RESEARCH: Ancillary Tasks

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ANCILLARY TASKSMusic Video Brief Holly RileyCandidate Number: 8396Centre Number: 22321

Analysing (Indie/Alternative) DigipaksA Digipak is a patented casing made from cardboard, and is typically created from a gatefold (book-like) outer binding. This packaging is used for CD, DVD and BD products. They are often used for special edition CD albums or singles by a music artist. Manufacturers claim to have 100% recycled materials for their Digipaks, showing they do not damage the environmnet as much as a jewel case.


On the left is a standard 6 fold digipak template used for CD albums. One panel will be used for the CD itself, with plastic packaging, and a front and back panel will be used for images and text, whereas the other folded panels will often feature shots of the artist so the consumer can familiarise themselves with the artist. The digipak is used to case a CD because the artist can utilize the card medium in order to create a package with unique images, a specific house style and to represent what their music is like. In alternative genres, the digipaks are often distinctive and alter the common conventions. Below are some physical displays of what the varying folding styles are for a four fold digipak, with the latter few being more frequent among alternative music genres.

St Vincent Self Titled

Annie Clarke (aka St.Vincent) is a singular American indie artist who is known for changing her appearances for each album release. Her latest album St Vincent boasts a very minimalistic, clean and contemporary look to portray the albums contextual understanding of the new digital age. This is a 6 fold digipak, and features the same hexagonal, tessellated background in an off-white and pastel pink. These colours infer a femininity about the artist, but the tessellated background represents a controlled and calculated persona. These aspects alone hint at the modern concept behind the music, as the artist clearly aims to exploit the controlled routines we face due to technology taking over. The main image for the front cover of the digipak is a long shot of the artist sitting on a plain moulded pink chair. Her sitting position is reminiscent of a royal person, as she appears to look down on the viewer, with her hands on either arm rest, implying her dominance and self control. The colours of her multi-tonal and shiny dress also imply the regal theme, as strong blues and purples are highlighted by the high-key lighting on the artist, to represent her as a figure of authority. St.Vincents hair and make-up styling appears intimidating and somewhat alien-like with a modern edge because of the bleach blonde hair styled to surround the artists face. This wild hairstyle seems like it would be from another age, which makes the album seem it would include new sounds that are unconventional, which is a strong selling point for alternative genre listeners. The font style on the front cover hints that of an art deco feel, with clean straight lines in a rosy pink to match the house style. The S is on the left of the artist in the image, the T is in the centre of her dress, which is relatively obscured by the colours, and the V is on the right of the chair in the image. This simple layout with the title covering the main image shows the lack of conventions because it makes the text difficult to understand because of the unusual serif font. This shows that the album relies heavily on the art house approach, as opposed to the standard easy reading convention. On the back cover is the text seen in a simple, deep purple sans serif font, aligned to create a triangular shape. The triangular emblem is conventional amongst indie art because of its clean and unusual shape. The text on the triangle lists the track numbers and titles. Below this shape is the institutional information, including a large barcode, record label logos and security/resale information in a small serif font in black. This rectangle stands out from the rest of the album because of the black and white strong contrast, to show the importance of this information.

St Vincent Self TitledThis is the inner part of the digipak, with three folds, the far right compartment holds the CD, and the left holds a booklet. The left fold is an image of a blank white wall, with contemporary marbled flooring of a room, with a large chalk white rock in the centre of the image. The image is a long shot, and appears to be a panorama, as it links with the other two images on the right of this one. These images all contain the same high-key lighting and similar sized rocks. These images lead into one another to show cohesiveness across this section of the digipak, and it can be deconstructed to represent the contrast of nature and modern technologies. St.Vincent is stood in the central panel holding a mirror ball prop. This seems like an ornament used to juxtapose the matte white natural chalk, because of its mirrored surface. The convex surface of the object reflects the res of the room, and would have been edited in post production as it shows no camera or team taking the photo. This is to give an art house effect, as it shows an empty space in the chrome ball prop. The artist is represented as ominous in this long shot, as she stands rigid, holding the object before herself, obscuring most of her costume. Her hair and make-up is the same style as that seen on the front cover of the digipak. Her hair practically blends in with the stark white background, and it makes the artist seem at one with her contemporary surroundings, giving the viewer an understanding of the artsy house style. The costume St.Vincent wears consists of a black high neck cape, black bottoms and boots, with a sheer black maxi netting falling to the floor. A nude scoop neck top can be seen beneath the black cape, and this brings out the contoured make-up she wears, making her seem harsh and statuesque.On the right panel of the digipak, rule of thirds is used with the image because the chalk prop subjects are seen in the centre and far right of the image, implying the vastness of the room, and gives the effect of the picture being ongoing.

St Vincent Self TitledThis is the front cover of the lyrics booklet from inside the digipak. It follows the consistent house colours and hexagonal tessellated background, but has the triangular shapes portrayed through a prism/pyramid style. This metaphor for Egyptian pyramids brings to mind the fact that the Egyptians were said to have created pyramids to contact aliens, which appears to be a theme with the artistry on this digipak. The peach pyramid features one side which displays a contemporary field-like landscape, implying the artistic quality of the album. The same image of the pyramid Is duplicated on the back of the booklet, and mirrors the image seen on the front cover. The text along the masthead of the booklet reads st vincent in the same sans serif font on the front cover, showing a consistent use of fonts and house styles throughout the construction of this digipak. Above and below are images of the inside of the booklet. The pages are stark white, to match the inner panels of the digipak, and feature song lyrics shown in a conventional poetry style, with separated stanzas for the verses and chorus/hook of each song. The song lyrics are in a black sans serif plain font, and are small enough to fit a whole song on a singular A5 page. The titles of the songs are displayed in a black, rectangular text box in capitalised sans serif font. Along the bottom of each page in a smaller font is information regarding the instrumentation, who played the instruments, who produced the track, and who helped to co-write any lyrics with St.Vincent. This information is conventional to have in a lyric booklet, as it pays homage to those who helped in production of the album, and is respectful. The consumer would appreciate these mentions because of the indie consumers loyal nature to a label/artist.On the last pages of the booklet (left) are special mentions directly from the artist, to give a personal touch to the album itself. This text is small, and in a sans serif black font, on the right page is more institutional information, with printed logos for the record labels and print information. On the right is an image of the CD, which is plain white, with the same STV art deco font seen on the front cover of the digipak, but in black. On the bottom of the CD are the record label logos, and on the perimeter of the CD is copyright and institutional information regarding the album and artist.

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Stadium Arcadium

This is a digipak for Stadium Arcadium by alternative funk rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers. It has a conventional 6 fold digipak style, and appears to have a visual motif of a space theme. The front cover of the digipak has a space theme, with the title embossed and bevelled in a futuristic-looking yellow serif font style. This appears to be protruding from the centre of the background, which is blue and black, to highlight the theme. There are digital symbols of planets in orbit of the bold title text, and attract the viewer to read the title of the album. The space theme of the album suggests that the sounds are unusual and out of this world. A sticker with a strapline promoting popular singles on the album is on the bottom third of the front cover, and the text is in a black, bold sans serif font style so it is easy to read. On the far left panel is the inner folding disc case, which appears completely disconnected from the rest of the front of the digipak due to its contrasting house colours. This panel holds the Jupiter disc, as this album was split into two CDs to accommodate the unusually conflicting styles of the music on each CD. The Jupiter case is based from Greek mythology, as Jupiter was the God of the Skies. The image is a wide f