MEDIA MYTHBUSTING: ‘The image cannot lie’

The phrase Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.02.59 pm talks about how each unique person can create their own meaning from an image. Even though the image stays the same, interpretations can vary.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.03.21 pm depending on:

  • Shared knowledge
  • Shared myths
  • Shared ideologies- a system of ideas and ideals 1*

All images are full of signs, which can be things from writing, to colours, to the objects in the image. Each sign can have many meanings, which depends on the person viewing it. For example, if two people were to view this sign:


Person 1 may think that it means that there is a hill coming up or that the road is bumpy

Person 2 could think that a speed bump it up ahead


This shows that even though it is the same image, people can interpret it differently.

Here is a deconstruction of an image to help prove how signs can portray meanings.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.02.13 am

3*Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.08.53 pm

Red background

  • Something important and urgent is on the poster
  • Grabs your attention

Women with wide eyes open

  • She is intrigued by what she is holding
  • The women is wide awake and looks like she is full of energy
  • The coffee that she is holding must be keeping her energetic


  • Has connotations of happiness and joy
  • Makes the woman look happy with what she is doing

Coffee mug being held oScreen Shot 2015-03-19 at 11.54.28 amut

  • The coffee mug is the centre of attention so it must be important
  • The woman must be the way she is because of the coffee

Dark contrasting woman’s hair

  • Makes the woman look important and draws the viewers attention to her

Slogan ‘You can sleep when you’re dead!’

  • Interpreted as life is too short to be sleeping
  • Live life to the full
  • If you drink this coffee you wont want to sleep

So after evaluating the image, to me it is selling the experience of coffee, being that if you have it you won’t want to sleep and why would you want to sleep because life is too short. So through symbols within a picture a meaning can be drawn and this is called Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 12.11.13 pm.

1* Oxford Dictionaries – Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar. 2015. Oxford Dictionaries – Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com. [Accessed 19 March 2015].

2* Safety Signs Australia – Home . 2015. Safety Signs Australia – Home. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.safetysignsaustralia.com. [Accessed 19 March 2015].

3* MemePix. 2015. MemePix. [ONLINE] Available at: http://cdn.memepix.com. [Accessed 19 March 2015].


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