Imagining Self, Nation, and History through the Wartime Propaganda Posters of the Ministry of Information

During the Second World War, the British Ministry of Information (MoI) produced posters to promote its home front campaigns and inform and motivate the public. Some posters have been republished in a variety of media over the last seventy years and are recognised today by large numbers of people in Britain. These have had a significant influence on British cultural memory and identity. This article assesses the impact of certain MoI posters on the construction and communication of personal, familial, and national identities in Britain. This is achieved through semiotic analyses of the images in light of evidence of their reception by the British public both during the war and in the present day, enabling examination of the images’ design and symbolic power. Evidence of reception in the present day is drawn from surveys and interviews conducted with volunteers in 2017. Drawing on theories of semiotics and cultural memory, this article reveals how graphic images designed for distinct purposes can, over time, serve to help people to imagine themselves, their nation, and their history. It contributes to discussions on the function of visual propaganda and to our understanding of the role of historical images in shaping cultural memory and identity.

The Athlete’s Image, Visual Representation, and Image Repair/Image Prepare: Tom Brady, Jane Rosenberg, and the Courtroom Sketches

The image repair rhetoric of Jane Rosenberg, courtroom sketch artist for the Tom Brady “Deflategate” case, expands our understanding of image repair rhetoric at the intersection of sport, legal, and popular communication. This analysis draws on the comprehensive work of Benoit’s typology of image repair. We found that Rosenberg used a number of image repair strategies, including evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, mortification, and corrective action. Some strategies seemed to function as preemptive image prepare. Additional media coverage adapted much of her rhetoric into conventional, familiar sport narratives, including the “comeback” and/or “redemption” story. We discuss how these strategies fit—or did not—conventional strategies of image repair.

Resonance in Japanese Advertising: The Union of Text and Image

This article employs semiotic analysis as well as marketing theory for examining Japanese advertising. Much advertising, in both Japan and the West, exploits “resonance”—a pairing of image with text in the service of word play. But little has been done to explain how Japanese advertising compares to its Western (primarily American) counterpart. Semiotic analysis of resonance entails interpreting the narrative scripts and frames that are brought into play for the Japanese consumer. These narratives offer a unique window onto Japanese marketing strategies and by extension onto Japanese aesthetics and culture.