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Digipak (Album Cover) Analysis

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(c) Hannah Ram 2010

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Digipak (Album Cover) Analysis

  1. 1. Throughout the whole design of the album the three colours that are used are black, white and red. The use of the bold, red font helps to make the album name stand out against the monochrome background. Furthermore, the red and black words contrast against each other, which would draw their target audience’s attention to the band name, as well as the album title. This background image highlights that The Kooks are an Indie band, as they are all sitting around in a group playing their instruments, which accurately reflects the DIY Indie ethos when it comes to making music. Moreover, their clothing (skinny jeans) and floppy Indie style hair would also reinforce their Indie credentials. The simple background is not only pleasing on the eye but also allows their potential target audience to focus on the key bits of information on the cover – the album title and band name. The sparse, monochrome background also reinforces the importance of making music to The Kooks, as there is nothing else to detract from the image of them playing their instruments, which highlights that it is of central importance to them. All of the band members in this image are looking away from the camera, which suggests that their main focus is to make music. This therefore, creates an image of a hardworking band that are not overly confident or arrogant. This typography is used on all of the different panels of the album cover in order to create a degree of consistency and cohesiveness. The font is quite simple, like the rest of the album cover, which suggests that The Kooks are quite a simplistic band that are not interested in mainstream gimmicks. This therefore, creates the image that they are an authentic Indie band, which would appeal to their target audience. FRONT COVER
  2. 2. BACK COVER The track listings for the album are placed neatly on the left-hand side in the same black, bold font that the band name is written in on the front of the album cover. This therefore, creates an immediate connection between the band and the songs, which reinforces that they have written and made their own songs. The simple monochrome theme that characterised the front cover can also be found here on the back cover, which creates a sense of consistency . As with most album covers, the back cover of this album for The Kooks has a barcode, the record label logo, the name of the producer, the band’s website details and a copyright notice. Like all of the text on the rest of the album cover it is written in the same font as the band’s name. This photograph is very similar to the image that can be found at the front of the album cover. However, it is far more blurry and pixelated than the first image. Moreover, it appears to have been taken from the drummer’s perspective, which places the audience in his place giving us a private insight into what happens when the band are creating songs etc. By doing this, The Kooks give the album a much more personal undertone and invite their target audience to relate to them and their behaviour.
  3. 3. INSIDE PANELS The inside panels of The Kooks album are much more colourful and bright that the outside panels even though they use the same motif of colours –red, white and black – as the outer cover. The CD itself also has the copyright notice and record label logo that can be found on the back panel of the album cover. The CD is bright red, with black and white writing on it. The contrasting nature of these colours would immediately attract the person that has bought the album’s attention, as it stands out from the rest of the inside cover. On the inside panel there is yet another picture of The Kooks, however, unlike the photographs on the outer cover the majority of the band members are looking towards the camera. Moreover, the mise-en-scene of this image once again reinforces their Indie image because of their clothing (checked shirt and tight tops) and their distinctively Indie hairstyles. In a small, white font there is another copyright notice about the album and thank you notes from the band to the people that helped produce the album. The inclusion of this thank you note helps to create the image that The Kooks are nice, gracious people, which many of their target audience would find appealing.
  4. 4. FRONT COVER Interestingly, the band’s logo is placed in the top left hand corner of the front cover, rather than in the centre. (After looking at some of Oasis’ previous album covers this positioning seems to be quite conventional). The logo is in black and white, which makes it stand out from the coloured background image. Similarly to The Kook’s album cover, the typography used here is clear and easy to read. Furthermore, this logo is clearly part of Oasis’ brand identity ,as slight variations of this logo are used on the majority of their album covers. Thus, by including the logo on this album they are immediately creating a connection between their other work and this album. The background image for this album cover appears to have been taken from the band’s perspective, which ultimately gives the album a more personal tone. The photograph depicts a large group of people at a festival listening to live music. This image would appeal to both their older and younger target audience, as for the older generation this scene would bring back memories of their youth, which reinforces the album title ‘TIME FLIES’. Moreover, in regards to their younger audience this image would also be appealing, as the majority of them would have been to a music festival at one point or another. The album title is written in large, bold, black capital letters, which stand out from the background image in order to grab the attention of their potential target audience. The image also reinforces Oasis’ as being an Indie/Alternative band , as stereotypically Indie/Rock/Alternative band’s perform at music festivals.
