- Through detailed analysis of established music magazines such as Q and NME – which project thecontemporary, indie-rock persona I wanted to create – I was able to gain a good understanding of the formsand conventions featured in media products of this genre and indeed then felt it was essential to utilise someof these codes in order to ensure that my final piece looked like a polished, professional and realistic mediaproduct.- In analysing the front covers of two recent issues of Q and NME, I was able to identify main conventionsthey both employed such as the inclusion of one main image surrounded by a masthead logo, coverlines, apuff/special feature/competition, the price and barcode as well as the use of a variety of colours and minimalwhite space.- My analysis of contents pages from the same magazines proved equally helpful as I found numerous formsand conventions within this area: there is often a subscription advertisement included, encouraging readers –with the mention of exclusive covers or a lower price – to subscribe. There were a number of imagesfeatured on the contents pages; each taken in different settings, from different angles and distances,depicting different colour schemes, which ensured the pages looked dynamic and interesting whilst the high-quality, contemporary nature of all the shots ensured the piece still appeared professional. I also noticed thatpage numbers were placed over the images in clear, bold fonts to allow for easy navigation.- Studying double page spreads from both Q and NME was also extremely useful; I really enjoyed reading thearticles themselves – which provided me with a good idea of what tone and register to implement whenwriting my own in order to appeal to a similar audience as that of the magazines. Furthermore, I noticed thatdrop caps were a key convention, along with columns, striking images, pull quotes and sub-titles, the analysis’provided me with a wealth of ideas regarding the layout, shot-types, colour scheme, language and quotes Iwould use!
Large, masthead; placed in top left third; behind main One large image fills image the majority of space on the page,Slogan inserted as relating to the mainpart of masthead coverline Different colour Very little highlights white space special feature Pull quote from article with artistSeveral coverlines;name of artist inlarge bold lettering Main coverline, artists name in large bold lettering; Barcode, price and stands out most website
Date; Price Large, masthead; Pull quote placed in top left third; behind main image Main coverline stretches across entire page, placesSlogan slotted the band name in largeunderneath bold lettersmasthead; behindmain image Single image fills Pull quote from main article; majority of space, unique selling point their setting acts as the backdrop for the front cover Plus sign draws attention Several coverlines, to the coverlines; magazine title in a different has a lot of content colour to blurb to attract attention Barcode; website
Large, masthead; placed in Special features in atop left third; overlapping different colour to othermain image coverlines; show readers what they can get fromSlogan slotted inside; gig guide andunderneath masthead; in competitionsfront of main image One main image takesSnappy introduction to up majority of spacemain coverline; word‘exclusive’ createsexcitement Plus sign draws attention to the otherMain coverline; artists coverlines; magazinename in large, unique font; has lots of contentattracts reader attention Several coverlines; alternating colours;Barcode; price; date; artists names in largewebsite; Facebook and bold lettersTwitter icons, advertisingthe magazines other media Pull quoteplatforms
Through analysis of my own music magazine in comparison to those which I had previously studied, Ifeel it is easy to identify the codes and conventions I employed in order to make my media productseem authentic.As is seen in successful music magazines such as Q and NME, my masthead is positioned at the top ofthe left third with the slogan slotted underneath, a price, barcode, issue number, date and website areincluded and I employed a single main image, ensuring that it took up the majority of the page –leaving very little white space. I utilised a plus sign above my coverlines and indeed incorporatedseveral coverlines, depicting the names of my artists in large, bold letters and alternating colours andemployed a pull quote.This is the image I used for my coverpage – Ifeel that my models garments, make-up andfacial expression/body language ensure thatthe shot embodies the indie-rock genre ofmagazine. My artist is instantly portrayed asconfident, edgy and unique which is thenfurther emphasised to the reader in my DPS.
Whilst I felt it was necessary to emulate many of theconventions of music magazines to make my piece seemprofessional, I also wanted to challenge certain aspects in orderto create an original media product that would immediatelyattract attention.Most magazines employ one or two similar fonts, however Ichose to utilise a number of different styles on my front coverto make the page more exciting and draw attention to differentelements, for example, I used a discursive font for my maincoverline to make it stand out, emphasising the fact that mymagazine has obtained an interview with the star. Also, ratherthan placing the masthead and slogan behind the main image –as is seen in issues of Q and NME – mine overlaps the picture ofmy artist as I feel it makes a greater impact and would makethe magazine instantly recognisable. In addition, I decided touse the website address/ barcode/issue number/price at thebottom left third, but vertically, to challenge the conventionthat they are always placed above the barcode horizontally. Ifelt this made the magazine look more edgy and original.
