Semiotics: Recognising meaning, and creating meaning

I thought I would reflect on the differences between signifiers and signified, objects and signs in order to gain a better understanding, Although iv spoken about this before it was very long winded so I thought id create a more simplified version which is structured so it can have a clear definition of the differences between each and what each actually are. So, here are my definitions of each!

  • Signified –  This is the physical object which is giving a message for example..

nosmokeLIFE-SYMBOLS-fish-300x176 Pokemon symbols

Each of these symbols have a meaning behind them, from left to right these are: No smoking, Christanity, Pokemon type symbols.

  • Signifier – This is the actual meaning and the reasoning for a signifer, for example..


There can be more then one variation of a signifier, for example a heart doesn’t have to just mean love, it can also mean passion. Another example could be a can of coke, this doesn’t simply mean a beverage, it could signify thirst. Each of these signify a different meaning, but with just seeing the image we know what it relates to. This is why logo’s are so effective when applying both signifiers and signified as by simply seeing a particular symbol or even colour can remind you of a company, so applying this effectively is just a basic mechanic to good marketing.

What I like in particular in regards to semiotics is the use of colour and how it can be used effectively; colour can really make a difference when designing a logo as it leads to how people will interpritate that business at first glance.

In the sphere of marketing and advertising, brand identity is the visual essence of a business or organization. Visual identity is often highly correlated with color through symbolism. The chosen color, in consort with other aspects of the design, has the potential to project the entire flavor of the organization to the world. –

If you would like to read more within semiotics, then please check out my other blog post

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