Digital Media Design


Digital Sound – Music and Audio, Digital Sampling

Digital Sound


Fig.1. Sound Waves.

Fig.1. Sound Waves.

What is Sound? Sound is caused by a change in air pressure. When something vibrates the air pressure is changed, the picture, fig.1.shows how the beating of a drum causes changes in air pressure, the harder the drum is hit the more compressed the air becomes and so the louder the sound wave is, in this case represented by a sine wave the more compressed the air waves the higher the peak and vice versa the less the air is compressed the deeper the trough. It should be noted that sound is the movement of air molecules or for example the molecules in water and that Sound waves can travel through a variety of mediums including water, metal, glass etc. but not in a vacuum. As there are no air molecules in a vacuum there can be no sound.

Fig.1. Sound Waves. Rockwell International Accessed 19/03/2010

1.0 Definition of what sampling is and how to sample/record

When we talk about sampling we are usually talking about Digital sampling these days, a basic description is that a specifically designed application listens to the sound and takes a slice of the sound wave, think of it as a snapshot of the sound wave. The length of the snapshot is measured in bits and the number of snapshots taken is called the sampling rate and is measured in seconds. The more snapshots, that is the higher the sampling rate the better the quality of the sound (Fidelity) as it more closely resembles the original sound waveform.

Fig.2. Picture represents the difference in quality of the sampled sound depending on the bit-depth used.

Fig.2. Picture represents the difference in quality of the sampled sound depending on the bit-depth used.

Fig.2. Picture represents the difference in quality of the sampled sound depending on the bit-depth used. What is audio. Accessed 22/03/2010

The sampling rate varies but typically a CD is sampled at 44,100 times per second at 16 bits. These samples are then stored by either on the CD itself or say on a computers hard drive for possible re-sampling and/or manipulation by effects processors.

An example of Analogue sampling can be found in the effects pedals used by guitarists, some of which remain in use today examples of these being Reverb and Phaser units where a proportion of the incoming signal is affected or indeed the whole signal is shifted out of phase or added to the original signal to produce the reverb effect. Other examples include echo units which do similar things to the signal although it does not change the actual sound but just samples the incoming sound and adds a copy to the outgoing signal but with a delay that can be adjusted to give a varying echo.

Sampled sounds can be used in conjunction with a range of effects systems to produce unique sounds for the Radio, TV and Film industries. Sampled sounds can be assigned to keys on an electronic keyboard – either a different sound for each key or a single sampled sound which is then processed by the keyboard to give a complete range of sounds.

2.0 Analogue Vs Digital

Analogue Sound

Fig.3. Analogue Vs Digital Sound.

Fig.3. Analogue Vs Digital Sound.

Fig.3. Analogue Vs Digital Sound. Accessed 19/03/2010

Analogue is a continuous medium and Digital is made up of steps. To sample or record sound it must first be converted from sound waves into an electrical signal. In Fig.3. There are two diagrams; the top one is of a Analogue signal which has been converted into an electrical signal for example by using a microphone which converts the movement created by sound waves impacting on a material such as thin plastic inside the microphone which in turn creates an electrical signal either by varying the capacitance in a condenser microphone or moves either the coils or a magnetic core inside a coil which then also generates an electrical signal. This continuous signal can now be recorded by using this electrical signal to for example move a needle, scratching an electrical representation of the sound onto the surface of a vinyl disk or onto magnetic tape using a recording head which is a form of electro magnet which marks the surface of tape with a signal.

Fig.4. Cross Section of Dynamic Microphone.

Fig.4. Cross Section of Dynamic Microphone.

Fig.4. Cross Section of Dynamic Microphone. Accessed 19/03/2010

Digital Sound

A digital signal starts off as an Analogue signal that is a sound wave converted to an electrical signal and this electrical signal is then converted into a digital signal by sampling it at a determined rate. That is the number of times it is sampled in a second. If we look again at Fig.3. The bottom diagram shows a representation of what a digital signal looks like compared with the analogue signal above it. You can see how the waveform has been converted into steps with each step approximating the peak or trough of the original signal. This approximation also supplies us with a clue as to why many sound purists prefer analogue over digital, as the analogue signal is continuous or step less while digital is an approximation of the original sound and as such does not contain the richness of the original analogue sound. Of course this can be alleviated to some extent by sampling at a higher rate and so more steps will be produced therefore more closely following the original signals waveform.

Digital signals are made up from 1’s and 0’s that is Binary code, so each one of those steps in Fig.3. is made up from a series of these 1’s and 0’s. This Binary code is the language of computers and so this allows the digital sound or data to be stored and manipulated by a computer. Digital sound can be recorded onto a computers hard disk, flash drive (USB Key), CD and DVD disk. As the digital sound is made up of 1’s and 0’s it is also possible to reduce the size of the data (or Digital sound file) by removing excess 1’s and 0’s for example the Mp3 format. The computer will remember to add these back in when the sound needs to be reproduced as will other sound reproducing equipment for example an iPod as it will recognise that the file is in an Mp3 format and so it will know to add those 1’s and 0’s back in during playback.

Fig.5. Copy degradation experienced when copying from a copy of a copy

Fig.5. Copy degradation experienced when copying from a copy of a copy

Fig.5. Copy degradation experienced when copying from a copy of a copy etc. Car on the left is a copy and you can see the pixilation of the image compared with the image of the car on the right. One of the key differences between Analogue and Digital recording is unlike Analogue recordings it does not matter how many times you record a digital sound file it remains at the same quality. Whereas an Analogue sound file loses it’s quality (Fidelity) the more times that it is copied

that is a master file when copied becomes a 2nd generation copy a copy from this becomes a 3rd generation and so on. This occurs in the same way that when the copy of a document is not quite as good as the original and a copy taken from this copy is even less perfect. This is best viewed by images in Fig.5. which is of two images of the same car, the one on the right is the original and the image on the left is a copy of a copy of a copy as you can see the final copy is very unclear and this represents the degradation in sound quality (loss of Fidelity) which you can expect when copying analogue sound files. For this reason for example, a music producer will have a master copy and it is from this that copies are made so that the copies are at worst 2nd generation copies.

3.0 Programmes and Equipment used to sampling & re-sampling


Fig.6. Audacity 1.3.11-beta Sound sampling and editing software application Audacity

Fig.6. Audacity 1.3.11-beta Sound sampling and editing software application Audacity

Fig.6. Audacity 1.3.11-beta Sound sampling and editing software application Audacity is a free open source application that can sample and re-sample digital sound and to facilitate the editing of sound files and even offers several effects including Echo, pitch and tempo changes etc. Coming back to its main features Audacity can let you in a non-destructive way edit digital sound tracks, cutting and pasting sections, adding new tracks with other digital sound files to enable mixing etc.

It is also possible to re-sample sound files by selecting the track to resample and then from the Track menu select resample and this will pop up another menu box where you are able to select a different sampling rate from 8000 to 96,000. Another option is to be able to export a sound file in different formats including .WAV (uncompressed 16 bit) and Mp3 (Compressed).

Audacity can do more than just re-sample sound it is also possible to carry out non-destructive editing which means unlike editing of old where say a tape was cut and new sections of tape added or removed in a process known as splicing. In non-destructive editing a section of the sound waveform can be cut and pasted from and into tracks. Alternatively tracks from another music file can be imported and ether inserted into the original track or added as another track and therefore effectively mixed with the original tracks.

Pro Tools

A more professional application called Pro Tools does very similar things to Audacity but takes it several stages further also to having it’s own Analogue to Digital convertor, superior in quality to a Mac or PC’s own internal hardware called an M-Box. Pro Tools is an industry standard sound editing application used by TV, Film and music production companies to create and edit professional quality sound and music.

Fig.7. Pro Tools screenshot

Fig.7. Pro Tools screenshot

Fig.7. Pro Tools screenshot, courtesy of Accessed 22/03/10/2010

There are many other sound editing and re-sampling programs many of which are free to use or open source which include:-

  • Adobe Audition
  • iTunes
  • Goldwave
  • Microsoft Media Player
  • Sony Soundforge 9.0
  • WavePad

Image Gallery



Website Design – Plan a Website

Website Planning and Idea Development

Decided that the best way to promote myself as a Media Professional is too produce an enhanced CV styled website to sell my Media Skills as a Freelance Media Professional. A Portfolio of my college projects displayed in a website rather than by producing a company services styled website. Researching the Internet for examples of Media Professional CV’s, came across many types, for example, from a plain text based CV website to a website entirely produced using Flash.

Many of these websites appeared to be surprisingly, of either low or average quality when looking at examples from obviously newly qualified designers. Only established designers with a good range of client projects completed seemed to have good content to be able to build their web presence on.

I also looked at alternative websites, which used best practice design, or  an eye catching design to promote their services or products I came  across many examples with ideas which could be incorporated in my own website design.

Fig.1. Callum Rimmer @ Dead Trendy Ltd Accessed 24/03/2010

Fig.1. Callum Rimmer @ Dead Trendy Ltd Accessed 24/03/2010

What attracted me to this site (Fig.1.) are the graphics and the simplified message “I make websites with Razzamatazz, Hire Me”. So even a simple site can deliver a strong message and entice visitors to look deeper into the site by clicking on the Portfolio and Web Apps buttons. The main issue with this site though is its lack of text content which will make it hard to achieve a good position on the search engines, in fact to find this site a very specific search term had to be inputted into the Google™ search box.

Conclusion even though this is a good visual website with a clear message it would unlikely generate any business or contact through a internet search due to its lack of text. However it would make a good reference site for the developer to redirect a potential client to, indicating the levels of design skills that the designer can offer, in other words a portfolio website.

The second CV styled site I came across seemed to incorporate many of the elements that are used in social networking sites for example MySpace having similarities in layout and the way that content is presented. The site is very clean and finding information fairly straightforward. But it has similar problems to the previous example in being very light on text content and therefore hard to find using a search engine.

Fig.2. Jason King’s CV

Fig.2. Jason King’s CV

In fact to find a site that relies on its graphical content is extremely difficult it was much easier to find the basic text based CV sites because they have a lot of related text as their content.

