Research Post 3


Semiotics refer to symbols, signification and signs. When thoughts and actions are communicated visually into sings and symbols, we use our unconscious cultural knowledge to create meaning.

Our mind creates meaning or a background into what we are being shown, it how that meaning is conveyed and our ability to interpret cultural messages and conventions. Signs and symbols can mean different things in different cultural settings and contexts. For example a thumbs up as a general term can mean ‘okay’ whereas if it were seen at the side of the road it would mean they want to hitch a ride. (example taken from

Other terminology used in association with semiotics:

“The explicit or direct meaning or set of meanings of a word or expression, as distinguished from the ideas or meanings associated with it or suggested by it; the association or set of associations that word usually elicits for most speakers of a language, as distinguished from those elicited for any individual speaker because of personal experience.”

“1. The associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression in addition to its explicit or primary meaning: A possible connotation of “home” is “a place of warmth, comfort, and affection.”
“2. The act of connoting ; the suggesting of an additional meaning for word or expression, apart from its explicit meaning.”


An example of semiotics. The male and female figures automatically indicate ‘restroom’ or ‘toilets’.

Semiotics are important for my assignment as I am trying to bring meaning to an image I am creating and relate it to an article. In my image I will be using a few distinctive symbols such as the tree to signify nature and a hand to signify the human touch.

Sites used:

definitions from:


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