Creative Backgrounds for the DP

  • DP Backgrounds – be creative – get out and take shots!

    Click on this link to open a file with all kinds of backgrounds that I took at home last night. As black canvases they are not particularly exciting but take them into photoshop and play with the filters and liquify and you could end up having some really funky backgrounds for your Digipak.

    You have to get some shots in – experiment and look for angles, perspectives, textures and composition of random objects.


Photographic Inspiration

This website has lots of ideas from artists and media makers around the world. It might just offer you some inspiration for your MES – remember simple but meaningful use of MES could make all the difference: some broken plates, antique books, a bright red balloon, tattered armchair, sleek hair do, interesting window frame, bright red lipstick, beaten up car etc.

However, be careful not to over stretch yourself. Look at previous student’s work and see what is likely and possible. You may have to ‘cut your cloth’ (plan one’s aims and activities in line with one’s resources and circumstances) and do something simple and brilliantly as opposed to attempt something spectacular but badly.

Here are some links to some specific pages that could whet your appetite:

Continue reading Photographic Inspiration

DP PMA, RA and Template

This week you should be planning, executing and producing your Digipak.  Make sure your planning is precise and comprehensive. All planning documents should be uploaded to the blog. You will have to organise your group, models and performers. Remember you have fewer lessons this week so you need to work in a focused manner.

Attached to this post are links to shot lists, agendas and digipak templates.

You should also use Adobe Indesign to create your templates. You can choose one from the list.

Use Photoshop to amend, edit and manipulate your photos and Indesign to construct the actual Digipak.

You must also include your contact sheets in the blog and give an overview of which shots you finally choose and why. Make copies of the PMA and RA sheets.

Production Meetings Agenda

Risk Assessment

4 Pane


Digipak – genre moodboard, favourite DP covers and photo inspiration

  • After considering how genre is reflected in the design of a Digipak, you will now have to create your own individual padlet moodboard to collate ideas for your Digipak cover.

Remember you are creating an album cover for the band/performer – not just the song you have done your music video for, although this will feature in the song list.

You should consider all of the following and find images, ideas to illustrate the feel of the Digipak design.

  1. Images – MES, locations, characters, designs, graphics, illustrations, photos etc
  2. Typefaces
  3. Colour Schemes
  4. Inspirational Digipacks – something similar?
  5. Logos
  6. Copy Ideas – text etc.


LOOK AROUND FOR INSPIRATION – DON’T JUST GOOGLE! and add in BUZZ words for a busy, brainstorm of exciting ideas – you can annotate directly onto the board or once you have taken a photo of it for inclusion in your blog, you can annotate in indesign or photoshop.

  • Colour Scheme Designer (Mixes colours and find complementary ones)
  • Colour Lovers ( a brilliant site with pallettes hex codes (copy and paste in Photoshop)
  • Flikr (great images)
  • Pintrest (good for typefaces, textures, design ideas…)
  • Behance (Lots of portfolios of work from inspirational creatives)
  • Typography to inspire (100 great pieces of typography to feed your inspiration)

Digipak Forms and Conventions

We now need to have a look at how digipaks  are designed to work alongside videos to support the promotion of a new album.

Consider digipak covers. What do they have in common? What are the forms (technical elements for all CD covers) and genre conventions (designs particular to that genre of the music)?

Here are our notes on the conventions of a digipak. Read them when you get stuck.

Now you must find a digipak cover from the same genre as your music video and annotate it for the design forms and genre conventions. This must be uploaded to your blog. Make it detailed and use the terms from the sheets below. Try and find the back of it too, that would be great for some of the technical forms i.e. barcode, publisher logo etc.

Click for an example analysis

You should focus on: images, graphics, illustrations, font, colour, technical conventions (barcode, parental advisory, album title on spine, tracks on the back), register of copy, mise-en-scene, composition, intertextual references, how does the cover communicate meaning, denotations and connotations, image manipulation, filters, generic conventions, how can it be ‘read/interpreted’ by an audience, star image, metanarrative, representation?

This is a link to a previous student’s exemplar.


Use terms like convey, suggest, represent, show, highlight, infers, highlights etc

Album Brand and Mission Statement

Remember the brief?

promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music video (major task), together with a website for the band and a digipak for the album’s release (minor tasks).

It is important to note from the beginning that you are not making a digipack and website to advertise your music video!You are launching a new album, which contains that song, but which also contains a number of other tracks.

So before you start planning the print and web elements of this promotional package. You need to be clear about the mission statement for the whole campaign. You must think more holistically about the album and create an integrated advertising campaign…

Your Marketing Strategy & Mission Statement

Who is your Audience?

  • Who they are (demographics)
  • What other media they consume and participate in.
  • What their values attitudes and beliefs (ideology / psychographics)

A Call to Action

  • How do you want the audience to engage with your star / album
  • How will they invest time and money in your star / album

Who are the competition?

  • Name three similar bands / artists.
  • What are the trends in album designs of similar stars / bands?
  • What does their website look like?

Your USP (Unique Selling Point)

  • Is your star already established or are trying to establish a new presence in the market?
  • What is your star image & how are you trying to innovate / develop that image?
    • Are you mixing up elements of different genres?
    • Are you trying to re-brand your star?
    • Are you emphasising the ordinary or extraordinary?
      • Remember according to Dyer meta narratives include both.

Your Mission Statement.

  • In 50 words or fewer write an agreed mission statement that includes the central idea that will unify your brand.
    • This will include ideas represented in your music video, but must also bring in a wider range of ideas that you will develop as you make a 3D Moodboard.


Individually, note down brief ideas in response to the questions above….then

As a group, complete the mission statement in production groups and copy it into your blog.

