1.c) How did your print productions use, develop or challenge conventions of media language and genre?
Genre The genre of the song used for my music video is a combination of indie rock and pop, and I chose to incorporate parts of each genre in the print productions. As the backgrounds are conventional of the indie genre, the plain white background for the middle panels and a natural background for the album cover. Although the indie genre is quite creative and diverse in terms of the album photographs and art, there are a few identifiable themes that a lot of indie album covers use, such as simple, but visually appealing designs and nature links. These convention of indie because indie productions are often low budget and have to use cheap available space to create products. This creates minimalistic, but often striking images, or with the links to nature, provides an interesting, perhaps mysterious or meaningful background. For this type of background, natural lighting is often used to create a sense of warmth in the image to reflect the genre, such as Mitski's 'Puberty 2' album cover and back. which was an influence for the photograph used on the album cover. These elements are incorporated into my print productions, with natural warm lighting and a natural setting with links to the music video for the cover, as well as plain white backgrounds to create a simple, but striking image for the middle panels.
The backgrounds inspired by indie is combined with conventions identified from indie-pop, rock and indie-rock album designs. For example, a feature identified from the pop genre, as well as often the rock genre is to feature the artist on the cover. This isn't as much of a feature on indie and indie rock album covers, as they often use artistic imagery and interesting pictures rather than trying to create a something to pander to audiences, but instead try to attract people who appreciate art more. For more mainstream products, such as pop and rock albums the artist or band is usually featured on the front to create a recognisable brand, usually to get people to buy the album because they recognise an artist they know and already like. Almost all pop albums do this, as well as including the name of the singer, which is another thing that not all indie albums do for the front cover. This is a feature included on my album cover, magazine advert and middle panels of the digipak to link to the rock and pop aspects of the song, to create a brand for audiences to recognise and to include an aspirational figure for the target audience to relate to. This could be considered a feature of pop which presents lots of young, successful people on their album covers for audiences to aspire to be like. This is something I wanted to include in my digipak, to represent and connect to the target audience.
To construct the overall look of the album cover I researched albums of a similar genre to the song chosen for my music video. These 3 album covers were big influences on design choices for my album cover. Lana Del Rey's album is pop or indie pop and uses conventions of this genre I used such as the bold and eye catching font and featuring the singer in the centre of the album cover. Featuring the artist or band was also a convention identified from rock albums as well as pop album covers, such as Pale Honey. Pale Honey's album cover provided inspiration to incorporate rock elements into the cover, such as the dynamic pose found in many other rock albums, to emphasise the energy of the genre and perhaps the unpolished aspects of it. This was something which was sort of used, by using a natural pose for the singer, rather than a rigid or artificial pose, which pop albums tend to use. This and the black text, as well as leather jacket are conventions which help to identify it as part of the rock genre. Another influence was the natural, slightly warm lighting in the photo, inspired by Mitski's album, which uses this convention as part of the indie genre. The influences from these three albums helped me create an album cover which represents each genre within the hybrid genre of the chosen song.
Media Language The font I chose to use is called 'Bebas Neue', a very simple, sans serif font. It's bold and blocky in black and white to contrast against the background to make an eye catching image and to present the information clearly, to attract the attention of a younger audience, by presenting the album as exciting with the font and colours. These are also used to represent the target audience, with a font suited to younger people and colours to represent youth, with the white and the genre of the album, with the black font and black border as well. Another aspect of the print productions are the photographs of the singer. The singer is positioned in the middle of the album cover, with a slightly blurred background to signal her as the focus of the image, but also to create a symmetrical, visually pleasing image, combined with the text positioned in the middle. In two of the shots, the album and one of the middle panels, the singer looks into the camera, which creates a connection with the audience and invites them to buy the album. Especially with the relaxed poses in each photograph, which don't look forced, which is an identified feature of the rock genre, mixed with the slight warm tone throughout the print productions from the indie influences. This allows the target audience to easily connect and relate to the singer. In addtion to this, there are individual elements to the character of the singer in the album, such as makeup choice, clothing and accessories, which could be seen as genre conventions, such as the purple colour and the leather jacket. But the individual elements such as the necklace and makeup make her relatable to an audience of young women, who are likely to relate to the slight femininity some of the mise en scene portrays about the character and suggests about the music inside. The feminine aspects of the middle panels and album cover such as the poses and the costume are used to represent the music, which is quite a female indie rock sound. The black and white of the text and borders connect each part of the print productions together, with each panel having a clear black border to contrast and create a striking image, except for the back panel, which includes a black background and white text. Although this panel is different from the others, the black and white still link it with the cover and the borders of the middle panel. It also creates a very eye catching and clear picture, with the bold blocky text contrasting against the background, with the information clearly displayed to appeal to the young target audience.