Q Masthead (also serves Page title “CONTENTS” in the Page numbers in ‘Features’/‘Regulars’ Thumbnail image of theas the magazine logo) centre third of the first page correspond to those on pictures; neat issues front cover in theand slogan included and clear layout corner of the right third on the second page.Largest image on thecontents is of band U2 as Variety of imagesthey were featured on included; differentthe front cover of the artists; differentmagazine and are sizes; different shottherefore the main selling types, angles,point of this issue. lighting, distanceOverlapped by the from camerabiggest page number toallow for easy navigation.Coverlines that appearon the front cover are Regulars section in rightlisted along the left third, including pagethird in the ‘Features’ numbers, sub headingssection. Artists name and quirky blurbsserve as article titlesand are depicted in a Review section at thebold font. bottom of right third; Large page numbers are clear Section promoting black background setsBar along the bottom of the page features Q and easy to read and in the subscription to the it apart from the othermasthead/logo and the page number as well as colour scheme and style of magazine at the coverlines – makes itFacebook and Twitter sites and the subscription the Q masthead bottom of the left third stand outwebsite
Page title “INSIDE THIS WEEK” Date of issue slotted challenges conventions of a below the page title masthead simply reading “Contents” Image in black and Largest image on the contents white adds variety and page is of Liam Gallagher as he was interest to the page. featured on the front cover and is therefore the main selling point of Neat, clear, concise layout; the issue. By making his the main contemporary; very easy to image means readers can easily read; numbers correspond to find the interview with him. pictures and coverlines – easy to find articles Pull quotes included below each image, giving a taste of the articles and encouraging Promotion of subscription to the people to read on. Short, magazine, encouraging readers quirky blurb beneath. by outlining how much they can save; direct audience interactionThree small images placed alongthe left third with two in the rightthird, each taken from different Plus section entailsangles and different distances. more features in the issue and links to the Bold page numbers coverlines listed under overlap the images and the plus sign on the allow for easy navigation front cover
Page title “INSIDE “ depicted in the same font as the LOUD Promotion of subscription along the skyline with offer of £30masthead in front of the same black splash of paint; carries on worth of downloads – direct interaction with audiencehouse style. Thumbnail Slogan slotted image of the underneath page issues front title just as is cover done with the Corresponding page masthead on the numbers overlap front cover. images in the same font as used for theFeatures section along left masthead; clear;third with regulars on the easy navigationright, names of artistsdepicted in a bold font Variety of colourfulbeside the article page images; differentnumber with short, sizes; different shotsnappy blurb below. types taken from different anglesLargest image on the page is of the artist Review section against a turquoisethat was featured on the front cover as Bar along the bottom featuring page number in the background to set it apart from the same font as LOUD masthead in front of the sameshe is the main selling point of the issue – other coverlines and instantly drawreaders will want to be able to get to the black splash of paint as well as the magazine’s interest. Text in a white font here Facebook and Twitter sites and the subscriptionarticle quickly rather than black. website.
All successful music magazines have their own unique House Style, this sets their piece apart and renders itinstantly recognisable – therefore I felt a clear House Style was a key convention I needed to employ when creatingmy contents. In order to do so, I emulated many of the aspects on my front cover, for example I utilised a similarcolour scheme of hot pink, black and an icy turquoise and the same fonts.As seen on the contents pages of magazines such as Q and NME, I created a neat layout with a ‘Features’ and‘Regulars’ section as well as including a special ‘Review’ segment and depicting page numbers in a large, clear, boldfont placed over the images to allow for easy reader navigation. I included a number of different images anddevoted part of the page to promoting subscription to the magazine and ran a bar along the bottom of the pagefeaturing the page number, the magazines Facebook and Twitter sites and the subscription website.I really enjoyed establishing my House Style and think that I have created a distinctive look that would appeal tomy target audience and indeed could be instantly recognised and associated with my magazine. These are the images I included in my contents, I felt it was important to have a variety of images taken from alternate angles and distances, not only to comply with conventions of music magazines but to make the page more interesting and exciting! Each picture is really different from the next but all portray the rock- indie, edgy look I wanted my magazine to evoke through the garments/make-up, body language/facial- expressions and mise-en-scene.
As I have mentioned, I think it was essential to make use ofcertain forms and conventions of contents pages to ensurethat my media product looked professional and realistic.However I really wanted to challenge some aspects in orderto add interest to my contents, creating a unique and edgylook that would appeal to my target audience.Rather than simply naming my page “Contents” as is thenorm in most magazines, I decided on the title “Inside”because it’s a contemporary alternative, immediatelygrabbing reader attention. I also promoted subscription tomy magazine in a triangular shape along the skyline of mypage which challenges the convention of positioning it in abox towards the bottom of the page. I felt this would bemore successful in catching the eye of readers and therebyencouraging them to subscribe. Similar to my front cover, Iutilised a number of dynamic fonts across my contentsinstead of one or two similar styles which is a typical formfeatured in magazines such as Q and NME.
