Erin Craig – Semiotics

Every Leaf Traps CO2, Lorenzo Duran and Nadine Hoenow, 2012, Print Ad


Every Leaf Traps CO2 was illustrated by Lorenzo Duran and Nadine Hoenow, and was part of a creative print advertisement campaign in 2012 that aimed to raise awareness within the public about the importance of planting new trees in order to control air pollution.

From a denotive perspective, this image depicts a tree leaf that has been torn in order to create an industrial landscape. The company logo sits in the bottom left corner and the words above it read “Every Leaf Traps Co2”. Looking deeper, the paradigmatic meaning of the leaf cutout can be seen to connote industrial pollution, and the yellowing of the leaf and how it’s lying on what looks to be the ground, helps convey the message of pollutions affect on our environment. However, the cutout is also a synecodochal sign because it is used to represent not just industrial pollution, but all types of air pollution. Additionally, the realistic nature of the image also adds more authenticity to the advertisement, making it more believable. Furthermore, the logo and the text “Every Leaf Traps Co2” help reaffirm the message conveyed to the viewer and without them, the image would have less impact.


Pizza&Love: Fight for the Amazonas, Carles Nin, 2010, Print Ad (Photography)


Pizza&Love: Fight for the Amazonas was photographed by Carles Nin in 2010. It was designed for the Spanish pizza joint Pizza&Love and was part of their campaign to raise awareness of its eco-friendly packaging (100% recycled pizza boxes) and its use of only organic products.

On a denotive level, this image contains a single slice of pizza sitting in a greasy cardboard pizza box. The company logo sits in the bottom right corner and the left hand side of the image reads “Fight for the last slice”. However, on a connotive level, the broccoli covered pizza represents the Amazon rainforest, which is noticeable because of its telltale river and location on the grease map. Additionally, a paradigmatic meaning is also developed as the missing slices convey the message that we are destroying the Earth’s environment and that like the photograph, most of it has already disappeared. Furthermore, the left hand text anchors the advertisements message that Earth is a precious resource and we need to “fight for the last slice” to preserve it. The syntagmatic relationship between the elements within the image allows the advertisement of environmentally friendly pizza boxes to be expressed. Without the interaction between the elements, like the pizza sitting on the ‘map’, it would loose all its meaning.


Both advertisements aim to raise awareness of the harm being done to our environment. They were designed to target the viewers empathy and use the strong connotive meanings hidden beneath each element to achieve this. The first image has a dominant, visual message with an understated verbal one, whilst the second image displays a strong verbal and visual message with its punchy words and intriguing graphics. They also both present clear messages of environmental damage using paradigmatic signs to make the viewer look closer at the ’empty’ space, which is an interesting and effective method to develop this manner of advertisement.



Creative Ad Awards. 2014. “Every Leaf Traps CO2.” Image. Accessed August 19, 2016.

Ads of the World. 2010. “Pizza&Love: Fight for the Amazonas.” Image. Accessed August 20, 2016.


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