The image may be frank or empathetic depending on the user and the message needed to be passed across (269). To understand and get the meaning of the image in a piece of work, knowledge of signs is important especially in the advertising field. Any image may denote a coded message, a linguistic message, or a non-coded iconic message and require a lot of reading to separate the meaning. The image may contain a cultural and a perpetual message in which the image has the literal meaning as depicted by the symbols.
The linguistic message forms images that do not contain any words, and one would need to revisit illiterate societies to get the pictographic meaning of the image. For example, the appearance of a book cover is an image with a lot of meanings and may depict some of the information contained in the book (273). The linguistic message is present in almost all the images especially in the field of mass communication such as the title, caption, and comic strip. There are two functions of the linguistic message in the iconic message, which are the anchorage and the relay. All images contain signs that the reader need to choose while ignoring others as in every society there are various techniques to resolve various signs. The linguistic message is one of the techniques to counter the challenge. For symbolic messages, linguistic does not play any part in the identification but can aid in the interpretation to give a meaning of the image. In other cases, the anchorage may be ideological such as in Advertisements and its purpose is to direct the readers and enable them to avoid some and receive other through dispatching them.
Anchorage is very common in press photographs and advertisements in which the function of the relay is not common such as in cartoons and comic strips (274). The denoted image allows for the distinction between the literal message and the symbolic