantly to this. In my opinion it is a bigger deal, our cultural knowledge shapes the way we interpret everything.
social image
Social Photo Analysis

1. Linguistic message (written language/text):
Within the image there is no text but the title of the facebook album was “dress up”, this lends to the idea that you can get away with anything, like chugging from a cheap bag of wine, when it is something that is for pretend. Sort of like an alter ego is what I interpreted from this. Had the titled not been “dress up”, the audience may have thought that those were our normal clothes and normal actions. The concept of something that is pretend is present and it allows the viewers to see our actions as some sort of a play.
2. non-coded iconic message (pure image):
The non-coded iconic message is that it is two girls drinking alcohol. They are dressed in silly outfits so that may be because they are already drunk. Our general cultural knowledge tells us that the bag is a bag of wine because we have seen it before. Our cultural knowledge also says that our outfits are some kind of costumes because we do not normally see people wearing that type of clothing.
3. Coded iconic message:
I think the coded iconic message would be that we look as if what we are doing isn’t something that is generally thought to be bad, as if we are proud of ourselves. Also it could be that with cropping you cannot tell that we are actually in a sorority house, where drinking is strictly against the rules. So the fact that we are actually doing something very wrong is hidden pretty well.
community image
Community Image Analysis
1. Linguistic message:
The advertisement reads “in an absolut world”. It combines the name of the alcoholic beverage with a well known phrase making it seem like in a perfect world someone would want it to rain vodka (their vodka). The use of the word absolut instead of absolute allows for the audience to assume that the ice trays are filled with vodka ice cubes, even though alcohol doesn’t freeze, our mind lets us forget that.
2. Non-coded iconic message:
The non-coded message is the pure image of a man’s arms cracking an ice tray over an image of Earth. From what the viewer learns from popular culture they automatically assume that the mans arm’s are God’s arms (or some sort of a higher power).
3. coded iconic message:
The coded message is that the vodka company is attempting to persuade the viewer to believe that the ideal is to have alcohol poured on you, as if it is something that everyone wants. Also the parallel between God and alcohol (which is usually considered something that is sinful) is interesting a definitely something that is a coded message.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by rzant » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:11 am

Barthes Article

In the opening of the article, Barthes states the fact that the “image is somehow the limit of meaning” because the extent of language and “other signification cannot exhaust the ineffable wealth of the image”. Throughout the article, he explains the different ways in which the various messages contained within an image can be conceptualized. All of these messages are “discontinuous”, however, and also affect the other messages contained within the image if tweaked or changed in the slightest way. Thus, although a handful of autonomous messages may be present within the image, it is necessary to consider all of the messages as a conjoined force in order to arrive at the most accurate and comprehensive meaning of the image as a whole.
One interesting idea that I thought Barthes put forth was compiling a “massive inventory of connotation systems”. He ultimately admits that such a system would fail to function if it were to operate under the limits of human language. It would be a fascinating phenomenon if we were to somehow develop a universal code outside of the codes of human language. Barthes’ hypothetical idea posits that such a system would help to facilitate the dialogue and understanding of an image and its meanings. However, I think that this system would do more: it would function as a worldwide language that would help bridge cultural divides and facilitate communications between different groups. This system, however, would do more than merely translate words: it would convey the deeper meanings embedded within different modes of human thought.
However, it is ironic that, as of now, the only such universal system I can conceive is one of images. This is why the image is such a paradox and such a phenomenon. It is the only ‘language’ whereby meaning may be carried across boundaries and understood by a broad range of people without a need for extensive explanation in many cases. Undoubtedly, an image of a smiling face carries a similar meaning worldwide. This is not to say that there may be cultural discrepancies regarding other, more complex images, but I feel that I agree with Barthes, that the image is almost a higher order of communication and that “men ‘decline’ in the shelter of their living speech”. The image contains something that cannot be explained or conceptualized scientifically, which is its triumph and its downfall: it carries meaning on a different level, one which cannot be concretely described, and thus, one that cannot be proven falsifiable.


