Connotation & Denotation

A theoretical framework that we can apply to design, linking in with semiotics.

Denotation is the direct meaning or meanings of a word and expression. It’s the literal meaning of what you see. The surface or literal meaning can be taken in more ways the one, being a particular culture can apply a different denotation than another.

Connotation is the secondary level of  the meaning that you have with that sign. It can be applied with your own past experiences as the viewer.This can be social rules and conventions that we have learned over time.

For a graphic designer denotation & connotation is very useful , an if used cleverly they can be understood by a whole audience , an simplify a wider and greater meaning.

Denotation –  Lady in a sealed meat pack.

Connotation – Human trafficking, stuck, sealed into one lifestyle, hard to get out of.




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