Sunday, 20 October 2013



Using the model, and the levels (a, b, c), find a piece of graphic design and write a  contextual and social analysis on it, based on Shannon and Weaver's model.


What are the main communicative functions of redundancy?
What do we mean by saying the English language is 50% redundant?
Discuss the ways in which convention can be said to facilitate understanding. 
Think of visual communication that breaks or extend specific conventions.
How does this affect the desire to communicate to the audience they reach?

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To carry out this task I will look at one image in two different contexts. This will show how communication can be received differently within different contextual and social analysis.

Firstly I will look the image below. It was taken on September 11th 2011 when the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place in New York City, NY. It shows the attack in action. The first impression I received when I looked at this image was the unknown, unsettling and very entropic. At first glance, and without any prior knowledge on the attack, the image communicates a message of disaster, attack and fear. The image itself is not that clear in showing both the towers either, so could be taken as any sky scraper/building in any country. The image out of context is open to social and contextual interpretation of viewer. 

The image below, shows the photograph of the attack in context, with a focus, target audience and focused communication. It is shown in the context of a newspaper, dated the 12th September 2011, the day after the terrorist attack. The Examiner is a formal newspaper, aimed at a middle-aged demographic of San Francisco, USA. The message being delivered by The Examiner is that "BASTARDS!" caused the destruction shown in the image below the headline. Even though it isn't clear at first sight the location of the attack, the subtitle "a changed America" gives further emphasis, yet being redundant in giving initial clear information. The visual signs of an entropic scenario, are placed into an organised, structured and redundant context of a newspaper front page, which with help of a headline and surrounding content and aesthetics, diverts the reader to the association between image and text. The association is one of terrorism from an outsider which isn't clear on the above image. Conventions here such as shocking headlines, have been used to contextualise an image/situation which wouldn't be clear and truthful without. The English language compresses it's words, resulting in a redundant use of the language itself. Headlines and body copy use redundant English to save space on a page to accommodate other features, as well as to avoid entropic analysis without context.