2. Products! Front Cover Double Page Spread Contents
3. Finally, with my cover I kept a large number of conventional features including the placement of a barcode, issue number and price. I kept these as they are seen in other magazines so it is easy for the reader to find them. However a feature which I added which I believe challenged some magazine conventions was what was coming up in the magazine in bullet points on the left hand side directly under the masthead. I placed these here not only because they gave the best look to the magazine but also because it allowed people to see them when looking at what the magazine was, so therefore if a reader wasn’t too interested in the main story they may see something else which interests them in the rest of the magazine. I believe my magazine generally follows a very conventional layout. It has four main colours (purple, black ,white & orange) which are used throughout. Limiting colours is conventional for a professional magazine as it makes the colour scheme consistent. I have over my development increased the amount of colours used due to the magazine looking bland. My front cover uses a very conventional masthead; I believe this is the case as the masthead is the largest text on the page and is placed at the top so it would be seen and instantly recognisable when placed on shop shelves. Another convention I have followed is having a main image which is a medium shot. This is a conventional shot which usually covers the whole background of the magazine. I believe I have developed the convention of this by cutting the background from this shot and placing it on a black background, which I developed by having the background lighter in the middle to soften the block colours. I decided to develop this convention as the original background of the image was unsuitable as it would detract from the main focus. Also on my front cover I have followed another key conventions; the splash being the second largest text on the page. I believe this works well due to the orange used making the splash stand out further. The first convention I followed was having a pug in the top right hand corner. However during the development of my magazine I decided to develop the convention of where a pug should be placed, I developed this by moving the placement of the pug by moving it further down the right hand side of the page. I found however that challenging this would not have any positive effect on the way my magazine looked. So therefore I did not use a pug on my magazine front cover. I decided to instead fill the space with stories which will be featured in this issue of the magazine. The second convention I followed was having a splash about the main story across the main image on the cover. I believe I developed this convention by the splash just being the artist’s name and then underneath I placed text in a different font and colour which further explained what the article was about. I did this so it was clear from the cover that the main importance of the article was the artist who was involved not the story they were telling. I believe this could also allow my magazine to look slightly different to other magazines of the same genre.
4. However within my contents page I decided to challenge a convention. I decided to have a long shot down the side of the contents, instead of several smaller images. I did this as I believe it allows the main cover story to be carried through. It also gave me the I did this to convey the image that the artist was presenting the content of the page. I believe challenging this convention went well as it gave my magazine an edge and become different. One convention I did follow was having an editor’s letter on the contents page introducing the magazine. Before placing the letter at the top of the page I developed the placement but believed that the best placement for the letter was the top of the contents page. I also decided to carry the masthead font through to the contents page to be the title, I carried this through so it gave the magazine a professional look throughout. As I believed if the magazine had too many fonts then it may start to look too crowded. I placed the title across the top of the page after trying many places. I also decided to split up my contents into many sections so pages were easy to find on the contents page. I also allowed pages to be more separate making the page look less crowded. I also decided to include a copy of the front cover which I then labelled up to find key pages on the cover, such as my double page spread. This was an important feature of my magazine content as it allowed my cover story to be promoted further. With this page I also decided to break down the block background making the contents page more pleasing to the eye and also introduced some orange to the page to liven the page and reducing how bland the page looked, which targeted my audience further.
