Creating my Japop CD cover The step by step process
Choosing my image Altogether there were three Jess photo shoots, the first one of Jess upon a stage, the second of Jess in front of the green screen with a back up guitarist and finally the shoot resulting in the images which I eventually used of Jess, on her own in front of a green screen. The reason I chose to use the images from the last photo shoot for my CD cover is due to the better range of angles and poses in comparison to the earlier photographs. Once I had decided from which selection of images to use I had to deduct which of the images I wanted to be featured upon my CD cover...
I really liked the idea of using this image as it portrayed a good use of levels and has a very interesting stance about it and appears to be more unique. Plus it could cause intrigue due to the fact that she isn’t smiling very much and appears to be thinking about something, but what? As I wanted to change the colour of the curtains which means changing the colour of all sections coloured similarly (in green as the chair is) it would have appeared very strange, as if her chair was camouflaged into the backdrop looking unprofessional and out of place. Jess is sitting on a chair which is stationed upon a curtain, it appears to be a bit random and unsophisticated. If, for example she was sat upon a stage surrounded by curtain it wouldn’t have looked quite as bad but the way it is being seen here makes it look strange and out of place. However, the fact that she isn’t smiling could perhaps suggest that she isn’t very happy about the topic of her song. As it is a Valentines song Jess should look happy and pleased to be in a romantic situation but as she looks more stern is presents mixed messages.
This image is the one which I eventually chose, the reasons were: I like the way that you can see the round glow of light around Jess and the shadow due to the spotlight which was used. I think this links very well to the modern stage lighting and the traditional portrayal of Jazz and stage features. I think that the look upon her face fits to the genres and the topic of the song she sings. As its a Valentines song, she should appear happy, hopeful as if she is waiting in anticipation. Therefore the reflective look upon her face fits the topic perfectly. I think the fact that she isn’t looking directly at the camera also adds to the idea of reflection and serenity. Jess looks very sophisticated and mature for her age therefore relating to Jazz. Her age would probably target a younger audience who are around the same age. In this image you can see the whole of her dress which can link to both Jazz and Pop due to the pink top (pop) and the black coloured skirt (Jazz).
This image is a close up of the other, so the facial expression and stance would also have been a good image to use. This image is so small that there wouldn’t have been much room to place the text required. You cannot see the use of light quite as well in this image, making it darker and more dingy.
I first began by opening the image on Microsoft Picture Manager
Then I tried the saturation effect to find out how it would appear in this old fashioned mono toned colour scheme. Altering the contrast and brightness to experiment and see how different versions of the image would appear with these effects on it. I decided not to chose generic and obvious choice of a greyscale on the CD and to veer towards something different.
After deciding against a greyscale I decided to try the original colour scheme however with a different contrast balance therefore making the pink and Jess’ skin tone stand out and her hair and skirt colour appear darker in shade and more distinguished.
On Photoshop I changed the colour of the backdrop curtain, I did this by selecting the green and altering the colour balance, the Hue/Saturation. The reason that I picked this shade blue was because it can be referenced to the Blues, a genre commonly associated with Jazz, as well as creating a good link to certain colours associated with modern Pop. This colour contrasts very well with the shades of Jess’ attire and features. Once I had changed the colour, I altered the contrast so that the outline of the spotlight would be more defined plus Jess would stand out better.
I decided that I wanted a heart to be featured, but wanted it to be different to the generic perfectly shaped one, so instead I drew one in a deep pink linking to Pop and Valentines day. I did this using the paint brush tool on Photoshop This heart was the one which originally drew but I decided to change it eventually as it was too perfectly rounded and I wanted for it to be more adventurous and stylish.
I copied the CD cover so far, onto Power Point in order to experiment with the necessary writing. Plus I had to reshape the image into a square like all other CD covers. I wasn’t sure about the positioning of the heart as I knew that I wanted it colliding with some of the lettering however putting it in it’s current position seemed to be too near Jess’ head to include the writing.
This was one of the many hearts I drew with the paintbrush on Photoshop for my CD cover.
I was very happy with how this heart turned out, as if it was hand drawn, giving Japop a fun and refreshing vibe. Those were my reasons for eventually choosing to use this heart. Another position I tried for the heart was just in front of Jess’ skirt. I was hoping that the text would look good against the heart however it didn’t work as the text just overlapped the heart, so much that it just looked really messy and too crowded. When I had completed the effects of the eventual contrast, curtain colour and sizes of features, I began trying out different positions and sizes for the heart I wished to add in correlation to the text. I continued to resize the writing and try to fit it around the image so that it wouldn’t cover up too many features.
