In 1948 Shannon (an American Mathematician, Electronic Engineer) and Weaver (an American scientist) both joined together in order to write an article of a theory of communication called ‘A Mathematical Theory of Communication’ in “Bell System Technical Journal’ and it was known as the “Shannon-Weaver model of communication”. Below is an image of their concept.
This model of communication is in order to increase the effectiveness of communication between the sender and the receiver. Also they found multiple factors that effects the ‘noise’ which can interrupt the effectiveness of communication between the sender and receiver. There are 3 types of noise:-
- Technical/ Logistical – Physical problems (artwork is ripped/ building is blocking sign etc.)
- Semantic/ Understanding – Interpretation confusion (Ensuring the message of the artwork is clear, no confusion due to ethical/ cultural reasons)
On Monday 9th January 2017 I went to the Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum in South Kensington, London to see the ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’
The exhibition explores the 1960s era defining significance and the impacts of what happened in the 1960s. This is shown through performances, artwork, music, fashion, design, film & political activism.
The exhibition consists of many different rooms which we walked around. We were given a headset which recorded where we were walking and as we walked into different sectors of the exhibition the voice over/ background music would change in order to fit the section.
I feel as though the exhibition was fairly useful for me as it helped me think of some ideas for ‘psychedelia’ as it was a key subculture in the 1960s, therefore it allowed me to brainstorm many different ideas. The main features I found interesting were the use of vibrant colours and the bizarre ‘circle spiral’ heads on the mannequinns, I found this very influential because after the use of psychedelic drugs the users head isn’t ‘normal’ and so this is an interesting technique that I could use.
Psychedelia is a name given to a group of people (a subculture), originating from the 1960s whereby they were known for taking psychedelic drugs such as LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Ecstasy etc. As well as the use of psychedelic drugs, the subculture also includes a psychedelic style of artwork, the main conventions of psychedelic artwork are bright, vibrant colours, animations & cartoons – an example is shown below.
Psychedelic artwork is sometimes described as a realistic interpretation of the artists ‘trip’ on acid, they have drawn/ sketched what they believe to have seen whilst under the consumption of the psychedelic drugs. Some artists have drawn what they have seen on a ‘bad trip’. A bad trip is a disturbing experience, normally when mixing one of more psychedelic drugs together, this can cause long term side effects to the mental health of the user as they have seen disturbing imagery.
Also, those who are within the psychedelia subculture, they often listen to ‘psychedelic music’, this being distorted electric guitar, with electronic sounds effects such as reverberation.
The term ‘Psychedelic’ is a word taken from the Ancient Greek words ‘psychē’ (soul) and dēloun (to reveal), thus meaning that ‘psychedelic’ means “Soul Revealing”, and many psychedelic drug users do say that psychedelics, such as LSD, Mushrooms etc. show the ‘afterlife’ due to the release of DMT that is released in the brain. DMT is a natural stimulant in our brains that we only release when we are born and die, when people take psychedelic drugs it releases some DMT, therefore some scientists believe that psychedelic drugs are the nearest source to see what it is like once you die, due to the release of DMT in the brain.
My first task was to understand what a subculture was, and it is defined as, “a cultural group within a larger culture, often having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture.”
After understanding the meaning of a subculture, I then started to look into what subcultures interest me and instantly I was met with ‘psychedelia’ and from the beginning I found this subculture very interesting due to the fact that it was a very common thing in the 60s and nowadays the ‘views’ of psychedelia have completely flipped. Also Psychedelia is very creative and artistic as people who have taken psychedelic drugs have designed/ drawn their experiences of the drug, this allows the artists to express their own thoughts and views whilst being creative. Psychedelia was also very popular in the UK and USA in the 60s and so is very fitting for the Creative Review as the magazine company typically writes about the media in the United Kingdom and the United States, therefore Psychedelia fits within these conventions.
Psychedelia is becoming more and more popular nowadays in people of the age range between 18yr old – 28 yr old which is the primary target audience age group of the creative review. Psychedelia is also so diverse as many different subcultures can relate to this, such as Punks, Skinheads, Skaters etc as they all contain the use of psychedelic drugs as well.
The ‘Creative Review’ is a monthly magazine which targets art & design. It has roughly 20,000 readers and focuses mainly on the media from the UK and the USA, displaying contemporary advertising, design, illustration, new media, photography and typography.
