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Saturday, 16 October 2010

Making my album digipack 2


Whilst doing some artists research for my Photography course, I stumbled across the artist, Andy Warhol, who is most famously known for making pop-art. One of his most famous images is Marilyn Monroe…

The bold colours and style of pop-art is particularly striking and Andy Warhol’s piece has inspired me to create some pop-art for my own CD digipack. I think using pop-art for my front cover will be extremely eye-catching and unique.

Like Andy Warhol’s piece, I plan to make numerous images for the cover but each picture will be in different colours. However I want to have either a row or column of the same image in the pop-art style but then have a different image for the next row/column. Though the Marilyn Monroe piece is fantastic, I do not want the same image shown nine times – I think it may be a little cliché and look too much like I am trying to copy Andy Warhol.

Inspiration of the pop art style also came from Madonna’s album, Celebration. It is a greatest hits album that collaborates her best songs, several of them being from the 80s decade, therefore the whole concept of the album’s design was to give it a retro appearance, so her fans could identify with the kind of songs included on the CD.
In my old front cover, I portrayed three things a cocktail (symbolising summer), a heart design (symbolising love) and the main protagonist of the music video. For my new pop-art styled album cover, I will show the same three things. I will create images of each of these, and then on Photoshop I will edit them in the pop-art style.

I quickly made a red-coloured cocktail and added a small umbrella to the drink. I once again took pictures of it, but this time I did not worry so much about the lighting, however I did make sure I had a white background and white surface to place the drink on, which I will explain the importance of a bit later. In my already made silhouette image I used the bold colours of magenta, orange and yellow and I will use this same colour scheme for these images.

I bought a photography magazine a while ago, which I still posses, and it included a tutorial on how to make pop-art. Though the tutorial was purposely made for a more advanced version of Photoshop, I still managed to work it out on my simpler version of the programme.

Once I had opened up one of my cocktail images into Photoshop, I went to the ‘Layers’ tab and from there went to ‘New Adjustment Layer’ and then finally clicked ‘Threshold.’ This gave the image a very heavy and grainy black and white effect like this…

If I had used a darker background and surface, they would have turned black which would have hid the cocktail completely. This is why I had to make sure the backdrop was white (the tutorial advised me on this).

I then went to the ‘Layers’ tab and this time selected ‘Create a New Layer.’ It then gave me the option to change the blending mode of the layer and I changed it to ‘Multiply.’ It was then up to me to choose the colours that I wanted for the pop art image and paint over it. Using the paint tool and making sure, the ‘Multiply layer’ was selected in the layer tool bar, I coloured the liquid red and the umbrella yellow. I then made the background pink…


For the other two images, I simple just painted over the pink background to get my desired orange and yellow background…



I then took a few pictures of my face (main protagonist of the music video). I attempted to smile and look happy as I want the fun loving feel of my music video to be portrayed in this digipack design. I chose the happiest looking image and transformed it into pop art on Photoshop using the same technique as I did with the image of the cocktail. Here are the three images…




As you can see I also put on my backwards beret just to add to the 80s feel. I then made an extremely simple heart design on Serif Draw Plus…


I exported the design as a JPEG file so I could use the file in Photoshop and make it into pop-art. I also did some cropping of these images just to make them look a bit better. Here are the final three images of the heart….


I then combined these nine images into one frame in Photoshop. I had to crop the cocktail images quite a bit, so they could fit, however in my opinion they still remain effective…

I then, of course, added in the album title and artist. I once used the Balloonist SF font and made the text white so it stood out from the bold colours. The positioning of the text was inspired by Michael Jackson’s Bad Album (see below). This was simply because Michael Jameson and Michael Jackson are very similar names. This is what probably spurred me to imagine the name ‘Michael Jameson’ to be on its side like ‘Michael Jackson’ is on the Bad album cover.



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Originally my cartoon montage image looked like this…


However now I have changed it slightly by moving the cartoons around in the frame, in order to make room for the track listing. Basically the track titles I have chosen are from Michael Jameson’s actual Summer Love album. All of the tracks are copyright free, so I am entitled to use their titles for my design.

I also added a barcode onto the image, as I realised after looking at past examples of digipacks from A2 media students, all of them had barcodes on the back image. So I quickly made my own barcode on Serif and added this to the image. In order to fill a bit more space I used the same silhouettes from my silhouette image and placed them on top the barcode and this looked quite effective. I also changed the silhouettes’ colours so they stood out from the black background…
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The final task I had to do was to make a spine for the digipack. I looked up some of the information about Michael Jameson’s music on Jamendo and found out that all the songs on the Summer Love album were in fact written and produced by a man called Louis Chiaffarano. I have been looking at the many albums from my own CD collection and have realised that many of them have the producer’s or record label’s name on the spine – this is usually in much smaller text next to the album name and artist.

I will do this for my own spine. I obviously shall have ‘Summer Love’ and ‘Michael Jameson’ written on it, but I will also show the name ‘Louis Chiaffarano’ as a tribute to the producer of the album.

I decided to go for a very simple black background and white text for the spine. I did not want to make it too loud in colour as I think there are plenty of bold colours to be seen in the other images of the digipack.


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