Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Semiotic (signifier and signified)


According to Saussure, he divided the sign into two components: the signifier and the signified. The signifier is a form which the sign takes or something that can be touched, seen, and so on and the signified is the concept it represents. Saussure suggested that the sign must have both a signifier and a signified. It means the sign is a combination of these two components.

For example, man and woman wear rings mean they are got married which is signifier; however, the rings also suggest their relationship, eternal love, and togetherness which are signified. Furthermore, in advertising industry also uses signs with words and images in order to reveal what they are doing or what the organizations are like. In the film Coming to America, Prince Akeem works at local restaurant called McDowell’s which use alphabet M (attempt to replica McDonald’s) to represent their business. Alphabet M is signifier, and also represented the name of restaurant, family business, and advertisement.

Another example is the perfume advertising that focuses on teenagers (advertisement above). It applied pink to be main character: perfume, clothes, and lip are signifier, but pink also represents beauty, love, sexiness, calm feeling, relaxation, and acceptance. Therefore, Miss Dior Cherie presents its sexiness and beauty by using dark and light pink.

Let’s look at the signs and interpret them, you will find that there are meanings in themselves that you never notice before.

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