We need to consider the following aspects when designing and
creating our practical piece of coursework.
1) Research, analysis and planning
2) Linking to our research investigation – Via Genre/
3) Design, quality of images, composition, integration
1) Research and Planning
Get to know the genre of text you are
creating and its key conventions and
mode of address. Audiences understand
familiar combinations of signiﬁers. We
need to conform to this approach.
The exam board should be able to easily
recognise the genre of magazine,
advert, ﬁlm or TV program from your
use of convention, iconography, font,
lighting and mise en scene.
1) Research and Planning
You can adopt different approaches to your practical coursework.
They still have to follow typical conventions, but you could, for
example, create 2 mainstream posters and 1 niche for the same
genre. You would not reinvent the wheel, you would research the
two different approaches.
• The back to back lean
• Use of the colour red
• Big smiles
• High key lighting
• Studio shot
• Key/familar iconography
A more niche Romance ﬁlm poster.
It still connotes romance but there
is much more attention placed on
artistic quality and highbrow
The image used also gives a sense
of the narrative themes and that all
might not end well unlike the
equilibrium mainstream rom/coms
tend to end on.
A ﬁlm poster should give the
audience a clue of the gratiﬁcations
that they will gain from the text it
2) Linking to your investigation
It is vital your practical coursework links to your investigation. Be
it via your main focus being representation, genre or narrative.
Again you can adopt different approaches. For example a
negative hyper real or objectiﬁed representation of females for a
magazine cover or a more dominant, contemporary and complex
representation of females on a DVD cover.
Representation of females in
the action genre.
The Action genre has various
common representations of
females. For example the
genre often represents
females as needing a males
protection and guidance.
Another negative example is
how the genre hugely under
You should read your
conclusion and ensure your
practical piece reﬂects your
Another type of
representation within the
genre is female
Iron Man, The Avengers and
the student created poster
“Dirty Sexy Lies” all contain
negative representations of
females But you oppose your
ﬁndings and create more
Magazines often represent females
superﬁcially, as objects of desire
and visual pleasure. You could air
brush skin to help adopt a hyper
Researching genre and convention alongside ensuring your work
clearly links to your investigation is vital. It is also important to make
your piece look professional and sophisiticated.
You should have clear visual inﬂuences whilst desinging. Here are
some design tips.
The use of
often used to
make up for the
lack of high
also be ﬁlled with
scenes to help
to the target
The use of still life can
also be an innovative way
to promote a narrative
and assist in the feasibility
of the process.
considered iconography is
essential. Alongside that
difﬁcult task of minimalist
and careful composition.
Shallow depth of ﬁeld is useful when capturing images. Cameras such as a
Canon 5D with Apertures of F1.4 will help blur the background helping text to
be more legible
If photographs are to be
used they must be striking
and catch the audiences eye,
alongside giving clear
indication of narrative
themes. Print Media prime
purpose is to promote and
How do you make an image
not look amateur?
Using, directing and
manipulating light. High
contrast and hard light is a
common strategy to add a
Image and background tend to
blend together rather than one
simply stop and the other begin.
More than one image can be
used but it must “blend” or ﬁt
together in terms of the design/
theme and lighting. Images can
be separated by use of text or
purposely placed lines.
The colour palette must also be
considered so images and text
belong together rather than look
out of place, unless intentionally
and consciously designed to do
Use the 3 main colour pallet
The use of font and its
connotations must allow the
audience to understand the
narrative and theme of the
Colour of images, choice of
locations and style of dress
will also help to do this.
Subjects in images must be
directed in terms of body
language and facial
expressions to help gain the
Consider what is in the background of a photograph when capturing a subject.
This will leave room for text. Unusual vantage points could help to do this.
Be conscious how much of your subject is in the frame in
comparison to the typical technique adopted by the product/
genre you are creating. For example the majority of
mainstream ﬁlms tend to have either close up or mid shot
portraits acting as their main image.
The rule of thirds
In terms of composition we as an
audience enjoy to look at design
split into 3 sections. Here is an
obvious example, but you could
consider your placement of text to
meet this rule.
Print Media such as
Film posters and CD
covers should contain a
credit block, details of
which relate to the genre
and a caption containing
an enigma code.
Promotional reviews or
award logos could also
help promote. Again this
must be appropriate to
Variety of font is often
needed. Print Media will
rarely ever only contain
one type of style, colour or
size of font.
For magazine covers do not
forget the conventions such
as bar code, price, issue
number and date if
appropriate to the genre.
Websites tend to contain
dates on articles.
Don’t forget the genre and target
audience you are designing for.
Remember to apply a typical
mode of address in order to satisfy
their needs. This could be in terms
of genre conventions, types of
stories, busyness, colour, price,
content and location.
White backgrounds are not as
common as many people think in
design. They tend to be chosen to
accommodate busy print with lots
of text. The main image must be
strong enough to carry the piece
of print if a white background is
used. White backgrounds are
rarely from photoshop cut out and
more commonly shot in a studio
with soft lighting.
Frame, circles and banners
can be a good method of
design for text and images to
Age of subject within images
is crucial to making the text
genre speciﬁc. For example
having a teenager in a suit
holding a gun for a action ﬁlm
or a 16 year old “rock star” is
going to scream amateur. In
this case you might want to
return to a innovative method
such as a silhouette to help
solve any feasibility issues you