Summary of Daniel Chandler's "Semiotics for Beginners", And Beverly Zimmerman's "A Rhetorical Approach to Understanding Images in the New 'Visual Age'"

Essay by straight_goodsCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2006

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Daniel Chandler tells us that a sign consists of two parts: the signifier and the signified. The signifier is the form that the sign takes, and the signified is a reaction of the signifier. For example: if the signifier is a symbol, then the signified could be a concept in the mind pertaining to that symbol.

Knowing that there are tens of thousands of different types of signs. Charles Pierce categorized them into 3 modes. The symbolic mode is one where the signifier is not directly related to the signified, and so the signified must be learned in order for the sign to work. The iconic mode is one where the signifier resembles the signified. The indexical mode is one where the signifier is directly connected to the signified.

One similarity of these two articles is the use of the sign in daily life. Chandler gave us age-old definitions and examples of the sign, and Beverly Zimmerman shows us how the sign is integrated into our technological, and visual age.

Chandler gives Saussure's more bland definitions of a sign, where Zimmerman tells us Lester's intricate perspectives to understanding images and WebPages.

Technology allows us to do some pretty cool stuff with words and images on the www. However, as the web is expanding, the quality of content is going down. Lester believes that these six analytical perspectives can help us create more meaningful and better quality images.

Personal Perspective refers to the initial opinion that you form when you first view the page. To form an opinion solely on this perspective would make it impossible to see the page in a meaningful way. Historical Perspective uses the history of the medium to form an opinion on the image. Technical Perspective looks at how the image was created, what...