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.
This article analyses two theatre pieces by Rabih Mroué as statements and reflections about how images work. “The Pixelated Revolution” (2012) and “Three Posters” (2000) are lecture-performances that probe the power of images in the context of war. Both performances use images “on the brink” of death, the first showing gripping footage from demonstrators in the Syrian civil war and the latter integrating a real video testimony of a Lebanese suicide bomber into the theatre piece. These precarious images between life and death are used to theorise the image in an alternative way. Specifically, Mroué stages the image as self-critical metapictures, as has been theorized by W. J. T. Mitchell. Furthermore, Mroué treats the images as if they were actors, as if they had a life, a death, and ghostly (re)appearances of their own. This relates to Mitchell’s later approach, looking at images as living organisms. If images are alive, what lives do they lead, both within and beyond the theatre?
This research explored young adult millennial student perceptions of good design and the extent to which the elements of design were reflected in the determination. The sample, sixty-five young adult millennials between twenty-two and thirty-four, derived from students studying design at a west coast US university. Access to students was through the researchers who posted a link to the survey on course online learning platforms. The instrument asked the respondent to take a photo of any object considered to be good design. Photo documentation offered familiar expression and individual voice regarding design perceptions. The student uploaded the image to the survey and then provided responses to quantitative and qualitative questions. These responses were intended to elicit design element perceptions, including identification of elements most and least representative of good design. Color, texture, and mass/form were most frequently selected as least or most representative of good design. Good design was often described without using the fundamental elements of design as descriptors. The majority described good design based on object functionality, material use, simplicity, and the overall design result rather than focusing on the design elements. The image, as a learning methodology, is a powerful approach to analyzing good design. Assigning photo documentation of design along with descriptions of elements will lead to a greater understanding of these very fundamental design aspects. Providing millennials the opportunity to engage in learning about design using an approach to which they easily relate is vital to their success in articulating thoughts about and beyond the image.