By Polisemantica - 09:05:00

Denotation is the explicit or direct meaning of a word, while connotation is its associated or secondary meaning, with an emotional touch.

In other words, the word "father" is denotative, while the word "dad", although a synonym, is connotative, as it conveys an emotional touch that the word father lacks.

The difference between father and dad: denotation and connotation
Hence, denotation has a referential significance and represents reality.

Connotation, instead, seeks to trigger the emotional component of the product, combining it with visual examples that generate emotions in order to win critical endorsement and strike at the “heart” of the receiver with its message.

In Luxury, connotation obviously rules.

We don’t buy jewels or luxury accessories. We buy “beauty, sensuality, elegance”.

In the visual texts we have images denotative and connotative, depending on the author's intention to represent reality as it is or to express emotions and feelings.

Visual communication is certainly very important to the emotional element.

That's why, in advertisements and promotional images of a product or a service, it is advisable in most cases insist with connotations, to stir emotions in the recipient and be able to more easily send the message directly to the user's unconscious .

Objects use the plastic denotation and plastic connotation.

A bottle is an example of plastic denotation.

Undefinied bottles: a plastic denotation
The shape of the object is neutral, descriptive of its function: it is simply an object to contain a liquid.

However, if the bottle of Coca Cola, its sinuous shape is designed to get noticed and charm the target. Part of the early success of the drink was determined by the shape of its bottle.

A bottle of Coca-Cola: a plastic connotation

Other examples of connotation are, for instance:
  • The Starck juicer
  • the sofa in the shape of the mouth
  • the shoe of Lady Gaga
The plastic connotation of the Starck juicer
The three variables to obtain an object with a strong plastic connotation are:
  1. the material
  2. the shape
  3. the size

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