The design of the Daily Prophet Online website although basic was because of its text content relatively at the top of the listings for the search terms I used that is “Newspaper website designs”. Although the site itself is very basic in design it works well because it uses a well proven layout using Tables and Columns with a large attention grabbing image in the centre of the home page.

Fig.3. The Daily Prophet

Fig.3. The Daily Prophet

Looking at other Newspaper websites the design used by The Sun seemed to be the most effective with its graphic heavy eye catching design. Another example of a website using Table and Columns with the central area of the home page with a large image or in this case several images in its central area.

Fig.4. The SUN newspaper

Fig.4. The SUN newspaper

This style of website seemed to be the best way to go about designing a portfolio based website, with its balance of images and text in an easy to read newspaper styled layout.

Web 1.0 Vs Web 2.0

The best way to describe the differences between previous web design and current website designs and trends is to look at what we would call Web 1.0 and compare it with what is now termed Web 2.0

In Web 1.0 the website was designed by an individual or company who then propagate the website with content and a web administrator (usually the designer) controlling access to the site and with it making any changes/additions to its content. The website surfers were on the opposite side, viewing and interacting with the content placed their by the designers. The difference between that and what Web 2.0 now offers and is best demonstrated by Social Networking websites is that now surfers can also add their own content to the website effectively taking on some of the roles usually the sole domain of the web master and website designers.

Another big factor in the change from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 is the actual speed of the Internet, whereas in its early years the Internet was slow and surfers were limited to 512K surfing speeds, with the advent of Broadband connection now offering speeds up to 20MB (more if cable network available) graphics and/or video heavy websites are now possible. Hence the appearance of sites such as YouTube which could have been impossible without the improvement in download and video streaming speeds.

Industry Trends

Although there are always exceptions there is a trend towards some form of standardisation of design or conventions. For example it is usual for the websites navigation to be positioned to the left of the page and/or at the top of the page. Images are given alternate text tags so that the sight impaired is able to follow the websites design and impart useful information to the surfer.

As new development tools become available to the website designer this will also have an effect of the look and feel of a website for example as Adobe Flash was introduced many sites soon had at least an element of Flash incorporated in its design or indeed the whole site was developed using flash. Although as I pointed out earlier websites’ that are light on text tend to be much harder to find using search engines and some platforms such as mobile phones are not able to support flash only websites.

Mentioning Mobile Phones the proliferation of smart mobile phones, those able to surf the internet are growing in popularity and so websites are being re-designed to be able to support these devices. As the download speeds are much lower on Mobile Phones (unless they are connected via Wi-Fi) there will be a trend towards developing simpler less graphic orientated website to support these devices, almost coming full circle back to the less is more principal in website design, making the websites smaller in kilobytes to speed up the download process.

The most popular website design tool at this time is Adobe’s Dreamweaver which comes with its own range of templates; this will of course influence the design of the majority of websites, many using these templates and inbuilt tools such as Spry Menus in their designs.

Website Hosting

There is a huge choice of web hosting companies willing to sell you space on their servers, a domain name and email forwarding services. But not all are the same for instance many put limits on the bandwidth of your site what this means in real terms is now much traffic your site can service that is how many people can connect to your site and download content (Viewing content is the same as downloading, as a copy is placed in the cache of your web browser every time you visit a site). Some hosting companies offer special facilities such as hosting for a database (MySQL) or E-Commerce and secure transaction services. But for the majority only the basics are required which is the domain name hosting the amount of web space they offer for hosting your website and the bandwidth.

The majority of web hosting companies servers run Linux a form of UNIX and Apache for setting up and controlling your webpage, although some run Microsoft software and offer FrontPage extensions which mean you can run Microsoft’s software on them. (Sites usually designed using Microsoft’s FrontPage).

For the current brief of hosting a portfolio or CV website most web hosting companies would seem to be suitable and it would therefore come down to the price for hosting per annum and the ease and possibility of upgrading and adding additional services. But personal experience shows that not all hosting companies are the same, some offer an enhanced control panel which makes changes to the website much easier and lets the webmaster control all aspects of the hosting including email routing and control of the DNS etc. Choosing a hosting company needs careful consideration and personal recommendations from someone already using a hosting service is of real benefit.

Looking at hosting price alone there are many free hosting services available but in many cases these are only free for a limited time or have restrictions which may in effect make them unsuitable especially when upgrading a website. For example adding e-commerce features or a database may not be supported by a free hosting service.

Fig.5.0 Website Layout

The basic design of my website would follow the layout as right; consist of six pages in all including the Home page. Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 would be used to design the website and as this uses CSS (cascading style sheets) I would use an external CSS file to control the look of the entire site (see diagram).

Following on from initial research I determined that a 3 column design would be the best layout for my web pages this would accommodate a navigation menu on the left of the page, explanatory text in the 2nd column leaving the option for a graphic, video or flash animation in the 3rd column. The number of rows could be adjusted to match requirements as the design progressed.

Having determined the basic layout of the page this then set the design for all the pages in the website in effect a template from which all the pages in the site will be based.

Starting with one of the provided templates available within Dreamweaver chosing the option of a 3 column liquid with header and footer (see Fig.7) I then filled the columns with text using text from an online Lorem Ipsum generater. I then added a text based menu system to the left column using CSS to control the look of the menu, that is blue and underlined changing to red when the mouse hovers over the link and setting the link colour to a fixed red showing that the link has been visited once clicked upon. Adding a standard sized banner to the top left of the home page, the banner being designed in Photoshop and a small image of myself at the top of the page.

I then added two more pages using the same template for the Animation and Video pages linking these to the home page. (See Fig.8 and Fig.9)



Although the website design could have been completed using this standard Dreamweaver template I felt that the end result would be too similar to any number of websites available on the Internet and so I decided to scrap this design and to design my own template.


Fig 6.0 Basic web page layout


Website Design Version 2


Using the previously researched websites as a guide I designed an 8 column based home page to look similar in layout to a newspaper. Using 8 cloumns allowed much more options for varying the sizes and positions for both text and graphics on the page. The first design (Fig.10.) shows that the top half of the page has been setup into four large columns each headed by a graphic which would double up as the navigation to specific webpages. The idea was to have a basic description beneath each graphic on for instance ‘Web Design’ and ‘Animation’ with the buttons linking to deicated pages for each of these. The bottom half of the Home page had a placeholder for a graphic which could be either a .jpg/.gif or video link. Also space for news updates and other information not directly related to any of the dedicated pages. To this orginal design some heading text (see Fig.11) and a video link was added and then finally an image added to the pages header (see Fig.12).


Although this layout had the benefit of being more unique than the standard offerings from the Dreamweaver application it still had that sameness look and for this reason I decided to abandon this design and look elsewhere for inspiration and start again.


Looking beyond websites and other forms of media for inspiration, one of the everyday items always being re-designed and updated is cars. Looking at images and magazines on car design for inspiration, I came across pictures of carbon fibre manufactured parts used in sports cars and formula F1 racing cars. Further research on the Internet produced a Photoshop technique for reproducing this carbon fibre effect as a pattern. Car design influences also came up with an idea for a menu design based on the piano black type keys found in some premium German cars.

With a design now for the page background based on the carbon fibre effect and a menu system using piano black keys this now set the theme for the entire website, which I decided would have some of the look of a cars dashboard with it’s video style instruments for navigation systems being used to display video for the animation and video pages.

Website Design 3

With the overall theme of the website now decided upon it was time to look at the construction. The concept of using a 3 column table as a basis for the webpage design was determined to be still valid and so a move back to this approach was made with the addition of another table placed within that is the 2nd column which could be modified as necessary to accomodate the content on individual web pages. (see Fig.13)

With the layout decided it was time to look at colour schemes, using the orginal idea of creating a website with the look of carbon fibre, Black would fit in well for the backgrounds in the tables with White for the text. To bring some relief to the overall black design colour would be added to some of the borders to define the edges.

Background #000000


How the carbon fibre back ground was created

The carbon fibre effect backgrounds was created from an image of actual carbon fibre, using the Photoshop zoom tool to zoom in to 800% and then by using the marquee tool select a square 16 pixels by 16 pixels and save this as a pattern. Then by making a new image 100 pixels square then using the newly added carbon fibre pattern filled this to give a new carbon fibre image 100 x 100 pixels square. This was then set as the pages background with the background repeat setting set. This then repeats the carbon fibre image over the entire background. This has the benefit of although being a small file size but has the effect of covering a large area which helps the page to load more quickly than if say a 1280 x 960 image had been used. It’s also worth pointing out that by using this technique the background will support all browser page sizes. Using Photoshop again the original carbon fibre design was modified using an adjustment layer with the Hue settings then used to change the colours to give a red, blue and yellow version, which was applied to the borders of the tables on the right side and bottom with the blue used in the bottom right corner.

Page layout

By using the 3 column design mentioned earlier it was decided that the left column would be where the navigation menu would always be positioned. Column 2 would hold the text and the 3rd column would be utilised for all the media that is images, video or graphics.


Dreamweaver CS4 makes use of CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) to control and apply attributes to all aspects of a web page design, for example text; the size, colour, style and weight. These CSS attributes can be applied to just the web page of to an entire site, for purposes of this design and external CSS file was produced so that any change to a CSS attribute would be applied to all page in the site for example if all text with the CSS Style named .column_text was change to be the colour yellow rather than white, then by changing this CSS style it would cause a change in all the text in the website to switch to this yellow colour. This has several advantages when updating a site as you would only need to change the contents of the CSS file to give the whole site a new look.





College Research Paper – Facebook Trust & Privacy by Ian Hunt

College Research Paper

This is an example of my work before going onto University. Although I received good marks for this at the time many of the examples conclusions and data is now dated having been superseded by Facebooks changes to Privacy settings/options. But the core research remains true ‘do you trust Facebook with your personal data’ ?


