CD covers are designed to attract their target audience. All CD institutions aim to achieve this by using specific images and fonts that suit their target audience. When designing a new CD cover, the genre and the target audience must be clear. Kylie Monogue’s album, “fever”, made by “Parlophone”, shows Kylie standing prominent with her head bent back towards the sky with a microphone in her right hand. She is wearing a plain white sleeveless top and has a white scarf tied around her waist.
There are no images in the background and it is just a simple pale grey wall. What you see in a media text is known as the denotations and what was just described are the denotations of this CD cover. The audience will recognise this as a pop album because they will probably be familiar with the singer, which is Kylie Monogue. However, if the audience are not familiar with the singer, they will still know the genre of the album as the cover does not consist of any forms and conventions that relate to any other music genres such as rock, country etc.
Kylie is presented semi nude to attract young men to buying to actual CD and use them as their target audience. So Solid Crew’s single, “21 seconds” made by “relentless” records was released in mid-2001. The CD cover of this single shows still photo’s taken form the video all over the cover and on top of that is the name “So Solid Crew”. This text is presented to the audience as if it is graffiti sprayed onto a wall, this specific text expresses the cover in such a way that the audience will know its genre and its specific target audience.
Its target audience is teenagers between the ages 12 and 18. On the CD cover there is also a badge in the bottom right hand side that says “parental advisory, explicit lyrics”. This sign tells the audience that the music on the CD will consist of some lyrics that are not suitable for young teenagers, however the target audience is teenagers between the ages 12 and 18. This shows how the CD institution has used this logo very carefully in such a way that it attracts more teenagers towards buying the CD. It is obvious that this is a very dominant CD cover.
The CD cover that has been created is based on “horror themes”. The CD consists of 12 tracks which have been taken from 12 successful horror films. On the front cover, the name “horror themes” is presented in a creepy font which is apparently dripping with blood, this gives a bloody and intimidating effect to the cover and informs the audience that the CD will consist of something to do with terror and horror. The vampire on the cover is used to further reiterate the horror theme of the music. A character such as this vampire is seen in many “B” horror movies.
The skeletons on either side of the cover reinforce the idea about a horror film and gives the audience the genre that they are looking for. All the images are set transparent in front of a background of lightening and thunder. This sets the mood of a night time horror story and blends in with the other horror relating images. The overall impact on the audience is very positive as they were stunned by the cover and had a positive attitude towards purchasing the CD. It is obvious that distinctive forms and conventions are required in order to have a good impact on the target audience.
The back of the created CD cover also consists of distinctive forms and conventions. It carries the names of the 12 tracks written in a thriller font which again, attracts the audience to the horror genre. However, the back is slightly similar to the front as it also carries the images of the skeletons, but this time it is largely transparent over the text in order to see the thunder and lightening. The forms and conventions on this CD cover are very distinct and that is why it has achieved a good result.
The importance of forms and conventions are what helped to achieve a positive result from the audience. However, all CD covers consist of unique ideas about their ideology and genre. As we have seen in this essay, we know that Kylie Monogue’s CD cover consist of forms and conventions that relate to her target audience which is young men and teenagers. As an audience, we know what we like in specific genres and that is why music institutions come up with different ideas for covers to suit everyone.