My Tour Poster

Before the end of the first half term, we were set to design a tour poster, putting all our skills to the test. As expected of a tour poster, there must be the features; name of artist and tour, date and venues and other information like ticket prices etc. Before we set off, we had to have a brainstorm and research the genre and its album covers. After a brainstorm about my genre, hip hop, I set out to make it.

Overall, I think I done a few things well, but now looking at it now there are glaring problems with the poster.  It fails to achieve AIDA, I don’t think it catches a lot of attention, its quite dull with the grey background. I tried to aim for an urban background in relation for the hip hop conventions, but it certainly backfired. It gives a more gloomy mood then an angry and active mood.  I should have aimed for a contrasting background, that would have made it more exciting and overall better to look at, which would have caught attention much better. I find the typeface to be somewhat appropriate, its bold, san ceriph and informal, however, the typeface of name of the artist could have been better, its somewhat retro than urban. It should have been a graffiti typeface, that’s more appropriate for the hip hop genre, this would have communicated the idea of hip hop and rebelliousness. The red colour that is typical of the genre, does feel out of place with the grey background. It does not even contrast that well, due to its size it is swallowed up by the background. Instead of communicating excitement, it feels out of place, as if it was from out of much more vivid tour poster.

The main image does not go well with the grey background, with the only saving grace is the golden glove contrasting against everything else, thus making the focus of the image. The rude and aggressive gesture just screams hip hop. I tried to aim for a contrast between the main cover star and the background, but I failed in that aspect, as the cover star is mostly composed of the colour  grey. Now thinking about it, it would have been better if the main image just an enlarged center with the unnecessary bits cropped out, with much more focus on the glove. It still would communicate aggressiveness, bling as much as the original image but with less grey and a bigger focus. It would be certainly a much more interesting image to look at.

The layout of the image is conventional, it works, but it is certainly not imaginative. The one thing I have done well is the distance between the words. For example, at the date listings, the words are much closer together, this makes it much easier to read the listings as the audience is not trying to identify whether the below or above word is paired up with. I’ve got a conjuncture that by having the copy following the shape of the image, it would have certainly made it look more imaginative.

I can’t believe I forgot to add in “Parental Advisory Explicit Content”, that a necessity when it comes to the hip hop genre.

With all of that in mind, I can definitely set same targets. I think the reason why I done many bad mistake is that I had less time then everyone else as I had to leave the island and miss two lessons. If I had taken a bit slower and avoid rushing, I would avoid doing less rash mistakes.

  • AIDA
  • Avoid too much of one colour
  • If possible, avoid conventions as they’re unimaginative
  • Include only the necessary parts of the photograph
  •  Criticise the work as I work along, these would solve a lot of issues
  • Avoid rushing


My copy of a professional magazine front page

We have come to the point of preparing to make our own music magazine. As practice, our task was to copy a professional magazine cover by using Adobe Indesign. We had a few lessons with a professional, who had come over to school for a few days, on how to use InDesign, which will become our tool for the next few weeks. While the result is far from professional, it is a stepping stone.

Click to see magazine.



As a first attempt at Adobe InDesign, overall I think I done well. I managed to put in a pug (top right corner), and a diagonal strip at the top right corner, so shape manipulation was well achieved. I managed to add a black borderline over some of the text. While it was not in the the original copy, the borderline made it much more easier to read as the text won’t merge with the background. I also managed to replicate the positions of the text, and the space between them. For example, in the bottom left corner in the cover line, the text “Vampire Weekend” is much closer together, showing that it is one whole subject. This is the same for the original copy.

The major problem was the overall layout of the cover. As Mr Greg stated in the lesson (unfortunately this was after I finished the cover) was that the layout follows the main image. I’ve accidentally put in the wrong image (rather than the actual image used in the cover), which was inappropriate for a vertical cover as the image was horizontal. This led to me cropping the image down, making it look squashed. For next time, I should take in consideration the main image when I produce the magazine and the image on the photoshoot. I choose the wrong fonts, the reason for this was because I could not recognise the fonts in name when looking for them on InDesign. I should learn the names and looks of the common fonts, and their effectiveness. Another problem present was although I have done complex manipulation of shapes, I think I can improve on it because it does reflect the original 100%. For example, the strip in the top right corner should have an inner white border. To resolve these issues, I’ll look on  tutorials online to improve my skills in preparation when we start producing our magazine.


