The book starts off by telling the reader that “Being too explicit is terrible. You have to leave something for the audience to fill in.” It involves participation, words versus images, semiotics, harmony, and disharmony. I learned about signs and how they are made up of expression and content. Content can be broken down into three components: icons, index, symbol. I also learned that when placing text and an image together, one must take into consideration direction. One wants to avoid making the receiver passive by giving them too much information. The goal is to find a way to use text and image to provide the receiver with enough information to understand, but to peak enough interest for them to want to participate in receiving the message. I learned that a quick way to test interplay is to cover the picture and the text separately to see if they work on their own as well as working together. I found an example of text and image interplay that I enjoy:
Choose from a list of sample movie plots to create the opening titles for. Submit a proposal with concept and plan of execution. 200 words minimum submitted as a blog post.
The opening credits I am going to use for my opening movie title proposal is for the movie Amadeus. I chose this movie because I have seen it before and enjoyed watching it. I also am interested in it because it involves music. I am planning on using music by Mozart throughout the entire background of the opening credits. I plan on taking footage of someone playing the piano and using this as well. I also will take footage of the college hall foyer because I feel that it has the correct atmosphere for the movie. I will use font with serifs. I will try to find a font that matches the font found written on classical music. I also will try to incorporate written music into the text. I will try to create staves and music notes as well. I will use black and white a lot to match music as well. I will try to capture the conflicting moods between classical and contemporary shown in the film. I will try to find a way to reflect that Mozart was a classical composer with a bit of a wild side.
Choose an opening movie title to share with the class. Be prepared to explain why you choose it. Have two as backup incase someone takes yours.
The first opening movie title I have to share is the opening credits for the movie Coraline. I chose it because I watched this movie recently and have read the book many years ago. I wanted to see if the movie was as creepy as the book was. I like the opening title because it is animated. I like that it varies in fonts. I also like that there is a music track used that has layers of different youthful voices. I think that this adds to the eery feel of the movie. It is not easy to make out the words that the voices are singing, but one word that I feel like I might hear is the word “dream” or “dreaming.” This becomes very relevant to the movie. I like this opening title because I feel that it truly captures the feel of the movie and sets the viewer up for what is to come.
The second opening movie title I chose is actually the opening for a television show. I used the opening credits for Sex and the City. I chose it because I like the show a lot and I’ve always found the song used very catchy and memorable. I like it because the imagery used shows what it would be like to live in New York City. I also like that the font used is in gray-scale because the imagery is colorful. My favorite part of the opening title is the end where they show the banner ad on the bus for the main character’s journalism column. I like that the opening title is quite simple, but clearly shows a woman living in NYC.
The last opening title I chose was from the television show, New Girl. I chose this because I like that it is short. I like that it shows the characters’ personalities in that short amount of time. I feel that it is unique because the actors are actually acting out the opening title rather than them being shown from previous clips of the show. I also think that it almost makes the song used a jingle, in that it is short and easily memorized. That way the viewers could hear that song from afar and know that New Girl was starting. I also like that the font used to spell out the title is actually being held by the actors.
Use your partners design to discuss the strategy including the concept and goal of the design. Who is it targeting? What message is it sending? What was their influence beyond the book plot?
I think that Paige’s goal was to make the book cover relate more to the story. She changed the color to salmon, to match the main character, Susie Salmon’s last name. She also used more symbols than the original cover did. Instead of just the charm bracelet, she added a polaroid picture of Susie’s hat that she was wearing the night she disappeared. I think that this was a good addition because Susie’s goal in life was to become a photographer and most of the story is influenced by the pictures she took when she was alive. I also liked that instead of using the entire charm bracelet, Paige just used the one charm of the house. This is important to the story because this is the one charm that Susie’s attacker kept when he disposed of her bracelet. It also symbolizes the importance of home to the story and to Susie.
The book cover is targeting a teenage and young adult audience. I think the new cover is more interesting so it might attract more people to it. It is sending a message of the life of a young girl which is what the book is about. It sends the message that the book might have something to do with photographs so it might attract people interested in photography as well. I think that the symbolism in this book affected Paige’s decisions with the cover as well as just the plot because she used small symbols that were very powerful.
Choose a music video that has a non-dramatic storyline. Discuss what you think it means. What symbolism is used? Submit your answer as a blog post with the video embedding.
I chose the music video for “Mr. Brightside,” by The Killers. I think that the music video is trying to tell the story of a toxic love affair. I think that the lead singer, Brandon Flowers, becomes infatuated with the lead woman who seems to be portraying a prostitute, but in the end he leaves her because he cannot deal with the jealousy that her career causes. One important symbol in this music video is the apple. Multiple times in this video will the viewer see the older man, presumably the leading lady’s “boss,” throwing her an apple each time he assigns her a new man to pay attention to. The apple seems to be a form of payment. One might relate the apple to a “forbidden fruit,” especially since the woman is most likely a prostitute or an escort.
