27th April - Research Sources

Research Sources

Interviews (3):

  • I will try to organise an interview with James Colburn who is the site manager at MTV based in oxford street offices. He has worked there for many years and deals with online stories/articles about all kinds of artists, so he has seen them evolve. 
  • I will also try to organise an interview with a good friend of mine Faye Sawyer who is a fashion stylist, and has worked for many artists and TV shows such as the XFactor. I will be able to find out things like, if the mentors tried to force their own branding on the artists each week without letting them have their own individuality. 
  • I also have 2 friends of mine who are up and coming artists in the music industry, they do alot of gigs and recordings around London, the point of this would be to get another persons point of view to see if my theory matched theres, and how they would say they brand themselves.

  • I will write to music companies/record companies, to see if they are the ones creating the brand, if so they can give me an insight into how. When they look for new people what do they look for?
  • I will write to management companies who look after the artists for there point of views.

  • I will create a survey of pictures which people will have to guess which artist belongs to that picture, to see how heavily branded that artist is, by just looking at a picture you would 99% know which artist it would be. 


Throughout my research i will look at:

  • Books
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Magazines
  • Social Media (twitter/facebook)
  • Wesbites
  • DVDS/Films

My book arrived!

25th April - Chapters

Chapter 1

What is branding?

Chapter 2

Is it the management or the artist that make the brand? - Debate

Chapter 3

Talk about a specific artist or several? how they changed overtime due to branding - Debate

Narrowing down my lead question

Who determines the brand the artist or the management?

Is the brand the band or is the band the brand? 

Do record labels strip their identity by branding them?

22nd April - Research Strategy

Research strategy


  • I will explain what i am going to investigate and why. 
  • I will explain what research i am going to use.
  • I will explain how i am going to structure and introduce the chapter
  • Sum up of the intension of what i want to find out

Chapter 1:

Chapter 2:

Chapter 3:

  • I will contain the most important points and sum up the arguments
  • I will give my own views based on all the research i have done

Primary and secondary research:

I am also thinking about how i am going to approach my research in more depth

Write a letter:

  • Introduce myself
  • Tell them what i am after
  • Offer them options
  • Attach a brief abstract or research plan
  • Follow up with a call
  • Introduce myself
  • ask them questions on my subject
  • Follow up with a call
Personal Interview:
  • Prepare my questions no more then 10
  • Give them a copy of my questions if possible
  • Ask permission to record
Questionnaire or Survey:
  • No more than 6 to 9 questions, on one sheet which encourage written answers, not just yes or no answers
  • One sheet of paper only with Name, Age, Gender, Job position etc

Blogs i looked at:





20th April

Development of my lead question:

  • Branding
  • Perceptions
  • Defining
  • How important is the brand of an artist
  • People constructing the brand?
  • Make a debate and critic 

How does branding affect the build up of a person?

How does branding identify artists perceptions in the music industry?

How does branding influence artists perceptions in the music industry?

How important is branding in the music industry, and how are artists perceived? 

How does branding determine an artist in the music industry?

Is it the individual or the management that make the brand?

But is it the branding or is it the fame and fortune?

Does fame and fortune change the branding of an artist?

Is it the artist that makes the brand or the people that construct the brand?

Does branding change the way an artist is seen, or does the artist make the brand?

How does an artist brand themselves? 

I will now start to think about the research strategy stage, looking at the introduction, chapters and conclusion for the 23rd April

I also bought a book from amazon to help with my research called Sounds like Branding

19th April 2012

This session we got to speak to all the different tutors about:

  • Lead question
  • Structure
  • Research Strategy
  • Progess Maps

Lead question:

What is it?
Asking yourself why should be central question
  • Formulate as a question not a statement
  • how do i find out the answer, can i answer it myself?
  • How specific is it?
  • Organise research now, for interviews etc so i am prepared

How branding effects the build up of a person/artist?