Trust and Privacy


Ian Hunt

Access to HE. Media Studies. CJC3FH001A
Unit Title: Independent Study HC7/3/WW/081 Course Tutor: Patrick Peiro.
Completed: 14th April 2010

College Research Paper


1.0 Introduction
1.1 Key Questions
2.0 Methods
2.1 Primary Research.
2.2 Facebook Privacy Questionnaires.
2.3 Internet research from Facebooks own Help and Information pages
2.4 Confirm the validity of information obtained on Facebooks pages from alternative Internet resources.
2.4 Privacy issues and guides sourced from Library sources.
3.0 Results & Discussions
3.1 Facebook a short History
3.2 Survey Results
3.3 News Media discussion on Privacy/Trust
4.0 Further Discussion & Conclusions
4.1 Privacy
4.11 Facebook Adverts
4.12 Facebook Applications and 3rd Party Applications
4.2 Trust
4.3 Recent Events Regarding Privacy
4.31 What has not changed?
4.4 Final conclusions
5.0 Bibliography
6.0 Appendix

List of illustrations’

Fig 1: Total Internet Usage
Fig 2: Targeted advertising
Fig 3: Advertising Demographics
Fig 4: Age related targeted advertising
Fig 5: Online gaming advertising
Fig 6: Facebook Applications and 3rd Party Applications
Fig 7: New Privacy Announcement
Fig 8: New Privacy Update
Fig 9: Privacy Sharing
Fig 10: Privacy Search

1.0 Introduction

Is the growth in Social Network websites a good thing? With new services from Google and Microsoft soon to join the established social networking sites Myspace, Twitter, Bebo, Plaxo and Facebook are users right to trust these companies (in all cases Global Corporations) with their personal data. What are these Social Networking sites using this data for now and what in the future could they do with this personal information.

There is also the question, is using a social networking site a good and safe use of your time on the internet? For instance 17% of all current usage on the Internet has been attributed in a recent Nielsen’s study (2009), to be on Social Networking and Blogging websites. Based on recent trends this usage is expected grow to as much as 50% within a year.

1.1 Key Questions

What are the risks of using Social Networking sites such as Facebook in regard to Privacy and Data Security?
Why do over 150 Million users [log in each and everyday, posting over 40 Million status updates, personal information, emails and online chat] trust Facebook with their personal data? Facebook Statistics. [Accessed December 2009]

To try and answer these questions and by narrowing down the subject by looking in more detail at Data Security and Privacy issues of one of the Social Network sites the research will be conducted upon Facebook. As Facebook is now the leading Social Networking site with the most users, now in excess of 350 million users (December 2009 figures).
What are, if any are the rewards in regard to Facebooks new Privacy features introduced in December 2009?

2.0 Methods

2.1    Primary research including personal experience of being a Facebook user, the interaction with a growing number of Facebook friends and by also drawing upon their experiences of being a Facebook user. Conducted through both informal and formal discussion groups and interviews.
2.2    The production of an Online Survey/Questionnaire using an external Website to gather data     on key Privacy and Trust issues.
2.3    Using the huge Resource which is the Internet. Research from Facebooks own Press,     Privacy and Statistics web pages.
2.4    Backup/Confirm the research conducted on Facebooks pages using other Media sources on     the Internet including the BBC, the Newspaper Media and the UK’s specialists Media pages.
2.5    Investigation from Library resources including books, journals and news articles.

3.0 Results

3.1 Facebook a short history

Facebook was started in February 2004 from a Harvard University dormitory by founders Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin. Funded initially by Peter Thiel a co-founder of PayPal is an Entrepreneur and Hedge fund manager who invested $500,000 in Facebook and currently sits on their board.
There were doubts surrounding the originality of Facebooks development following a claim from the founders of ConnectU citing Mark Zuckerberg of developing Facebook from their idea, an out of court settlement suspected of being in the region of $65 Million resolved this claim. By BRAD STONE – Facebook to Settle Thorny Lawsuit Over Its Origins. The New York Times – Published April 7, 2008, 8:46 am [Accessed December 2009]
Facebook is currently valued at $9.5 Billion having dropped to as low as $3.7 Billion at the start of the recession from a previous high valuation of $15 Billion placed upon it by Microsoft in 2007. Cade Metz. Facebook value plummets $5bn  [Accessed December 2009]
Within a year Facebook had grown to over a 1 million users in 2005 and today its membership stands at over 350 million based on login data collected within the last 30 days (at 15/12/2009). It has a global reach and holds the personal data of 100’s of millions of it’s users on its computers in Palo Alto California. Facebook Statistics. [Accessed December 2009]
Facebook’s global reach has not been welcomed by everyone with countries including China, Syria and Iran blocking access to the site. Some companies have also blocked access to the site to prevent workers from using their work time to update their Facebook status. By JPOST.COM STAFF.  Syrian gov’t blocks use of Facebook Jerusalem Post – Nov 24, 2007 11:05 | Updated Nov 24, 2007 11:59  [Accessed December 2009]
Facebook is still growing employing 1000’s across its offices both in USA and other locations across the World.
December 2009 Facebook introduces new Privacy settings allowing a user to personalise how and to who they share information with by adding individual privacy settings to the publisher box on your profile status and wall pages.
3.2 Survey results
Survey results were obtained from an online survey hosted on the Survey Monkey ( website over a 30 day period during November 2009. A link to the survey was also posted on Facebook’s wall and group pages. Link information was also emailed to personal contacts requesting them to go online and complete the survey.

Most of the survey results are evenly matched and therefore inconclusive but there are some very interesting results for example:

More than 75% of users surveyed have made changes to their privacy settings.
More than 85% have accepted friend requests from people they do not know.
More than 75% of users surveyed understood that Facebook and Third Party applications will have access to their personal details.
The new privacy settings have yet to convince users that Facebook is safer, with more than 75% still undecided.
Discussion: Looking at each of these key results in turn:-
The majority of Facebook users have made changes to their privacy settings from this we could suppose that they had reason to make these changes either because they had experienced a privacy issue that is an invasion of privacy or decided that certain data of a particular and personal nature should not generally be made available in the public domain.
Facebook users are very trusting people, accepting friend requests from people they do not really know, although in some of these cases the friend request is initiated by Facebook usually by stating this person is friends with other people they do know, belong to the same groups or are fans of the same pages or people etc.
Trust again must play an integral part to the decision made by such a high percentage of users allowing applications access to their personal data, even though users do not know what these companies who write these applications will do with the data.
The new privacy settings have yet to make an impact with users as they are so new, but this position may change in time as users become more familiar with the new privacy settings.

3.3 News media discussion on privacy/trust

Reporting in the Telegraph on the 8th September 2009 – In a recent address to students at Wakefield High School, Barak Obama said and I quote “be careful what you post on Facebook. Whatever you do, it will be pulled up later in your life”.
There are many examples and instances of an inappropriate posting on Facebook leading to an undesirable course of action for instance the loss of a job, a reason why you may not get that job or it can even lead to a criminal prosecution. It is accepted that there are Privacy issues regarding what information third parties can find out about individuals from their personal data when conducting a search of Facebook profiles, they may not even need to have to access your personal information just a wall post containing inappropriate data.
One recent example of an inappropriate posting involved a teenager who posted onto her Facebook profile one weekend describing her job as being ‘boring, boring, boring’ she was summarily dismissed on the following Monday, the company arguing that she was obviously unhappy in her present role.
A report in The Times (online edition) 27th August 2009, identifies a problem with Facebooks privacy issues regarding an Applications access to personal data. Previously 3rd party Applications allowed by the user would have access to all the personal data held by the user on Facebook. In the face of pressure Facebook has agreed to improve security and force Applications to list what data they will access for instance birthday, geographical location etc. Future Privacy options will allow the user to set and restrict what data the Application will have access to.
From the above Media reports it is obvious that there is more than some concern about Facebook in particular, this combined with the overall concerns everyone has including Governments in regard to data security and privacy on the Internet. But it is Facebook which holds so much personal data and makes this data available in the public domain that catches the Medias interest the most, as they wait for the next big Privacy issue to unfold.

4.0 Conclusions

4.1 Privacy

4.11 Facebook Adverts

In November 2007 Facebook ads are introduced, targeting Facebookers with advertising drawn from the Facebookers own personal information. In operation there are similarities to the advertising model that Google uses that is Adwords. These adverts appear to the right of the home and profile pages; in fact they appear on most pages now growing as more tabs are added to the profile page. The adverts also change as the page is refreshed or by switching between tabs and pages.

It is this introduction of Facebook Ads which best highlights what Facebook is using a Facebookers data for and of course invading their privacy. The advertising is targeted to an individual’s personal information, their interests and even what their interests their friends list on their own profiles. For example if it listed on a profile that the user is single the advertising proliferates with offers from dating and matchmaking sites offering to find the user the partner of their dreams. Changing relationship details to any of the other options e.g. ‘In a relationship, Married etc. these adverts seem to magically disappear from a Facebookers profile and home pages.
Another example of targeted advertising is based on a Facebookers interests listed in their profiles, for example having website design listed as an interest the Facebooker could see advertising for web hosting and related web services for example books on website design.

But the most interesting use of data is that which is based upon a profiles age; if the Facebooker is for instance over a certain age the targeted advertising offers services such as laser eye correction, health insurance, sites offering mature singles matching (provided a users marital status is listed as single) and so on. Younger Facebook users see different targeted advertising to match their profile age. The targeted advertising now offers the sort of services the younger Facebookers are looking for such as online gaming, music events, the sale of CD’s and DVD’s etc.

Advertising an Invasion of Privacy. Referring to an article in The Times Online of 4th April 2008, Beacon an advertising tool which monitored Facebook users purchasing habits and then promoted this information to a Facebookers friends and others within their networks. This at the time immediately prompted invasion of privacy complaints and was quickly withdrawn. Although now withdrawn Facebook has not ruled out introducing a similar tool in the future although they have said they will be more cautious about introducing this in the future. The question left hanging here is have they already introduced another advertising and purchases monitoring tool without disclosure to Facebook users?