Advertising Image

This is an advertisement from Amnesty International. It includes a shirtless man wearing an Olympic-style medal around his neck, accompanied by a textual element. The text reads, “The unofficial world record in staying awake probably belongs to a prisoner in an Iraqi or Afghan Prison. The prisoners are exposed to the so called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ by American soldiers. These techniques include ‘sleep management’ where the victim is kept awake for several days at a time”. Below, in slightly larger and bolder text is written, “It’s torture no matter what George Bush calls it”. Both of these pieces of text constitute the linguistic message of the ad. Because of the references to Bush, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the viewer is prompted to think about the U.S. and their two ongoing wars with each respective country (‘anchoring’, according to Barthes). Accurate reception of this message requires, of course, knowledge of the English language, along with cultural knowledge relating to current affairs: the US-Iraq war, the US-Afghanistan war, the man who declared these wars (Bush), and the controversies regarding treatment of prisoners by American soldiers.
Cultural knowledge is also needed in order to interpret the coded iconic message, which consists of the pure image. The man is wearing a medal around his neck, which the viewer may understand is a prize given to athletes who have best completed a physical task, or to individuals who have completed an amazing feat. This signifier allows the viewer to qualify this man as the prisoner referred to in the text, who has set a record for staying awake the longest. Also, because he appears to be of Middle Eastern descent, we are further led to believe that this man is an Iraqi/Afghan prisoner that has been tortured by American soldiers. As a connoted message, this man symbolizes the injustices and atrocities that have been committed by American soldiers against powerless prisoners. This powerful connoted message may also represent a plea for help from the viewer in order to fight against such issues by supporting Amnesty International.
The non-coded iconic message in this ad includes the tired looking man facing the camera. His exhausted expression, accentuated by the wrinkles under his eyes, further suggests that he is the prisoner referred to in the text. Although this denoted message is only a literal interpretation, it helps to strengthen the other messages contained within the ad.


Personal Image Analysis

This is an image of a group of little kids surrounding a table and eating food. The non-coded iconic messages here include the children themselves, the food they are eating (pizza), the table, the tablecloth, the plates and cups, their clothing, the expressions on their faces, and the surrounding setting. All of these elements combine to support the coded iconic message. The primary connoted message is the gathering of nine 8 year olds. As this does not occur very often, one may presume that the event being photographed is a special occasion. This special occasion is also marked by the appearance of pizza (a hallmark special-occasion food), a decorated tablecloth with matching cups and plates, and a pitcher of soda in the middle. The cups and paper plates, which are X-Men themed, help to indicate the interests of the children. Also, there is a portion of an adult in the frame, indicating that this party will not get too out of control, as there is adequate adult supervision. Additionally, the clothing that the kids are wearing alludes to the time period in which the photograph was taken. Due to the strong presence of Mighty Duck gear, it is evident that the year was somewhere between 1993 and 2006 (as the Ducks were sold to Disney and changed their logos in 2007). However, the quality of the photo along with the faint orange ‘95’ in the corner tells us that the year was 1995. The only linguistic messages within the image are “Ducks” on the boy’s sweatshirt, the “CDM” on the other boy’s hat, and the “X-Men” written on the tablecloth. As stated previously, the “Ducks” helps allude to time period in which the photo was taken. The “CDM” most likely refers to Corona Del Mar, CA, which is an area near where this party took place, and thus informs the viewer of geographic location. The “X-Men” on the tablecloth helps point towards the fact that this gathering was a special occasion. All together, these non-coded, coded, and linguistic messages combine and reference the fact that this photo was taken of an 8 year-year-old’s birthday party.
bday party.jpg

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by annab » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:31 am

In Barthe's Rhetoric of the Image, he describes that an image communicates to the viewer in three distinctive parts. The three parts he defines as linguistic, denoted, and connoted. The parts interact with each other constantly, but the messages they imply are all different. Linguistic quality of an image is when the written language or the suggestion of written language is given. It is basically used to describe the image itself, pointing out how the viewer should be seeing and also suggesting how the viewer should react. It works with the denoted quality of the image in that the text would not have the desired effect, if any, without the physical image. The denoted quality is the literal objects on the image, however it serves to direct the viewer's eye or rather, limits the viewer's eye completely by showing only the intended parts. As the linguistic quality manipulates how the viewer should see or where, the denoted quality is the range. The connoted quality is the cultural references and implied messages in which an image takes on more than what is literally said. Of course the interaction of each part is more important than if they were isolated, as the moment the image is seen all three kinds of implications effect the viewer at the same time. Thus, Barthes implies that the different parts are just the generalization in which we take the time to look at an image to digest it.


This image has my sister who is wearing an adidas shirt with her hair tied in a ponytail. The linguistic quality is the adidas shirt and the repetition in the image of "dance marathon". The repetition of "dance marathon" defines the event involving some sort of dance. The adidas reinforces the idea as a dance event since it is a very active and physical activity. The denoted quality of the image can be described as several people in a photo who are walking or standing about. This too reinforces that this is an event, and thus implies that these people are gathered with similar interests. The connoted quality of the image can be seen by the recognizable symbols such as the "check" arm band that represents the Nike brand, which being in an urban area in California, it is easily recognized. The adidas writing also has its symbol, thereby reinforcing the legitimacy of the brand on the shirt as well as advertising specifically to the company adidas to anyone who sees it.


