The student is asked to read ‘Rhetoric o the Image’ by Roland Barthes, whose essay contains an analysis of an image through semiotic analysis: quantifying how meaning is constructed and/or how a message is communicated.
Barthes describes the two levels of meaning as sign and myth; where the sign is comprised of a signifier and the signified. Myth is the level of meaning where the viewers own experience and knowledge is taken into account when they read the image.
The student is then asked to find an advert and identify the signifiers and the signified using Barthes method.
After collecting and reviewing a number of adverts I chose ‘Trails’ by Adidas.
|Freedom, wilderness, open and fresh air, no barriers or rules.|
|Runner||Individual, health, happiness, self-reliance, healthy living, the pursuit of health and happiness. Excitement.|
|Mud Trail||Non-urban, create your own path|
|Running shoe with deep grips||The wearer will not slip or fall. Can go anywhere. 4×4 all terrain.|
Being dyslexic and having visual difficulties meant that reading Barthes essay was almost impossible. It took a few days just to plough through the text before having to sit down and construct an understanding of what Barthes was trying to communicate.