Digipak Analysis'.

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Digipak Idea

Digipak IdeaMathew Horne

Digipaks?As part of my Advanced Portfolio, we have to come up with concept art for digipak ideas to go alongside our music video, in order to promote the new album that we will be theoretically creating. Ergo, a detailed analysis of existing digipaks will be done and typed up so that I can gather an understanding of what a typical digipak is exactly and how I can come to create one myself for my own band of choice and how I can fully utilise it. I will be studying and analysing 3 digipaks of the same genre of my band Royal Blood- and typical aspects of all digipaks- to get an idea of what I should be looking to do.

Jewel casesConventionally, you will find most CDs encased in a Jewel Case(the clear disk holder that almost all CDs come in). Its comprised of a solid black/white bound layer which doubles as the holder for the CD and also holds the two clear sides. The simple Jewel case provides benefits in the forms of durability, cost effectiveness and space. The plastic that provides casing for the disk also provides support if any kind of strain is put on it; the plastic case helps to take the shattering pressure that a drop or a bend would put on it, thus the disk has a better chance of going unscathed. Also, the plastic casing allows prevention against decades of damage from scratches to sticky liquids. Efficiency of cost comes in the form of cheap purchases, a typical Jewel Case would set you back around 55p(according to various websites) which isnt that much cheaper than competing cases unless bought in bulk which would make the few pence cheaper turn into considerably cheaper- swaying companies to choose them and sell them for cheaper than they would be able to if they had bought more expensive ones which makes them a very appealing choice. And Lastly, the square, slim casing allows the owner to store it in small spaces and this means it is handy for stacking loads together in an area where DVDs or game cases would not be able to. However, many issues can be found with the Jewel Case approach to disk holding. It was soon a common issue that disks- although protected by the case to outside harms- was getting scratched and damaged severely by the holding teeth on the inside as they either snap off or the disk isnt put in right and just slides around. Also, the quality of the Jewel Cases poses an issue as they fall apart frequently, meaning the owner has to find an alternate case to hold the disk in and causing the owner to spend more money and become frustrated

Alternative to Jewel Cases?Digipaks soon became a very big rival for the jewel case in the 2000s when record labels from all genres began using them. They are a book like cover which typically opens twice outwards from the central panel: one fold to the left and one to the right. As a result, this new cover has 2 sides with a total of 6 panels which would all be used to engage and treat the audience to something visual and attractive. With an extra 2 more panels than the traditional jewel case, the artists now have more room to express themselves and get across to the public their own identity along with the fact that this type of cover is generally far more satisfying to open. There are two forms a disk holder can take in a digipak: a plastic teeth holder or a paper sleeve. However, the more aesthetic sleeve holder is a way more dangerous option as if tipped upside down for any reason, the disk could fall out and break as apposed to the teeth that would secure the disk in place. Although there are different alternatives to both the jewel case and the digipak, the digipak is still largely used by artists due to its aesthetic appeal and its novelty feel- just like vinyl records today. Digipaks arent at all without their flaws as being comprised of cardboard makes them far more likely to degrade much quicker and break much easier than a firm jewel case plastic but this also makes them very environmental. Also, digipaks tend to vary in size which makes stacking them considerably different to the consistent jewel cases which makes them lack in comparison to jewel cases in the space efficient department. And as mentioned before they leave the disk open to easy breaks with the sleeve. Overall, the digipak is a very more likeable option as it is better feeling, environmental and allows more space to be creative although the negatives of easy degradation, disk risk and varying size could be enough to sway someone from them back to the jewel case.

Album Artwork:

The album artwork for the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars is obviously visually engaging, its not hard to look at due to its simplicity, the subtle colours are nice and relaxed which makes it easy on the eyes and its straight to the point. This artwork also subtly links in with the name of the band as the symbol of the band points upwards and the image is up in the clouds, i.e. upwards into space, where mars is. Whether it was intentional or not, this link between the image and the band name is a common feature within music and can aslo be seen in the next piece of artwork for You Me at Six.

You Me at Six Take Off Your Colours:

As aforementioned, the image here links to the band not in the same way as with 30 Seconds to Mars but by relating to the album name Take Off Your Colours- it does so by having a colourful circle within a golden square and having the gold bleed into the colours as if the colours are disappearing. As with the previous artwork, the colours- although there are more and brighter ones- are still very subtle and easy to look at which obviously sets a tone for the genre artwork. In keeping with themes, I think our album artwork would have to scarcely use bright, vibrant colours if any at all.

Royal Blood:

Apposingly, the cover image of the first album by the band Royal Blood- which we are making a video for- has no relation to the album name or the band itself. The image is of a woman covered with only her eyes and hands showing, much like a Muslim woman, this suggests to me that the band wants to address everyday issues such as race which is very different to the two album artworks before this one. However, the colour scheme is similar to You Me at six and 30 Second to Mars because it is very calm and easy to look at which further implies that a nice easy colour pallet is what we should use. In addition, although a very complex image, it can be argued that the outline shape of this woman is almost like two triangle touching at the point which matches the two previous pieces of artwork because they too have very simple shapes on the cover, one a triangle and one a circle.

Overall?Overall, I think we can tell that this genre of music is very keen on keeping the colours that they use very subtle and non-vibrant. The layout of the cover seems to follows a simple 2D image such as a triangle or a circle and the overall cover usually ends up linking with the band in someway, whether it be to do with their morals (Royal Blood), their album (You Me as Six) or their name (30 Seconds to Mars). So I can conclude that for me, the album front cover will have to address all of these conventions, maybe a circular image, calm colours and as it is my opinion that the song we will be making a video for focuses on class inequality we could have an image of a coin to represent monetary differences between the classes. Thus, the image will meet all requirements.