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Digipak Analysis: 'What Separates Me From You' - A Day To Remember

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J Alexander

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Digipak Analysis: 'What Separates Me From You' - A Day To Remember

Final Digipak Analysis 'What Separates Me From You'
A Day To Remember Front Inside Disc The artwork of the front of this digipak shows a cartoon image of a man trapped inside an hourglass while the people of the city pass him by.

The album title creates intrigue, and consumers will want to resolve this. (Barthe's Enigma Code) At first glance, it could be said that the hourglass is what separates the man from the rest of the city, and from this connotations of time are created.

Some of the cartoon people have been drawn with tattoos or are wearing clothes commonly associated with the rock/metal genres, therefore instantly identifying an audience demographic.

The band name and album title are in a bold, black and capitalised sans-serif font, with a slightly eroded graphic effect - typical of this genre. It has been superimposed over a white textbox for clarity.

The front is very colourful and therefore aesthetically pleasing whilst allowing for the digipak to be eye-catching in stores and therefore effective in its purpose of selling to audiences.

The design of the front displays a continuation of a motivic feature seen on most of the band's previous album/digipak covers, and therefore establishing an identity for the band and their products. All of the band's previous album covers have featured the back of a man looking on to what makes up the rest of the album artwork. Examples of this can be seen below: This is an example of a 4-panel digipak, however, it has been laid out differently to the other two digipaks that I have analysed. The panels fold out around the disc, and each has its own image. The inside shows shards of glass and trails of sand, inevitably after the hourglass has smashed and the character trapped within it is now free from the restraints of time.

The left panel shows the character's hand protruding from beneath the sand, and the right panel shows a smashed pocketwatch. This confirms the idea that his battle with time is over, but also connotes that a struggle against time or trying to keep up with the world around you will leave anyone exhausted.

This could connect to the band through how, now they are an established band, demands are increasing and they may feel lost within the business aspect of the music industry and want to return to their roots; making music to fulfill themselves as musicians rather than businessmen and therefore breaking free from restrictions themselves. The disc contrasts against the colourful design of the digipak and disrupts the consistency to an extent because of this. This does not have a negative effect on the overall aesthetics, as it serves a purpose.

An image of a street grid has been placed over the disc, which has been manipulated to incorporate the band name and their home city to give this impression. The "City of Ocala" is where they come from, and by incorporating this into the design of their digipak, they are emphasising their desire to return to their roots - not only with regards to their musical intentions but also the people they know and value in their home city.

When the disc is removed, a fifth panel is revealed, where the four band members have been drawn as cartoon characters and are looking up from what must be the sewage of the city. It could therefore be said that the use of the disc as a 'grid', with both the band name and city on it, connotes how the band have found themselves in an inferior position to those that they have left back home after pursuing their musical careers; their home is what defines them, and as time has passed they have come to realise this. Back The back of the digipak consists of 3 panels, meaning that there are shared panels between the inside and outside artwork. The back depicts a continuation from the idea that the band have realised what they are missing out on within their homes as a result from the success they have seen from their careers. Images of marriage, death, illness and the overwhelming effects of time are presented, with a recurring motif of the character trapped in the hourglass present at each scene.

The back panel of the digipak shows the character buried in the 'sands of time', with even more falling upon him - he cannot seem to escape despite the realisation of what he is missing on the outside of the hourglass. This panel acts as a conclusion to the idea that the band are trying to convey though the digipak; they feel they are victims to time, and channeling this through their music is the best way to overcome this.

The track listing has been set out in a different way to the digipaks that I have previously analysed. As opposed to the conventional column structure, song titles are placed alongside each other and centred at the top of the panel. This caters for the visibility of the image and adds aesthetic balance to the panel.

Credits to record labels, studios and management as well as copyright information has also been laid out to coincide with this intention, being placed at the bottom of the panel and justified to the left. A bar code has been placed at the bottom right, again adding to the balance.

This digipak appears to have 3 spines due to the layout of its panels. On all three, the band name in a white, bold, sans-serif and capitalised text is shown alongside the album title in a smaller typeface. The simplicity of the spine allows the album to stand out easily on the store shelves as well as not over-complicating the overall design of the digipak. Sleeve (cover) The sleeve of the digipak has been designed to resemble a notebook. There is a black background with the album title and an illustration of what appears to be a phoenix superimposed over the top. The sleeve appears incoherent to the rest of the digipak, but could connote the band's earlier years, for example, their school years, and how they may be wishing for those times again.

The image of the phoenix could suggest a renewal of time or a change of some sort. The band have been renewed as people from their musical success, but wish to return to their roots. Sleeve (inside) The inside of the sleeve shows white notebook pages with black handwritten font, displaying the lyrics for the songs. On the final page, a rough sketch of the front panel is shown, connoting the school days of the band when their musical career was merely a dream to them. The digipak therefore also enforces the fact that their dreams and ambitions have become a reality - but this also holds consequences.
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