Single image of Drop-cap convention challenged by enlarging the letter to fill the page. Artists name serveshugely successful Fits in with the colour-scheme of Q’s House Style as the masthead;artist, Lady Gaga, simple and effectivefills the entire right as this article is likelypage, where the to have followed aneye-line will fall introductory DPS.first. As aninstantlyrecognisable star, Body text spreadreaders are drawn across three columns;in from the outset neat, clear layout Drop caps highlightImage is in black the start of a newand white creating section in the articlea classy, and break up theunderstated interview.professional lookthat fits in withHouse Style andappeals to Q’scontemporary Bar runs along bottom,readership. as with all pages in Q magazine, featuring the magazines Dark jewellery and make-up coupled with the Q House Style is reflected in masthead, Facebook risqué pose and nonchalant expression reflects every element of the and Twitter accounts the rock-indie persona of the magazine. simplistic, stripped-back DPS. and the page number.
Drop caps open the Body text spread across six columns, separated by subtitles in greenarticle, depicted in thecolour green which is Section onevident throughout the ‘Tour Highsarticle – fits in with and Lows’NME’s House Style and breaks up themethod of employing body text,key colours for each addingissue, often relating to interest. Setthe pictures included. against a green background to make it standA clever play on words out; fits in withintroduces the article; the Houseband name written in Stylelarger letters and adifferent colour; drawsattention. The titlestretches across the Advertisementcentre of all three of the bandsthirds. debut album (on which the articleShort and snappy by- is partly based)line incorporates name Name of as well as theof journalist and creates photographer mention of theinterest in the article; A single image is splashed Humorous caption NME websiteencourages audience to along the bottom half of both regarding the imageread on pages, leaving very little white space
Introductory DPS, clever play on words as the artists name is Ella Fans questions section along – highlighted by the fact that this word is shown in a different Blurb about background left third and against turquoise colour and the same font as it was depicted on the front cover. to article and journalist background; fits in with HouseSingle Dynamic colour scheme representative of the House Style conduction the interview Style, breaks up body text andstriking and piece adds interestimage fillsthe right Large image of artistpage, Drop caps open Body text with guitar ‘backstage’spreading article at the top spread – links with articleonto the of the left third across five subject mattersecond; columnsimmediatelycapturesattention; Photo captionvery little Photowhite space. caption Pull quotes Three smaller images along bottom of first Info on artists As with all inner pages, bar along bottom page; impression of tour and album. features page number in same font as the artist; add interest Magazines LOUD masthead in front of same black website splatter of paint – emphasising House Style. The magazines Facebook and Twitter sites are also featured along with subscription Artists full name in the Short, snappy introduction to article Bar - page number; website. same font and colour as positioned at the bottom of the left Facebook and shown on the third on the second page. Twitter; subscription introductory pages site
With consistent House Style being a key convention evident in music magazines, I made sure to maintain mycontemporary, edgy, indie-rock look in the DPS through my colour scheme, use of fonts, informal register and thetype of pictures included. I felt it was important to use a number of other conventions of double page spreads inorder to ensure that my final media product looked authentic and realistic.I created an introductory DPS followed by the article itself, as magazines such as Q and NME often devote morethan just two pages to major artists – the first two pages featured a single image of my artist which filled themajority of the spread, leaving little white space. A convention utilised by NME magazine, I created a clever play onwords to overlap this image and introduce the article, the writing was large and attention grabbing. Both pagesfeatured a bar along the bottom including page numbers, the magazines media platforms and a subscriptionwebsite as is seen in Q magazine amongst others. For the second two pages, I created a ‘Fans Questions’ section,something that is frequently included in music magazines to break up articles and add extra interest to the spread,I also utilised drop caps and a short introductory blurb to make the piece seem more professional. In addition, Ifollowed the convention of many successful music magazine double page spreads in adding numerous photos tothe article in the direction of eye-flow with adjoining captions which I feel helps my DPS make a much moredramatic impact whilst appearing polished and professional. Images used in my DPS Each conveys my artist as a confident, edgy, unique performer through facial-expression/body-language, attire, garments and mise-en-scene
As alluded to, whilst I recognise the importance of complying withcertain forms in and aspects of magazines in order to make themedia product look realistic, I felt it was important to challengesome conventions to aid my magazine in looking original and unique,fitting in with the edgy, modern indie-rock persona I was hoping tocreate.In my introductory spread, although many music magazines willinclude a short blurb here, I decided not to as I felt my striking imageand the pun in my article title made a really exciting, dramatic impactthat may have been effected by a section of text. With the DPSarticle itself, I challenged typical conventions in a similar way to theNME article I analysed as I felt it was a really different, interestinglayout and I want my magazine to stand out; my text begin at the topof the left third with pictures along the bottom. However, I thenincluded an image at the top of my second page with the textbeginning below this to follow the eye-line of readers, carrying themseamlessly from one page to another. I did not come across any DPSarticles that positioned their photos in this manner. Additionally, Iinserted my photo captions vertically rather than horizontally so asnot to take away from the images but still provide some explanationand humour. I used the symbol ‘#’ in my fans question section inreference to twitter, a site my youthful audience will be familiar withand thereby instantly recognise.
