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You are now viewing Project Diary > Week07 - Semiotics
Week commencing 7th March

There are various words that can be used in explaining what Semiotics is - the science of communication; a system of signs; the study of signs and symbols; abstract messages and so on. Whether we realise it or not, everyday most people practice Semiotics; the power of the messages that our images convey. Quite "simply", Semiotics is the relationship between images and their meaning.

Semiotics + Major Project = ?
Why might I be addressing the issue of Semiotics in my Major Project? Until recently my thoughts on the subject of "Semiotics" were a bit sketchy, but I now realise the importance of it and how my major project could benefit from discussing this topic.

Since I intend on relying more on imagery that textual information for my student survival guide, I will need to make sure that I put across the right type of message and one that will interest the target group, especially if they switch-on to the website when they are half-cut after mid-night from a good night out!

We have all heard of the saying that "a picture is worth 1000 words" and in this project, I am going to let the images do most of the talking. I don't think many students will want to open up a website and just start reading a ream of text. Personally, I never read user manuals for any product I purchase, unless I really need to if stuck, so I shall apply this same theoretical approach to my major project.

Are there any downsides?
Hell yes! There are always buts & ifs and downsides to good things in life, or in this case, Semiotics. Whilst I shall rely mostly on imagery to populate my project website with content, I must be careful not to create any misunderstandings in the meaning of those images used.

I don't intend on taking photographs and just "throw" them into my project site. That's just boring! My intention is to use various slogans to add a touch of humour to an otherwise serious piece of information.

Above and below, I have included some of the leaflets I have collected since semester 1, such as those designed for Northern Ireland Railways which already employ a range of funky styling, trendy fonts and bright colours, created with students specifically in mind.

From looking at the image above left, you pretty much get an idea of the message being put across without having to read the caption. The message is obviously about a male and female who meet up. The male, Mr Sperm, is looking to get jiggy with the female, Miss Egg. The important message is NO means exactly that! You have to admit, whilst the image has a serious message behind it, it does employ humorous and great use of Semiotics (my favourite word for this week).

The caption which reads "Talk to the hand 'cause the egg ain't lis'nin!" is straight to the point and backs up the imagery behind the message. This is all done with "student spake".

The Bigots' Beer image, need I say more? One thing I will point out is that this "message" was printed on both sides of a beer mat and an extremely ingenious way of community relations awareness. I'm sure many people could come up with various messages meaning the same thing. Perhaps why not be friends and go for a pint!
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