Before I did any sort of design for my digipak and advert aspects of my promotional package, I had to look into examples of the rock/metal genre. Looking at older more 1980’s style rock/punk bands through to more contemporary rock music I decided that based on the star image our band have I thought this research would be best.
To fit with the conventions of the genre, I need to understand it fully, especially if I want to challenge any of these through my designs. To do this I took part in extensive research starting from the earliest days of punk/rock/metal by viewing digipak’s and album adverts from Guns N Roses, Pantera, Metallica and Black Sabbath. From my research I have found that the colour palette of the designs isn’t usually complex using mostly stark colours that contrast or stand out when placed together. The use of negative space is also frequently used to indicate a certain power and weight that the band logo or the band name has. It’s also a convention throughout all my research that I’ve found that the digipak front-cover is used at the album advert as well, making it easily recognisable. This is understandable; however I feel that if the same typeface and style of photograph taken is used, the band would be just as recognisable, this could be a convention I choose to challenge when making my own album advert. I also found from bands in this era, that none of them had photographs of band members on the digipak front cover, and as I continued to research I found it quite rare to see a whole band shot on the front cover. Again another interesting convention I would like to challenge through Carrion’s star image, as it was clear a lot of contemporary metal/rock artists who aren’t ‘A-List’ famous tend to stick to graphic art to appeal to their target audience. I wanted to change it so the whole emphasis of the digipak front cover is the band, a subversion of this convention in a way that caters to Carrion’s band identity. When discussing band history in one of the previous blogs the band stated that much like ‘Falling In Reverse’ the lead singer came from another already some-what famous band who split up. We gave the reason that the lead singer had become too fixated on attention, causing the band to hit creative differences. This meant that this new album was about the band as a shared project between all band members, not just the lead. When changing our narrative we found a way to link this star image into the video by being forced to remove the drummer, we decided to have him forced out by the group, which leads to the visit of the ‘Nightmare’ girls and their wrath on the rest of the band for revenge. The concept of the shared attention led me to break a convention of the genre, which lies with a focus of media attention on the lead singer. This was taken account of in my rough designs, which include a band shot and shots of each individual members to share the media attention between them all. This break in convention can be seen in the ‘American Tragedy’ digi-download sold on iTunes with the deluxe copy where each band member and their mask are featured individually as they employed a new singer, after encountering creative differences with their old one.
American Tragedy Digipak deluxe edtion:
After this research I looked more into 90’s rock/metal music, at some of KoRn, System of a Down and bands of the like and found that this was pretty much the same as the conventions of the genre I discovered in my earlier research, showing that it hadn’t changed that much over the ten years, other than the graphics and digital effects on pictures had increased in quality making the pictures more appealing and attractive. This pointed to a good use of media technology in order to create a promotional package that complied with audience expectations of this type of media product.
When I came onto researching more contemporary bands, and inspiration bands for Carrion’s star image, like Rise to Remain, Suicide Silence, Enter Shikari, Avenged Sevenfold, and The Used, they were similar in the fact that it was mainly graphic art used throughout the digipak design, which made me want to challenge this more. The graphics had gotten more intricate and complex compared to the 80’s and 90’s digipak and album advert design, but there weren’t many different ones. When I deliberately searched for bands with the whole band on the front I could only find Slipknot from ‘All Hope is Gone’ , ‘Born Villian’ by Marilyn Manson and ‘Feel the Steel’ by Steel Panther that features any kind of photography of the band. However, it did prove to me that people had challenged this convention before, and were successful. Again the colour palette for most of the digipak’s and adverts I have found from both the 90’s were monochrome or use colours that don’t quite fit comfortably and contrast, or in the very least hold a dark colour scheme with effects that darken the hue of the picture. This again I feel is a convention of the genre as the music is meant to be seen as ‘dark’. Although, I noticed that this changes with my more contemporary research and the colour palette varies slightly with the use of purples, oranges and reds. When considering the group’s initial star image it was probably best to look at more of the 80’s/90’s promotional style as Carrion are trying to bring back the rock/metal image of that era with a contemporary twist, taking contemporary and 80’s/90’s style and combining them to create their own star image. It would probably be easier to use a contemporary style, with mise-en-scene to attract an audience to the band, yet format the band in a way that suggests a link to the earlier bands like Guns N Roses. Mainly when the band is seen together in these pictures featured below.
Band Shoots & Photography:
Including bands like System of a Down, Rise Against, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Metallica and Bullet For My Valentine.
In shoots of the bands, even some more contemporary, they are all positioned together in a line, so using intertextuality to link back to these early metal/rock years, I would want the band to be stood similar in some part of my digipak and album advert.