Reading Assignment – Rhetoric of the Image by Roland Barthes

What are some of the key questions Barthes aims to investigate in the article?

Barthes aims to examine that a advertisement had an hidden message what does meaning get into the image, how does it end and if it's end, what is there beyond.

What are some of the key terms/ concepts introduced and discussed?

There are a total of three keys terms, the linguistic message, the denotation and connotation.

The linguistic message has two possible functions, one is anchorage where images were prone to multiple meanings and interpretations. It occurs when text is used to focus on one of these meanings, or at least to direct the viewer through the maze of possible meanings in some way. 

Another one will be the relay where text added meaning and both text and image work together to convey intended messages. 

Denoted messages are the visible items(Photographs) represent what they are signifying in reality. It doesn't require other knowledges as its involved in our perception.

Connotation are harder to analyze and require certain knowledges to be able to express what the advertisement is trying to say. 

Do you agree or disagree with his argument and point of view?

I agree to barthes' argumentation because, in order to decode the message behind the advertisement. Firstly, you need to being a part of the same culture involves having similar connotations to certain signs and without a certain knowledge you won't be able to understand what the advertisement is talking about.

Provide a brief analysis (200 words) on an advertisement of your choice by using the terms/ concepts proposed by Barthes and discuss the role of text and its relationship with the image in the advertisement. Please include an image the advertisement in your post.

Print Ad by Jenie Gabriel -Writer in Tokyo










Firstly, as we can see the fonts are in capital letters which allow the viewers to view it clearly even in a far distance and also gives a huge impact of how "big" and how tender the meat in the burger.

Next, we move on to the gradients of the fonts and the background color which represents the word "Barbecue" it gives the viewers a hot and spiciness excitement on their very first glance on the poster. At the same time, the colors also representing the theme of "Burger King". Even without any knowledge or even for a first timer, this poster portrays its theme positively. The combination of the fonts and colors are blended in perfectly together in the poster which looks appealing to the viewers.

Even without the fonts to describe how delicious the burger is, from the layout of the rooster mascot we will know it's made with chicken and not other types of meat. The huge flame also enhanced the images which also illustrates that it's on top of a barbecue grill or the burger is freshly grilled. By the scales and proportions of the images as you can see clearly that the burger is the main subject on the advertising poster.


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