MY ALBUM COVER!!!

Album Cover

The concept of my album cover was to take one of my favourite songs off of Ariana Grande’s very first album and to make a cover based off of this song.  The goal of my album cover was to create a cover that not only reflected the meaning behind the title of the song, but to produce a cover that would maintain the girly and classy persona of Ariana Grande herself, while using a unique double exposure effect.

The target audience for my album cover is the same audience that Ariana Grande reaches.  This mostly includes young girls and girls in their teens.

The skills I used to create my album cover were a variety of different tools in Photoshop. I started off by using the lasso tool to cut out some of the background so that only the faces were present in the image.  This was followed by the desaturation of these faces and creating a layer mask for the face layer and the background layer.  Define brush preset was then used to create a brush that is the same shape as the faces.  This new brush shape was later used in the background layer to bring out the two faces, while having the background image still shine through.  Along with adjusting the brightness and contrast of both the faces and the background, in the end, I was able to create a double exposure effect as the main concept of the cover.

The challenges I anticipated while making the album cover were that I wasn’t going to really know what tools to use in order to achieve my objective… I am very much a beginner using Photoshop.  Along the way, the challenges I ended up encountering were both in coming up with idea of what I wanted the album cover to look like, and in Photoshop itself.

From the start, when coming up with the idea for the cover, I knew immediately that I was going to use photgraphs.  However, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with the pictures and how I was going to manipulate them.  As a result of this, I actually ended up making four different versions of the album cover which are all very different from one another.

In Photoshop itself, some of the challenges I encountered were trying to keep a steady hand when using the lasso tool, as well as, using a lot of trial and error in trying to figure out which tools are used for what and how to use them appropriately.

The biggest thing I learned during the process of creating my album cover was that I was capable of a lot more than I thought.  This was really my first time using Photoshop on my own with no tutorial and no real sense of direction and so, I was very worried that I wouldn’t know how to go about creating an album cover.  However, my final product actually ended up exceeding my expectations and consequently increasing my self confidence.

Looking at the end result of my album cover, I think I was able to achieve my original goal of creating a cover that reflected the message of the title while maintaining Ariana Grande’s persona.  In addition, I think I was able to successfully address the target audience of young girls to teenage girls with my image choice, manipulation of these images, and my choice of typeface, which are all relevant to the majority of young girls’ interests.

I have a big footprint!

In this week’s lecture, another topic that is very prevalent in my life, but I have never thought much about was discussed.  This topic was my digital footprint.  In today’s society, technology has become a forefront in our lives.  As a result, it has ended up shaping and influencing a lot in what we do: people nowadays are constantly on their phones, checking their email, surfing the web, or using various social media sites.  Due to such advancements in technology, we are only a click away to unlimited information.  Before this lecture, I never realized that the collection of all these things makeup one’s digital footprint.  Every time you log in to a social media account, text, check your email or search something up on the internet, you leave a footprint.

Now as I reflect, I have a very active and big footprint as my presence on social media and the internet in general is very high.  Personally, my footprint reflects an accurate positive image of who I am and so, I wouldn’t really change my activity or participation online.  However, if not conscious of your footprint: what you post, what sites you visit, what you say, etc… it’s possible for your digital footprint to reflect a negative image of yourself.  In this case, it is important to be careful how we use the internet and to ensure our online identities mirror the lifestyles we want people to see.

As a whole, I do believe we should share our lives online with others as it is an easy and unique way of creating relationships and letting other’s learn about us.  However, it is also important not to share too much online… the internet can be dangerous, so before you post anything, be sure to have your safety in mind.

I LOVE ALL TYPES!

Typography is something so simple and so frequently used that it’s never really been something I have ever thought or cared to analyze.  However, now having learned about typography, I’ve realized how it really does have an effect on everything we see.  Without typography so many movie posters, ads, magazine covers, and more, would not have the same impact on the public eye as it does with typography.  As a result of this, I now look at typography with a more critical eye than before.  I can’t help but think how a certain font, letter size, spacing, etc. can impact how I perceive a design.  In the following designs I will be analyzing the typography used and their effectiveness.

Maroon 5
Source: http://www.eonline.com/news/307522/maroon-5-first-look-overexposed-album-cover

In this album cover we see a 3D playful typography.  This particular typography is effective as it meshes well with the pictures of the colourful creatures which allows for the overall theme of silliness and absurdity of the album cover to come through.  The playfulness and imperfection of the typography also does a good job at attracting the target audience of children, teens and young adults which are whom Maroon 5’s music aims to attract.

HOME_sRGB_final
Source: http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/exclusive-home-poster-debut-748620

In this movie poster we see a kid friendly colourful typography.  This particular typography is effective as it both addresses the theme of the movie and the target audience.  As it is an animated movie, the typographies colourful nature and the playful shapes of the letters evoke both the family theme of the movie and target a kid-friendly audience.

Source: http://www.freedesign4.me/movie-posters/
Source: http://www.freedesign4.me/movie-posters/

In this movie poster we see a plain silver crooked like typography in the words “Harry Potter”.  This particular typography is effective as it ties in perfectly with the theme of the movie.  The crookedness and unusual shape of the letters both evoke a sense of mystery and adventure… two themes that are very prominent throughout the Harry Potter series.  Due to this typography tying in so well with the themes of the movie, it also does a good job at attracting the target audience of teens and young adults because it reinforces all that Harry Potter fans love… the mystery, the adventure and the scare.