- Prior to the design and distribution of my questionnaires, I decided that my musicmagazine would be directed at a youthful audience of both genders aged betweenapproximately 15 and 25. With successful music magazines such as Q and NME targetingaudiences primarily in their 20s and 30s, I wanted to emulate the polished sophisticationand serious journalism of such pieces whilst adding my own contemporary, edgy twist tomake my magazine relevant to younger music fans.- Constructing questionnaires according to these ideas, the results I received showed thatthe majority of my target audience were interested in indie-rock music so I wanted tofocus my magazine on this genre. As one of my favourite types of music, I was confident Icould create a piece that would encompass the indie-rock look and entice other fans ofthis particular genre.- With the decision to create such a magazine, I began to focus my attention on othermagazines of the indie-rock genre such as Q, NME, Billboard and Rolling Stone.
In both successful indie-rock musicmagazines and my own target audiencefeedback, artists and bands such asFlorence and the Machine, The PrettyReckless, Laura Marling, Ben Howard, TheKillers and Coldplay prevailed as extremelypopular.Therefore, I felt it was really important touse these figures and their overall ‘look’ asinspiration when creating musicians for myown magazine because they would thenappeal to the target audience and add tothe credibility of my piece.As you can see, I’ve included pictures ofthe popular stars teenagers and youngadults listen to that depict the genre Iwanted to portray in my music magazine.
The colour scheme employed throughout mymagazine also conveys the audience I am aiming toattract and thereby the social groups I amrepresenting. For example, I depicted the majorityof my text in black on the inner pages of mymagazine as this colour is habitually associatedwith the rock genre and by contrasting this darkshade and white with a hot pink and icy turquoisethroughout my media product, I feel as though Ihave created a modern, edgy colour combinationthat reflects my indie-rock genre. Similarly, through doing so, I was able to quickly established my contemporary House Style. I feel like my magazine may predominantly appeal to females through the use of the colour pink and focus on a female artist, however the inclusion of black and male artists on the contents page ensures that the magazine is appropriate for either genre.
NRS stands for National Readership Survey, NRS is a not-for-profit company which is fundedby the UK Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), Newspaper Publishers Association(NPA), and Periodical Publishers Association (PPA). They use grade definitions to classify anddescribe social groups/classes especially in consumer targeting and research.As my target audience is aged between 15-25, my readers will tend to be pupils in school,students in university or young professionals so with this in mind, by using the gradedefinitions I can see that my music magazine will appeal to those in categories B, C1 and C2.
The images I have shot of my main artist represent a socialgroup; her leather jacket, dark make-up and electric guitarconvey the indie-rock genre and therefore teenagers andyoung adults of the same interest will be able to interact withand relate to the photos. Whilst I wanted some of them toshow fun, natural poses, I made sure others were serious andas professional as I could manage to reflect the fact that mymagazine is a serious music piece.
The media institution that might distribute my magazine must obviously specialise in the distributionof magazines already, some of the leading magazine distributers in the UK include IPC Media, BauerMedia and Emap. Each of these companies are well established in the magazine industry,successfully distributing magazines spread across a wide range of genres, for example music,fashion, home, sport etc; I felt it was important to research each one in order to determine whichwould be best to distribute my magazine.
- The Bauer Media Group is Europe’s largest privately owned publishing group. It is a worldwide, multi-platform media empire consisting of many companies collected around two main divisions – magazine and radio – widely recognised and rewarded as being industry innovators. - Bauer Media owns a huge number of influential media brands spanning a wide range of interests, including heat, GRAZIA, Closer, MCN, FHM, Parkers, MATCH, Magic 105.4, Kiss 100, Kerrang! and Q. - Their selection of over 300 magazines are available in 15 BAUER MEDIA countries, as well as online, TV and radio.can connect andengage 19 million - Worldwide circulation of Bauer Media Groups magazineconsumers every titles amounts to 38 million magazines a week. week with influential - Bauer Media have a unique insight into the media industry, brands. allowing them to work closely with their customers.
IPC MEDIA - IPC Media is a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom, with a large portfolio selling approximately 350 million copies ofproduces over 60 magazines each year. iconic brands; - IPC Media produces over 60 iconic media brands, with print alone reaching 2/3’s of their almost two thirds of UK women and 42% of UK men – almost 26 million UK print reaches adults – while their websites collectively reach over 20 million users every month.women in the UK. - IPCs diverse print and digital portfolio focuses on three core audiences: men, Their website mass market women and upmarket women. reaches over 20 - Their media products directed at men include: COUNTRY LIFE, HORSE AND million users per HOUND, RUGBY WORLD and NME. - Their media products directed at women include: LOOK, NOW, CHAT, month. WOMAN,TV TIMES and TV & SATELLITE WEEK.
sly distributed - Emap is a business-to-business multiplatform media group, whose brandsEMAP previou zine MOJO, the music maga inform, inspire and connect within the sectors they operate in. For millions ccessful. Thiswhich is very su music magazin e has a of people across the globe involved in the built environment, retail, media, , ulation of 100 fashion, health, education, government and automotive sectors, Emap readership circ to be a very 507; proving it provides essential news, analysis and access. d, well well establishe , gazine. In 2006 distributed ma g of the - It has 20 magazines, including: Architects Journal, Architectural Review, at the beginnin had an Broadcast, Construction News, Drapers, Health Service Journal, Local recession they me of operating inco Government Chronicle, Nursing Times, Retail Week, Recycling & Waste £223 million. approximately Management and Screen International.