4.12    Facebook Applications and 3rd Party Applications

Facebook lists over 350,000 applications running on its platform with 250 having a million active monthly users. There are over a Million developers in over 180 countries and quote individuals and entrepreneurs’ developing applications, games, surveys and groups for the Facebook platform.
On the preceding page there is an example of the authorisation screen a Facebooker sees when adding an application or game to their profile, they are essentially allowing a third party access to both their own and their friends personal information and at the same time releasing Facebook from any responsibility for breaches in privacy and related issues under their Terms and Conditions.

4.2 Trust

Research leads to the belief that only time will tell us if these Social Networking sites are a good thing or something to be very wary off in regard to both Privacy issues and trust in them to protect an individual’s personal data. There are as many positives as there are negatives to using Facebook or indeed any social networking site. The users have to trust Facebook not to misuse the data they hold on their users and to manage the data responsibly and to continually enhance the security of their systems. Should they break or lose that trust then the whole fabric of the social networking media may well collapse and with it the fortunes of the companies themselves, the entrepreneurs and the investors that have invested time and money into Facebook and for the businesses that are built on the back of the Facebook platform and which of course generates their income and profits.

4.3 Recent events regarding privacy

Facebook changes its policy on Privacy putting the emphasis on creating individual settings for privacy. Thus allowing the user to decide who will see what information depending on which option they select when posting to a wall etc.

This was introduced soon after every user received an open letter from the Founder Mark Zuckerman announcing the move away from the original network model of friends and regional networks to this new privacy control method based on individual privacy settings.

As a user you now have the option of setting privacy settings for wall posts pictures and videos that you upload or link to on Facebook.
A small padlock has appeared next to the share button clicking on this will allow the user to set who can see the information they are posting onto their pages be it ‘Everyone’, ‘Friends of Friends’, Only Friends’ or ‘Customise’.

The main Privacy page has also been updated see Fig.8 this allows the user to either keep their original settings or to make changes. As this process is still being rolled out in stages some of the Privacy options are still being made available and are likely to change but initial changes seem to be going someway to resolving some of the privacy issues identified. One of the biggest is the move away from regional networks.
Joining a regional network in the past meant that technically you were sharing information freely with other members of that network. Bearing in mind that many networks contained thousands of members it would have been impossible to control which users had access to your information. Another benefit is marketing to large groups or people via a network is now not possible nor is searching for individuals within a network and so some measure privacy from marketers and possibly undesirable researchers are now blocked from finding you.
Referring back to the results of the online survey that is question 9, Facebook users appear to remain unconvinced whether their personal data is now safer under the new privacy controls than it was under the old system.
The new Privacy settings appear to resolve many of the issues that have been identified both by Facebook themselves, the external Press and some Governments etc. but there still remains many Privacy issues that will always be difficult to resolve and those are the ones that are left in control of the user. For instance referring back to the survey results more than 85% of users have accepted friend requests from people they do not know. With this in mind the majority of users are still allowing access to their personal data to unknown individuals or possibly companies posing as friends.

4.31 What has not changed?

What has not changed with the introduction of these new privacy settings is your agreement with Facebook on what they are able to use your data for.
For example Facebook state that some categories of data i.e. your name, a profile photo, your gender, friends and pages you are a fan of, where you live that is geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone, this includes Facebook applications, and therefore do not have privacy settings.’
With this in mind the change in Privacy settings seems somewhat irrelevant as the data which an individual would want to protect is not covered by this publicly available agreement, although you are able to control access to this information in the public domain by setting the search parameters in privacy settings.

Search Engines also have access to the Facebook site although Facebook does say that they limit this access to only the publicly available information that is held on you.
Facebook also states that in your agreement with them that should the company be sold or there is a change of ownership they will transfer your data to the new owner so that the business i.e. Facebook would continue to operate subject to existing Privacy agreements.

4.4 Final conclusions

In conclusion the only real way to protect personal data is down to the individual Facebook user being aware of the dangers of sharing and making personal data available in the public domain. For instance if the Facebook user does not put the information up on Facebook then the data is not there to be found. By limiting and controlling this information/data they are restricting what companies, individuals and organisations can learn about them the user, protecting their privacy and avoiding possibilities of identity theft etc.
Privacy controls on the internet are only as good as the designer can make them at the time and there any number of individual’s and organisations either legally or illegally seeking ways around these controls to data mine the information they want.
It is not in the interest of the user to supply in the public domain specific information such as exact date of birth, full address details or indeed their personal email address. It would be better to limit information to the correct day and month for birthdays but change the year + or – a year and in the case of geographic location certainly not supply a full home address. Finally it is easy to open a webmail address and so the user would be best advised to open one just for Facebook.
There is no doubt that 350 Million users put a lot of Trust in Facebook and it’s ability to protect a users Privacy and Facebook needs to continually evolve introducing greater Privacy controls in order to be able to continue to ensure the Privacy of this data. For should they fail in this then the very idea of Social Networking itself may fail, losing the Trust of millions of users across the globe and the eventual failure of the business.


Primary Sources
Facebook Users Online Survey and Questionnaire
Ian Hunt, The Hunt Family, Fabiene Barber, Carolyn Castagnari, Stella James and others.

Secondary Sources
Councils ban Facebook – 12:17 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 [Accessed December 2009]

Facebook pages
Press [Accessed December 2009]
Statistics [Accessed December 2009]
Timeline [Accessed December 2009]
Safety [Accessed December 2009]

Facebook press release – $200 Million investment in Facebook – Digital Sky Technologies [Accessed December 2009]

Cade Metz. Facebook value plummets $5bn [Accessed December 2009]

By JPOST.COM STAFF  Syrian gov’t blocks use of Facebook
Jerusalem Post – Nov 24, 2007 11:05 | Updated Nov 24, 2007 11:59 [Accessed December 2009]

By Lester Haines – Teen sacked for ‘boring’ job Facebook comment
Posted in Bootnotes, 26th February 2009 15:54 GMT [Accessed December 2009]

Nielsen report unattributed [Accessed December 2009]

By BRAD STONE – Facebook to Settle Thorny Lawsuit Over Its Origins
The New York Times – Published April 7, 2008, 8:46 am [Accessed December 2009]

Barack Obama gives Facebook advice ahead of education speech
Telegraph – Published: 10:02PM BST 08 Sep 2009 [Accessed December 2009]

Times Online August 27, 2009
Facebook to tighten privacy policies and give users more control over personal data [Accessed December 2009]

Times Online April 4, 2008
Q&A: Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer of Facebook [Accessed December 2009]

Vander Veer, E.A. 2008. O’Reilly Media Inc. Facebook the Missing Manual. California:
Abraham, C and Pearlman, L. 2008. Wiley Publishing Inc. Facebook for Dummies. Indiana:

6.0 Appendix

The following pages are offered in support to the data, results and conclusions contained in the research project.


Film Studies – Producers and Audiences Part 1

Producers and Audiences

Subject: Film Studies
Unit Title: Producers & Audiences
Assignment Title: Producers and Audiences Part 1
Genre  – Comedy/Spoof


Producers and Audiences

Hot Fuzz (2007)

British Film. Box office takings $23,637,265* & $56,936,509 Worldwide

Sean Of The Dead

Sean Of The Dead

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz was released soon after the successful British Film ‘Shaun of the Dead’ but didn’t match its takings of $30,039,392*. Although using a similar cast was less successful at the American Box office possibly because of  genre, it being a Comedy/Spoof rather than a Comedy/Horror?

One of the unique selling point of this film was the way in which it spoofs American Action Films but is located in a sleepy English Village setting.

The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
Naked Gun - The Final Insult

Naked Gun - The Final Insult

Hollywood, Box Office Takings $51,132,598*

This sequel the third in a series builds upon the release of the two preceding films and their audience expectations. This sequel still manages to generate more than twice as much income at the American box office than it’s British comparison in this case ‘Hot Fuzz’.

Having a similar cast to the previous films, the same one line gags, the visual gags you come to expect from a film like this and importantly what the target audience expects to see.

The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad (1988)
Naked Gun - from the files of Police Squad

Naked Gun - from the files of Police Squad

Hollywood, Box Office Takings $78,756,177*

The original and first of the Naked Gun series released six years before the ‘The Final Insult’, chosen to help with the comparison in the differences between foreign and domestic productions. Compared with its sequels, it has taken more money at the box office as expected.

*  Box Office figures are for American Domestic cinema


In considering the three example films from a perspective based purely on their production origin and American /Domestic box office takings it appears that foreign produced films fare less well in America than a film produced in America. This does not mean actually produced in America as such, as the Film could have been shot anywhere in the World but it must have a cast and feel of having been produced in America or by an American Studio.

Audiences in the American domestic market may well exclude foreign made films from their considerations’ when deciding which film to watch at the cinema.

Distribution (Exhibition) plays a significant part in the discrepancy between American domestic box office takings with ‘Hot Fuzz’ released to approximately half as many cinemas as ‘The Naked Gun 33 1/3’ and ‘The Naked Gun’

2.0 Changing audience tastes in cinema

Film genres go in and out of fashion and this is also seen in film trends where a successful film release may generate a trend and a number of similar genre films are released to capitalise on this success. This is certainly true in the Comedy/Spoof genre which gained in popularity in the 2000’s with the top four films taking more than $100 Million dollars.

3.0 Discuss the impact of Hollywood on the UK Film Industry

Hollywood’s impact on the UK Film industry has mainly been positive. Hollywood’s direct funding of UK Film productions, or alternatively in the direct employment of British Film crews while filming US productions in UK Film studios.

The biggest negative though is in Exhibition with the majority of cinemas showing Hollywood releases leaving few opportunities for home grown films to be seen outside of specialist cinemas, by this I mean Art House rather than Multiplex.