The creative review’s typical dimensions are 24.7cm x 24.5cm with a bleed from the side of 1.5cm and from the top & bottom of 1.7cm. However when creating a double page spread the middle of the two pages will typically be an image split in two therefore there isn’t a bleed in the centre of the page.
The photograph above shows a common double page spread that is present within the Creative Review magazine. The main photograph is centre of attention as it is large in the frame and also splits between two different pages. I feel as though I want to do a similar concept of this because it makes the article appealing to the audiences eye.
The two front covers above from two different creative review magazines I found online have very similar conventions, their use of colours and shapes used to creative the imagery. They appear to use blocky colours for shading and overall design. This will fit nicely with my idea as I am going to be using the subculture ‘Psychedelia’ which is fitting due to the extensive use of vibrant colours and unique shapes in psychedelic artwork. Also, the Creative Review has a standard for the Masthead ‘CreativeReview’ in the same font each time, and also it displays the date of the issue and the price of the magazine. I will ensure to use these key features when designing my front cover.
The front cover of a magazine is essentially to entice readers to buy the magazine, therefore it must stand out and have a clean, professional design. There are certain conventions that must always be used within the design of a magazine, the first being a ‘Masthead’, this is the name of the magazine, it must be large, bold and stand out. The masthead has been carefully designed by the choice of font, colour, size etc as different fonts/ colours can cause a misrepresentation of what the magazine is targeting its audience towards. Another key feature is the ‘Tagline’, this is located underneath the masthead and is tells the reader what the magazine is about/ who the magazine is aimed towards. The most important convention is the ‘Central Image’, the reason for this is because the reader is going to look at the image before the text as it is more appealing, therefore the image must be relevant to the magazine and aesthetically professional. The central image typically involves a ‘Cover Model’ in the image, so picking your model is very important, there are many celebrities that could be chosen however some celebrities have different connotations and from a designers perspective you don’t want to give off a negative view for your magazine. Therefore choosing a well-liked & well-known celebrity, with minimal dislikes/ conflicts is the best solution as it will entice more people to buy the magazine. ‘Anchorage’ is a key convention for magazine front covers, this is when there is text around the image which captions about a big story headline which is in the magazine, giving the reader more willingness to purchase the product as they know more about it. Finally, the payment method is to ensure that there is a ‘Barcode/ Pricing’, this is essential as the reader needs to know how much the product is being sold for. Barcodes are sometimes found on the back covers however it isn’t unusual to see them on the front cover for gossip magazines.
Below is a scanned image of a front cover from the magazine ‘VOGUE’ and is a very good example of a well-designed/ professionally made magazine front cover. It has a well photographed central image and a large masthead and in the anchorage mentions the model Victoria Beckham as an ‘Honour of Invitation’ and everyone else knows the male model as he is a well-known celebrity: David Beckham.
Below is a magazine front cover from the magazine company ‘Empire’. Empire are a magazine company that regularly create magazines about recent films that have been released and talk about reviews etc. In this magazine Harry Potter had recently been released and was a big talking point and so they advertised with a serious image of Harry on the front cover, immediately attracting the readers attention.They also include a tagline and use anchorage on the image to show other films that are included in this magazine and also have secondary images to show other characters from other films again showing what is included in there ‘amazing’ magazine. Finally there is a barcode present on the front cover allowing the readers easy access to find out the price of the magazine and also at the top of the front cover there is a price stating £3.90/ $9.99. The reasoning behind the two currencies is because Empire is commonly sold in both the UK and the US.
Professionalism – Professionalism is the skill/ act of being responsible & professional in your job
Professional Practise – The tasks you undertake in order to become more professional. The act to improve your expertise/ professionalism in your job
Expertise – Expertise is the experience that one has within a certain job industry
Sustainability – Sustainability is how strong/ durable something is and how effective it is. For example a design could be sustainable because it has a strong message, interesting and is effective for a long period of time.
Social Responsibility – Social responsibilities are the different responsibilities we have in social situations and how we deal with them
Social Awareness – Social awareness is how aware we are to social situations and how to prevent them
Social Innovation – Social innovation is how creative someone is by inventing/ designing unique and effective things into society
Design Activism – Design activism is when the designer ensures that their product isn’t going to cause political conflicts as they want to make their design as neutral as possible to prevent damaging their career.