Project 2: Crop Circles

This little research question asks us to ‘write down the Signifier and the Signified of such images.’ and to ‘Take note of the places where these phenomena are formed and their relationship to the land.’

As a reminder, the signifier is the form a sign takes, and the signified is the concept that the sign represents.

The signifier here is the crop circles themselves. There are two concepts signified by them. The first is the concept of art, such as in the case of Rob Dickinson, who is talked about in the Places () excerpt. The circles he and his … Read the rest

Project 2 – Exercise 3: Film Posters

Choose a film and its corresponding poster and reflect on how the typography, image, colour and composition are used to reflect the nature of the film. You may want to choose a film you’ve seen or can view some clips from; alternatively, you could start from the poster and then research around the film. How has the aesthetic of the moving image influenced the design of the poster?

I thought this poster for the documentary film ‘Terms and Conditions May Apply’ really stood out.

Without knowing a thing about this film, I recognised the typography as being the typefaces and … Read the rest

Project 2: Exercise 1- Mixed Messages


• What kind of messages are the statements below sending? Describe what is being communicated through the combination of what they say and the visual feel of the typography.

As discussed in the course, typography conveys its messages via both the actual words presented and the way those words are presented.

1. In this first example, the literal message suggests that you have arrived somewhere. My first thought was the obvious one – a hotel or other place where you’d stay the night. It could also be somewhere you’d stay for a more than a few minutes like a … Read the rest

Part 3 – Visual Communications. Project 1: Exercise 1

Designing Messages

The first part of this task involves finding a few examples of the 6 types of communication talked about in this section.

1. Persuasion

The first example below is an advert for the fast food chain Burger King. Apart from their logo, the only other text on the ad is a small line reading ‘It Just Tastes Better’.

The ad relies on the fact that consumers already know something about Burger King, as no information about their products is supplied. More importantly, it assumes that viewers will recognise the partly-disguised figure of Ronald McDonald – McDonalds’ longtime mascot.… Read the rest

Part 2 – Project 4: Exercise 2

We are asked to read the extract from ‘The Road’ again – as many times as we feel you need to – and to think carefully about the following and make some notes:

  • ‘He’, the man, and ‘the boy’ are nameless. Why? Does their anonymity change the way we feel about the characters? Can we still care about them without names? Do they still have an identity without a name?

There are various reasons the characters are nameless. One could be that, without names, we as readers can’t project any of our own biases onto them. For instance, if they … Read the rest

Part 2 – Project 4: Exercise 1

Project 4 starts by giving us an extract from The Road by Cormac McCarthy and asks us to re-write a few lines of the extract using different types of narrator:

• First person narrator – from the point of view of the man (I pushed the cart…)

“I pushed the cart and both me and the boy carried knapsacks. In the knapsacks were essential things in case we had to abandon the cart and make a run for it. Clamped to the handle of the cart was a chrome motorcycle mirror that I used to watch the road behind us. … Read the rest

Part 2 – Project 3: Exercise 3

This exercise asks us to attempt a close reading of Dylan Thomas’ poem Fern Hill. The instructions suggest making an entry into your learning log and jotting down some notes as follows:

• What’s the mood of the poem? How does it make you feel?

The overall mood is light and happy. It makes me feel the freedom of childhood. At the end, however, the narrator appears to accept the fact that these days are gone, and the poem takes a turn for the more serious

• What poetic devices does Thomas use and what effect do they have on Read the rest

Part 2 – Project 2: Exercise 2

Can you think of any more examples of character archetypes? Have a think about it and then do some research to see if you’re on the right lines and to find out more.

From the previous section, we are already told about the mentor, sidekick, and shapeshifter.

My list also contained the hero, villain, protector, love interest, and the fool/idiot/comedy character.

In ‘The Writer’s Journey’, Vogler details ‘The Most Common and Useful Archetypes’ as:

Hero: The protagonist, or central character.
Mentor: Provides motivation, insights, and training for the hero. Helps alleviate doubts and fears. In a story, the … Read the rest

Part 2 – Project 1: Exercise 2

Write a list of everything you’ve read or written or seen or heard in the last 24 hours.

How many stories are contained within your list? This could be anything from notes in your learning log to the afternoon play on Radio 4, from a friend recounting a funny tale to the latest news online.

  • The things on my list I would count as stories are an 87k word fan fiction story I’m reading, the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ that I watched last night, some marketing emails I read which include ‘personal’ stories from the writers, and some of
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Part 2 – Project 1: Exercise 1

The first exercise follows on from the ideas of ‘the arbitrariness of the sign’ and ‘the textual revolution and the story’:

What happens to a story when you take it from its source, make it permanent in print, and disseminate it to a wide audience?

  • When a story is printed, it reaches a lot more people than it would when told orally. It stops evolving too. No longer does it change with each re-telling. That particular story is set in stone (or ink), unless it is re-written by someone else.
  • Printing of stories can have negative implications – misinformation and
Read the rest