Mercedes-Benz is a luxury car manufacturer that is noted for ‘publishing the first ever automobile advertisement for the patented motor car in 1888’.  Benz believed in ‘business recommendation’ and didn’t advertise the car itself but on ‘goodwill advertising’ as a trust-building exercise.  He used initial literature such as ‘absolutely safe’, ‘no special operating skills required’ or ‘always ready for service’.

As time went on the advertising looked to be aimed at sophistication, with an elegant woman featured – aimed at the upper-class society, making cars a status symbol.  Women also began to drive cars and were featured more in adverts at the wheel.  ‘The female advertising icon of these times was sporty, self-confident, romantic and refined. She was seen as having a good sense of judgement and influence over men – and she was portrayed as craving for a car from her man’.

(accessed December 12, 2018)

Today, cars are still a status symbol, cars such as Mercedes-benz and women are still influenced by the appearance of cars or those who drive them.  As depicted in one of Mercedes-Benz latest adverts, although a woman is not shown the implication is there.  The car is a beautiful Mercedes sports car with the written caption “Men talk about women, sports and cars.  Women talk about men inside sports cars”.

(accessed December 11, 2018)

(accessed December 11, 2018

Looking back over vintage advertisements, it would seem women are influenced by the men who own such prestigious cars, the adverts would show men and women wearing elegant or sporty clothes.  However, they would also want to be reassured the car was safe and comfortable.  The Mercedes slogan is “The best of nothing”.

 Mercedes-Benz Advert

Denotation:  Red sport’s car with Mercedes sign, parked on a road with stunning mountain background, has the wording “Men talk about women, sports and cars.  Women talk about men inside sports cars”.

Connotation: Suggesting, it’s important for the car to be a status symbol either for the car she is driving or the man who is driving it.

Sign: Red Sport’s car

Signifier: Shiny red car, large sports wheels, sports car, mountain background, wording “Men talk about women, sports and cars.  Women talk about men inside sports cars”.

Signified:  Sporty, upper class, attractive to women who like to see a man driving such a car, attractive to women who like to drive a sports car

What characterizes it as ‘new’, is the actual car itself, the make and model, the type of tyres and the number plate.  The mercedes emblem is now shown on the front of the car engine, whereas in previous adverts it would show as a standalone feature on the engine, but due to vandalism this was changed with them being broken off the cars.

Having looked at other top of the range models like BMW, I noticed there were no slogans, and if they were they didn’t come across as sexist, more about the car “The Ultimate Driving Machine” is their Slogan.  Or the Range Rover, similar mountain background but no slogan on the advert although their slogan is known as “Above and Beyond”.


(Accessed December 13, 2018)

Range Rover

(Accessed December 13, 2018)

Mercedes-Benz – clearly likes to be considered the best, they are a luxury and prestigious car, and women like to be seen in one or be seen with someone driving one, this has come across in vintage adverts and present day.  The advert I chose will soon become ‘last year’s thing’ as the style of the car will change by the following year with a new design or features, better wheels, engine or interior.  The slogan will mostly like not be used again due to the sexism innuendo, women love a nice car but ultimately want safety and comfort as a priority so perhaps they would be better referring more to this in their adverts.







Exercise 2 –  Join the Navy

Denotation – Describes what can be seen and its literal interpretation (ie a piece of fruit called an apple)

Connotation – describes meanings that are suggested by the literal elements (in a Renaissance painting, an apple may symbolize temptation)

Denotation: The image ‘Join the Navy’ shows a young  happy sailor in uniform, riding what looks like a wooden torpedo, there is wording ‘Join The Navy – The Service for Fighting Men.

Connotation: The advert is trying to depict that to join the navy you will have fun riding the waves, the way the man is riding the wooden torpedo is of a style that is a man riding a bull or bucking bronco which was a manly sport, often dangerous.  So to join the navy you will be a man, having fun, looking for adventure and will be involved with weapons, of a dangerous nature.

I think the picture is intentional and trying to attract young men who are looking for adventure but have fun at the same time.

Join the navy

Join the Navy – The Service for fighting Men 1917 by Babcock, R R – Credit Museum of Fine Arts Boston USA/Bridgeman Images

Exercise 2 – Part 2

In part 2 of the exercise we are asked to choose a different image to analyse – I have chosen ‘We Can Do It!’ Miller, J Howard (1918-2004)

We Can Do It

We Can Do It! (1942), Miller, J Howard – Bridgeman Images

Denotation: A woman wearing a red and white spotted headscarf, and blue shirt, flexing her muscles, with the wording ‘We Can Do It’.

