Semiotics and the Branding of Design

Q: What do you understand by the term, ‘the transport of meaning’ and in what ways can this phenomenon be problematic in the world of branding?

A: The Transport of Meaning refers to the effectivness of communication channels.  The three problems defined are THE TECHNICAL PROBLEM, THE SEMANTIC PROBLEM and THE EFFECTIVNESS PROBLEM.


Q: Explain Marshall McLuhan’s notion that ‘the medium is the message’ and discuss the roles of channels, media and formats in the production of meaning in branding.

McLuhan argues that “The medium is a message”, focusing on various aspects of the ones who deliver the message: Their knowledge, technology, education, background, regulations, etc.

Q: Apply each of Roman Jakobsen’s six factors of communication to six different brands, explaining how each function works in terms of how that brand communicates its message.

1. The Referential Function message/object

2. The Poetic Function focuses on poetry / slogans

3. The Emotive (alternatively called “Expressive” or “Affective”) Function

4. The Conative Function

5. The Phatic Function

6. The Metalingual (alternatively called “Metalinguistic” or “Reflexive”) Function





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