This paper would analyze and deconstruct the formation and content of the website www. confused. co. uk by using semiology in deconstructing visual texts and applying semiotic theories to analyze the images in the website. Variable readings of images and their cultural context will be evaluated as well. What is semiotics? In semiotics, all meaning of systems in a society such as advertising, fashion, popular culture genres like TV and movies, music, political discourse, and all forms of writing and speech were being studied that moves beyond language. How does it contribute to media?
Semiotics provide a method for discovering and scrutinizing how a whole system of implication like a movie genre, fashion images, or TV works in a culture as parts of a system of meaning. This sums up how semiotics, looks at culture broadly as a language considered as a sign system, or the ways signs and language map onto culture as a whole. (Semiotics, Communication, and Cultural Theory: Basic Assumptions, 2005) Dazed & Confused magazine have been circulating for over 10 years and it dominates the international lifestyle market to a new generation readers who are mostly opinionated, independent and full of bright and innovative ideas.
It is considered as one of the most influential monthly magazines in the world. They cater for those who are thinkers, dreamers, observers and schemers. The underdogs and the over achievers as well. Dazed and Confused mag, is essentially important style magazine to the fashion world, composed of witty and well known editorial team such as Alexander McQueen and regular collaborations with designers such as Hedi Slimane, Comme des Garçons, Jeremy Scott, and Bernhard Willhelm.
It has captured wide variety of readers that they have produced some of the most memorable editorial and campaign images in the past decade. Dazed has been a trendsetter in fashion, music, and other aspects of contemporary culture. Thus it has shaped them to be loyal to continual innovation. Dazed pioneered a magazine format where fashion, music, contemporary art, literature, and politics are given a shared context, and the magazine has now carried those core values into live events, television, and cross-platform media.
Dazed and Confused is recognizable for its attitude, where they think and does things differently both on the page and beyond it. Visual analysis has several factor in which we can apply it in deconstructing the website, to enable us to extract various information in a detailed format. Upon identifying several factors through deconstructing, these would enable to pinpoint what is the target audience of the website Visual Analysis Media is a very broad subject. It takes a lot of forms such as print, film, television, photography and others.
Media has various elements range of possible meanings/interpretations embedded therein -read and interpret photographs, moving images as well as print media within the context of their generic conventions and through using a range of critical tools drawn from the media/communications discipline -read and interpret other critics interpretation/analysis of a given text and re-apply it to their own initial observation -discuss and debate interpretations and analysis using an appropriate ‘objective’ interpretative register -write academic textual analysis of film/TV programmes/print media which explore and articulate this process of meaning creation and should be interpreted. It allows the audience to give their own ideas, belief or opinion towards a particular subject.
There is no right or wrong answers, and the solutions are endless. Connotation is a second-order of signification which uses the denotative sign (signifier and signified) as its signifier and attaches to it an additional signified. In this framework connotation is a sign which derives from the signifier of a denotative sign (so denotation leads to a chain of connotations). This tends to suggest that denotation is an underlying and primary meaning – a notion which many other commentators have challenged. Barthes later gave priority to connotation, and in 1971 noted that it was no longer easy to separate the signifier from the signified, the ideological from the ‘literal’ (Barthes 1977, 166).
In passing, we may note that this formulation underlines the point that ‘what is a signifier or a signified depends entirely on the level at which the analysis operates: a signified on one level can become a signifier on another level’ (Willemen 1994, 105). This is the mechanism by which signs may seem to signify one thing but are loaded with multiple meanings. Layout Advertisements are essential to media; they are the ones who bring “additional profit”. But I guess, it’s entirely different with Dazed, there are no heavy advertisements. There are only several advertisements and that can be found in the homepage, and no where else. Located at the upper left side of the websites’ homepage. It is rectangular in shape and has the bigger size compared with other features.
It changes continuously, like a commercial, interchanging with features of the website. Logo is written in bold letter, probably a size 30 font. Fonts’ color used was gray and fonts’ background color is black. Located at the upper most portion of the website. Though, the color used was not attractive to the audience, it has still the noticeable effect, considering the fonts’ size which is large enough to be noticed. Websites’ background color is entirely black, primary headings of each features are in an orange fonts, the rest of the fonts are in grey color. Few were used on this website, and the only thing that gives life to it is its images.
Color scheme are mostly in dark hues, which gives a simplicity yet functional effect to the readers. Graphics and texts used are well organized considering the spaces and their locations. Subheadings have graphics situated at the left side while the text which are the information pertaining to the graphic is located at the right side. Graphics used were enticing and pleasing to the eyes of the reader considering its unique approach and theme. The website has a well composed grids that used theory and balanced ratios, which in turn enable the creation of beautiful and balanced designs. These designs then have a quality which will make them more usable.
A Well designed grid systems can make any designs not only more beautiful and legible, but more usable. Because of its well designed grid and proportion they were able to experiment with type areas, shapes and composition. We can explore how type and image will work together on the various types of pages. Color The websites’ background is primarily black. Black suggested formality and simplicity at the same time. The logo is located at the upper portion of the site which gives the viewer an easy identification of the site. Usually, the colors used were limited such as black, grey, and orange. While the viewer navigates through the website it gives a sense of uniqueness.
The subheadings fonts were in grey color, and when you choose that feature, the primary fonts were changed according to the chose feature. For an example, under features yellow dominates the entire page, and for the Rise subheading hot pink fonts were splashed all throughout the page. It gives each page an identity by changing its font colors. Frequently, bright colors were used to give emphasis on its black background. The website was able to attract the viewers on this element, in a sense of identification. Typography San Serif fonts were used all throughout the website except for the logo. According to most studies, sans serif fonts are more difficult to read.
For this reason, they are used most often for short text components such as headlines or captions. Because of its crisp, clean, uncluttered lines, it most widely used by designers. It is also associated with modernity and contemporary design which gives the audience a sense of conformity. Visual imagery Photograph used in the website tells us that the target audience would be applicable to viewers who belong to ages 35 and below. Considering the high regard for fashion sense, dress code were also cutting edge that also pertains to the focal point of the magazine which is to set trend and not the ones who follow it. Various images were used that depicts several forms such as fashion, photography, and graphic designs.
These forms are well organized and can capture the target audience. Designs used tells us that it was professionally done that has a sense of unique taste. It would cater to various viewers who has a regard for trends and would like to set it. Designs used would connote the different interest and professions of the audience. Content The website content Features were mostly about Film, photography, TV, fashion which is mostly considered to be trendsetters in these areas. There is only little advertisement but it can be noted that it’s an expensive advertisement. Consider the likes of Marc Jacobs and Dior, which are brands that accommodates mostly with the upper class or working professionals.
A contemporary sense and atmosphere were regarded as to the use of cutting edge film and high fashion. Conclusion As for the audience, the website mostly caters for those who are thinkers, dreamers, observers and schemers. The underdogs and the over achievers as well. This magazine would want to portray, and they have developed these ideas to a well contemporary, chic, and simple website. Colors were simple and concise as to the layout of the website. The use of images are high regarded because they serve as a cue and could be interpreted in different ways depends on the viewers. The designer was able to depict certain levels of cutting edge, not in technology but in fashion and photography as well.
They would like their audience to be well attuned and informed on trends. The magazine had been in the fashion industry for years, and putting it into a different dimension of media is difficult. Why? The designer should be consistent on what has the audience feel for the magazine. It should also be felt on the entire website. The sense of belongingness and commonality is very important, to enable the audience to shift from another form of media which is internet. I guess that the audience would not be limited. As it have several factors to offer to different personalities. Good thing is that the websites’ modern and chic layout is synonymously to its context.
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