  5. 5. BACK COVER Contrastingly, the image used on the back cover of Oasis’ album is the complete opposite to the one shown on the front panel, as it depicts the chaotic aftermath of the festival. Furthermore, unlike the front cover, which has a vintage, pink coloured tint that is easy on the eye, the use of sepia creates a harsh tone to the back cover that is not as aesthetically pleasing as the image on the front cover. This side panel just includes basic information, such as the album title, band logo and record label logo. Like most album covers, Oasis’ album contains the conventional information that can be found on the back cover: a barcode, a copyright notice, the band’s website details and the record label’s logo and name. On the back cover the track listings are placed rather chaotically near the bottom right hand corner, which ultimately emphasizes the reckless and cluttered background image. Unlike most album covers, the track listings are not organised numerically and instead the song titles vary is size. This is quite unconventional and anti-mainstream and would therefore, appeal to their potential target audience who are likely to have anti- mainstream ideas and attitudes. There are no images of the band on this album cover. This could be because Oasis are a very well-known and established Indie/Alternative /Rock band and therefore, do not need to appear on their album cover, as their target audience will already know who they are and what they stand for.
  6. 6. CD FROM THE INSIDE PANEL Like the CD from The Kook’s album ‘Inside In Inside Out’ this CD has the band’s name and album title on it. As with the front cover of Oasis’ album the text is written in a simple and organised way, which would be easy for their target audience to read. This connection with the front cover of the album creates a sense of consistency between the inside panels and the outside panels. The CD also has Oasis’ website details, the record label’s name and logo and the copyright details are written around the side of the CD in small white font. The CD itself is a calm, pastel colour, which makes the harsh, black font stand out and grab people’s attention. Furthermore, it also reinforces the link between the inner panels and the outside cover, as the front cover of the album had a slight pink tint to it.
  7. 7. FRONT COVER This warning label is a sticker that has been placed on top of the album cover. Ultimately, it warns potential buyers about the song content. The mise-en-scene of this photograph reinforces the fact that the Arctic Monkeys are an Indie/Alternative band, because two of the band members have floppy , ‘Indie’, styled haircuts and the band are wearing quite retro, ‘Indie ‘ clothing (denim jacket and dark skinny jeans). There is also a retro feel to this album cover because the picture is quite faded , which makes it look slightly old and dated. Moreover, as with The Kooks’ album cover none of the band members are looking towards the camera , which makes them seem like an authentic Indie/Alternative band, because its suggests that they haven’t been styled and are therefore, not just another manufactured boy band. The band’s name is written in a large black font over this white hoodie so that it stands out from the background and grabs their target audience’s attention, as black and white contrast against each other. The font used is quite quirky and cool, which creates the image that the Arctic Monkeys are a quirky and cool band. The album title, ‘Humbug’, has been placed in the top left hand corner of the front album cover. However, it is not part of the actual image, as it is actually a sticker that has been placed on top of the plastic jewel case. The font is simple but bold, which makes it stand out from the background image. Also the background of the sticker is gold, which has connotations of treasure and jewels. This therefore, suggests that the album is precious and valuable, which would make people want to buy it.
  8. 8. BACK COVER Like all the other album covers that I have analysed, this album cover has a barcode. However, it is a lot smaller than the other barcodes that I have seen so far. The Arctic Monkey’s album ‘Humbug’ contains all of the conventional information that can be found on back album covers. For example, it has their record companies logo and their band website details. However, unlike the other albums I have looked at it doesn’t contain a lengthy copyright notice, although it does have the copyright symbol. It also has the record label’s website details, the record label’s address and details of where the album was manufactured. This side panel has the band’s name and the album title written on it in a clear and simple font. The track listings on the back of the album cover are not organised numerically but are still organised in a clear and simple manner. The font used for the song titles is the same font that is used for the album title, which creates a degree of coherence and consistency across the whole album. Unlike the other back covers that I have analysed so far this one has no image on the back, which makes the text really easy to read and makes it stand out from the plain background. Moreover, the album title and band name are written on the back album cover too, which none of the other album covers that I have analysed have done. The typography used for the band’s name is quite wild and crazy, which creates the image that the Arctic Monkeys are a crazy and cool band. This image would appeal to their target audience because it highlights that they are just ordinary people that like having fun, which makes them easy to relate too.
  9. 9. CD FROM THE INSIDE PANEL Unlike the other two CD designs that I have analysed, the CD for Arctic Monkeys’ album ‘Humbug’ has a comedic element to it, which XFM suggest is of a ‘key interest’ to their potential target audience. Therefore, it would appeal to their audience, whilst simultaneously creating the impression that the Arctic Monkeys’ are a cool, quirky and original band. Moreover, it is quite unconventional as it does not contain the album name or full band name. Also the small, white writing at the bottom is illegible so I am unsure of whether it contains a copyright notice – however, even if that text is a copyright notice it is usually small. This CD has been designed to look like a pie. The letters ‘A’ and ‘M’ that are diagonally placed across the pie stand for the band’s name - Arctic Monkeys.

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