- Whilst institutions such as Emap are undoubtedly successful in their distribution of magazines, I feel that their focuson built environment, retail, media, fashion, health, education, government and automotive sectors directed at adultsand older markets renders them unsuitable for distributing my media product, a music magazines.- IPC Media could be a better choice for the distribution of my magazine with their pieces reaching almost 26 millionadults in the UK and their websites attracting over 20 million – my media product would be well circulated and itsother media outlets effectively promoted. However, I feel that Bauer Media would be the definitely best media institution to distribute my product; this company distributes both Q and Kerrang! Magazine which are extremely successful magazines of the music genre – as exemplified by the fact alone that Kerrang! enjoys a readership circulation of 134,000 whilst Q has a readership circulation of 130,179. As my media product is also a music magazine, Bauer Media would obviously be familiar with how to promote and distribute such pieces and thereby it would have a better chance of being successful! Furthermore, from my research, I can also see that Bauer Media has been involved in media platforms other than just magazines, they have a radio channel which could be used to promote my magazine as they have previously done with Q and Kerrang! The genre of the magazine will also be instantly recognisable if it is being promoted through a radio institution, which would bring the magazine to the attention of my target audience in a fun and direct way.
With the aid of my music magazine analysis and questionnaires, I determined that my magazine wouldbe aimed at a target audience of both genders, predominantly females, aged between approximately15 and 25. Although this may initially seem like quite a wide-ranging age group, I wanted to create amagazine that would appeal to all young music fans; whether they be students in school or universityor young professionals emerging into the working world, a good knowledge of the music industry, apassion for the rock-Indie genre, gigs/festivals and a desire to find the latest news on current andupcoming artists connects them, and this is what I wanted to provide. I ensured that all of the pictures, fonts and colours utilised across my media product would appeal to such an audience as well as the magazines style and layout – as I will go on to discuss in the next question.
- To help me understand who the audience for my media product is, I created a questionnaireabout my ‘Ideal Reader,’ allowing me to get an inside look at their lives; lifestyle, hobbies,favourite foods and products etc. as it is crucial for all magazines to be in touch with their readersand know exactly who is buying their product. Ideal Reader profiles are established accordinglyas a general reflection of one of their typical buyers and the interests of such a figure can then beutilised to approach and persuade various companies to take out advertisements on their pages.- In order to ensure that my Ideal Reader Profile was realistic and authentic, I compiled of acomprehensive list of questions for my questionnaire ranging from What is your favourite fizzydrink? and How do you purchase the latest music hits? which are associated with products andservices – the companies offering these could be possible advertisers for my magazine – to Whatis your occupation? and What do you like to do in your spare time in order to gain a better ideaof the lifestyle and personality of my ideal reader. The feedback I received not only provided information about certain brands and products my target audience like – which could be shown to companies to encourage them to advertise in my music magazine – but the questionnaire was also very helpful in determining what type of people will be reading the magazine - with this knowledge, I was then able to create my Ideal Reader profile which I have included in the following slide!
Laurie lives and breathes Whether it be through themusic – a 20 year old medium of TV, radio orstudent, studying media newspaper, Laurie recognisesjournalism in London, she is the day she can go to work in a pair of Christian Louboutin’s asconstantly updating the vast true success but in thelibrary of songs on her iPod meantime enjoys shopping inand dreams of going on to high street stores such asreview the newest albums, TopShop, h&m and Primark –biggest gigs and best and holds down a job in Newfestivals in the world! Look to fund this passion forAs a teenager, Laurie’s taste in fashion, music and in particularmusic began to develop when the purchase of an electricshe received her first guitar – guitar.learning to play induced thediscovery of and appreciation Laurie is single and loves thefor a whole range of nightlife London has to offerinstrument-strumming artists: throughout the year, choosingfrom Bob Dylan to Ben to alternate between going outHoward, she now looks to to clubs to dance and pubs forLOUD for the latest singer intimate gigs at the weekendsongwriters to hit the scene and if anything will be sippingand indeed news from those on a Malibu and sprite. Herthat are most famous around summer months are spentthe world. back home in Ireland, where she tunes into Cool FM radioHer list of most played tunes is station and makes sure toeclectic mix of edgy rock-indie attend Oxegen festival, anperformers such as Florence experience she loves – as welland the Machine and Mumford as squeezing in a girls holidayand Sons and loves the fact that to her best friend’s luxuriousLOUD covers such styles. apartment in Portugal!