4.1 Different Sources of Funding available to the UK Film Industry

UK Film Council

UK Film Council

  • UK Film Council – Funding for script development, film production, short films, film export and distribution, cinemas, film education, culture and archives, festivals and audience support schemes. They also fund Skillset, identifying new talent and training of professionals for the film industry. The Premier Fund listed as being run by Sally Caplan has been discontinued and replaced by the ‘Film Fund’ [Accessed 12/04/2010]

  • National Lottery – Funds Film through the UK Film Council – this is where the majority of funding for the UK Film Council now comes from.
  • Arts Council of England – Previously funded up to 26% of a film the rest sourced privately or from other sources such as overseas and UK public sector but they now no longer fund Film directly passing this onto the UK Film Council although they do still assist with distribution that is helping to get your film seen.
  • Scottish Screen – Another lottery funded organisation helping to assist film makers to produce films, animations and media. Funding is limited geographically to Scottish based production companies and funding limited to £500,000.

4.2 Film Distribution in the UK

Film distribution in Britain certainly favours the Hollywood productions more than any other partly due to the fact that the Hollywood studios own the majority of cinemas. There are a number of small independent cinemas, but too few to counterbalance the control exerted by the Hollywood owned cinema chains. This is unlikely to change without Government intervention which seems unlikely.

4.3 Three Marketing Strategies


Film Trailers
IMDb - The Internet Movie Database

IMDb - The Internet Movie Database

Film Trailers are an established way of promoting a Film. They used to only appear at the beginning of the main feature of a film at the cinema or on television either as a commercial or part of a television program for example Film Night or Movie News. These days you can see film trailers on the internet at many sites including YouTube, Apple Movie Trailers and IMDB

Film Posters
Film Advertising on Bus

Film Advertising on Bus

The Movie Posters decorate the auditorium and the entrances to cinemas promoting currently showing films and future releases. They also appear anywhere you would expect to see a poster for example on bill boarding’s, the sides of buses and taxis and bus shelters.


Viral marketing is gaining in prominence not only because this is essentially a zero or low cost option but also because of its wide reach. Viral marketing mainly occurs on the Internet either on film specific and non film specific websites such as Facebook or as a distributed email. Viral marketing in this context is a form of word of mouth but with a very wide reach.

4.4 The differences between Art House and Multiplex cinemas

Multiplex cinemas tend to concentrate on mainstream films from Hollywood whilst Art House cinema looks at less mainstream examples, these would include subtitled foreign language films. Multiplex’s are also usually out of town/city centre venues although this is beginning to change due to planning regulations. Art Houses also tend to offer addition services and access to facilities such as Café’s, Bars etc. whilst the Multiplex’s concessions’ are usually overpriced and limited to soft drinks and the usual popcorn, packaged sweets and pick & mix sweets plus Movie Posters, T-Shirts etc.

Film Advertising on T-Shirts

Film Advertising on T-Shirts

Art house Cinema is sometimes based in a communal building (Poole’s Lighthouse for example) offering other Arts related activities including Live Performance, Theatre and Musical productions. In some areas buildings are taken over for an evening to show British and less mainstream film, although they do show the odd Hollywood film to rural audiences that do not typically have access to the Cinema – see Moviola website for more details.

The South and West’s Rural Multiplex. [Accessed 12/04/2010]

5.0 Historical perspective:

Film Marketing

Film marketing was initially limited to Film Posters and Film Trailers at the cinemas plus the usual media available to advertisers including newspaper advertising, radio and TV, and then with the growth of the Internet many new possibilities’ became available to the Film producers to be able to reach their potential audiences. Film trailers soon became one of the most popular searched for keywords on the internet causing the development and the growth of specialist sites to view these Film Trailers, examples being:-, Apple Movie Trailers and YouTube among many others. Marketers then realised they could generate interest in their Films through the power of Viral Marketing utilising the public to promote their products through word of mouth, email etc.

Art House and Multiplex development.
Multiplex Cinema

Multiplex Cinema

Cinemas before the introduction of the Multiplex’s in Milton Keynes 1985 were single screen and were basically well into decline at the time of what was to become a revolution in the cinema experience in the UK. The introduction of the Multiplex led to a reversal in the decline of cinema visitors and prompted many of the single screen cinemas to follow the Multiplex model by subdividing their internal areas to make them multi-screen. The most common way was by converting the stalls into two small screens and keeping the circle as the big screen. Recent changes to planning laws have encouraged the development of Multiplex cinemas in Town and City centres rather than the out of town developments that were previously the norm.

Art House Cinema

Art House Cinema

Art House or Repertory cinemas appeared from the mid 1920’s as a direct consequence of the Film Society to screen what they considered to be important foreign films that were not on general release.

The British Film Institute continues to support the Art House cinema scene. Today these cinemas still tend to screen less mainstream productions declining to compete against the Multiples’ and their predominantly Hollywood produced Films.


Film Studies – Producers & Audiences Part 2

Producers and Audiences part 2

1.0 You will discuss the “Effects” and “Uses and Gratifications” audience theories in relation to film audiences.

1.1 Effects: This theory is presumed to work on the basis that a user may be influenced to act out or copy what they see in a film. For instance if the film is of a violent subject then the user themselves may act or become more violent. It is argued however that this is not a true theory, remaining unproven to this date although there has been a study conducted back in 1961 involving children at a nursery school and a Bobo Doll. The doll was subjected to verbal and actual aggression by a group of adults and it was noted that the children imitated many of the aggressive moves when they were introduced to the doll.

Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers

Natural Born Killers

One of the most if not the most controversial film to be released in recent years. The film Natural Born Killers has been directly attributed to being responsible for the real deaths of up to eight people. Copycat killers Ben Darras and Sarah Edmondson were reported as watching the film continuously over a 24 hour period (and taking drugs) before going out on a shooting spree, killing a businessman Bill Savage and wounding Patsy Byers. The studio Warner Brothers along with Director Oliver Stone became engaged in a court case, defending its position against a lawsuit brought by the shooting victim Byers claiming that they the studio and director shared responsibility for her shooting along with the copycat killers Ben Darras and Sarah Edmondson. Surely the taking of drugs is more significant?

A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Oliver Stone a known fan of Stanley Kubrick’s films thought he was wrong to withdraw his film A Clockwork Orange from circulation for similar reasons.

For Example even in recent years acts of violence are still being linked to films and computer games and in the case of “A Clockwork Orange” a recent example can be found in the Independent Newspaper.

“A gang of youths was yesterday found guilty of killing a bar manager during a “happy slapping” spree of random violence which they filmed on a mobile phone.
A teenage girl and three youths killed David Morley, 38, who had survived the Soho nail bomb blast of April 1999. He was savagely beaten to death by the Clockwork Orange-style thugs, the Old Bailey heard.”

Akbar. A. Thursday, 15/12/200. Clockwork Orange’ gang found guilty of killing bar manager. [Accessed 12/04/2010]

Imedi TV Spoof News Report

Another recent example of the power of media to effect audiences is the spoof news broadcast by the network Imedi in Georgia (March 2010) reporting on an invasion of Georgia by Russian tanks seemingly advancing towards the capital and also reporting the death of Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili. Using footage taken from an actual invasion by Russian tanks in 2008 the program presented this as a real time event. People panicked causing Telephone networks to collapse and to begin to stockpiling food while others volunteered to fight against the Russians. After it was realised that the broadcast was a fake, crowds mobbed the offices of the broadcaster to display their anger at the broadcaster. Such was the power of the media that other broadcasters interrupted their own programming to show footage from this spoof news broadcast even reaching as far as Russia and being shown on Russian TV channels before they realise they had been had.

Imedi TV Spoof

Imedi TV Spoof

Osborn, A., 2010 Russia invasion spoof report spreads panic in Georgia. Moscow, [accessed 16/03/2010]

1.2 Uses and gratification theory:

Theorises that people will have their own interpretation for media and what one person takes from a film will be different from what another person seeks to get from a film. In fact a user will seek out what is of interest to them in order to get some form of gratification. In regard to Film the following five headings can be used to describe the typical forms of gratification a user may seek from watching a film.

• Escape: Escapism, a user seeks an escape from reality, visiting the cinema to see a film to lose themselves for a few hours in a films version of reality that is unreality.
• Social Interaction: A film fan may also lose them selves in a film forming a relationship with the actors in a film, which can be potentially dangerous. On a less controversial note they may just use film as a topic of conversation in a social environment, among friends.
• Identify: Users may identify with something in a film, make a lifestyle change for example costume in a film may influence a change in the way they dress or more personal change, hairstyle, holiday choice etc.
• Inform and Educate: Film documentaries inform and educate film goers about the world they live in.
• Entertain: The most obvious, film goers may just be interested in the entertainment value in a film, combined possibly with escapism, they may just be seeking two hours of entertainment.

2.0 You will compare and contrast the connotations of the following:

(a) Film goers
(b) Film enthusiasts
(c) Film fans

• Film goers
Visit the cinema infrequently mainly for entertainment purposes. Can also be part of a social activity with other Film goers?

• Film enthusiast
They are regular cinema visitors, have a serious interest in film, its production, direction and its history. A Film enthusiast enjoys Film as an art form in its own right.

• Film fans
They visit the cinema more frequently and tend to follow a specific genre or genres, for example Westerns, Horror or Science Fiction. They may even be more specific in their interests for example Science Fiction fans may only be interested in a particular series, Star Trek, Alien, Terminator etc. Others may follow a specific actor. In extreme case some fans become obsessive, becoming part of an actor’s life.

3.0 You will research the production details of two films of your own choosing and provide an evaluation of the defining elements of both.

Alien 1979 ***************************Aliens 1986
Director Ridley Scott ***************** James Cameron
Genre Horror, Sci-Fi, **************** Thriller Action, Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
Budget $11 Million ****************** $18 Million
Gross Revenue $105 Million ********* $131 Million
Location UK, Shepperton Studios ***  UK, Pinewood Studios
Cast (Main Character) Sigourney Weaver Sigourney Weaver
Score/Soundtrack Jerry Goldsmith *** James Horner
Narrative/Screenplay Dan O’Bannon ***James Cameron
Special Effects Brian Johnson *********Robert & Dennis Skotak
CGI Mainly Models and Actors in rubber suits. ***** Mainly Models and Actors in rubber suits.
Production 10 months

Alien Movie Poster

Alien Movie Poster

On face value alone the two films would seem to have many elements in common, both were filmed in the UK, one is the sequel of the other and therefore having sharing common production elements. Both films were made for comparable budgets and achieved comparable returns. For example in narrative where the story is essentially about the same subject and situated in the same location but with one following on from where the other left off. They also share in having the same main character of Sigourney Weaver in the title role.

