When first coming across this image with my tutorial group I started questioning what its purpose was. I wondered whether or not its focus was air pollution, deforestation, or the effects smoking has on the human body as well as the environment – but then I thought, “Why can’t its focus be all of the above?” With closer inspection I began to realise that the ‘signified’ is completely open for interpretation as there are many different mental concepts in which could be had.
When staring at this advertisement I was actually really intrigued as to how this one image (the signifier) can have a different impact on many different people, as well as how this one image can mean (the signified) so many different things to others. I could easily type an entire post on how this image is completely about deforestation and its impacts on all living organisms, which was my first connotation – but would this statement be correct? Would my idea of the concept being conveyed be the same for others? No, it wouldn’t; because the signifier can have many different concepts than just the one indicated by myself.
When looking at this image I found it quite difficult to decipher the denotation of the image yet found myself overflowing with connotations – but I now realise that the image denotes the consequences that come hand in hand with deforestation.
I struggled to favour one idea over the others, which just goes to prove that all these different ideas and concepts can still be conflicted within even just one person, and that not one idea is more right than the others. The great thing I found with similar images is that there is never just one idea behind an image or text and that they are largely open for interpretation.
After many hours of internal conflict I’d decided that my connotation of the image is the consequences had on all living things, humans and animals in particular, when deforestation is put in place; but as I said before, the fantastic thing about semiotics is that everything is open for interpretation.
I guess what I took from the lecture/tutorial is that not everything has one correct idea/meaning behind it, and everyone’s ideas will be different.

When looking further into the ‘signifier’ and ‘signified’ I came across a few great sites on the different ideas of ‘signs’ (semiotics)

  • t.r


Image from:


One thought on “Semiotics

  1. Hey Taleasha!

    I really liked the image that you found to look at, I had the same thought process as you in that I could see different interpretations of the image. I think that people’s experiences and feelings will determine how they interpret an image differently to someone else. I also think that in order to improve this post you could’ve focused more on a breakdown of the image, and looked at what the different parts of the image could be signifying rather than just focusing on what the main interpretation of the image is. Apart from that I thought it was a very well written post, good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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