As Media Foundation Portfolio Evaluation by Charlotte Perkins
For my media project, I chose to do a print product. My music magazine is based on the genre of a Rock Magazine
Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? In all real life print media products, there are conventions that the magazines follow, regardless of their genre. All have a set of “rules” that they follow in order to keep in with the audiences expectations and make the magazine successful things like mastheads, direct address, and strap lines are some of the more common and noticeable features of magazines. Although my magazine needs to be unique, it also has to follow conventions in order to look like a genuine product <ul><li>A common list of conventions includes: </li></ul><ul><li>>An easily memorable logo/ phrase or style we associate with the magazines name </li></ul><ul><li>A mode of address that would be acceptable depending on the genre </li></ul><ul><li>Eye catching designs on the front cover and contents page to sell the contents. </li></ul><ul><li>Different colours, images and fonts to express the genre. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Photography, or as close to. </li></ul><ul><li>>A independent house style created through al of the above </li></ul>
As my target audience was teens and young adults aged between 16-25, I thought that a rock magazine would be a good genre to choose as rock music is popular with allot of younger people. Although through my research I found that the rock genre is already well catered for. This would suggest to me that this particular area of the market is doing well. Below are two examples of magazines within the rock/pop rock genre. Both have very obvious conventions that they both follow. Both have direct address, strap lines, bright eye catching colour schemes, both with big name bands on the front covers that are popular in the world of rock currently. The magazines below don't specifically seem as though they are intended to have one singular audience, e.g. males of females, this would most likely be to widen the market for consumers and increase profit. In my work, it was my aim to create a music magazine that would appeal to predominantly a female audience. This is my USP. As the market currently only really has focus for both genders and male audiences, there is nothing specifically for females.
Unique Selling Point (USP) Although magazines must follow conventions in order to retain audience expectations, it is important for each one to be unique in a slightly different way, whether its aimed at females specifically, is catering for niche group or it could be something as simple as a colour scheme that makes it stand out from the crowd The USP for my media product is to be aimed specifically at a female audience. I did this by carefully selecting my colour scheme and chose colours that would appeal to a female audience. Selecting images to go into my magazine that would appeal to a female audience and creating a product that a female rock/pop rock fan could recognise with.
How my work challenges/follows conventions- Front cover My product Typical music magazine Masthead displayed is distinctive and stands out Strap lines normally have small text, mine conforms with this idea Female presence on the front cover. This challenges normal conventions as usually it is a male presence displayed on the font cover. However, mine does conform with the use of direct address Variety of images and font types used to keep the front cover interesting.
Contents page This contents page from NME is very Conventional as it is very cluttered, there are lots of images and is broken down into easy to read sections and therefore makes it easy for a reader to find what they want in the magazine My contents page does not conform as much to expected conventions. It is not cluttered as I believe this draws attention to what is in the magazine rather that creating a need to look everywhere at once. Mine only has a few pictures related to the biggest stories. Mine does conform with the main story’s image being the biggest and most dominant image on the page and it is not uncommon for a contents page to have an editorial letter somewhere on it. Magazine logo reinforces brand logo Relevant images Selection of various images Eye catching coloured font that stand out
Main feature article Introductory paragraph. This sets the scene and is common in most music magazines. Text grabs. Out of context theses often seem bizarre and entice a reader to read the whole article to find out what they actually mean One main picture is displayed an accompanied by other smaller related pictures Manipulation of images . I have not conformed to conventions here as I have chosen to enhance the bruise on her cheek, rather then Photoshop™ it out. I wanted to create a page that was beautiful and thought that rather trying to hide the bruise, I should emphasise it. Shock features are associated with rock also. Title is a bright colour in comparison to other things on the page as to grab the readers attention Drop caps. This creates a professional look to an article. Very common in magazines of any kind. I did not use drop caps in my work. Logo. The use of the magazine logo or name create a recognisable image for readers to identify with . Column structures conventional. 3 columns is common in most magazines
Q2: how does your magazine represent particular social groups Stereotypes are a way that the media producers of T.V, radio, film and print represent a section of society by creating an expectation of a persons behaviour through how they dress, act and sometimes how they speak. In my music magazine I am representing three stereotypes: Rockers: who are stereotypically seen as drug taking, wild, promiscuous, often have no religious belief of seen to worship the devil, are associated with anarchy and re alcoholics Females: females are often seen stereotypically as, caring, kind, loving, fashionable, beautiful, weak, intuitive, emotional and cautious. Celebrities: Are often seen as beautiful, something to aspire to be like, god like in some cases, and often seen as sex icons. The overall groups my magazine represents are female rockers I believe that these stereotypes are commonly associated with the industry that my magazine is attempting to break into.