What they do as an artist dosent matter anymore because of the way their branded


    Introduction - beginning (800-1000 words)
    Conclusion - End (800 - 1000 words)

    • Introuduce the reader
    • Explain the lead question / what is it your going to investigate and why
    • Use the research method, explain what is it, primary or secondary, justify it. 
    • How you going to structure your analyses, introduce chapter structure
    • Sum it up with the intension of what you want to find out
    (Might want to write introduction last)

    • Contain the most important points and sum up the arguments
    • Read other peples introduction and conclusions
    • Your own views based on all the research i have done
    Chapters ( no more than 3)
    • Make it manageable, break it into mini essays
    • (1500 per chapter roughly)
    • Think about the order
    • Progression
    • What your going to address in each chapter?
    • Give your chapters titles or questions/themes
    • Logical and clear

    Research Strategy: Thinking about my lead question

    • Maybe look at people constructing the brand (email/contact them) instead of the artists
    • Artists are the brand
    • Great debate
    • Lead question should suggest debate and critic
    • Ethics - a sense of right or wrong 
    • Are their any ethical questions you need to think about (whether people are manipulating other people)
    • Whenever you do a comparison you need criteria

    Progess Maps:
    • Linked to dates
    • More information, better grade
    • Reflections on tutorials
    • Email that i may of sent
    • Problems
    • Interesting to see beginning to end
    • Visits
    • Interviews
    • Any type of research
    • Forward planning
    • Films/documents
    • Watch or listening
    • Booklet
    • notice board
    • Blog
    • Written
    How branding defines an artist:

    • Michael Jackson for example if you saw a picture of his glove, you would know straight away who it belonged to.

    • Even album covers, if you were to buy a heavy metal rock and roll album you would know what to look for, because it would be the total opposite to a classical album.


    14th April 2012 - Research / Rihanna albums

    I began to look at how Rihannas changed overtime, her as an artist is a brand itself.

    Rihanna was founded by Jay Z who is a very successful worldwide rapper:
    • He created a brand for her
    • Her real name is Robyn Fenty, why was she not called Robyn?
    • How did he know what to call her? was it his decision or hers?


    • Ask questions about rihanna (interviews)
    • how is her brand going to be damaged by getting back with ex singer chris brown?
    • Girls look up to her
    • Marketing team create a brand on facebook – advertising
    • Where as her twitter is her personal account, her personality (give examples of what she says)
    • Comparison between twitter and facebook
    • Email her record label
    • Designers that produced her album covers – define who she is

    How important is branding in music?
    How music defines an artist as a brand

    If I did a visual dissertation on how rihannas changed overtime:

    • Ask peoples opinions on rihanna
    • Interview up and coming artists
    • Give examples of her album covers from start to end
    • What she wore to what she wears now
    • People that construct her?
    Rihanna albums:

    Music of the sun           2005
    A girl like me                  2006
    Good girl gone bad       2007
    Rated R                           2009
    Loud                                2010
    Talk that talk                  2011
    Unapologetic                 2012 (not released yet)








    By the 20th April i want to have an idea of a lead question

    13th April - Disstertation Preparation

    Date of issue

    Dissertation Preperation provides an opportunity to investigate in a subject of personal interest that relates to my main area of study, which is Graphic Design.
    • Critical
    • Structured
    • Demonstrating skills

    First Lecture:

    • Choose a dissertation subject and formulate a lead question
    • Choose a format (written or visual)
    • Learn about research methodology and devise a research strategy
    • Produce a final synopsis, lead question, research strategy and progress map (submit as one PDF on moodle)
    • 7000 – 9000 words
    • Identify Areas or people you want to interview etc
    Primary research
    • Visits
    • Interview
    • surveys
    Secondary research
    • Library
    • Websites
     Branding in Music
    • Branding is important for music
    • Represents who that person is
    • Lifestyle
    • Album covers
    • Individuality / personality
    • How we define ourselves
    • Sub cultures in music (punk, hip hop etc)
    • The music you listen to defines who you are
    • The way you dress defines who you are
     Progress map is started