Complex Images

If you’ve ever spent any time on the internet, watching television or even in some occasions, driving down a highway you’ve been exposed to advertising in some form of and seen a complex image with many connotations and signifiers. These complex images can have many different messages and evoke many different emotions from people.


This poster from Volkswagen promotes not texting and driving, while simple, it presents a powerful message to the people who view it. The image represents the dangers of texting while you are behind the wheel and the repercussion that it could have, its negative and damaging connotations show people that they should think about what could happen if they chose to do this act. The denotations are someone texting while they are driving and having the text auto-correct to what will actually happen if they continue to text and drive. It is pretty hard to read this image in more ways than the intended due to how clear it is and the direct message it is giving.


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These advertisements from UN WOMEN are another group of images that are so direct that it is hard for them to be read in more than one way. The denotations of this image are google searches that show women’s rights being violated while their mouths have been covered limiting their speech. The image connotations are that there are basic rights that have been taken away from women in some instances and that UN WOMEN are using their campaign to do something about it.



The Save Paper – Save The Planet advertisements from WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) show the links between consuming and the survival of the planet’s resources. The denotations of the image is that paper towels are representing the green of the planet and by over using them, the planet will be less ‘green’. The connotations of this image is that by over using the plants resources and not being replaced there wont be anything left. It may be possible to read this image in more than one way although it same conclusion about the environments resources will be concluded.

These complex images, just like many others show a range of experiences and evoke a range of emotions, from its viewers.

References: (2016). Volkswagen: Please don’t text and drive – Outdoor advertisements. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016].

Bored Panda. (2016). 40 Of The Most Powerful Social Issue Ads That’ll Make You Stop And Think. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016]. (2016). WWF: Paper Dispenser | Ads of the World™. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2016].


5 thoughts on “Complex Images”

  1. Your blog is well-written and you have used many concepts, as well as references to justify your decision for assessing them as a complex image. However, you could have possibly used just one image and then expand on the ideologies as well as aspects of the image to contribute to your argument of why it is complex. I thought the image of the UN ladies was a fascinating inclusion to your blog. You argued the connotations and denotations of each image in a coherent manner. It was a great blog and you have fascinating ideas about the complexity of each of your images.
    – Georgia


  2. Hi Brooke,

    I love that you’ve used more than one advertisement in your post. I especially liked how subtle and yet effective the Volkswagen ad was! It was also easy to see how you used what we learnt in the lectures in your writing when you talked about the denotations of the different google searches in the second advertisement, and the way that the WWF could be interpreted in more than one way. I also used Ads Of The World in my blog post about controversial images! Was definitely a good read 🙂



  3. I love your interpretation of the Volkswagen advertisement, and agree with you on your idea that it is hard to read this image in an alternative way. It’s abrupt, and I personally could not formulate a different idea. The UN Women’s image is so powerful, and I really liked your thoughts on their rights being diminished through the text-boxes over the women’s mouths. I also really enjoyed the WWF image, and the thoughts of over-consuming the Earth’s resources. Your post really did achieve what you said it would from viewers, as I felt a range of emotional responses in myself!


  4. Some really interesting point, but what really engaged me within your post was your use of examples and how each linked to the idea and how you extended your ideas. You use simple but effective language enabling the reader to better engage and allure the reader. Hyperlinks is also very helpful, I was able to create further context from what you said, suggesting you thought about your views and enables and interaction with you and your blog.
    Very well done, such great interaction and valid points 🙂


  5. Hi Brooke, first off, well done on your blog! You made some very interesting points but backed up all your information with examples, which is great. The use of images was very powerful, which conveyed your message even more. The use of hyperlinks was very useful and just backed up your information even more. Very nice structured blog


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