In this advertisement, it promotes it alcohol brand by communicating to the viewer denoted quality that there is only one visible object and that is the Jim Beam Black whiskey. It has a black background that, at a connoted level, implies a seriousness or even a mystery that also relates it to the text at the bottom, which is also black. "The stuff inside matters most" falls below the object so the eyes are drawn above to the bottom. Helvetica is a style of typing that is known for being visually simple but bold. As such, the phrase used serves as an "end sequence", saying that the object matters most. Period. As implied prior, the language plays a major role to this ad, because it is essentially very simple. The text is lined up with the image so that the eyes into the center. It also serves to legitimize the claim that the alcohol shown is the best with a statistical analysis showing it as the best than those listed (though there is no actual proof, it is the fact that the viewer is made to think that way.) We know this as it has a higher numerical value with the word "rating" above it, as well as the name in bold, upholding the idea that it is particularly special. At a denoted level, everything is essentially alined to the bottle, and the black background serves to isolate the bottle with the bottle's face forward, suggesting that this bottle "is the one for you" as it is communicating directly to the viewer.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by danecsmith » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:12 pm

In Barthes article there are three characteristics of an advertisement image that he is explaining. The first characteristic of of this type of image is the linguistic message. This is normally words, or a symbol that allows the viewer to relate with the overall intention of the product being sold. He explains that since images have been produced, they have related closely to text. In fact, it is even rare to see an image that does not have some type of contextual support. He also explains that the text within an image can have two different meanings. One being that the text merely supports whatever the message is presented by the image. The second is that text can ad upon, or bring new information to fully relay the message of the image. The second characteristic of an advertisement image is the denoted image. This is literally and simply what the image is composed of. With no cultural or political connotations are associated with this aspect. It is merely what the is the image of. This is something that can be named. In the Barthes article such an example would be that we can see the bag is overflowing. The tomatoes and vegetables are spilling out. We know what tomatoes are, we know what a bag is, we know what the color of the background is. The denoted image is something that we can place a name upon. The third characteristic is the coded message. This is what the image is suggesting to the viewer, in order to instill a particular notion concerning the product being sold. In the case of Barthes article it was the complete dinner. They have the parmesan, the pasta sauce, and the noodles. It instills a sense of comfort, health, easiness, and almost necessity. Although the ad is selling canned and bagged goods, the fresh tomatoes and onions and peppers all add to this illusion of freshness.

Personal Image
This is an image of a party that I was at during this past summer. There is no real linguistic message within the image unless you know what a Bud Light can looks like, and can clearly decipher that the cans in the foreground are so. The denotation of the image is that I am sitting on a bench with three girls, and I am looking down to the left. There are some beers in the foreground and tropical trees in the background. I have my shirt zipped down, and the two girls to my right are in skimpy outfits. We can also see that although one girl is actually smiling, the other two are making weird faces. The partial arm and leg of a man is also seen of the far left of the image. It is clear that we are at a social gathering of some sort. The connotation of this image however, is that I am looking at the girl on the far rights butt as she is leaning forward. The angle at which the image was taken and the particular time that it was taken infers a slightly sexual act on my part. Adding to this notion of sexuality on my behalf is the clothing worn by the other two women and the alcohol in the foreground. I also have a more focused expression, while the other girls have a more joyous one. In all reality, she had sat a beer behind her for the picture her friend was taking, and as she leaned forward it started to spill. With my cat like reflexes I of course looked over, just in time to watch it fall on her back. At first look you would just think I’m some pervert trying to check out a girls ass. My hand also helps to ad to this illusion because it is placed very near to her lower back.

Ad Image
This is an ad for Camel cigarettes. The linguistics of the image are represented clearly with the words Camel on the box, and the Camel cigarette logo. Notice how the lettering used for “Camel” has a slight calligraphic nature to it, lending notion towards the exoticness of the cigarettes. The text within this advertisement is placed offers the viewer and potential buyer new information concerning the backing of this product. Then we can look at the symbol Camel has decided to use. It is that of a camel. This again leads us to an image of the orient, and it is also something tangible. It is a “nameable” object. Furthermore, the only word in white that can be deciphered is, Turkish. Thus associating us with the country of Turkey and its domestic blend. The main colors of the ad are black and white. The strong contradiction between these two colors, allows for the advertisement to literally pop off the page. The denotation of the image is that it is a box of cigarettes. As we look at this advertisement, the most noticeable color is pink, which plays with the color black nicely. We can see that the Camel is written on top of everything else, and taking up the largest space for text. The company’s name is in white and pink, contradicting the cold black. Looking further we can see that this advertisement has been placed in a women's magazine. The connotation within the image is that not only are these safe for you, they are also fun and girl and pink. The color pink is also prevalent on the page next to the ad, adding more so to the idea of femininity; as well as comfort, reliability, and sexiness. What do girls like more than pink. The harmony between the two pages of this generally female magazine alludes to a false sense of comfort and necessity.
Last edited by danecsmith on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by klmurphy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:36 pm