This blog post is essential for when you come to complete Creative Critical Reflection 2.

How do the elements of your production work together to create a sense of ‘branding’?


Sunnies puts the vibe into indie rock.  Influenced by the best of Poland’s underground punk scene and the top tenners of UK Brit Pop, the Sunnies aim to go ‘where no man has gone before’. Combining a musical landscape of hard rock rifs, abrasive punk lyrics and indiistic themes, the band will satisfy the hardest of new wave critics. The new album, DON’T RAIN ON MY WELLIES,  is destined for a Grammy – making it number 3 on their mantelpiece of success.

Skye is this decade’s rising moon.  Mixing indie folk and Appalachian A Capella, Skye’s haunting acoustic tones and her quirky and experimental performance style, combines the best of festival fantasy, giving her fans a visual and auditory kaleidoscope.  The new album, SKYE HIGH, features the hit song, ‘SIGH NO MORE’ and will tease the socks off the best of British female artists including Kate Bush and Florence and the Machine.


Audience Ideologies – who are your target audience?

In order to understand audience you should understand what makes them tick, especially what reasons they have for consuming media at all. A couple of theorists who considered this were Blumler & Katz, who suggested that there were four reasons collectively known as Uses and Gratification. Their theory describes an active audienceand suggested four reasons for people to actively seek out and consume media:


Information Self education to suit personal needs; advice on practical matters; information on events or issues of personal interest; curiosity or general interest
Personal Identity Media reinforces personal values; models of behavior; content explored to challenge, adjust or affirm sense of self
Social Interaction Identify with others to gain a sense of belonging; find basis for real life interactions; substitute for real life relationships
Entertainment Escape; diversion; emotional release; filling time; aesthetic enjoyment

Here is a powerpoint on Stuart Hall and his ‘Reception Theory’. Consider what he says about audience.  He argues that an audience decodes what the producer encodes in a text. However, how they read the text will depend on their demographics and psychographics and general cultural competence.

Here is the Theory Booklet with all of Hall’s ideas on Pages 11 and 12.



So…what am I supposed to do with all this theory?

Task – Design your perfect audience member.

As a pair/group agree the following features of your audience:

  • Which other bands/artists your audience would be into?
  • What other media they would consume, fashion tastes, musical genre preferences,
  • What are their values, attitudes and beliefs they hold about what’s important in their lives and the world around them.
  • What broad groups your audience fall into (gender, age, education, occupation, marital status, cultural background)?
  • What ‘communities’ do they belong to?
    • Where do they live, work and play?

Then individually design your target audience profile


Here is a handout we gave you earlier this year which describes different audience groups / communities which is helpful in reaching some conclusions about their values, attitudes and beliefs, and how to describe their communities and social groups.

Use Indesign, or Google slides to design a profile for your target audience which they might upload to a dating site.

Give your ideal audience an image, name, gender, relationship status, groups, status, likes, dislikes…all of this should be through the filter of music and should help describe your audience profile. Make it as detailed as possible – why not consider someone you know (do not actually use them) who likes the music, is a fan of that music/band and use them as inspiration.

Note: Each group member should complete their own ideal fan.

Here are a template that you might want to follow for categories etc:  other popular artists liked by fans of X, age, gender, other things liked by (TV, food, sport, online, films, actors, artists etc).  It is a very boring example but is a basic outline of what you should be doing.

You should also try and outline the ‘typical fan’ on someone you know – this always helps to guide your design decisions – would he or she like it, respond to it, notice it, enjoy it?

YOU MUST ALSO USE THIS WEBSITE:  Go to ratings/entertainment and then  search for your artist or a similar one. Then scroll around and down and see what other artists they might like, what else interests them, their age, beliefs, politics etc. and mention it in your introduction or even better, take a snipping tool screen shot of the profile target audience for your performer.  For example this link gives information about fans of Adele.

REMEMBER TO USE TERMINOLOGY IN YOUR BLOG POSTS INTRODUCTIONS! –preferred reading, encode, decode, oppositional reading, demographics, psychographics, cultural experience, uses and gratification, target audience, producer, target audience, entertainment, education, social interaction and personal identity, communities, tribes, tribewired, individualists etc from the audience segmentation sheet.

Welcome Back – Dive straight in!

We hope you have had a restful summer.

But the hard work starts here, right now, straight up!

This side of next week you have to have completed:

  • Draft 3 and all the relevant youtube feedback.
  • Helped review others.
  • Draft 4 completed and up on your blog with filmed feedback from peers – include the emailed feedback from your teacher that you will have received if you had Draft 3/4 up.
  • The blog posts up to the summer blue line.

On Monday – WE MOVE ON TO DIGIPAK AND WEBSITE – plenty more posts and class work to do as well as theory for the exam.


If any of the MV posts are not complete then they have to be done in your own time.

Home study is not a reason just to leave the premises….use it to work on your coursework at school.


Final 2 weeks – only 10 lessons to go

The priorities are in the next 15 lessons:

Complete the video (make sure you ALL play an equal part in editing, filming and group tasks).  Some of you will have to do extra shoots this week for pick-up shots – this is important.

Complete the blog

It is REALLY IMPORTANT  that the blog is up to date before you go on summer holidays as historically anyone who has missing or incomplete posts does never do as well with their coursework marks as returning to the blog is a complete nightmare after 6 weeks away.


Make them reflective, full of media terms (use our blog as inspiration) and really focus on, what has changed, feedback (self, peer or teacher) and your own ideas for further changes/targets.

Don’t cut corners – this is your chance to shine.

If you know you are missing any lessons for whatever reason, then you need to factor this in and ensure you are spending frees, lunchtimes, breaktimes, after school in the Media room ensuring you can leave for the summer with up to date coursework.



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