Common fonts

Most important fonts


Manipulating shapes

Layout design


Lick and Stick Mock-Up

To further fortify our understanding of magazine covers, we were tasked to choose a front cover, sketch it terribly and label it using sticky notes, known as the “Lick and Stick Mock-Up”.

The original












Our “Lick and Stick” Mock-Up

Whats to note here is that not all the features of a magazine are present on each cover, as exemplar above, there’s no insets, nor is the sketch filled with sticky notes compared to other pairs’ results. I speculate this is because overloading the cover with pictures and captions will backfire and make it look like a total mess and look unappealing. I suppose whether or not to do this is to advertise visually, or to have a refined cover to make it look prestige with the emphasis on one feature of the current issue. This in turn will make the magazine to be of much more value to certain customers. This depends on the demographics and psycho-graphics of the audience. I’ll keep this in mind.



The Camera Talks

Before we start to producing our magazine, we’re going have to take photographs of pretend stars, and even before that, we’re going to learn how to construct images which give a some sort of feeling or story, in order to communicate a message about that photographed star. As we learned the basics as stated in the previous post, its time to further cement our understanding. With the photographs we have taken, we have been tasked to describe the technical terms of each photograph, and describe the effect they have, and what story or message they communicate. This because the photographs were are going to take of our music stars are going to need to communicate several ideas about that star in order to create a star image, so this is practice for it. We are also been tasked to give appropirate hashtags to describe the mood. I have no idea how these hashtags work, since I’m an anomaly and don’t use social media, so if the hashtags are being used incorrectly, I’m warning you now. Also, since we’re set loose in a limited environment, expect recurring themes such as isolation.

Due to some unforeseen technical problems, I’ve been reduced to using Google Slides instead of the recommended moodboard websites.


Technical Camera Terms

As we’re getting ready to make our magazine, we were taught on how to use the DSLRs (layman terms: good cameras) and how to frame photographs using several techniques. We’ve put into pairs and sent outside the classroom to practice and stabilise our photographing skills. We were tasked to take a good photograph corresponding to each technique. Here are the 9 techniques:


High and Low: Depending on the angle, it can give that the sense of power and authority, or vice versa. Low is the one that gives the power, while a photo from a high angle gives the sense of powerlessness. On the other hand, canted/Dutch angles give the photo a distorted view, mimicking chaos and confusion.


Extreme close up: Shot that has a subject very close up, like a section of a face. This a way to get a very detailed photograph of one subject. Medium shot often captures most of the subject, either comparing it to another subject or environment. Long shot is when the frame encompasses the whole of the subject, with space for different subjects and environment. At extreme long shot the subject is minute, with a big focus on the relationship between the environment and the subject.


Lead space is when there is a space in front of the subjects, this either gives the impression that it is moving or looking somewhere. Depth of field is when the subject is in focus, while the background is out of focus, vice versa or both. It is an easy way of highlighting the subject when the background is out of focus. The rule of thirds is when the photograph is framed into 9 equal squares along with the subject. This way of framing works well because its our eyes naturally respond well to it.

These are the basic techniques that every amateur photographer learns, however, they are not be all and end all techniques, nor do they guarantee a good photograph.

For this photograph, it is a medium shot, with rule of thirds, and proxemics, which is a way to describe the relationship between two subjects by how close they are. In this case, the two subjects are quite distant, as demonstrated by the medium shot.




In this one, its a medium close up with a depth of field thrown in.There’s also lead space in both of the subjects. As stated before, the medium shot gives the impression that they are distant. With one of the subjects being out of focus, the distance between them is further emphasised.




 In this one, it is a close up, with the rule of thirds drawing the eye into the center of the flower, and the left edge, showing the environment which the subject resides in.





Below is the contact sheet, in the next blog post I will go in detail about the individual photographs.