Connotation:  The image is implying that women can also act like men, or do the same job as a man, it is saying you too can be strong like a man, the muscles reflecting a strong armed, muscled man and can wear a shirt like a man.  It appears to be calling housewives (the red and white spotted head scarf is an image of that era of a woman at home, cleaning, washing etc.).

On reflection it is perhaps showing a side to feminism, whereby women are equal to men, they too can be strong like a man, do a job like a man, they don’t have to stay at home being a housewife or doing a cleaning job.

Values have changed over the years, it was great at the time that women could go to work doing something other than being a housewife, cleaner, chambermaid or nanny.  In today’s world it has changed dramatically whereby women are CEO’s of companies, they can do almost any job that a man can do and appear to ‘have it all’.  However, I do think this has backfired a bit and caused many problems within marriages.  Women now have to juggle full-time jobs along with running a house, raising children and be a good wife. Although I think it is good that women have these equal rights, I also think raising children and running a household is a credible job and extremely worthwhile and should be given more credit than what is sometimes perceived as not a ‘proper job’.


Bridgeman Education images

(Accessed December 8, 2018)

An Introduction To Semiotics — Signifier And Signified – Vanseo Design (accessed December 6, 2018)





What does this apple mean?

Apples are normally green or red in colour, there are various types like ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Grannies Cooking Apples’ or ‘Rosey Red’.  Apples are considered to be healthy, good for the diet and skin ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’.  However, historically Apples have also been named as  ‘the forbidden fruit’ such as the story of Adam and Eve  in the Garden of Eden.  In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the apple has  been a poisonous weapon with the wicked witch offering it to Snow White causing her to be in a coma.  There’s the Adam’s apple in your throat and a toffee apple that’s eaten at Halloween, not to mention a cold apple cider on a hot summer’s day.  However, in today’s society Apple means something completely different.  It means a phone, a laptop, ipad or watch.  Unless you’ve been living on a remote island for the past twenty years we know Apple is a famous company known for its unique brand of luxury computerised items, with the eye catching Apple, with a bite taken out of it.  There are also the apples used in still life paintings giving a different meaning such as signifying life and death or mortality.

Apple still life with apples, nuts, pears and boxes of sweets (oil on canvas)

Apple still life with apples, nuts, pears and boxes of sweets (oil on canvas) by Melendez, Luis Egidio courtesy of Bridgeman images

A is for Apple

Apple: Signifier: Golden Delicious Apple – Signified: Healthy eating

Apple: Signifier: Silver Apple with bite out of it  – Signified: laptop, watch, phone

Apple: Signifier: Witch with Rosy red apple – Signified: poiseness apple, death

Apple: Signifier: Apple in painting along with cheese and nuts – Signified: forbidden fruit/death/mortality

The Sign – An Apple


Heart: Signifier: Red heart shape –  Signifed:  Love, Relationships, valentine,

Rose: Signifier: Red Rose, flower, green leaf, long stem – Signified:  Love, romance, valentine, flower

Camel: Signifer: Large animal with two humps, long tail – Signified: Animal of the Dessert, carrier of water, animal ridden by Arabs

Rosemary beads:  Signifier: pretty necklace looking piece of jewellery of various colours  Religious bracelet: Signified: Muslim Faith, comforter, jewellery


(accessed December 3, 2018)

(accessed December 3, 2018)

(accessed December 4, 2018)

(accessed December 3, 2018)

(Accessed December 3, 2018)


In this exercise we are asked to chose a film and its corresponding poster and reflect on how the typography, image, colour and composition are used to reflect the nature of the film.

The film I have chosen is ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'(1958) starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman.  The image on the poster is that of Elizabeth Taylor (The Cate), looking very seductive and sultry, dressed in a sexy nightdress.  There is a pillow suggesting she is lying on a bed.  This sets the scene for what must be a film about a woman who is compared to a ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.  This provokes an image of a woman jumping up and down, screaming and shouting, clawing at someone, anything, a fiery temperament.  In the film Paul Newman is an alcoholic married to this temptress woman,  they are invited back to his parents house as it’s his father’s birthday, the scene is set with many family scenes, with Elizabeth Taylor looking exactly like the poster.  The colour of the poster is bright yellow with the typography is in red and reflects a strong image making the title stand out.  I would say it is a good reflection of the film although there is no sign of Paul Newman in the poster.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958 Lithograph in colours – American School – Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images.

On reflection of this exercise I didn’t find too much substance to the research or findings of posters, I’m also still uneasy at copying pictures and putting them on my blog unless they are from Bridgeman Education website.