I wanted to find out as much as possible about my target audience so that I could then create a magazine that wastailored specifically to their preferences, encouraging them to buy it, which would result in a successful mediaproduct! Questionnaires are a really effective way of doing this as they provide first-hand information from thetarget audience, therefore I created two which were each handed to twenty people within the target age-limit.- I constructed a ‘Design Decisions’questionnaire to help me discover exactlywhat my audience expected and indeedwanted from the music magazine. I asked 13questions which were concise and to thepoint to allow for easy, quick answering on arange of aspects involved in magazine frontcovers, contents pages and double pagespreads.- I was really happy with the results I receivedas they proved extremely useful in helping toshape and inspire ideas for my own piece, Inow had a clear idea of what my targetaudience desired which was important asthey are the people who will be buying themagazine and thereby determine if it will besuccessful or not – their opinion is absolutelycrucial!
As shown on my blog, I constructed tables on Excel for each of the questions and answers 12 Masthead from my questionnaire in order to be able to 10 Main Image analyse the results effectively. 8 Freebies The vast majority of people involved in the 6 Coverlines questionnaire said that the main image was 4 Colours what caught their eye on a magazine front 2 Music Artists Listed cover so I knew I needed to focus on 0 1 capturing a really striking shot. They also said they wanted to see a solo artist featured which influenced my decision to feature a single musician on the cover. 16 By asking questions like Solo Artist Interviews 14 ‘What would you like to Band 12 Upcoming gigs and tours be featured in the 10 Gig reviews magazine?’ I was able to 8 6 get a really good idea of CD reviews 4 coverlines and articles to 2 Tips on how to succeed include that would rdingI asked questions rega in the music industry 0 attract my target and both the front cover Celebrity gossip and 1 stories audience. for inner pages! See blog all tables + analysis
Through my questionnaires, I also found that my target audience are really interested in the latest mobile phones,laptops and other such gadgets and purchase the majority of their music through downloads – this conveys thefact that my readers are up to date with technology and enjoy using the internet which is not surprising given thatwe live in a world that is becoming ever more technologically advanced, and indeed dependent, by the day.Therefore, I felt it was important to include aspects such as the magazines website address and Facebook andtwitter sites as well as a subscription website in order to create a media product that is current and relevant fortoday, appealing to my target audience of students and young professionals.As you will have seen, I included a bar along the bottom of all the inner pages of my magazine – as is done in pieceslike Q which also aim to attract young readers – that featured these websites so that my audience would beencouraged to go check them out when they are catching up with friends on their favourite social network, whichis likely to be often, as BBC studies recently found that 83% of those in their teens and early twenties were likely tolog into sites such as Facebook up to 10 times a day. Indeed Q’s Facebook page has received over 22,000 likes withtheir Twitter enjoying 51,437 (and rising!) followers, showing that young people enjoy interacting with theirfavourite magazines across a range of media platforms. The bar runningalong the bottom Close-up of of inner pages websites featured!
As mentioned, in the answers received from my ‘Design Decisions’ questionnaire, my target audience listed the image on amagazine as what grabs their attention first which is why it was key to make my pictures professional, edgy and appealingfor readers, instantly portraying the indie-rock genre so that they would be attracted to my media product. From my ‘Design Decision’ questionnaire, I also found that I wanted to create different looks for each girl so that the band the majority of my target audience wanted to see a solo artist would seem unique, contemporary and edgy: I dressed one on the front cover so, with the knowledge that my readers model in a skirt and jumper and another in a dress and a top will be predominantly female, I created a female singer with the final girl in wet look leggins and a blouse. In named Ella Dean. As she is in her early twenties and from constructing the outfits, I made sure that each included strands humble beginnings – as highlighted in the DPS – I felt it was a of blacks and pinks, ensuring that they looked like a real group persona the readers could easily connect to and interact whilst emphasising the rock-indie theme to appeal to my target with. audience! By featuring my artist in black leather garments with dark In taking photos of my drummer, I wanted my models clothes jewellery, voluminous hair and striking, smoky-eye make-up, to be understated and simple to reflect the fact that he is an edgy, indie-rock look is immediately depicted which will solely concerned with music and indeed that he is new to the appeal to the target audience and encourage them to delve music scene. I chose a simple white t-shirt, dark jeans and navy into the magazine! jumper to create the relaxed look and feel it was effective in portraying the fact that he is an upcoming artist which will attract my target audience!