In modern society, the rocker stereotype is clearly defined and even though a person may not realise it, by looking at someone and saying he or she looks like a rocker or a emo, they are using stereotypes. This is because we associate what we see on TV and magazines with people we see on the street. <ul><li>Here are a few images to show a stereotypical female rock chick image. >Generally, short or very long blonde hair is associated with rock chicks. </li></ul><ul><li>Dark clothing such as black, red, and purples. </li></ul><ul><li>tattoos </li></ul><ul><li>heavy eyes makeup and either black or red lipstick </li></ul><ul><li>large sunglasses </li></ul><ul><li>lacy clothing such as fishnet or sheer tights </li></ul><ul><li>Denim clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Large boots or Doctor Martins (Doc Martin) shoes. More commonly known as Doc’s </li></ul><ul><li>However, rock chicks are commonly grouped with the gothic and emo, therefore styles tend to overlap. </li></ul>Below is a shot of my model wearing what I believe to be stereotypically rock chick Clothing. She has on big boots, sheer black tights, a corset style top with a lacy black cardigan over the top and short bleached blonde hair. Some of these items admittedly do dip into slightly gothic, however, most of the outfit conforms with the expected rock chick image.
Celebrity stereotype's in magazines The celebrity stereotype of females in magazines is often shown as perfection. The females often have flawless skin, created by a combination of makeup and photoshopped images. They are usually skinny and wearing the latest in fashion for the genre they are associated with or wear clothes that are fitting and look good/ or are vintage. Female celebrities are seen as positive role models and people, no matter what their age, look up to them and strive to be as successful, beautiful and as influential as them. Hayley Williams is a good example for me to use as she is within the genre I chose to represent through my magazine. She is often featured in Kerrang! magazine. With her band Paramore. The photos of her usually have her as the focus and portray her as perfect. Her makeup is simplistic, but flawless and creates the illusion of perfection. In my main feature, I chose to create an image of perfection, but I did not remove the bruise on the cheek, I actually enhanced it in Photoshop. This was to push forward the fact I believe that you should not be ashamed of imperfection and incorporated it as part of my feature. I chose to flaunt, not hide it.
“ Rock chick” representation in my magazine. These are the un edited images that I used in my magazine. They represent well to me the rock chick image as the colours used, red and black, are typically associated with the rock style. Her costume is important as it’s Rock/ Goth style will appeal to a broader audience and her hairstyle is typical of a rock chick. Short blonde and slightly spiked hair is very common. I have challenged however the rock image with the use of rose petals in the image used on my main feature page. I did this to create an image that combined a stereotypical rock chick with something a little calmer. This was to draw away from the negative stereotype of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
Q3:. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? For any media product to become successful, it needs to be distributed by companied with the facilities to distribute it to a larger audience. This might me nationwide or global. In my case I would need to find an institution which would be able to distribute my media product to a large audience. Below are a few example of popular institutions:
I feel that IPC Media would be a perfect distributor to have produce my music magazine as they produce similar products such as NME magazine. NME magazine is of a different genre to my music magazine so fell that ICP MEDIA would be more than likely to take on a new music magazine with a different genre to the ones it already has in its extensive portfolio. As there appears to be a gap in the market under IPC books for a more female orientated rock magazine, this would be the perfect distributor to take on my media product.
Q4: Who would be the audience for your media product? Before even beginning to design my magazine, I needed to decide who I wanted to aim my magazine at. I did this by examining the prices of other magazines I intended to model off and looking at demographic profiles, and using Young and Rubicam’s psychographic profiling techniques, I managed to get a good idea of who my target audience are. Young & Rubicam’s. Young and Rubicams theory is based on groups within society. There are five types: Mainstreamers, Aspires, Succeeders, and the individuals. My target audience is most likely in the individual group as they do not follow top 40, are not likely to have top position manegers jobs and wont aspire as much to be like the big name artists. It would seem appropriate that those who would read my magazine are most likely teenager between the ages of 13 through to 25 will probably vary on the Socio-Economic scale. However, they are likely to fit in the groups D or E Its also important to take into consideration Demographic profiling also: G gender- the gender for my magazine is to be target at females R race – white/ Caucasian most likely, but is open to any race A age 12- 25 as I feel that a large portion of this age groups listen to rock and pop rock S Socio economic status categories d and e Through demograhic and psychographic profiling, I have a pretty clear idea o who my media product is aimed at. Primarily it is aimed at 12-25 year old females who listen to pop rock and rock who have a low paid job or are unemployed and likely to be in education.
Q5: How did you attract/ address your audience? Other band names on the front cover to encourage readers to buy it to find out about this band, even if they are not interested in the main cover story Brightly coloured fonts in capitals to grab the readers attention .The word win in red stands out and this will make a reader want to buy the magazine to be in with a chance of winning a cool prize Strap lines are used in order to name other attention grabbing thins such a chances to win prizes and other band names quickly and easy. They make it easy for the reader to digest information Direct address, this helps a reader link with the star on the front cover and draws them into the magazine. It creates a friendly and welcoming effect. Other images give the readers clues to other stories that are inside the magazine Layering techniques create the illusion that the star on the front cover is popping out of the magazine
Magazine logo on the corner of the page helps the audience recognise a brand name and may attract them to a easily recognisable brand in the future Editors letter with a signature attracts readers by creating a personalised and friendly feeling. Text broken up into sections makes it easier for the reader to fin what they are looking for, but the use of lots of text attracts a reader as it makes the reader feel as thought there is plenty to see Text on slanted angles attracts readers by creating a slightly informal feel Direct address on all the pictures attracts readers by inviting them in with eye contact Attractive “celebrities” attracts readers by the readers wanting to be like them or wanting to know about their idolised star.