Aliens Movie Poster

Aliens Movie Poster

But in reality these are two very different films which can be almost certainly attributed to the individual Directors visualisation for their respective films. Ridley Scott’s visualisation for Alien was for a Horror film set in space and David Cameron’s visualisation for the film Aliens was for an action/adventure film also set in space. It is these differences which make the films seem to be very different from each other. They would reach the Sci-Fi fans, the existing audiences that is fans of the Alien franchise films and also attract new audiences and potential fans in the case of Aliens those seeking an Action genre movie rather than a Sci-Fi or Horror movie.

There many other elements seemingly small but separating the two films, distinguishing them from each other. In the first film Alien, there was only the one Alien but 100’s of eggs and in the sequel, Aliens there were presumably one Alien for each one of the colonists taken alive that’s up to 50 Families. In Aliens the Queen was introduced for the first time presumably to answer the question asked by many Fans of the first film Alien of where or from what did the Alien eggs come from.

The robot Ash was unknown to the crew of the Nostromo but in Aliens the robot Bishop was introduced as a member of the crew in the early stages of the film. Ash’s mission was to retrieve the Alien and return it to the company, the crew considered expendable but Bishop had not been similarly programmed and in Aliens actively supported the crew, taking their side with Burke a human taking on the Ash’s role acting on behalf of the company and himself.

4.0 Provide an analysis of data from the case study of two films from different production contexts (This could be films from different countries, or a Hollywood studio and an independent American production).

Gran Torino (2008) ******************* Harry Brown (2009)
Director Clint Eastwood *************** Daniel Barber
Producer Clint Eastwood ************** Mathew Vaughn
Genre Drama Crime, ****************** Drama, Thriller, Urban Western
Budget $33 Million ******************* low budget film £1 Million from BFI
Gross Revenue $365 Million *********** $6.6 Million (Incomplete data to 20/12/2009)
Location USA, Center Line Michigan *** UK, Aylesbury Estate, Walworth London
Cast (Main Character) Clint Eastwood ** Michael Caine
Score/Soundtrack Kyle Eastwood (Clint’s oldest son) *** Martin Phipps
Narrative/Screenplay Nick Schenk ***** Gary Young
Special Effects N/A N/A
Studio/Production Company Village Roadshow Pictures
Malpaso Productions Marv Partners
UK Film Council

Gran Torino
Gran Torino Movie Poster

Gran Torino Movie Poster

Gran Torino stars Client Eastwood as a retired car worker and ex Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski whose neighbourhood has become run down and taken over by recent immigrants. His next door neighbours, who he dislikes, are Hmong immigrants from Southeast Asia. Although he doesn’t like his next door neighbours or indeed anything about how his life and how his neighbourhood has turned out he finds himself having to defend his Hmong neighbours’ when their son becomes involved with some gang members.

Harry Brown
Harry Brown Movie Poster

Harry Brown Movie Poster

Harry Brown stars Michael Caine as a retired Royal Marine who once served in Northern Ireland. Set within a run down council estate in the Elephant & Castle area of London, the estate which is virtually besieged by gang members, young thugs, criminals and drug pushers, Harry assumes the role of vigilante after his best friend is killed by these thugs. He in effect ends up defending his neighbours on the council estate from these gangs by taking them out one by one as he seeks out his friend’s killers.


Two films, one made and produced in Hollywood with a huge production budget and made for International release and the other a low budget British film produced for the UK market, but both very similar in genre and subject and in many respects screenplay.

The biggest difference between them is probably in the production costs and associated marketing and advertising budget. Gran Torino’s overall budget was a massive £33 Million dollars which when compared with the low budget Harry Brown film it becomes very hard to see where all the extra money has gone in producing the film. It would therefore suggest that the majority of this $33 Million budget has gone on the actual cost of producing this film in the USA. Labour rates, studio and equipment leasing are much higher in the USA compared with the relatively low cost UK.

In regard to salaries, Clint Eastwood’s salary was circa $4 Million while Michael Caine is reported as doing Harry Brown for virtually expenses only. Using this as a template comparing UK and USA salaries it becomes much easier to see where the budget of $33 Million for Gran Torino was spent.

On top of these production costs are the budget for the promotion of the film, in particular the Hollywood films marketing and advertising costs for an International market. Whereas by comparison Harry Brown’s advertising and marketing budget must have been tiny as it received just £ Million from the BFI for the entire cost of producing the film, this compared with Gran Torino’s $33 Million to produce a very similar film. The small marketing and advertising budget meant that Harry Brown marketing and advertising was probably concentrated on the release of the film in its home market that is UK market.


Moving Image – Storyboards


Voices – Short Film Project – Storyboards

2.1 Explain the function of a storyboard.

Storyboard example 1

Storyboard example 1

Storyboards are thought to have been originated by Walt Disney, the first examples attributed to the ones he produced for the company Laugh-O-Grams which he formed in 1922, although there is mention of an earlier storyboard example produced by Walt Disney in 1917 while graduating from Benton High School.

Storyboards have been described as an animation of a Video or Film, a blueprint for the whole of a Film. Howard Hughes is attributed as being one of the first pioneers for using sequential Storyboards in the Movie production “Hells Angels” 1930.

Many well known Directors started out as Illustrators and/or Animators for example, Ridely Scott whose Storyboards or Ridely-O-Grams, which maybe a possible reference to Disney’s first company ‘Laugh-O-Grams’ . Terry Gilliam is also another example of an Illustrator progressing to become a Director, both are well known for their storyboarding skills. Of course Animators themselves still use Storyboards.

A storyboard is fundamentally a means of putting down, usually on paper everything which the Director visualises in the scene. A series of these pictures will in effect allow the Director to convey to the production team the visualisation for the whole of Video/Film. I should say that Storyboards were originally produced by Art Directors and then Production Designers who collaborated with the Director on the visualisation for the Film. These were usually in-house designers and in the early years of film gave studios a certain style, but these days storyboard artists are freelancers engaged when required. Of course some Directors will have a preferred storyboard artist which they will use again and again.

Storyboard Example 2

Storyboard Example 2

Regardless of who produces them a Storyboards main purpose is in the pre-planning of a Video or Films sequence shot by shot. A storyboard shows what is in the picture; it informs the members of the Film/Video team what elements are required for a particular scene. Storyboards may for example include the number of people within a scene; the visual aspects that is mise-en-scene, or if there are any words on the screen. Colours may also be important, as will be references to lighting. Of major importance is Camera location, lens used (Wide Angle – Long Focus) and camera movement which can also be represented in the storyboard which in turn is of great help to the production designer in order for them to position for example walls in a studio set design. It would not be very helpful to build a wall directly in front of the cameras projected path, a  storyboard would identify this by showing camera movement.

As well as the visual aspects of a scene a Storyboard will include additional information such as the references to dialogue; voice over’s, the sound if any that occurs in the scene, the camera action, for instance a zoom, panning shot etc. There may also be references for post production, how the Director sees the editing process between scenes.

Key elements to a Storyboard will include the Title of the Film, the shot sequence and the timing for the shot.

Storyboarding is of particular importance when filming a difficult scene such as an action sequence where many elements have to work together to produce the required shot. The re-shooting of these scenes would necessarily involve more expense or be difficult to reproduce especially when say an object is destroyed in the process of shooting for example the demolition of a building.

The amount of detail within a Storyboard varies according to Directors personal taste, some use little more than stick figures, the barest of outlines and details, whereas some Directors use very detailed Storyboards, with many employing Storyboard artists to assist the Director in getting their visualisation down onto paper.

Technology is beginning to catch up and paper based Storyboards may become a thing of the past with software now available to enable non artists to produce detailed Storyboards from elements held in an applications library, examples of which include:- FrameForge 3D Studio.

Storyboards – Software

Storyboard Example 3

Storyboard Example 3

Storyboards – Animatics

Animatic example – basically this is a sequence of storyboards sequenced as a video with rough soundtrack, narration, music etc. See the example below.



Film Studies – Fight Club

Fight Club

Slide 1: Titles ‘Fight Club’
PowerPoint Presentation Slide Notes – Fight Club
Title: Welcome to Jack and Tyler’s Mind
Film: Fight Club
Sequence: 00:34:32 to 00:44:21 (Fight Club DVD released in 2000)
Film Studies Assignment –  Analyse a 10 minute sequence of a film of your choice.


Slide 2
Fight Club Screenshot 34:32 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 34:32 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club – The sequence that I have chosen to analyse encompass Chapters 14 & 15 from the year 2000 DVD of the film Fight Club directed by David Fincher who also directed Alien3, Se7en etc. The two main characters are:- Jack also known as the Narrator is played by Edward Norton and the second main character Tyler Durden is played by Brad Pitt. I will confine my analysis to camera angles, lighting and mise en scene and how the director uses these to distinguish between Jacks mind state i.e. whether we are seeing the world through Jack or Tyler’s eyes. So I’m not going to analyse the inherent references to masculinity, sexuality and references to pornography that exist throughout the film.

Fight Club Screenshot 34:59 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 34:59 Special Edition DVD

Setting the plot i.e. the exposition Jack works for an automobile company a job he obviously hates, Jacks’ only aim is to be the owner of everything in an IKEA catalogue. He is unable to sleep and he spends his waking life travelling on behalf of his company across the US by plane to investigate crashes/deaths caused by defects in the automobiles manufactured by his employer.

Slide 3


Fight Club Screenshot 35:14 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 35:14 Special Edition DVD

The chance meeting on a plane introduces us to Tyler Durden, who is in fact Jacks alto ego. Jack is a schizophrenic and his alto ego Tyler Durden we presume has control of Jacks body during the night or whenever he cannot sleep.

Synopsis of Sequence


This sequence also introduces the audience to the different worlds that Tyler Durden and Jack inhabit. It also introduces the audience to the initial formation of Fight Club, its development and as it grows into becoming an organised and violent institution. We will see the differences between Jacks two personalities, Jack the conformist and Tyler the anarchist.