As mentioned, my magazine is intended to appeal to all young music fans; whether they be students inschool or university or young professionals emerging into the working world, a good knowledge of themusic industry, a passion for the rock-Indie genre, gigs/festivals and a desire to find the latest news oncurrent and upcoming artists connects them, and this is what I wanted to provide.Therefore, my magazine reflects the assumption that thereaders are well informed about the music industry and theindie-rock genre, allowing me to use jargon and avoid slang ora childish tone, helping to establish the piece as professionaland serious about music. Also, with this in mind, I was able tomake my magazine more relevant and appealing to the targetaudience through the utilisation of a conversational, friendlytone and informal register throughout my pages, adding to theimpression of the writer and reader as music equals. I wantedmy DPS article to include interesting information that would beseen in successful music magazines such as Q or NME – Idiscussed the artists roots, how she has progressed throughthe music industry and indeed reached the stage of creatingher own tour – but ensured I kept it fun and contemporarywith direct audience address, short/snappy language and, asmentioned, a consistently informal, friendly tone which wouldmake the article more engaging.
In constructing my media product, I learned a huge amount about technologies: I had to utilise certainsoftware that I had used before so I was thereby able to develop my skills in these areas but we alsoused a vast range of technologies I had never come across. I found this learning process reallyinteresting, enjoyable and worthwhile as ultimately, it allowed me to create my final media product.Firstly, our Media Studies class had to learn how to use PBworks.com, a blogging site where we were toupload the various tasks and studies we completed as part of the process of creating our musicmagazine. Initially, I found PBworks quite confusing, struggling to organise my sidebar and uploadrelevant images and documents however, with more use, it quickly became very easy to navigatearound the site, upload work and edit pages. The blogs also allowed our class to review and commenton each others work, delivering constructive criticism and feedback. I arranged the main task on myblog under three headings in the sidebar: Research, Planning, Construction and Evaluation.
http://prezi.com/tndcuoudz7js/music-magazine-front-cover/ During the process of constructing my media product, I utilised an online brainstorming site I had never used before called Prezi, it allows you to create a mind-map presentation of ideas using alternating fonts, colourful shapes and arrows with the option of inserting images too. Simple and easy to operate, Prezi proved extremely useful when I was thinking of ideas regarding the different aspects of my magazine such as colour scheme, masthead, coverlines and slogan etc The software allowed you to review your ideas once you had finished with the ability to zoom in on certain areas and follow different paths around the mind-map which meant I could easily compare my ideas in a way that wasAbove is a screen shot of my Prezi, I created three much more fun and interesting thandistinct sections: one based on all my ideas for the if the brainstorm had simply been onfront cover, the other on ideas for contents pages paper.and finally, my ideas for the double page spread.
Another new technology I learned to use was an onlineprogramme called ANIMOTO, a video-making site whereyou can add your own text, images and music – I utilisedthis to create a short video that represented the genre ofmy magazine.I chose a vintage theme to reflect the edgy, cool persona Iwant my magazine to evoke whilst the soundtrack wasclassed under the indie-rock section on thewebsites music selection so obviously I felt it wasappropriate! I included images of a variety of artists thatrepresent the different types of musicians I would want mymagazine to cover - from the likes of Taylor Momsen of ThePretty Reckless and Florence Welsh of Florence and theMachine to The Wombats and Snow Patrol. I felt itimportant to feature the key elements I want my magazineto cover such as interviews, musicupdates, reviews and guides to festivals and gigs and wasreally pleased with the outcome as I feel it was a simple andyet very effective representation of the genre of my musicmagazine!http://animoto.com/play/bO2Jlv1OZtVJjgVBqmlqRQ ots from Some screen sh ideo my ANIMOTO v
As well as using technologies I was not familiar with, I did avail ofnumerous programmes which I had used before such as WindowsMicrosoft Word, Publisher, Excel and PowerPoint throughout theprocess of constructing my media product.For example, I used PowerPoint to bring together my research on mediainstitutions and distributers as well as the music magazine industry,effectively portraying the information in an exciting manner.I complied my questionnaires on Word and used Excel to create tablesbased on the answers which meant I could present my findings in amuch more interesting, vibrant way as well as allowing for easieranalysis and used Publisher to create flatplans for my various magazinepages – an essential step in creating the final media product.I also used DaFont.com to download fonts that could then be includedin the various sections of my media product to add interest and makethe pages look more exciting whilst still retaining a professional look.
With the help of some previous experience and the Preliminary task, I had a very basic idea ofhow to use Adobe Photoshop, however my knowledge of the software expanded enormously inthe construction of my media product as each of my pages was put together using it.Indeed I think this was the programme I learned most about, discovering a whole range of newtools and options which were invaluable in shaping the look of my music magazine andpersonally found it to be the most helpful.Photoshop allowed me to hugely enhance the images I included across my front cover, contentsand double page spread which was really important as, like the questionnaires showed, thepictures included in magazines are what draws the attention of my target audience.Amongst the wide range of tools employed, I used the polygonal lasso to outline my main artistslips and then adjusted the colour balance, saturation and levels in order to make them stand outin an eye-catching bright pink shade which I could then match to my masthead. The hot colourprovides an edgy contrast with the dark black and icy turquoise that also remain dominantthroughout my media product, creating a contemporary, indie-rock look which would appeal tomy target audience. I then edited the entire picture to make it more striking and professionallooking and completed the process with all pictures of her to create a sense of continuity.I also made frequent use of the colour sampler tool, spot healing brush tool, magic-wand tool,rectangular marquee tool, crop tool, rubber and brushes, text tool and free transform as well asadjusting the image settings on all of my photos.