Exercise 2

John Heartfield – John Paul Getty Museum – (accessed November 2018) Visual Artist – used art as a political weapon.  Anti Nazi & anti-fascist – Dada movement – pioneer of modern photomontage.  Photomontage allowed Heartfield to create loaded and politically contentious images. To compose his works, he chose recognizable press photographs of politicians or events from the mainstream illustrated press. He then disassembled and rearranged these images to radically alter their meaning.

Peter Kennard 

Peter Kennard website – (accessed November 15, 2018)

A photomontage artist – strong political views –

Peter Kennard

Say no to missiles 190 Kennard, Peter – Bridgeman Education

The Guardian – Review on Peter Kennard (accessed November 15, 2018)

“A gas-masked globe, a skeleton with a mushroom-cloud head … this new exhibition of Kennard’s violent political cut-ups is brave, brazen – and shows the truth behind the bright shining lies of war” Jonathan Jones (2015) – The Guardian

The Guardian – Review on Peter Kennard

“Unofficial War Artist Review – the King of Political Montage” – Laura Cumming (2015) – the Guardian

Hanah Hoch

A German Dada Artist – Weimar period – one of the originators of photomontage  – review by Mark Hudson (Jan 14, 2014) – The Telegraph

“A pioneer of photomontage, whose images of women presaged the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir and Second Wave Feminism half a century later, Hoch was a pivotal figure in Dada, the anti-art movement that outraged conventional opinion in the final years of World War One, working alongside iconic male artists such as George Grosz, John Heartfield and Raoul Hausmann. Or was she?”

The Art Story – A showcase of Hoch’s work – – accessed on November 18, 2018

Martha Rosler

Martha Rosler explores issues of everyday life, architecture, built environment and the media especially if they affect women, she does this through video, photography, text, installation and performance.  Her personal website tells you more about her (accessed November 18, 2018)

Balloons, from Bringing the War home: House Beautiful 1967-72 - Rosler, Martha

Balloons from Bringing the War Home, House Beautiful 1967-72 – Rosler, Martha – Bridgeman Education


Photomontage – Tate Gallery – A photomontage is a collage constructed from photographs – is often used as a means of expressing political dissent

Collage – Tate Gallery – work of art in which pieces of paper, photographs, fabric & other ephemera are arranged and stuck down on a supporting surface.

Montage – Tate Gallery – an assembly of images that relate to each other in some way to create a single work.

Having researched the artists, I found myself getting excited at what storyline to take, there are so many at the moment that people are talking about, I live in Saudi Arabia and news is restricted and you do need to be aware of what you write about.   A story that has hit the headlines that I have got angry over is the Rape Trial of a teenage girl, whereby the defence barrister held up a thong indicating that she was raped due to the underwear she was wearing. It has caused outrage and I’m not surprised.  I often get angry when I see cases where young girls are scorned upon because they wore shirt skirts, or had too much to drink and now because of the underwear they wore.  it’s outrageous.  If your murdered there is never a case of ‘oh they wouldn’t have got murdered if only they had worn something different, or hadn’t drank’.  The worse thing of all, is I feel the British Justice system is letting Rapists off, this stops women (and men) coming forward as they think what’s the point.  I also know for a fact certain men have been acquitted due to their wealth, affording a lawyer that is able to manipulate the British system.  It’s not right and it’s not fair.  So my collage is about the recent case and to point out that when someone says No they mean No, if someone is asleep or passed out, it means no, if someone is drunk do not take advantage of them, if a person changes their mind and they can it means no.  I could go on.

I tried to get the message across by using words to highlight the meaning of No means No.  There has been a lot of press lately regarding rape trials and also the amount of rape of young children in India, it’s something that needs to be front page news.  It needs to be shown that young women can come forward and know they will be protected by the justice system.  My collage was based a little bit on Hannah Hoch’s work, by putting photos together as a collage to make a point, but also Martha Rosler  used photography and text and would explore everyday issues  especially on those that effected women.  I think my first attempt has created meaning through Juxtaposition and contrast of photos and words.  I would like to think it would help bring attention to these cases that are so wrong where the defence try to degrade women into thinking that what they wear is a reason for them to be raped.  Thankfully in this case the man was convicted of raping the woman when she was 13 years old.  On this occasion justice was served.

Links accessed today November 22, 2018 – photos used in the collage were taken from these websites.





In this exercise we are asked to describe the type of statements 5 different messages are giving:

Enjoy your stay – Is written in an Old English Text typography and gives a welcoming message, possibly a Christmas meal at a country inn.

DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS THEY ARE DANGEROUS – When typing in capitals this is considered to be shouting in a message, and this message is conveying a warning so it is being made loud and clear to the public not to feed the animals and the reason why.

We are professionals – this typography is very plain, no frills or curves, just professional.