Fight Club Screenshot 35:28 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 35:28 Special Edition DVD

The opening scene of this ten minute sequence begins with the camera at a high angle looking down in wide shot following Jack and Tyler as they walk down a dark and wet street towards Tyler’s house, this is  where Jack is to stay following the destruction of his own apartment in a gas explosion. (Which we later learn he did himself in his Tyler persona)

Slide 4


Fight Club Screenshot 35:23 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 35:23 Special Edition DVD

This is our first introduction to Tyler’s World the dark side of Jacks existence, as mentioned previously Tyler has control of Jacks body when night falls/sleep escapes him. The lighting and camera angles have many elements of Film Noir, its dark, the streets are wet and there are shadows with many areas remaining unlit. It’s a menacing environment, threatening with a suggestion of violence and therefore preparing the audience for the violence that is to come.

Fight Club Screenshot 36:04 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 36:04 Special Edition DVD

With the camera in wide shot we are introduced to the interior of Tyler’s house, which continues this dark Noir type theme, its run down, the plumbing and electricity have problems and the roof leaks. It’s here that the character of Tyler is further explored, where he’s shown to be the polar opposite of Jacks environment. Totally removed from Jacks Ikea catalogued environment, which is ordered and conformist. Tyler wants to destroy the corporate world, tear down the world of the consumer with its Ikea catalogues.

Slide 5


Fight Club Screenshot 36:34 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 36:34 Special Edition DVD

This change of environment, the change in mise en scene further emphasises the differences between Tyler and Jack. Jacks apartment was well lighted, ordered, and uncluttered looking just as if it had come straight from the Ikea catalogue. Tyler’s environment is the opposite, it’s poorly lighted, cluttered and dirty and the property is obviously in need of major repairs, in fact it’s most probably a condemned building that Tyler has taken over.

Fight Club Screenshot 36:46 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 36:46 Special Edition DVD

In the next scene, shot in wide angle is of the street fight between Jack and Tyler in a car park outside a bar, which is witnessed by two men who themselves exude menace and potential violence as they come out of the bar. We are back in Tyler’s dark world full of menace and violence and it’s here in this scene that the idea of Fight Club is introduced.

Slide 6


Fight Club Screenshot 37:20 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 37:20 Special Edition DVD

The director then cuts to a scene showing Jack and his boss in the men’s toilet at work, we notice how the lighting changes again, its daylight but colourised with blue which in later scenes is described as a cornflower blue (a reference is made to Jacks bosses tie as being cornflower blue) this is how the director (Editor?) has chosen to distinguish and therefore create this theme separating Jacks world from Tyler’s world of darkness, menace and violence.

Fight Club Screenshot 37:24 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 37:24 Special Edition DVD

Fincher then cuts back again to Tyler’s world, this time to a fight scene shot once again in the bars car park, there are more spectators and they are willing to participate in a fight, to become part of Tyler’s vision for Fight Club. The cameras low angle shot and the lighting from above adds to the audiences feeling of the darkness and the menace of the scene as the violent fight scene is shot.

Slide 7


Fight Club Screenshot 38:02 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 38:02 Special Edition DVD

The next scene camera in wide shot continues the theme of the chaos and the anarchy of Tyler’s world as we see the main characters practising their golf swing in a dilapidated and run down area where they are now living.

In a poorly lighted cluttered interior scene, shot in close up, Jacks madness is further explored as we see him reading journals by torchlight, which also seems to be written by some o ne also called Jack (No coincidence). We the audience would interpret the author as being himself although Jack disassociates himself from writing them, so he obviously has no memory of writing these journals and cannot recognise himself as being the protagonist in these journals.

Fight Club Screenshot 39:48 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 39:48 Special Edition DVD

As the director cuts back to Jacks world (cornflower blue) we see Jack in a meeting at work, it’s now obvious that Tyler’s personality is leaking through into Jacks world as he reveals his bloodied teeth to his colleagues at the meeting.

For the first time in this scene the menace and violence of Tyler’s world is brought into Jacks. The audience is left with the impression that Tyler’s personality is gradually taking over.

Slide 8


Fight Club Screenshot 40:07 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 40:07 Special Edition DVD

Cutting back again to Tyler’s world, Fight Club membership has grown and is now more organised as the audience POV follows the camera movements (stedicam) which tracks Tyler and Jack as they go inside the bar to greet their fellow members. The bar scene is darkly lighted and feels menacing as Fight Club members acknowledge each other in preparation for this evenings fights.

Tyler lays out the rules of Fight Club to its members in the dark basement/cellar of the bar as the camera moves around the room revealing the faces and postures of the members, which all adds to the menace of the scene and is a prelude to the violence to come.

Fight Club Screenshot 40:18 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 40:18 Special Edition DVD

It’s yet another example of the difference between Jacks and Tyler’s individual personalities, Jack is reserved and is generally seen as a participant in these scenes whereas Tyler is an extrovert and takes the lead in these situations.

Slide 9


Fight Club Screenshot 40:38 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 40:38 Special Edition DVD

Jacks narration in this sequence identifies individuals that he knows from work, who are generally similar to himself, reserved and unassuming at work but becoming something much more when they fight, to quote ‘becomes a god for 10 minutes’.

The director at the end of this fight scene cuts back to Jacks world where he is shown at work in a typical office environment as he sees the fighter from the previous night pushing a mail trolley through the office. They acknowledge each other but do not speak; they share a secret, the world of Tyler’s Fight Club. The scene is lighted once again in this cornflower blue so that the audience can identify that we are in Jacks world again.

Fight Club Screenshot 41:07 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 41:07 Special Edition DVD

The director cuts back to another fight scene this time involving Tyler, he’s surrounded by members of Fight Club who encourage their chosen fighters to excel, the dark lighting adds again to the menace, blood lust of the fighters and their supporters as the camera follows the action around the room. The scene ends with a close up of Jack who smiles his approval as Tyler wins his fight.

Slide 10


Fight Club Screenshot 42:10 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 42:10 Special Edition DVD

In the next scene, with the camera at a low angle again, the roles are reversed with Jack fighting to the encouragement of his fellow members of Fight Club, as Jack loses his fight the director shoots a close-up of Jacks face as he lies face down on the floor ending the scene.

Fight Club Screenshot 42:23 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 42:23 Special Edition DVD

In this ten minute sequence the director has introduced the audience to the core details of Fight Club; he has also set the theme for both Jack and Tyler’s worlds which in turn represent Jacks state of mind. For instance when he’s Jack the mise en scene is generally brightly lighted with this cornflower blue colourised effect and the mise en scene is usually of an office environment lighted by fluorescents. However when he’s in his Tyler persona the world is in direct contrast Jacks, it’s dark, full of menace and violence. The scene is usually of a dark and wet street or a cluttered interior or exterior of a dilapidated building.

Slide 11


Fight Club Screenshot 42:29 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 42:29 Special Edition DVD

In general, depending on which world we are in Jacks or Tyler’s, the camera angles and type of shot also changes to match, for instance in the fight scenes they tend to be shot at low or high angle to establish dominance of one fighter over another, rarely is the camera at eye level in these scenes. In contrast when we are in Jacks world, eye level camera angles dominate.
This sets a template for the rest of the film, the recurring image of Dark versus Light as we switch between Tyler’s and Jacks worlds.

Fight Club Screenshot 43:12 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 43:12 Special Edition DVD

The audience is also drawn into Jacks state of mind which changes from being an introvert whose only excitement in his life was his next purchase from Ikea, to being more of an extrovert, therefore  becoming more like Tyler Durden the anarchist and entering his more exciting life of violence and rebellion against everything corporate or  establishment.

Slide 12


Fight Club Screenshot 44:02 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 44:02 Special Edition DVD

This change in character and mind set is most obvious in the scenes where Jacks world and mindset has elements of Tyler’s. For example when we see Jacks injuries from the fights and Jacks general deterioration in personal appearance.

Fight Club Screenshot 44:21 Special Edition DVD

Fight Club Screenshot 44:21 Special Edition DVD

When for example we see him at work, his shirts have become dirty and un-ironed, the tie has not been tightened and it’s not straight, he is becoming more dishevelled, less conformist as the film progresses and becoming in turn more like his schizophrenic persona Tyler Durden.







(Number of Words 2032 including titles)


Moving Image – Short Film Script ‘Homeless’

Short Film Script

Short Film Script based on ‘Childhoods Hour’



Peter:              A 30+ homeless man and alcoholic looking at an early grave

Ann Charity worker caring for the homeless.

Opening Scene 1

‘Outside scene homeless man sitting on a step in front of a doorway’

(mid wide shot)

Peter a recently homeless man (not too disheveled) sits on a step drinking from a bottle in a brown paper bag or supermarket plastic bag. (Turn a Tesco Bag inside out.

(move to close up)

He looks directly at the camera and begins to talk about his past life and how he got to where he is now.

Peter:               I had it all, a good life, good friends and a girl I hoped to marry and I lost it all.

I’d always enjoyed a drink, just 1 or 2 after work, I could handle it, no problem and then the Banks screwed up and ruined it for everyone.

(Even closer)

Fuck the Banks and their greed.

(zoom out – back to a close up)

That was the beginning of the end, first the job went and my girl soon followed as the drink took hold.

But I didn’t care the drink saw to that, nothing mattered any more only the drink and where the next drink comes from.

(wide angle shot of doorway)

Scene 2 ‘Outside doorway’

(A women appears and crouches down next to Peter)

(mid close up)

Ann:                Hello Peter how are you?

(reverse shot)

Peter:               I’m fine, go away, and leave me be.

(reverse shot)

Ann:                We were worried about you; you’ve not been to the shelter for weeks now.

(reverse shot)

Peter:               I said I’m fine, now go away

(reverse shot)

Ann:                You’re not fine you look ill, have you eaten anything

Peter:               I’m having breakfast now ( raises the bottle to his lips )

(reverse shot)

Ann:                Look come with me to the shelter, have something to eat and get warm

(reverse shot)

Peter:               I’m fine, maybe I’ll come along later, now just leave me alone can’t you.

