Mon, Jan 31

DSGN 3100: Introduction

Today's objectives

  • Review assignment
  • Myths and code
  • Assignment 3 prep
  • Important Make sure you have access to a copy of the Rhetorical Handbook - we'll need it soon.
    Design Papers 5 - Rhetorical Handbook


Agenda: Class 4


Semiotics of the Dollar Store

Semiotics of the Dollar Store

Structures | Systems | Codes

Structures | Systems | Codes

Multisensory Semiotics

Multisensory Semiotics



Essay construction

Essay construction


More information on Codes



Assignment 3

Dollar Store Semiotics

A sign is anything that can be used to tell a lie.
-Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics

Make a visit to a Dollar Store, such as Dollarama.

Choose a product that uses persuasion to suggest it is something it is not: healthy, genuine, effective, etc. The product you choose should be rich in signs. Clones, knock-offs, and other non-mainstream products are best.

Carefully analyse the systems of signs present in the item, using techniques similar to those in class on the knockoff brand chocolate bar. Treat the item as expressing a rhetoric: a systematic series of signs and messages, all performing different tasks.

Make reference to denotative and connotative language, types of codes and their audiences. Write a descriptive essay, outlining the semiotic aspects of the item. Use Barthes's "Rhetoric of the Image" as an inspiration, if you need.

Length: 500-1000 words. You may use illustrations and other diagrams, but only if they help get your point across. Format it using the MLA formatting rules. Include a "works cited" page noting any sources you used, *including* the product you have chosen. Use the MLA Bibliography style for your citations. Zoterobib is a useful tool for generating citations.

As MLA does not have a clear format for citing objects, use:

Manufacturer name. "Product name." Date of purchase. Name of item.
So, an example would be:

Original Gourmet. "Chocolate Fusion." Feb 10, 2021. Milk chocolate covered biscuits.

Due: 6PM, { layout.class-XX | date:'%s' | minus:86400 | date:"%a, %b %d" }} Upload the PDF file to Brightspace.

Name the file: YOURLASTNAME_DSGN3100_Assign3.PDF

Rough Draft If you want to, please submit a rough draft by 6 PM, Sunday Feb 14, which I will review and comment on. Also, consider making an appointment with the NSCAD Writing Centre if writing us something you encounter difficulties with.

Review the notes on essay construction, above.

Late assignment penalties

For this assignment, late submissions will be penalized at 10% of the total mark (that is, if an assignment is graded out of 10, you will lose 1 point per day, starting on the due date.)

A 1-hour grace period after the assignment due time will be given to avoid any technical issues related to internet speed resulting in late assignment penalties.

The best approach, however, is to submit work early.