Roland Barthes three levels of interpretation being: linguistic messages, coded iconic messages, and non-coded iconic images clearly simplify the process by which the viewer takes in an image and what it means to the viewer whether knowingly or not.

My first selected image from (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/pictures/2 ... -21240438/)

After reading about Roland Barthes three levels of interpretation, I notice in this photo, which is seemingly nothing, but a documentary news photo, all of the three levels of interpretation are included. The linguistic message is non-existent inside the actual image, although the sub heading of the image is “(President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are greeted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carol Sarkozy upon their arrival at to Palais Rohan in Strasbourg, France)”. When viewing this image the text included below goes with it and makes it a subdued linguistic message.
The second level of interpretation included in this documentary photo is the non-coded imagery. The staircase behind the couples signifies the new journey, or relationship they are continuing to take part in. The flags on the side of the staircase symbolize that it is more than the couples but the countries that are peaceful and working together. With the Obamas on the left hand side of the picture, they are standing in front of the U.S flag signifying that they are the representatives of our country. Which the Sarkozy’s are doing for France.
The third interpretation is regarding coded messages. In this image the coded messages or anthropological knowledge is the appearance that our leaders are standing in the middle with flags. The carpet is red and they are posing for a photograph.
In my second chosen documentary photo from my library I chose a photo of my brother and I skiing. This photo differs from the news photo because of the personal meaning it has to me. This image also contains Roland Barthes three level of interpretation even though it is not a news related image.
The first level of interpretation present in my personal photo is evident and blatantly displayed; the linguistic message of ‘SUCCESS’ is the center of the photo. The arrow underneath the text points to the left side of the image signifying that by following that path you will come upon success. This text makes this image more complex than if the photo were accompanied by no text.
The second level of interpretation present in this photo is the non-coded information. The non-coded information I came to realize was the color of the sign, green. Most often success is closely associated with money. Money being green links the green sign with it. Not only the green background of the sign plays into the non-coded interpretation but the green trees encompassing both my brother and I plays into the ‘money doesn’t grow on tree’s saying’. In addition the significance of the photo being with my brother could possibly signify that we will be successful together, maybe we will go into business etc.
The third level of interpretation present is regarding the coded messages. The coded messages are that we are on a mountain, which you can assume by the view in the background. Another message is that it is wintertime judging by our dress. Another coded message is that we are related or know each other somehow based off the fact that we are side by side and have our arms around each other.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by tcecchine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:45 pm

In the Barthes Article, I found it interesting that all the tiniest variables of an image are the most important. As discussed there are several elements that contain real importance. The coloring, placement of the subjects, angles created, message of the content, both the denotation and connotation. The viewer has to know that all of these things are present in order to understand images. It is a difficult task to view an image and know if what is being seen is the truth, as we have seen in several examples images can tell a story that does not exist. The three specific types of messages addressed in the article were the coded and uncoded messages, and the linguistic message. There are several ways that the viewer can identify these different elements and use them to read the image.

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Re: 2. Barthes Project

Post by tcecchine » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:04 pm

The Advertisement image
This image is an explicit example of sexual messages being seen through ads. The image is of a bottle, surrounded by curves, and these curves happen to be very similar to the form of the female body and the bottle appears to be surfacing out from the figures genital areas. The colors are very bright and attractive and it causes the eyes to wander all along them, up and down the image. This also causes the viewer to see the alcoholic beverage but also to let their mind wander on what the curves on the images are creating.


The Social Image
This picture is of me during high school, at the beach, i'm not sure when or what was happening. I think the picture was meant to be of just the sunset, but i happened to be in the way. There is no real text to read, except perhaps the lifeguard sign, which indicates that someone was watching what was happening there, on the beach. The environment, by the clothes, and sun, says its probably hot outside, and the fact the persons face is sunburnt red, indicates they have most likel ybeen there for awhile, and the tiredness is setting in.
misc. evrything senior year 359.JPG
barthes 2.jpg
barthes 2.jpg (3.55 KiB) Viewed 7591 times
Last edited by tcecchine on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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