Eventually I decided that the heart should be placed here, as it is a less crowded place with room for possible text.
On Microsoft Power Point I was using different colours for my text to find out which would look the best, I tried first putting Jess’ name in a deep pink rather than it merely being outlined in pink, but I didn’t think it a) Matched the appearance on the song’s title and b) thought that it concentrated too much on the pop colours, not using the white to link to Jazz.
I used Lucida Handwriting on the text the reason being that it looks more fun, at the same time appearing mature, posh and sophisticated like Jazz itself, complimented by the pink and white. Pink being the colour of Pop and easily related to the heart and Valentines Day, while the white adds a Jazzy and simplistic appearance. I tried positioning the heart by the name of the artist in a symbolic way of saying that this romantic song is sung by her, relating it back to her character.
The Pink in the writing, heart and top of Jess’ dress can relate to Pop, while the deep background and shade of her skirt can link to Jazz. This was the eventuality of my CD cover, the heart was positioned very well and the writing complemented the image and genre.
This was the original unedited image from my first photo shoot, that I was going to use for the CD cover. I thought it gave a traditional appearance accompanied by a modern twist withthe electric guitar.
I changed the colour balance on picture manager to purple as I thought that the effect would look different the colour linking to Jazz and Pop. This was originally what I was going to use for my CD cover, this image was from my first photo shoot. But I felt that it appeared too ordinary and didn’t show off what is supposed to be, this exciting new genre! The heart, as I mentioned was too perfect though and I didn’t like the ideas for the font and colour in the end.
However, I didn’t like the fact that the curtain takes up so much room and shows the carpet as much as it does. I could have edited it out on Photoshop, but I didn’t really want to edit a new background behind the image as that can sometimes appear fake and too over the top in certain instances. Plus it would have been difficult to decide upon a background which would look, unique, and not too corny as Valentines posters e.t.c. are classed as sometimes. This was another image that I was going to use from my second photo shoot. I liked the fact that it featured an instrument linking to the music genre.
Comparing my CD Cover to other Jazz and Pop artist’s
This comparison between my Japop CD cover and this CD of Julie London (artist known for her work with the genre of Jazz) presents a great deal of similarities and differences. In both CD covers the image of the artist is seen through a mid/long shot portraying certain features of their attire and overall appearance. These angles are very well used as they are not only presenting a good view and show casing their poses, but also by informing potential buyers of a) what genre they are a part of, b) the fashions they are associated with, therefore producing trends and appearances and finally, c) the age group of the singers, and the ages of the listeners of that genre.
In the cases of these CD covers they are both able to inform those facts. So from the camera angle, pose and appearance of Julie London it’s plain to see that she is an artist from an older period of time, due the style of her dress and her hair. The figure hugging dress she is wearing is shows of her hips and thighs making her lower legs appear thinner, this style was incredibly popular in the 1950s, reflecting what era she is from.
The use of the colours, deep pinks, reds and violets link to the mature idea of how deep rich colours are associated with Jazz. Similarly to this Jess is wearing a dress that uses different
colours, however, the pink, being light rather than deep like Julie’s, links more to Pop than Jazz, but the deep coloured skirt links to the maturity I mentioned earlier. They are both wearing dresses and although Jess’ may not be exactly alike to Julie’s there are certain similarities, the top half of the dress, similarly to Julie’s is figure hugging accompanied by the sash belt she is wearing, whereas the skirt of the dress puffs out more presenting a modern vibe.
Julie’s overall appearance, gender and age group, establishes a target audience of perhaps females (who aspire to be like her) and some men(who aspire to be with someone like her) most of these admirers over the age of about 20, still of quite a young age. While Jess similarly might target an audience of male and females (who aspire to either be like or with someone like her) who are of a slightly younger age, as she appears younger than Julie, targeting an audience of perhaps 13 and above. These facts tell us of how Jazz is usually associated with a slightly older audience than Japop, bringing in the elements of Pop can make it appeal to a younger audience.
