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Colour and Image

February 19, 2017

Direct Study - Colour Case Studies:

The first part of this week's directed study we have to find colour case studies and look into how the colours are used within the designs to create meaning. I have chosen to look at the crayola and logos.



Crayola is a supplier of artistic related products, such as a crayons, pencils, and pens. The majority of their products are aimed towards a younger demographic. 

The majority of the logo is made up of a white and green combination. These colours have been used to create a neutral theme that would appeal to both genders. This is a clever way of marketing to a wider audience. Furthermore, the shape is made up of a form that is similar to a smiley face. The yellow background reflects this image, as most smiley faces fit to this characteristic. The colour spectrum in the center is used to create the mouth of the smiley face. The spectrum is used here to represent the wide range of colours that they have to offer in relation to their products. Therefore, all in all, the colours here are used to appeal to a gender neutral demographic, whilst also displaying the wide range of colours they have available.


One negative factor about this design is that it is very demographically specific. Although they are appealing to their target audience, the vast amount of colours may turn older people away from them, as it makes them look less professional and as a whole, less appealing.


Beats Electronics:

The second design I have chosen to focus on is the Beats Audio logo. This is an audio products company that was formed by American rapper, Dr. Dre. It is a company that branches off from Apple.

The main colour used is red. Red has a wide variety of connotations that could be applied to this company: power, ambition, leadership, pioneering, bold, energy, passionate, and exciting to name a few. These colour be applied in a various ways. For instance, their products provide power to your music, they are the leading brand in their market, and that they are passionate about what they produce. The grey used also replicated the colour of their products used, and while grey often has negative connotations about being dull, it can also represent stability, security, strength, authority, and maturity. The white that is used for the base shape within the logo also links back towards it link with Apple and the common use of white on their products. It also represent simplicity and gives the company a clean and professional feel. All together, these are all used to provide a sense of meaning to the logo that people can identify, and thus feel positive about. This would, in turn, entice them into purchasing their products.


However, on the other hand, whilst these colours have presumably been used to create a positive message, some people do associated the colours with different feelings. For example, red is often linked to feelings of rage, anger, murder, and warning. This could have a negative effect on their promotion.


Directed Study - Photographic Case Studies:

The second part of our directed study was to looking to case studies of designs that have used photographs to provide impact. I have chosen to focus on a Sundara Karma gig poster and a road safety poster.


Sundara Karma Gig Poster:

For their 2017 gig in Manchester, the band Sundara Karma have incorporated a photograph into their poster. The use of a black and white image has secured an edgy and indie rock sense to the poster, thus reflecting the image that the band tries to portray to viewers/listeners.


In addition to this, the use of an image of a previous gig provides those who look at the poster a sense that if they go and see this band they will have a good time by showing them exactly what they will experience. Although there are various bodies within the image, it is interesting that the leader singer still remains the focus point of the picture through the use of rule-of-thirds. He is directly along a vertical line of interest, thus making him a more powerful point of interest. The fact that he is also photographed close to the crowd promotes a personal experience that the band provides to their fans, giving them a one-to-one interaction.


Finally, the black and white theme of the posters allows for the green/yellow frame and writing to stand out, thus making the date, place and the rest of the information in the frame stand out.


Road Safety Poster:

 This road safety poster has used a photographic image to provide impact. The use of a red lorry first of all indicates danger through the colour's connotations (especially in terms of road signs), but with the addition of the blurriness adds that it is driving very fast. This links it to the message of the poster surrounding speed. The use of the woman in a yellow dress is linked to the idea of the highway code with hazards being indicated by the colour yellow. Therefore, the red and yellow combination is a powerful tool used by the photographer to replicate the messages of the road's safety measures. 


Moreover, the use of a photograph makes the scenario more realistic. The sense of a real life scenario makes people relate to it more easily, as well as making it easier for them to image happening. By doing this, it would make them consider the consequences of driving at dangerous speeds more carefully, thus making the poster successful in trying to put its message across.


Directed Study - How to Source Images:


There are a variety of different ways out there to get images from the internet to use in your own design work. However, the issue surrounding this procedure lays around the topic of copyright. Although this can be a problem (especially for us students), there are way to get content that you can use for design work without having to be caught out by those nasty rules and regulations.


Creative Commons is one source that you can use to gain this access. It allows you to look at content provided by other organisations through a search bar on their main site. You simply search for the type of content you are looking for and then you receive the search results. To gain access to the content you simply click on the image, ensure that you can use it under copyright regulations (it should say on the right hand side of the page), and then all that's left to do is download the image to your computer. This is how you gain access to images that you can use for free to design your own content. 


Directed Study - Design Your Own Album Artwork:


For this part of the directed study, I chose to redesign the album cover for Wolf Alice's 'My Love is Cool'. This was the 2016 debut release for the indie/alternative band, that was a massive hit reaching number 2 in the UK charts.


 The above design shows my first attempt at redesigning the artwork. The band themselves are very deep, dark, and emotional in terms of the music that they produce. I wanted to replicate this through the album cover. Therefore, I chose a black background to represent this deep and dark image that the band currently withhold. I also chose to use a script font, as the band are seen as home grown and indie/alternative, so I believed that this would give it a homemade, personal yet edgy feel to the album.


The image that I chose to use is of a couple kissing. This is one I chose to use, as the name of the album is 'my love is cool' and many of the songs look at the complex idea of relationships. I felt like this image represented 'love', whilst also being based within quite an alternative and musical background, with guitars and Led Zeppelin posters being featured within the frame. However, after making all of these conscious decisions, I felt like it wasn't quite right, which was when I decided to have another ago and take on a different design.


 This is the second design I produced. I wanted to stray further away from the original design, as I felt my first one replicated it too much. I decided to make my own mark and really think about how the album looked in my mind when I listened to it.


This time I picked an image that represented a different kind of 'cool'. The photograph contains a background that is quite cold and brutal, so I thought this would be a good way of showing a different perspective the album's image. I also chose it because it contains the lead singer, Ellie Rowsell, showing a very passionate and emotional expression on her face whilst performing, which I believe could reflect the passion and emotion present within the music featured on the album. I began by using the same 'script' font I used on the previous design for the title of the album, however I felt like it didn't stand out enough. This is when I began looking for a much bolder font that would stand out against the background well. I found this one and instantly liked how clear and bold it was, as this would make it easy for people to see who and what the album is. The colour is one i chose, as it would further enhance the ability to stand out, but it took me a while to finally put on the black outline to continue the boldness.


The layout of the back I wanted to keep clear and simple. I didn't just want to list the tracks in the usual vertical fashion, so I decided to follow the 'alternative' notion and listen them horizontally with 'markers' to help separate the individual tracks, making it easier to read. I kept the same font that was on the front, 'Prohibition', to keep consistence across the brand of the album. However, then changed the font for the details of the bottom to show a more professional and standardised feel to the font. 


Overall, I much prefer the second design as I personally relate to it more in terms of how it makes me feel and how the album makes me feel. I also believe it looks more professional and it identifies with the band better, as their is an image of one of the band members on the front rather than two people unconnected with the artist. In the future, I would try and relate it to the genre more, by making it more indie/alternative by including graphics/images that are more mysterious and unknown, thus leaving people with a sense of the band's individuality. I would also probably change the font on the front, as I am not totally happy with it. I feel as if it is too modern for the band and needs to be something with a bit more edge in it's style. 



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