Today’s asynchronous class
• I enjoyed your GoAnimate animation very much! ^^
• Let’s start with this hilarious animation.
– (by Jennifer)
• Besides GoAnimate, there are similar tools (Katherine
shared these)
– Devolver
– Tellagmi
Also check these interesting
optical illusion examples
k (Heather C.)
(Heather B.)
• Let’s move to today’s topic, Semiotics,
study of signs. You already read(or will
read) the article about symbols, so I hope it
is not too hard to understand this topic.
(From Tufte, Edward. R. (2001). The Visual Display of Quantitative
Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press)
Communication model
Shannon and Weaver’s Model of Communication (1949)
Information Message
Anything that's added to the signal between
transmission and reception that's not
intended by the source.
Noise source could cause misunderstanding in communication.
For example, Jung’s accent could be noise  that confuse your understanding. Anything else
you can think of as examples of noise? Write here.
What about the noise or our inner voice that we hear. Sometimes our inner voice deters or
translates what we hear and the full message a person is trying to communicate.
Communication model
Schramm’s Model of Communication (1954)
Sender’s Field of Experience
Receiver’s Field of Experience
Imagine that there is no overlap between purple circle and blue circle.
1. What does that mean? Explain it.
If there was no code there would be no overlap therefore the sender would not
transmit to the receiver.
2. What would happen in communication? I suppose there wouldn’t be any
communication. You wouldn’t be able to connect.
A Code
• A set of signs which carry meaning
• A set of agreed rules for combining those signs
• Examples:
– Language
• Vocabularies
• Grammar
– Body language
• Bodily contact, Proximity, Posture, Head nodes, Facial expression,
– Film
• Different camera shots, camera movements, lights, etc.
A Sign
• Charles Sanders Peirce (1931-58)
“Nothing is a sign unless it is interpreted as a
• Must be learned
Semiotics (Ferdinand de Saussure)
• The study (science, analysis) of signs
What is this sign telling you?
State here.
• Stop if you are
dressed casually.
• Proceed if you are
• I’m assuming this is
a church and proper
attire is needed.
What is this sign telling you
(found from Louvre Museum)?
State here.
• No pictures.
• No touch.
• No talk.
What is this telling you? Describe here.
No half-naked tourists allowed, only fully dressed tourists are
acceptable. =)
Guess where I found (or you would
find) this sign?
• In a cave of some sort or in a
place that gets lots of snow and
has icicles.
What do you think it says?
① .No patting the monkey.
② .No making eye contact
with the monkey
③ .No chasing after the monkey.
④ .No handing the monkey
any objects.
⑤ .No giving food to the monkey.
Did you find something wrong in
this sign? (I found this direction
sign in a wedding hall in Japan)
There are a number of different
types of rooms listed. Are they all
the same place? Also the type
setting is different and then there
is different languages going on.
Very confusing.
Semiotics (Ferdinand de Saussure)
• The study (science, analysis) of signs
• The viewer must understand the meaning of
the sign.
Sound, Image, Word, Gesture, etc.
Idea, Concept
I was thinking about “home” (Signified), then
put this picture, or spell “home”
Your signifier of HOME
• Think about “home” (signified: your
abstract thought, idea, concept), then, put
the signifier of “ your home” here.
Review: Sign
• Your signifier of “home” is not the same as mine
because of your signified. A signified and a
signifier makes a sign. Again, a sign is made of
the signifier AND the signified.
• Therefore, think about the signified whenever you
see a sign.
3 Types of Signs: Icons
1. Icons
• Present qualitative characteristics
– Physical resembles what it stands for
– Some words
Any Example? (think about words resembling the original sound;
also called onomatopoeic words)
Meow, oink, chirp
3 Types of Signs: Symbols
2. Symbols
Mostly words
Arbitrary relationship
Must be learned
Non-word Symbols:
Bald eagle for USA
Traffic lights
National Flag
3 Types of Signs: Indexes
3. Indexes
Physically linked
Or based on cause and effect relationships
Smoke is an index of 'fire'.
natural signs: smoke, thunder, footprints
medical symptoms: pain, a rash, pulse-rate
measuring instruments: thermometer, clock,
• What do you think about this title? State here.
• I think it’s the heavy metal version of Sound of
Music. So I guess they traded the live orchestra
for some electric bass and guitar.
If you did not like the typography of
Sound of Music, in the previous slide,
how would you change it? Post it here
Sound of Music
Design a sign
• Avoid too much details
• Consider main function, relations,
• Your task: Design your own visual symbol
(no words) sending this message in the next
Do not text
Your visual sign for
“Do not text!”
Semiotics and advertising
• Go to this site and start by click “here for the
basic tutorial”
• After going through some slides, click “click
here to continue” and keep going.
• Very interesting slides ^_^
Why do we care about semiotics?
What is the application of semiotics in our life? Write down
at least one specific example. (yes, you can search Internet for
this answer.)
Semiotics are just signs and symbols but not “things”
themselves. However in our society we have linked a number
of the signs to various things such as mascultinity, feminity,
wealth, etc. Therefore semiotics plays a huge role in our
environment and culture through the media and
What attributes will you add to
make this car more like a family
car or luxury car. Go to the next
What you would add to advertise this car is a family car?
Draw, insert clip arts, OR write
What you would do to advertise this car is a luxury car?
Draw, insert clip art, OR write
Thank you very much!! ^^
• Upload this ppt into BB, and this is it for today’s asynchronous session.
• Please work on your final project (Visual tutorial).
– If you see the syllabus, a storyboard is 5 points of the final project. What is
it? Whenever you work on a project, you need a blueprint (outline,
storyboard, etc.) before developing it. The more detailed storyboard you
develop, the more time and work you can save. As a teacher, I bet you
would tell the same thing to your students before they jump in working on
the actual project. So I need to see any form of your storyborad. You can
use Word document, sticky notes on a big pager, or print out Powerpoint 3
page slide sheets (with squares on the leftside and lines on the right side), or
whatever (if you google “storyboard”, you can find many templates) to
develop your final project story. Show me a proof that you have a
storyboard. Yes, you can take pictures of your storyboard and submit with
the final project.
• Again, you have an option of NOT posting one of visual journals.