The writing on my CD cover is like handwriting and is fairly large, which differs vastly to the lettering upon Julie’s CD cover, which is very much more simplistic, in an aged text which could reflect upon the era it Jazz comes from. The use of the heart on the Jess CD can be linked more to the pop side of Japop which is more about being adventurous and flamboyant, rather than simplistic like Jazz and the Julie London CD. They are both very different however, share certain qualities in common with each other establishing the particular characteristics of Jazz and how they are present in Japop.
There are a huge amount of factorsthat are similar to each other, when it comes to these CD covers. To begin with, both of these songs are based on romance, so there are factors like facial expressions which are prominent in relaying feelings and emotions. This extreme close up of Norah Jones (Jazz) tells us the appropriate target audience she would attract, this being (in terms of psycho dynamics) aspirers and followers who are women (who follow her music and aspire to be like her) and perhaps men (who aspire to be with someone like her) I think that the age group most likely to listen to her music would be those aged approximately 15 and above, as she appears to be younger than Julie London on her CD cover. This portrays how the genre of Jazz and those who listen to it seems to have changed slightly targeting those of a younger age, making Jazz more of a recognised genre by a younger audience in modern times. Jess is obviously also of a younger age, carrying this idea ofJazz not only targeting a mature audience but a younger more youthful group of listeners also.
As Jess is a young age she continues to relay this message showing that this feature of age association is continuous in Japop. Modern Jazz differs a fair amount in comparison to the traditional stereotype of Jazz. This extreme close up of Norah Jones, shows her staring in reflect ion similarly to Jess, neither of them are looking directly at the camera, reinforcing that sense of intrigue, producing the questions; what is capturing their interest? and what are they thinking about? The subtle smiles upon their faces gives an air of content, like they are both happy and comfortable, perhaps about the romantic situation they are singing about. These appearances reinforce the sense of sophistication and maturity, that is incredibly common with Jazz. This being another characteristic carried on from the Jazz portion of the hybrid into Japop.
Both of the CD’s feature blue backing, this relating to the maturity and deep colours of Jazz, these similar features could also reinforce the fact that these CDs are similar in appearance, attracting a similar audience.
Both of these images have very prominent use of contrast, they’re heads are both tilted to the side, therefore capturing the light and causing the shadows to be more prominent, once again linking back to the hybrid of Japop, the lighter tones liking to the colours of Pop while the deeper shades referring back to Jazz. These poses
portray real sophistication making both singers regardless of their age appear suave and mature.
Both of these artists have their hair down, relating to modern times and how the characteristics of Jazz have become more inclusive and altered in the associated fashions and appearance. Plus Jess’ hair being mostly down relates to Pop also, as that is a common chosen appearance in that genre. Which of course is also targeted at a younger audience.
The writing portrayed on my CD cover is similar to the text which is used to write ‘Norah Jones’ these styles are more fun and less uniform to be used. However the contrast with the song’s title ‘Come Away With Me’ written in the plainer script can be linked back to the Julie London CD which contained a more specified text, therefore relating this CD to the traditional views of Jazz. But using that text on Norah’s name which is similar to the once that I have used reinforces how a younger audience is trying to be targeted.
This is concentrating on the Pop factors present in Japop. They happen to be different from each other in many cases, such as the fact that there are differences in appearance and style, Madonna's hair style in much more fun, adventurous and flamboyant, a characteristic which Pop is famous for, to be more daring and less uniform in its features and colours. The type of Pop Madonna was associated with at this point in the 1980s was much more, rebellious and unique, therefore, (in terms of psycho dynamics, might attract non-conformists. Those people whodon’t wish to fit in with the generic appearance and in this case, those who are conservative in their fashion choices. Due to her appearance and age group, it is evident that she would most likely target a younger audience perhaps aged 16 and above, as wanting to stand out and find your own identity is a common quest entered, by people of that age.) However, especially in this case there is most likely to be an age restriction, people over a certain age being less attracted to this type of genre. Perhaps the age of 35-40 years.
Another difference between my CD cover and this one of Madonna’s is that her make up is considerably harsher and more prominent. Her eye make up, the thick eyeliner can actually be linked to certain forms of Jazz, this and the deep, yet vibrant shade of her red lipstick. This portrayal of her appearance makes her really stand out and definitely makes her more noticeable which is another feature of rebellion and non conformists , being independent and recognisable, this linking back to her hair and other portions of her overall appearance such as the size and amount of her Jewellery.
