Mr. Charles brought up the subject “Visual Semiotics” in Week 5 and must I admit, I felt my brain cells failing on me like “yup you’re done for bye”.




It is the study of signs and symbols, including meaning-making. The term may seem new to many people (like me) but mind you, it has been present since the prehistoric era and mankind could not interact with the languages we speak today. Instead, they communicated through signs (e.g human behaviour) and symbols (e.g a drawing of an object). Below are photos as an example.


According to a Swiss linguist, Ferdinand de Saussure, a sign/symbol is produced when the signified (fact) and signifier (connotation) are fused together. For instance, the signified is a dog, and the signifier is the bark (sound) of a dog. I guess this system, created by Ferdinand de Saussure, is utilised when language is restricted. Other than de Saussure, a philosopher called Charles Sanders Pierce extended this hypothesis. He also believed that semiology is interpretive. They include denotation and connotation. Let’s take GLASSES as an example of a denotation. Its’ connotation would be INTELLIGENCE.


Denotation: Physical               

Connotation: The thought behind it/ impression


“Hopefully, this complicated subject is comprehended in the simplest way. To get into the depths of semiology, I suggest reading on Gestalt Theory of Visual Perception. It is indeed an interesting topic if you think about it.”



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