(reverse shot)

Ann:                Ok Peter but come soon. (Ann looks wistful and leaves )

(close up)

Peter looks directly again at the camera

Peter:               Interfering cow why can’t they leave me be, I mean if I wanted their help I’d ask them for it wouldn’t I.

I mean it’s not if I am alone is it, Dave’s sitting right next to me he’s all right is Dave always getting the drink for me and never touching it himself.

Sometimes he does get me into trouble when he steals or begs for the drink but that’s all right. He’s a good mate is Dave.

Peter takes another drink (mid wide shot) End Scene

Scene 3 ‘Office Location’

(mid wide shot) of office Ann looks directly at the camera

(Close up)

Ann:                Peter, yes it’s very sad, we tried everything we could to help him but in the end ‘I could not awaken’ him.

It’s very unfortunate but some of them just do not want our help.

Since the Banks caused all this trouble more and more of the people we see on the streets are just like Peter.

(Even closer)

Fuck the Banks and their greed.

(Zoom out mid wide shot of the office and Ann)

End Scene


Graphic Design – Type & Language – Production of Media Artefact: Book Cover

Graphics Design

Subject: Graphic Design
Unit: Type and Language
Tutor: Philip Shakeshaft

Assignment: Production of Media Artefact – Book Cover Design, DVD Cover or CD Cover

Final Design of my Book cover

Typography - Book Cover Design

Typography - Book Cover Design

An examination of the Typefaces used in this book cover.

The title typeface ‘Steam’ is a  purpose designed font for the Books’ cover and was designed to represent the steam and smoke coming from the chimney of the Steam Engine pictured on the front cover.

The font was originally based on the Serif (slab serif font?) font Rockwell Extra Bold which was then modified and now appears more Sans Serif rather than Serif with all the cloud type flourishes.

In denotation terms the title literally says steam which of course is expected to come from a steam engine and this is the main title of the book about steam, steam engines and in general the world of steam and the people in this world of steam.

In connotation terms the typeface also suggests that this could be a fun book, maybe a humorous look at the age of steam. The reader could expect to see stories from characters from the world of steam recounting their funniest memories of Steam and individuals in the world of steam. The cartoon shape of the characters could also indicate that this theme will be repeated inside the book and most probably complemented with drawings and pictures in a cartoon like style.

The colour of the text is white against a blue background that is light clouds against a blue sky which infers a sunny day again in connotation terms a happy fun book, also possibly indicating a light and enjoyable read.

The sub title text ‘The New Best Seller By Ian Hunt’ uses the Sans Serif font Times New Roman, all in caps but with the first letter of each word larger than the rest to emphasise each word.

In detonation terms it says that the book is both new and it’s also a best seller by the author Ian Hunt.

In connotation terms the use of Time New Roman the preserve of the broadsheets indicates that this book is a quality product targeting the more serious and educated reader.

From the back cover the title ‘100 years of Steam’.

In denotation terms it means that the book covers literally 100 years of steam.

Looking at the connation of this text firstly it’s a San Serif font which is in embossed gold and appears raised from the books cover this could indicate a degree of authority, suggesting this book has been written by an expert in their field. This could also be seen as a testament to the quality of the book. The colour gold also gives that feel that this is a quality product.

A mixture of typefaces is used for the recommendations for  the book; the quotes themselves use a serif type font (Academy Engraved LET) with the names of the newspapers from where the quotes came from using another san serif font but this time a bold Times New Roman font.

In denotation terms they are the names of the newspapers with the quotes taken directly from them.

In connotation terms though the bold font used for the names of the newspapers indicates the gravity of the paper and gives it an authoritative feel, an expert’s opinion of the content of this book. Again because of the source of these quotes this could also be seen to indicate the type and demographic of the readership, that is middle class C2 to B possibly. Age wise it most probably also indicates that the older reader would be more interested in this book and has in fact has been targeted by the publishers.

The introduction to the book uses the Sans Serif font Times New Roman. The first word STEAM is capitalised to emphasize the books overall subject and to indicate it is in fact looking at the general term Steam rather than just a specific part of the Steam World e.g. just Steam Engines or just Traction Engines.

In denotation terms the introduction says that it is a History of Steam Engines and Traction Engines over 100 years between the years 1890 to 1990.

Looking at the connotation again the use of the Time New Roman font as used by authoritative publications including the broadsheets ‘The Times’ and the ‘Observer’ indicates that this book should be viewed in the same terms an authoritative look at the history of Steam by an expert in their field.

The colour black is used, a neutral colour, but it is also associated with serious and authoritative publications.


Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

Graphic Design Book Cover Typography


Book Cover Research – Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

Slide 2 – Harry Potter Children Book Cover Design

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Childrens Book Cover

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Children's Book Cover

A stylised childlike typeface is used for the Harry Potter title, similar to a Times New Roman font.

The title is written in Red a Primary colour, used to help both identify and emphasise that this book is in the Harry Potter series. I’m not sure if Red on Green works visually.

The P in Potter has a representation of the scar on Harry Potter’s forehead a significant feature of the stories, which the reader will identify with.

The actual title of the book ‘And the Goblet of Fire’ uses similar typeface but all caps, which helps it stand out from the series title. The change in background colour assists with this suggesting the designer may have had second thoughts about Red on Green.

The target audience here is primarily children but the typeface is quite sophisticated, suggesting it could also be attractive to an adult reader.

The Authors name is printed in another and this time indented typeface, which suggests carved in stone, stamped in steel, solidity.


Slide 3 – Harry Potter Adult Book Cover Design

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Adult Book Cover

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire Adult Book Cover

The same book as the previous slide but this time aimed squarely at an adult readership.

The typeface is less stylised more like a broadsheet newspaper e.g. ‘The Times’

A serif font Times New Roman font is used which targets a more sophisticated reader yet this is still a children’s book suggesting that they have identified that a proportion of their readership is Adult and rated C1 to B possible A.

The colours used are Black and White with Gold for the books Title which suggest quality.

Slide 4 – Terry Pratchett, Thud – American

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover American Edition

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover American Edition

This book cover was produced for the non European market (American).

Typeface similar to Arial (Sans Serif) but with some flourishes but overall seems to infer a target readership which is more used to reading comics, tabloid newspapers rather than broadsheets.

This is especially apparent in the typeface used for THUD all caps and large font.

This typeface also suggests the book is for children, which it is not. Teenagers, Young Adults and Adults tend to read this book.

The overall suggestion here is a less sophisticated readership.

Slide 5 – Terry Pratchett, Thud – European

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover UK Edition

Terry Pratchett - Thud Book Cover UK Edition

UK/European version used for the cover of the same book as the previous slide. Although this time with a very obvious bias towards a more sophisticated readership.

The main title is in a stylised form of Times New Roman suggesting a previous era e.g Medieval, oldie worldly

The books title itself ‘THUD’ remains true to a Times New Roman font the choice of the broadsheets which also infers a similar sophisticated audience will read this book.

Slide 6 – Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange Book Cover

A Clockwork Orange Book Cover

The cover of this book sends out completely the wrong message here.

The typeface is a simple form of Arial font (Sans – Serif) combined with the choice of colour leads you to think it’s a children’s book, comic about the circus etc.

Anyone who knows the book or the film directed by Stanley Kubrick, its violent and inappropriate subject matter would exempt a child from reading it.

There is in fact no guide here to who the book is intended for.

Slide 7 – A Journey to Paradise

A Journey Into Paradise Book Cover

A Journey Into Paradise Book Cover

Overall the choice of title typeface seems to be all wrong, it’s understated similar to Arial or Tahoma and the font size is too small.

The chosen font colour also seems to be wrong this cover seems to need a large title in a primary colour e.g Red

Due to what seems to be the wrong message being sent out by the title the publishers have added a lot of small explanation text below the picture to get the message across.

However if we assume instead that this book was targeting a more sophisticated readership then a understated title and typeface would make sense, think reference book.

Slide 8 – School for Husbands

The School for Husbands Book Cover

The School for Husbands Book Cover

The typeface suggests the 1950’s to me and France

It also looks similar to the opening titles of Bewitched

The text says school and that combined with the font choices, the height variations and mismatched characters say primary school to me (St Trinians).

As to target readership I’d say across the board but possibly aimed more at the mid 20’s, mid 30’ age group.

Also aimed at the more sophisticated reader

Slide 9 – Red Comet

Red Comet Comic Cover

Red Comet Comic Cover

This is a typical dramatic typeface for comics of the 1950’, 1960’s eras.

It’s in 3D, Red and Blue primary colours, the arch shape suggesting space flight and a comet’s tail.

Think sensationalism a dramatic headline ‘The World Ends Monday’ etc.

The text boxes at the bottom of the cover uses a typeface typical of comics of 1950’s which are still in use today and are firmly associated with this form of media.

Slide 10 – The Secret Lives of Great Artists

The Secret Lives of Great Artists Magazine Cover

The Secret Lives of Great Artists Magazine Cover

This is all about connotation

The typeface and fonts used here are pure Tabloid, sensationalism, this will be an exposé of the lives of Great Artists.

They were chosen for this purpose to lead the reader into thinking the subject of the title would be covered in this way and to make it seem more current than it is, when in fact this is really a historical look at their lives.

The chosen colours match those of newspapers and magazines of today, think Private Eye, The Mirror.

Slide 11 – Inside Linda Lovelace

Inside Linda Lovelace Book Cover

Inside Linda Lovelace Book Cover

This is not a great book cover.

The typeface would seem to be more appropriate for a book on computers and was probably used because it was in vogue at the time 1970’s.

I seem to remember this typeface, font design used on science fiction Film and TV programme titles of the 1970’s.

The text at the bottom appears to be positioned to provide a form of censorship but as it is curved it appears to have the opposite effect by following the suggestion of the curve of a breast.

This text also provides an Anchorage ‘Deep Throat’ and the image open mouth.

Graphic Design Book Cover Typography

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