What is all that CRAP?!

CRAP: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity

In the designs bellow, the use of the CRAP principles, their effectiveness and their shortcomings will be discussed in detail.  As well as, the use of design from a particular historical period on a current graphic design will be highlighted in the last picture.

001_BB_0605
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/471963235920112454/

In this magazine cover, we see excellent use of the three first CRAP principles: Contrast, repetition and alignment which will be discussed in detail below.

 Contrast: In this picture, we can see contrast in both colour and typeface.  The use of a light purple colour in the background is easily contrasted with the black outfit Miley is wearing.  This allows for the main attraction of this magazine cover (Miley Cyrus) to stand out from the background.  Typeface is also used wonderfully here as the large white writing contrasts with the small yellow writing, allowing for Miley Cyrus’s name to standout from the rest of the writing on the magazine.

Repetition: In this picture, we see a lot of repetition in colour, as well as style.  The use of yellow and white writing is repeated on both sides of Miley with the tag line for the stories being yellow, and the short descriptions of these stories being white.  This also ties in repetition of style as there are two short stories on each side of Miley, creating consistency throughout the cover.

Alignment: In this picture, we see an excellent use of central alignment.  This can be observed through the symmetry of Miley herself, the M she’s holding and the short descriptions of stories being on both the left and right side.  This all in turn allows for cohesiveness and order throughout the cover.

demi-lovato-album-cover-art-2013-400x400
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demi_(album)

In this album cover, we see some good use of the CRAP principles and areas where they are lacking.  Alignment and contrast will be discussed below.

Alignment: In this picture, central alignment is also used excellently as with the magazine cover discussed above.  The central alignment can be found in both the writing of the name “DEMI” as well as Demi Lovato herself.  By using central alignment on the name “DEMI”, it creates cohesiveness throughout the cover.  As well as, by using central alignment on Demi herself, it is extremely effective in making her stand out as the center of attention.

Contrast: In this picture, contrast is used both effectively and ineffectively.  The contrast of colour is used effectively between Demi’s black hair and her white skin making a variety of her features as well as herself as a whole, stand out from the white background of the cover.  On the other hand, the contrast of colour of the name “DEMI” is not effective at all.  Due to the lack of contrast between the grey writing, Demi’s black hair and the white background, the name does not stand out and is hard to see.

BIRDMAN
Source: http://www.designwreck.com/graphic-best-picture-oscars-2015-title-sequence/

In this poster we can see the use of Saul Bass style, a simple and minimalistic film title design developed in the 1950’s in which conveys emotion, metaphors and imagery for film.  In this particular film title design, the colouring and images used evoke a sense of action by the fleeing birds and a sense of struggle by the use of black and red.

Who are you? Who will you be?

Source: http://dtc-wsuv.org/wp/dtc375-scodi/katherine-hayles/
Source: http://dtc-wsuv.org/wp/dtc375-scodi/katherine-hayles/

Before attending my first digital media class, the words “digital media” were never something I thought too hard about.  Now having attended my first digital media lecture and reflecting on my experience using digital media, this class has made begin to think… I find myself thinking of how prominent digital media really is in my life and the lives of so many.  As time has progressed over the years and technologies have advanced, we’ve become so dependant on digital media devices like; phones, computers, televisions, etc. that in turn, these gadgets have ended up shaping our lives in so many ways.  For example, as a society, digital media has played a huge role in influencing our appearances, our behaviour and even how we may view the world. All in all, I think it’s absolutely remarkable how digital media has very much so influenced and impacted how we think, how we feel, and what we do and don’t do… although, often times, this is something we even fail to realize.

Source: http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/digital-media-resources-73-2/#Z1BfcA1vuPkj
Credit: http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/digital-media-resources-73-2/#Z1BfcA1vuPkj

This year, being my first year in RTA, I do think that it is important for those wishing to enter the “Radio and Television Arts” that they take a course like digital media because it is such a big component in all things radio, television and media as a whole. It’s extremely important for anyone entering the media industry to not only understand and be able to recognize the impact digital media has on society, but to also understand what goes into creating that digital media in order to make that impact.  It’s courses like this that make me excited and thankful to be a part of the RTA family… Having spent so many years wondering how things work, I look forward to not only finding out, but using what I learn to create various influential projects of my own.

Credit: http://ryersonrta.fcad.ryerson.ca/facilities-equipment/rta-transmedia-zone
Credit: http://ryersonrta.fcad.ryerson.ca/facilities-equipment/rta-transmedia-zone

Although, in all honesty, I am a bit nervous about stepping into RTA and being enrolled in a course like digital media.  Even though I am someone who has always had the passion possessed by those in RTA, I do find I am lacking in experience.  This is very worrisome as I anticipate this will be a big disadvantage to me, especially in something like digital media which appears very complex.  It is the complexity of digital media software, something I have never really used, that scares me into thinking using digital media programs will be difficult for a first timer like myself to grasp.  However, knowing that RTA has some of the best media professors in the world, I know I’ll be learning from the best, and so, I am prepared to overcome my worries and to drive myself to a successful future.  Hopefully, by the end of this course, the components of digital media will no longer be a foreign concept to me, but a concept that is all too familiar.