The Functional Role of the Myth in the Systems of Representation

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The image selected are graphical logos of two different companies, one named Audi (a motorcar manufacturer) and the other being Amazon (an online retailer).

Audi’s denotative meaning showcases the rings as a reflective silver and set on a black background, the negative space around the logo provides an interesting design to match the logo, all the attention and dominance is placed on the rings. The rings have a smooth texture as well as the background. The composition of the rings are set together on a straight line with the four rings placed one next to another interlocked and all of them being the same size. The logos signifiers to disassociate it from its denotative meaning are the colors and rings interlocking to one another. The manufacturers’ logo signifiers shows four Auto Unions forming an association, the 1st ring being Audi, 2nd DKW, 3rd Horch and 4th being Wanderer (Car logos, All Car Brands 2018). This can be looked at as the connotative meaning of the sign as well as provide meaning to the meaning to the meaning of the logo. The logo without text can be referred to Stuart Hall as the constructionist approach Stuart Hall (1997:25) “it is not the material world that conveys meaning, it is the system in which we use it”.

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The ability for people to look at the Audi logo and associate it with the manufacturer is one of the representations Stuart Hall gives. But to further associate the connotative meaning of the logo with Audi as a manufacturer, Stuart Hall explains how the reflective approach is used to give meaning to the items people can see and touch (1997:24). The images wider cultural message or theme is that Audi is a car manufacturer that will last, circles are naturally synonymous with things living forever and or represent a cycle, these rings are repeating four cycles representing that the manufacturer will last four eternal cycles. This can be referred to Barthes interpretation of Myth in Stuart Halls reading (1997:39) Barthes (in Cultural Representation and signifying practices 1997:39) “First the signifiers (the elements of the image) and the signifieds (the concept) unite to form a sign with a simple denoted message”. All car brands. 2018. Car logos.

The second image selected is the Amazon logo. This logo consists of two primary colors, black (within the text), a white background and an orange like curved arrow underneath the text whilst Amazon is spelt across the page straight. The entire logo has a smooth texture with a smooth text that flows into the arrow. Its denotative meaning refers to the Amazon jungle located in Southern America which is a vast piece of large uninhabited land which is difficult to maneuver through. The logo signifiers to disassociate it with its denotative meaning are the color as well as the typeface chosen. The Amazon is green and made up of vegetation. Therefore the colors used in the logo do not reflect this meaning in as much as the word is linked to with the physical thing it only promotes the existence of it but does not mean its referring to the actual thing. The denotative representation of the logo can be looked at Stuart Halls intentional approach, “meaning given through language” (1997:25). The connotations of the logo are that Amazon the retailer is able to deliver anything someone wants regardless of where the consumer may be. The curved arrow starts from the A and ends at Z, this is to interpret that they have every kind of product a consumer is looking for also they are able to deliver anywhere no matter how difficult to the delivery is. The signifiers of this is ones understanding of the harsh terrain of the Amazon has, this can be associated with the text written across. As well as the deliverer from one point to another which is the arrow (History of the Amazon 2018).

The images wider cultural message or theme is that the Amazon is difficult to navigate and so is delivering things order by people on the internet but both are possible to do. Barthes (in Cultural Representation and signifying practices 1997:39) gives an example of how the image of a boy black boy in soldier uniform with a French flag can translate to “French imperiality and militariness”. This causes for a change in meaning from the signifiers and to what is signified and how people view things and how meaning is fixed to things plays an important role in understanding a message being communicated.

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