LUXURY – This typography is quite fanciful and large, giving off a message that the item is fancy and luxury.

hand made – Very simple but bold, letting the customer know it has been hand made, with no fancy additions.

Part 2 of the exercise is to find our own examples.  Specifically for ones that appears to have discrepancy between the written message and its typographic form and also ones that compliment each other.

Image 1 is a bold advert, using Capitals so almost shouting the message out.  You wouldn’t know this was a drink unless you knew what Vermouth was, however the branding for Cinzano uses these colours and is quite distinctive.  I chose image 2 as I wasn’t sure why the typography was in two parts, the second word ‘Birthday’ looks to be the type of typography I would use for this type of birthday card so would have used for both words.  the third image is full of different typography which I found interesting, it starts with an old English style for the first word but then changes into all different ones, which makes it quite confusing.


Bridgeman Education site (accessed November 2018)


3 signs by Jean Taylor 2018


In Exercise 1 we are asked to give examples of visual communication from the following list:


In this first advert it would seem they are persuading women to wear these clothes as your life would then be ‘fabulous’.  In the Second advert Peugeot are persuading women drivers to buy this particular model as it suggests the car is ‘built to lust’, suggesting women would lust after this car.

In 2018 ‘Gabrielle’ perfume with the actress Kristen Stewart. (accessed 8/11/2018)


The first picture is showing information via road signage for drivers to take a certain route if there is a tsunami.  The second picture is information signage to show people where the Champagne tent is.

Google Maps – biggest information website, communicating via satellite, showing how to get from one destination to another (accessed 8/11/2018)


Both these companies have distinctive branding, most people would know the mini wings as the logo for mini cars and the same as Lloyds bank with its classic green background and black horse.  Both showing clear Identity Designs.

Another big branding advertisement is the Coco Cola advert that comes out just before Christmas …. they say it isn’t Christmas until this advert comes on our screens.

Coco Cola Journey website

(accessed 8/11/18)

Waitrose and John Lewis are joint companies know as the John Lewis Partnership.  However they have just released a new marketing video to rebrand their identity as John Lewis and Partners and Waitrose and Partners, with the slogan “For us, It’s personal”.

(accessed 8/11/2018)


My understanding for Authorial content is that this type of visual communication relates to comics, graphic novels and animations.  The first picture looks to be of a comic style magazine and the Waterstones book appears to show graphic pictures of mistakes that may happen.


This type of message can range giving out pamphlets to placards or sandwhich boards to try and get the message across, particularly if they are protesting such as in the second picture where secretaries were protesting.

In 2018 ‘Gabrielle’ perfume with the actress Kristen Stewart. (accessed 8/11/2018)

Donald Trump made his first official visit to London as President of USA.  There were protests all over London about the visit that included marches, placards and even giant ‘Donald’ balloon protesting for him to stay away.  London Protests – (accessed 8/11/2018) a href=&quot;;> </a>

In part 2 of Exercise 1 – the question is asked ‘In what way do these images make reference to broader ideas of visual culture?’.  Three images show book covers by H G Wells with 3 different titles.  I am a little confused as I wasn’t sure if the question relates to part one of Exercise 1, meaning those images I have provided or the book covers. Visual communication in today’s society can be very complex requiring all sorts of specialists, photographers, designers, writers and technology skills.  If your involved in a protest then there would need to be good co-ordinators to make sure people turn up, or police are aware and placards are made.  Whereas the perfume add, would require an actress, cameraman, makeup artists, wardrobe assistant, location. Authorial content would require an author and publisher, perhaps graphic designer and/or artist.   Which brings me to the three book covers.  They would need an author, publisher, graphic designer and/or artist.  The ones on show are brightly coloured, with the same design but different colours, one standing out more than the others.  The red and yellow one.  They have been designed to visually catch a readers attention, although I am not sure it would catch mine as covers are important and in today’s society I think need to signify what the book is about, these book covers don’t give anything away ie you don’t know if its a love story, horror story or historical.  It’s so important to get a book cover right, readers are interested in the cover and what it signifies. They are bright, with the same design but different colours.  One has a different &nbsp;


Bridgeman Education – Visual Communications slideshow by Jean Taylor (November 2018)

Coco Cola Journey website (accessed 8/11/2018)

Lewis and Partners and Waitrose and Partners, with the slogan “For us, It’s personal”. (accessed 8/11/2018)

Google Maps – biggest information website, communicating via satellite, showing how to get from one destination to another (accessed 8/11/2018)

In 2018 ‘Gabrielle’ perfume with the actress Kristen Stewart (accessed 8/11/2018)

On reflection of Project 1, it was a very short introduction to Visual Communication, I enjoyed looking at the different types and their meaning and finding different adverts and signs that matched the descriptions of visual communications.