Mise-en-scene (Designing your music star)


Before we set out making a music magazine, our class needed to learn how to create an authentic music star. As a preliminary task, we were put in into pairs and given a genre to recreate using the stock clothes in the class and as well as creating a moodboard reflecting the genre. Me and Holly were tasked to dress up in the genre as hip hop, or more commonly known as rap. After a finding appropriate wear, photographs were taken of us.


The class then described us via sticky notes. For our pair the adjectives consisted of “aggressive”, “upbeat”, “radical” “street-like” “loaded with bling” and “street class”. The reason for our class describing is to fortify our knowledge for the genre, and try to remember the suggested improvements for the next shoot. We also discussed the positioning of the current models and the effects. I was the head rapper loaded with bling, so of course I had to lean like a smug rapper. The effect of this posture was that it gave a sense of smugness and higher social street positioning.

After the group discussion, each pair went out to take photographs with improvements in mind. Knowing the genre, I attempted to do aggressive positions, such as offensive had gestures, confident chin up, while swanking my bling. With partner for this exercise, Holly, also had relaxed, confident poses. Overall, this exercise will later help us to design our own star, and how we’re going to present them when we came to photograph them.


Above is a moodboard of the genre, detailing the posture, costume, props etc. In terms of props, there’s objects that often denote wealth and social status, such as money, bling and boomboxes. The postures are often quite radical and expressive comprising of stretching, offensive signs or ways to show off plumage. Actors are mostly young, lower class individuals who decided to stay outside then study for their education, so their “acting” will often be reckless, rebellious, energetic and most of the time not self-aware and uneducated. Its not like they’re singing about  the existential and metaphysical problems an individual faces throughout his life, unless you consider getting money and females as an good substitute to explore. Costumes, such as hoodies are colourful, explosive and filled with popular icons. A baseball cap with a a recognisable brand image is strongly recommended. There is a lack of extensive make up although tattoos (with edgy bold patterns) are popular as they’re reflect the genre well. The setting is obviously going to be urban, preferably in the poor, abandoned areas with graffiti.

Overall, the MES could be well represented by wearing bright hoodies, baggy trousers topped up with a baseball cap or a beanie paired up with anything gold, like chains (but not chalices, that’s a bit too medieval), with the actor making gestures that only street gangs would take offence. If there is to be lighting, it will be either colourful (mimicing nightclub lighting) or tungsten light (mimicing the outside night lamps).

Out of the photo shoot, I think this is the best photo. The costume is appropriate, as the fur gives the artist a sign of wealth and authority. The tissues and gloves are embalmed with gold has also the same effect. The white baseball cap is a contrast, giving the bright colour that hi hop is often attributed to. Underneath the suit, you can spot jeans and a dark blue shirt, both are inexpensive items which hi hop artists have a tendency to wear and afford. The artist is making a rude gesture while expressing a disdaining demeanor. The lighting, (the least important part in this task) gives me a shadow on my face, giving me literally a darkened expression, which portrays my disapproval. One way to improve this picture is take it again but this time from a low angle, this will give the subject a sense of power and authority. Also, the glasses didn’t catch the light, I think if it did, the light would have slightly been reflected, and make the artist beam and therefore give a feeling of a higher authority.

With this exercise over, I’ve gained experienced in designing a star, and how to present them by using poses, lighting, costume, etc.



Print media that communicates meaning

For a few lessons we were exploring colours, fonts, images and their connotations, and effects on the audience. We discussed several album covers collectively, before we were issued with a task to analyse an album cover by our self and write the effects on the audience. We can analyse anything on the cover, even the advertising, as even that has an effect on the audience. This was a quite an important task, as not only it helped to give a foundation to our analytical skills, but as well it gives an idea of what these factors (fonts, colours, imagery etc.) has effect on any media text. As we are going to make our own magazine, a media text, this task helped me to take in consideration of the subtle effects of several factors. For example, “With no soft, welcoming colours, I doubt the songs are going to be upbeat, more along the lines of heavy rock.”

I think was successful in decoding the album cover, I listened to the album after this task and I was correct in many aspects. “Reason is Treason” is a rock hard anti-establishment song with a music video swelled full of stock footage of violence and general anarchy. “L.S.F” was about a prison, so I think I was right with my assumption of the acronym having a link with the law.

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