Monday, January 31, 2011










Tuesday, January 25, 2011


The word semiotics is from the Greek word “semeiotikos,” which means interpreter of signs. Signs are important because they can mean something other than themselves. In the western World, we live in a society that is largely mechanistic and consumerist in outlook. Semiotics is about the tools, processes and contexts we have for creating, interpreting and understanding meaning in a variety of different ways. There are two basic types of signing, conventional and natural. For example, it is natural for us to wear clothes in the cold, but it is conventional for shoes like high heels to be seen as a sex symbol. There are numerous relationships that exist between signifier and signified. For example, an apple can mean temptation, and apple can mean healthy, an apple can mean fruit, an apple can mean apple. Many of the signs we use to communicate are arbitrary in the sense that they are not immediately transparent to us. With any icon there is some degree of resemblance between signifier and signified. The medium many be presentational, representational, or mechanical. We need to know that symbols stand for in advance if we are to understand them, for example, a black tie is an arbitrary relationship for a formal occasion. 


SIGN // 
There are 3 kinds of sign : the ICON, the INDEX and the SYMBOL.  a sign is a stimulus pattern that has a meaning.  The difference is in how the meaning happens to be attached to (or associated with) the pattern.

Defined by some sensory feature, A(directly visible, audible, smellable, etc) that correlates with and thus implies or `points to' B, something of interest to an animal.  All animals exploit various kinds of indexical signs.  Less sophisticated animals acquire them by natural selection.  More intelligent animals learn them.

Symbols (content words like nouns, verbs and adjectives) are (sound) patterns) that get meaning: primarily from its mental association with other symbols and secondarily from its correlation with environmental patterns.

This particular cover can fall in several categories.  It can be juxtaposed, title as a label, and romantic.  This is a room with chairs, nothing else.  Chairs are chairs, but simple tilt creates a whole new meaning between the two.

It could be argued that there is two much type for a cover.  Typically, a quote would be located on the back of the book, not the front.  It could be distracting from the simple composition that is already so great.
 This cover shows a great correlation between type and photo.  The shadows on the type really let it sit in the photo and become a part of it.  There is not too much color or type.  When passing by this, you want to know what exactly what the photo is of.  The simplicity is really working for this cover along with the consistent shadows.
This is an interesting twist on a simple photo.  A message is being put in place of something else, legs.  The message is somewhat creepy which makes the whole idea of the cover a little creepy.  Where are the girl's legs?  Does the message has something to do with the legs?  Is this girl alive?  It sparks questions that wouldn't be asked if the legs were just there.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


NAME | Mr. Popper’s Penguins
AUTHOR BIO | Richard and Florence Atwater: Richard was a Chicago journalist. He wrote for a number of newspapers, including the Chicago Evening Post, the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Tribune, and the Herald-Examiner. He contributed to the literary and arts magazine The Chicagoan. He also taught Greek at the University of Chicago.  In 1932, after watching a documentary about Richard E. Byrd's Antarctic expedition, Atwater began writing the first part of the book Mr. Popper's Penguins, but he was forced to stop due to a stroke he suffered in 1934.  Florence Atwater was Richard Atwater's wife. She continued the book Mr. Popper's Penguins which he had started.
OTHER BOOKS | Rickety Rhymes of Riq, published in 1925; and Doris and the Trolls, published in 1931.
SYNOPSIS | It tells the story of a poor house painter named Mr. Popper and his family, who live in the small town of Stillwater in the 1930s. The Poppers unexpectedly come into possession of twelve Adelie penguins, and something must be done before they eat the Poppers out of house and home.
FEELING | childish, light, predictable, uplifting, unique, playful, resourceful, funny, pleasant, cute, traditional, witty
MESSAGE | It is possible to make ends meet with a little thinking.
PROTAGONIST | Mr. Popper works to gain money for his family.
ANTAGONIST | The idea of money could be the antagonist because it is causing Mr. Poppers to pull out of these ventures.
QUOTES | “Very well then,” said Mr. Popper, “if there can be trained dogs and trained seals, why can’t there be trained penguins?”
WHY THIS BOOK | A friend showed me this book because they said it was their favorite as a kid.  It’s a children’s book made in 1938.  It could use updating and has interesting ideas that could be used.

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NAME | Les Miserables
AUTHOR BIO | Victor Hugo: He was a French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France.  In France, Hugo's literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem, and Hugo is sometimes identified as the greatest French poet. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris (also known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).  Though a committed royalist when he was young, Hugo's views changed as the decades passed; he became a passionate supporter of republicanism, and his work touches upon most of the political and social issues and artistic trends of his time. He is buried in the Panthéon.
OTHER BOOKS | Notre-Dame de Paris (also known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame)
SYNOPSIS | The novel focuses on the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption. It examines the nature of law and grace, and expounds upon the history of France, architecture of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. The story is historical fiction because it contains factual and historic events.
FEELING | dirty, honest, brave, promising, hopeful, courageous, political, romantic, real, beautiful, haunting, tempting
MESSAGE | A man’s past does not script the rest of his life.
PROTAGONIST | Jean Valjean works to keep his past from haunting him.
ANTAGONIST | Javert tries to reveal Jean Valjean’s true identity.
QUOTES | "An army is a strange composite masterpiece, which strength results from an enormous sum total of utter weaknesses. Thus only can we explain a war waged by humanity against humanity in spite of humanity."
"The mirror reflected the writing, resulting in what geometry calls the symmetric image, by which the writing reversed on the blotter was corrected by the mirror and presented its original form; and Jean Valjean had beneath his eyes the letter Cosette had written Marius the evening before. It was simple and devastating."
WHY THIS BOOK | The story has been a favorite of mine through the novel, musical, and movie.  There are lots of characters with many different plots.  But there is also the consistent theme present.  I think there are lots of opportunities to create something unique that hasn’t been used before for this novel.

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NAME | Fahrenheit 451
AUTHOR BIO | Ray Bradbury: He is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films.
OTHER BOOKS | The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951)
SYNOPSIS | The central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a "fireman" (which, in this future, means "bookburner"). The novel's title refers to the supposed temperature at which book paper combusts. Although sources contemporary with the novel's writing gave the temperature as 450 °C (842 °F), Bradbury is believed to have thought "Fahrenheit" made for a better title; page needed] however, in an introduction to the 40th anniversary edition of the novel, Bradbury states that a person he spoke with at the local fire department said "Book-paper catches fire at 451 degrees Fahrenheit". The "firemen" burn them "for the good of humanity". Written in the early years of the Cold War, the novel is a critique of what Bradbury saw as issues in American society of the era.
FEELING | moral, dangerous, risky, heroic, honorary, futuristic, strict, prohibition, tight, organized, cheap, regulation
MESSAGE | Can a man change what he had been working towards for years?
PROTAGONIST | Guy Montag starts in a position which he is unknowing.  Throughout the scheme, he works to protect what he had been destroying.
ANTAGONIST | Captain Beatty tries to set Montag up for murder by giving his own life.
QUOTES | Montag walked to the kitchen and threw the book down. "Montag," he said, "you're really stupid. Where do we go from here? Do we turn the books in, forget it?" He opened the book to read over Mildred's laughter. Poor Millie, he thought. Poor Montag, it's mud to you, too. But where do you get help, where do you find a teacher this late?”
WHY THIS BOOK | This was an interesting book I read a long time ago.  I am most interested in it because I actually really like the cover and what it is doing.