Another interesting aspect of this music video is the role that Brandon Flowers plays. He is originally seen as being part of the band playing for this party that is happening. He then is seen sneaking around with the leading lady. At around 1:57, things change. It is not so clear whether he is having flashbacks while he sees the woman with another man, or if it is his jealousy causing him to wish that she was with him instead. Until around 2:15 the viewer sees the woman both dancing with the new man, and with Flowers. They are doing a similar dance, but it is unclear whether her dance with Flowers happened in the past or not. I think that this is either Flowers and the woman wishing that they were together, or Flowers having the realization that his relationship with her is the same as her meaningless relations with these many other men.
Another symbol in this video is the game of checkers between Flowers and the “boss” at 2:57. When the scene first starts we see a translucent image of the woman, indicating that perhaps they are playing this game as a way to win her. It is not shown whether Flowers loses the game or not, but we do see the “boss” looking smug and Flowers struggling until he decides to flip the table over. I believe that this symbolizes Flowers realizing that no matter what he does, he will not win. He is giving up the fight for the woman. At 3:20 the “boss” is shown eating an apple which also brings back the “forbidden fruit” idea and could symbolize that he has won the woman.
The rest of the video is shown as flashbacks between Flowers and the woman showing that they may have had a relationship that was more substantial than her other relations. The video ends with Flowers walking out on the woman. I think that this video very much ties into the song. For one thing, Flowers is optimistic enough to believe that he could have a relationship with a woman who is involved with so many different men until the very end of the video. It also portrays the jealousy described in the song throughout most of the video. I feel that the video is somewhat abstract and there may be some parts of it that I will never fully understand, but the story is clear enough to feel the emotions it is trying to convey.
I decided to recreate the cover of the book Go Ask Alice. The original cover was very dark and murky. This relates to the book because the book follows the self-discovery of a teenage girl named Alice and revolves around drug abuse and depression. My idea for the cover was different. Go Ask Alice is written as a journal of Alice’s thoughts. The idea I had was to make the cover look like a composition book. I found a textured fill on Photoshop that gave the look of a composition book background. I also used the rectangle tool with rounded edges to mimic the look of the text box on the front cover of most composition books. I filled this in with the title and author of the book in the font Chalkboard, because I felt that it best resembled a person’s handwriting. After this, I placed a jpg of a barcode in the corner. I also found some psychedelic stickers online and placed them on the book cover to help personalize the journal. To me, these stickers look as if Alice herself stuck them to her composition book to decorate it. Overall, I am happy with the outcome of this book cover.
Submit a blog post explaining what book you have chosen to re-create the cover for. Why did you choose it? What is your plan when reworking the design?
Right now I am split between two different books for my book cover project. For The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, I wanted to re-do the cover even though there have already been many covers of this book. I feel that most of the covers do not accurately represent the intensity of the book. I would think about a cover that conveys quiet intensity. It would not be overwhelming, and would be simple, but would still capture the horrors of the hell that Alighieri captures in his book. I may not use much color, but would like to use simple illustrations.
The other book I might re-create a cover for is Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. I like the blue cover of the book, but I think that it is much more peaceful than most of the book is. This book involves a lot of intense emotions and does not resolve until the very end of it. I feel that the cover is a bit misleading. I have thought about making the cover a bit less simple by using illustrations of different parts of the book. I want to keep it relatively simple so that the reader will not automatically know what to expect when picking up the book, but I do not think I would stick to using the blue as the main color.
This picture is of the inside of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. It is mainly symmetrical. The building is very complex, but still symmetrical on the inside. My picture is a bit not symmetrical because there is a chandelier on the left side that I did not capture on the right.
This picture is asymmetrical. There is a figurine on the right side that is tall and a plant of the left that is much closer to the camera and lower down.
This picture shows contrast in color and texture. The flowers in the focus are bright yellow and look as though they would feel smooth. The dirt in the bottom right of the picture is out of focus and is greyish. It looks uneven and hard.
This picture uses natural lighting coming in from a window off the left of the image. The natural lighting helps highlight the side of my cat and show depth.
This picture of some of the trees on Regis College campus is vertical because it captures more of the trees that way. It helps to show how tall and narrow they are.
This picture is of some outlets near my neighborhood. It is horizontal and shows more of the sky and how far out to the sides that the shops and restaurants span underneath it.
This photo is a bit of a long shot of a construction vehicle.
This next picture is a close up of the same vehicle. It shows that written on the door of the vehicle is the name “Audrey.” This detail would go unnoticed in a long shot. The close up shows less of the truck as a whole, but more of its fine details.