Book: Semiotics: the basics

14th November 2020

This is quite a book (Chandler, 2017). I have looked at coding in other modules and in this module we are looking again at codes, signifier and signified etc. I used in most in looking at one image in a previous essay, but at this level it is crucial to be able to analyse your own and other people’s images (A1 CS) and be able to write about it (A1-5 CS).

What did I learn?

  1. I think that I have seen semiotics as an ‘abstract’ exercise than as a useful tool, but talking to my BOW tutor it is clear that I need to have a sophisticated vocabulary about talking about my images. That is what I am aiming at.
  2. There are lots of frameworks but it is the more recent post-structural approaches that are more helpful such as Hall and Barthes, although we still need Pierces. Hall says (p 179) that “the us no intelligible discourse without the operation of a code.” They are “relational frameworks within which social and cultural meanings are produced.”
  3. I am not going to repeat the book here – I have underlined parts in the book, but it will become a resource as I think more about images and develop my vocabulary.


Chandler, D. (2014) Semiotic for Beginners: Intertexuality. At:

Chandler, D. (2017) Semiotics: the basics. (3rd ed.) Oxon: Routledge.