Very basic outline of the steps I took to achieve the final look of my main image: - Polygonal lasso tool around lips, adjust image settings to make them bright pink - Polygonal lasso tool around eyes, emphasise dark eye shadow - Crop image - Adjust image levels - Adjust brightness/contrast levelsAn example of how I edited - Add drop shadowmy text to make it easilylegible against the backdrop - Add inner shadowof an image whilst creating - Add outer glowmore of a dramatic impact
Looking back on the front cover and contents page I created for my preliminary task, whencompared to my final media product, I feel I have made a massive improvement and thissignificant progression is reflected in my music magazine looking like a much more authentic,professional product.I have learned the importance of background-research in the progression from Preliminary Taskto full product; I carried out much more in-depth studies when conducting my main task, findingout about prominent media institutions and magazine distributers such as IPC Media, BauerMedia and Emap as well as successful music magazines such as Q and NME, providing me with aknowledge of the music magazine industry and indeed a solid base to create my own.Whilst I did analyse some school magazines in the construction of my Preliminary Task, I onlydecided to employ a very limited number of codes and conventions of such products which Ithink becomes obvious in my final pages – they do not look realistic. Whereas with my musicmagazine I completed number of detailed analysis of music magazines which helped me gain anunderstanding of the codes and conventions of such pieces, many of which I then tried toemulate in producing my media product in order to make it look like a professional magazine.I learned to use new programmes such as ANIMOTO, whilst developing my skills in MicrosoftWord, Excel, Publisher and PowerPoint as well as in software like Photoshop and Prezi.
Through the experience of conducting a ‘photo shoot’ in my Preliminary Task, I learned about theproblems that can come up when trying to capture an effective image such as how difficult it is todirect a friend, inefficient lighting and setting, overly basic/unrealistic photo shoot plan etc. and sowas able to prepare for and address such anomalies in taking the photos for my main task. I feel thatthe vast improvement in shots is evident which was a crucial step as my target audience listed thefirst thing they notice about a magazine as the pictures on it. I also felt I progressed hugely in myunderstanding of what type of photos and shot-types are used in magazines as well as the fact thatshooting against a clear background can ensure a much more polished, professional final look.The improvement in photos was helped enormously by my improvement in Photoshop; looking backon my Preliminary Task, in terms of the front cover, I now feel it looks very childish and unrealisticwith the fact that my model has an outer glow making the separation between her and the picturebehind her too obvious. The coverlines I included do not stand out against the background and insome cases are difficult to read, with an unnecessary amount of blurb. These were all difficulties Iprogressed from in creating my main task where I utilised a striking, edgy close-up of my model to fillthe entire page, I then employed my background-research on music magazines in working hard toconstruct short, snappy coverlines to surround the image, supplying each with a drop shadow/innershadow or other in order to make them stand out and clear to read.I was able to edit my images to much better effect in the main task also, having not really alteredtheir settings when conducting the Preliminary Task – enhancing my photos was a key step as it madethe music magazine look much more edgy and authentic.
I also feel I have learned a huge deal about appealing to target audience in the progression from Preliminaryto Main Task; with my school magazine, I focused on no particular genre or topic, instead aiming it broadlyat all sixth-form students in the school, however, in my main task I conducted extensive audience researchusing questionnaires and class feedback in order to establish a clear, concise idea of the genre of mymagazine, how to reflect this and indeed how to attract my youthful, indie-rock target audience.On looking back at the two tasks, I followed no particular House Style in my school magazine and didn’teven include the same fonts – I now realise this would never be seen in a real magazine, continuity frompage to page is something buyers of any magazine expect therefore my final media product is much morerealistic. I established and emphasised a House Style that I felt would appeal to my target audiencethroughout all aspects of my pages, for example the striking contrast between my dominant colours ofblack, hot pink and light turquoise created a really edgy, contemporary feel. I also utilised the same fontsacross the piece, choosing to depict my masthead, contents title and page numbers in a pink, retro text infront of a black splatter of paint – further adhering to my colour scheme. I also feel I appealed to myaudience through the informal register and friendly, conversational tone employed throughout, readeraddress was not something I hugely considered in my Preliminary Task but my research of magazineshighlighted its importance.In conclusion my knowledge of print media, specifically music magazines, has increased greatly due to thetime and effort that I have put into creating my cover page, contents page and double page spread for mymusic magazine, a process I thoroughly enjoyed. This experience has allowed me to gain confidence in myanalysing and editing and has thereby hugely increased my capabilities as a media studies student.