Which, however contrasts when you concentrate upon the simplicity of her black vest. So she appears very independent and has a considerable change to the teeny pop appearance of this genre.
One of the reasons that these CD covers are similar is due to their stances, both Jess and Madonna are tilted to the side, both capturing the light, making them both appear slightly paler, which creates a good contrast between their skin tone and in Madonna’s case her vibrant make up, and in both of their cases their darker shaded clothes, plus for Jess her hair colour. Standing out largely, which can be referred back to Pop, the genre which as I previously mentioned is not concentrated on subtlety, but is more expressive. Which would definitely attract a younger audience.
A factor which is alike between the two CD covers is that the background colour are similar. The light blue and the deeper purple stage lights in the background of Madonna’s CD can be joined in with both Pop and Jazz. The blue curtains behind Jess are deeper in shade relating to Jazz and even though the backgrounds are actually of the same colour the shades send out different messages, this light blue associates with Pop, while the deep purple relates to Jazz. These factors showing that she is on a stage linking both to Jazz and Pop.
Their tops are similar in style, both with the appearance of vests, the similar styles, accompanied by the drastic colour differences, send out completely different messages. The black vest Madonna is wearing, can be related to both the deep colours of Jazz as well as, the non conformist approach of Pop. However, the pink in Jess top relates solely to the teeny pop genre.
Madonna (unlike Jess) is staring directly at the camera, reinforcing the ‘in your face’ and independent idea, relating to the non conformist Pop, as she is not smiling, it appears as if she is trying to make a statement of her uniqueness.
This CD cover of Pixie Lott, is a good example of modern Pop, to begin with both Jess and Pixie are of a younger age, they are both teenagers, therefore both targeting adolescents and those perhaps in their twenties. They are both most likely to attract (in psycho dynamics, aspirers and followers, similarly to both, Norah Jones and Julie London). Jess and Pixie are both wearing sparse make up showing a slightly less obvious and prominent type of Pop, differing to the rebellious form of Pop portrayed by Madonna, once again informing us how music genres can alter over periods of time. It can change via clothes and attire, bands and solo artists and finally the audiences being attracted. A difference between these two CD covers is that the lighting is very different, the lighting in my CD cover is much more light and pale, giving a cooler glow. The lighting in Pixie Lott’s CD cover is much more warm and inviting, setting a homely atmosphere, which contrasts to the actual setting which seems to be a dance studio, in relation to her music video for this song. The studio not nearly being as inviting as a homely environment , which could cause a misapprehension. But the dance studio links to traditional and modern performances relating to Jazz and Pop.
Pixie has a slightly unhappy, questioning look on her face, which is a contrast to Jess who is smiling fondly. The topics of these songs seem to therefore be drastically different from each other, although pop is often associated happiness and smiling, it isn’t always portrayed in that manner. Pixie appears incredibly mature and sophisticated in this stance linking to Jazz, therefore, maybe being able to attract a slightly older audience.
Pixie’s appearance is very much modern and more laid back, relaxing. As she is non chalantly leaning against that mirror, it seems both physically and mentally as if she is reflecting upon something. Her top with it’s striped combination of white and pink/red refers to both Jazz and Pop. The deep blue of her leggings can be linked to the colours associated with Jazz, reinforcing the idea of Jazz and the Blues, however this fashion statement is quite a modern style although it is a trend that has popped up in different periods of time such as the 1980s and 1950s (similar to peddle pushers). This constant reference between the two genres of music depict how certain trends are repetitive and have been through different eras and genres of music. These associated styles, consequently targeting different age groups.
Pixie and Jess both have their hair down, giving a fun and less traditional vibe, like the one that comes with Jazz. Once again targeting a younger audience.
The lettering on this CD cover is alike to Norah Jones’, to clarify, the title of the song, ‘Cry Me Out’ is in a very uniform and plain font. Whereas her name is portrayed in a font which, (similar to the Jess CD and Norah Jones’) looks handwritten. Joining together the characteristics of Pop and Jazz CDs and representations. The handwritten style is much more free styled, attracting a younger audience.
The sparse, deeply coloured jewellery Pixie Lott is wearing, which is similar to Jess’ bracelet can be linked to the traditional representation of Jazz being simplistic. In many ways, Jazz and Pop can be linked and cross referenced via the characteristics portrayed by the artists.