I have chosen to analyse ‘Life In Cartoon Motion’ by Mika
Disney-style writing links to the word ‘cartoon’ A large woman in a corset hints at one of the songs ‘Big Girls’ A small picture of the artist shows you who has created the album, but does not draw attention to itself, perhaps like Mika himself Bright, psychedelic colours attract attention when displayed on the shelves in a shop Large white block-writing draws attention and holds interest All pictures and colours ‘spread’ outwards
Cloud images give a sense of ‘surrealism’, which is what a lot of Mika’s songs involve, but the everyday images of sofas and televisions suggest it is an album for everyone Shoes, flowers, bright colours and a piano show Mika’s interests and allows people with similar interests to identify with him Cogs are a symbol of ‘working things out’ or thinking, and could represent how Mika’s mind works or that you need to be able to think to understand his songs Small, insignificant images make the audience think about their meaning
Mika’s album designer uses intertextuality to create links between his many album covers. All use bright colours and plain writing, and this version of ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’ features a green title rather than a pink one. This gives a slightly different version of the original album cover to create interest and variety, but still maintains a link with its original design.
This album cover features Mika’s name again to tell you who the artist is. His name is written in the same style (with gaps between the joins in the letters), but in a different font. This links it to the previous album, while still identifying with it and creating a link. The bright colours here are similar to the first album cover, but slightly less abstract. Whereas the first cover’s images seem abstract but hint about the song contents, this cover is less cluttered, but doesn’t give any hint about the story, content or meanings.
One of the songs on this album is called Lollipop. The video to this song contains many of the themes from the album cover, including the large colourful circles and clouds. The blonde girl from the cover features in this video as ‘lollipop girl’, and the ‘big girl’ from the cover (and another song on the album) also makes a cameo.
Lollipop girl and the big girl from the album cover
The video features the large abstract coloured circle and stripes from the album cover, to create a link between the two. You can also see (during this part of the video) the big girl’s boot, flowers, a man on his sofa, household furniture, 2 kissing rabbits, a large black wolf, and Mika’s name in large bubble writing. All of these are abstract in their appearance, and most appear on the front cover, and so provide a link between the two.
All three posters feature brown cloud-like shapes at the bottom of the poster where further information about the album is provided. All are made up of bright colours, but each uses colour differently. The first poster is very crowded, and made up of circles and stripes of colour. The second one shows strange vase-like objects as well as the patterns. The third one is less cluttered and has very few colours on it. The first two posters’ colours grab your attention, but with the third one, your attention is held by the fact that is contains very few colours and is different from Mika’s usual style. All have Mika’s name written on them, in the large white writing. The font and size of his name is the same in each poster, maintaining a link between all 3 even though the images on them are different.
Here are some more of Mika’s posters and album covers, along with other forms of artwork associated with Mika’s work. All contain bright eye-catching colours, and patterns such as stripes, stars, flowers, circles and rainbows. However, each one is slightly different to the last. This means that each one is different and has its own unique selling point, but the intertextuality between them links them together so you know they are Mika’s albums
I even found a website which updates fans about Mika’s work, and recent album releases. This too features the bright colours and characters of the album ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’, creating yet another link between his work.
These are the characters featured most often on Mika’s posters, covers and videos