Recognisable logo attracts readers by feeling familiar with a brand icon Promotion of products address and attracts the readers by giving them something to aspire to have Simple layout of text makes it easy to follow Edited images, sharpened and colour enhances attract readers by creating a sense of professionalism Three columns per page. A typical layout for a magazine Girly, curvy font. This will attract the female audiences and it addresses them on an emotional basis of femininity. Text grabs highlight important parts of the text and catch the readers eye. It also makes the reader curious so it attracts the to want to read the article. My journalistic style is quite informal and chatty, most of the article is recounting the event with a few quotes. Unlike others that are question/answer throughout. One of my audience feedback questionnaires said “This sounds like something id read in Kerrang!” The single shocking image grabs the attention of the readers.
Positive ideologies... <ul><li>>The rock and roll image is shown as less outlandish and more of an idiotic way of life. This is mentioned in my main feature article </li></ul><ul><li>The article provides insight into the life of the star. Showing her as down to earth an it shows the readers that she has a real life story and is not a fabricated character . </li></ul><ul><li>friendly and caring personality is shown throughout </li></ul><ul><li>positive role model as she is someone to aspire to be like. successful, responsible and a good character. </li></ul>Audience feedback: “I really like the way she is presented, she turned her life round, its so cool”
Negative Ideologies... <ul><li>There is slight promotion of a rock and roll lifestyle in the earlier parts of the article. But this is turned around by a near death experience </li></ul><ul><li>the models short skirt could to a younger audience portray a provocative image you young girls </li></ul>Audience feedback: “Although her past was a bit bad like doing drugs, she isn’t like that anymore. She’s a good role model.
Q6: What have you learnt about technology from the process of constructing this product? The whole process of creating my media product for me has been a very big learning curve. I had to work with design programs I had never used before, and I had never heard of InDesign let alone used it before! In my research and planning I used technologies such as Google to research, YouTube was a useful tool also and Blogger to record all of my ideas, research and plans on. When it came to the practical stage of creating the magazine itself, I used a wide range of technologies. I used my own camera from home, SD card to store the images on, the colleges Apple Macbook laptop to upload the pictures to and edit them in Photoshop . When it came to Photoshop, I was really stuck so used YouTube for tutorial videos and help guides. I found this a really useful and user friendly way of learning how to use Photoshop. After I overcame my problems with Photoshop I then came to use InDesign to create the layout of my pages. I found using InDesign quite easy and didn't have many problems using it. In photoshop. I learnt how to use tools like curves in order to change the colour of my whole image to give it a stronger colour. Also clone stamp tool to cover up un wanted blemishes, and magi eraser to create a soft faded glow around the edge of my image. Overall, the most useful piece of technology I used was my USB stick . I found it very useful in between doing work at home and work at college for my project.
Q7: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Prelim task Final Product :) Looking back and comparing my work, it’s clear to see that my work has improved alot sine beginning with my preliminary task. Although my final product still has flaws, it is a marked improvement from my first attempt. My preliminary task was made in around half an hour so there wasn't much planning done in comparison to my final product which has weeks of planning and research behind it. Although, some thought was put into my preliminary task.
Title isn't even on the page properly Very little on the front cover Barcode does not look professional. Its in the wrong place. Only two fonts used Cut out is bad, there is still some white from the background Title and masthead look professionally done with a stand out font Variety of images, unlike preliminary task. Barcode looks more authentic. A good cut out of the image, its sharp and the colour is strong. Captions sound exciting, unlike preliminary task.
Conclusion! =) Overall. My finished product has exceeded my expectations‘, really happy with the way it turned out and the look of it. When I first started my research and planning stage, I thought I was going to really struggle using the college Mac-books to do work on as I had never used one before, along with the software. I struggled using Photoshop at first along with Indesign. But once I had grasped were all the tools were for what I needed to do, e.g. cutting out and erasing I found it really easy. Through using certain tools on Photoshop such as the burn tool, curves, magic eraser and the sponge tool, I managed to create some photos that I think look quite professional. Throughout creating my product I kept in mind my colour scheme to appeal to females and in the end, this did pay off and show through as my audience questionnaire shows. – “I like the purples and pinks. There not too girly, but they are nice” I am aware the my finished product has weaknesses. For example, the contents page could do with more images and more text on it and overall, I am aware that there are spelling mistakes throughout, however, from my audience feedback questionnaire, I can see that people really enjoyed my work. The audience feedback questionnaire really made me happy when I discovered that people thought my main feature article sounded genuine. “ I have thoroughly enjoyed making my music magazine and learning about new technology and programs like In Design and Photoshop.