5. A convention I decided to follow was placing the main headline across the top of the double page spread. However I decided to make half of the title in a slightly smaller text so my double page spread was given a unique style. Also with my title I decided that one block colour was not effective for my aim so therefore I decided to integrate another colour allowing the title. Overall giving the title a attractive look to my target audience. With my double page spread there were many conventions which could or could not be followed. My main inspiration for my magazine was Q so therefore I decided to stick more closely with their conventions. One convention I followed on my double page spread was the fact of having half of the spread as an image and the other half as a story, however in order to make this my own I decided to have the split on a slant. Also with this spilt I decided to have to different colours to break the page down. However I found that the block colours need breaking down further to make the magazine look more authentic. So therefore added softer light into the colours. Within the story on my page I decide to develop the convention of quotes and had larger quotes within my story. I also decided to have the words within the quotes to be different colours I believe this allowed them to stand out further showing the importance of the quote. There was also a main convention in which I followed however this convention is not seen in Q magazine which I took my main inspiration form. This convention was using a bold arrow to symbolise that the story continued on the next. I believe that this arrow works well as firstly it allows empty space to be filled giving a more professional look to the double page spread. I believe the arrow also allowed the magazine to have a fun look which clearly showed information at the same time, which I believe would work well with my target audience,
6. How does your media product represent particular social groups? Throughout my magazine I have decided to use chunky and some times bold text which I believed looked more clear on my page. I decided to do this to make reading the magazine easier but also I thought this type of font was suitable for my target market. I believe that a looped or swirled font was not suitable for my genre of magazine and that font would have been more suitable for a magazine targeted at pop music. The articles involved in my magazine heavily involve looking back on music history which I believe suggests that my target market enjoy looking back on old classic hits or events that have happened involving the artists from these hits. I decided to target my media magazine at 16-21 year olds who are interested in similar magazines such as Q. I believe the magazine suited mainly teenagers who were interested in new indie music. I decided to choose photos which I believe represent the group of new and young talent which is in the music industry especially breaking into the indie music business. I believe the purple and white tones target indie music lovers but with in that group mainly girls as this colour is associated with them more. However in recent years this could has also been heavily associated with men making it suitable for both males and females. However to make my magazine more appropriate to the younger end of my target audience I decided to introduce a bright orange to make the magazine look slightly younger with a rebellious edge. I believe that my magazine could suggest many things about my target audience. I firstly believe it suggests that they are very interested in music and the artists that write and sing the tracks not just what is the latest track in the charts. It could also show that they prefer a clear layout of a magazine which is just full of music they wish to hear about and artists that may be entering the industry not just who is the most famous band with the highest chart success. The main article in my magazine is about an artist re-entering the music industry and the story she has to tell from it, I believe this suggests that my target audience would like to see how the industry makes and breaks people. I believe the magazine also heavily suggests that the people reading my magazine will be interested in going to local gigs and listening to new and upcoming music, which is trying to make a break through.
7. Magazines can be distributed in many ways this can either be digital or sold in a news agents. Now 17% of magazine are distributed digital. With my magazine been aimed at a smaller target audience I may want to look at distributing this way in order to build up initial custom and try and keep costs down. I believe that I may want to initial have a month’s free trail of my magazine in order to generate knowledge of my magazine. And then after the months trail I will begin to charge £2.50, if the magazine gains success. I believe it will be beneficial to distribute my magazine on the internet. I believe this will gain most success at the start and will reduce my costs so it is easier to make a profit. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Music mags is a online distribution website which specialises in music magazines. Their website is www.musicmags.net . I decided to look at music mags because of the deals they offered. This is music mags home page on their website, when researching into music mags I thought the website worked really effective as it the layout was really clear and pleasing to the eye. When looking over the website I came across the services they could offer and the deals they offered. When looking at the services they offer one which caught my eye was the dealer zone which could be accessed each day between 8-4. The dealer zone on the website is where all magazines on offer can be seen, I believe this would be good for my magazine as it would be seen each time some enter the dealer zone. However this means that my front cover once again has to be my strongest element in order to stand out on the dealer page. Also with in the dealer zone there are helpful tips in order to maximise sales which I believe will be a greater support system to a brand new magazine such as mine.
8. The audience I am targeting and trying to attract is mainly teenagers to young adults aged 16- 21. When designing my magazine I didn’t initial want to target a specific gender but a music group, this group being people interested in indie music. However after completing my magazine I believe it has leaned more towards been targeted at young women (however not in the type of way a fashion or gossip magazine targets young women), I believe this due to the colours I have used and what could be seen as a young female icon as my main cover story. However I was also trying to attract young adults with a slight disposable income as I would be charging for my magazine (£2.50). Earlier when talking about who I wanted to attract to my magazine I talked about attracting a group of young adults which were interested in indie music, however when looking into my magazine in further detail I believe that I am trying to not only attract young adults interested in indie music but also interested in the history of that genre and events that have happened. My magazine shows I am trying to attract these people by my main article being about an artist returning to the music industry after a bad rocky past. Also within my front cover and contents there are such editions as looking back at the 90’s and seeing what the genre of music was like then and how successful it was. Who will be the audience for your media product ?
9. How did you attract or address your audience? I attracted and addressed my audience in many ways, I thought it was important to attract them in a variety of ways to improve the appeal of my magazine and hopefully improve sales. I also believe many different methods may be needed when promoting my magazine to also help boost sales. When trying to grab the attention of my target audience I would need to use advertising methods in order to promote the magazine. I believe that my magazine firstly only needed low key advertising as it was new to the market and such things as television advertisements would initially be to expensive. I believe I could firstly look into where I believe major sale would be made (e.g. internet/major cities) and then have a high concentrate of advertising and marketing based there. I believe a major resource which could be used in the advertising and marketing is the internet. This could be used to show the front cover of my magazine and show major details such as where it would be sold and how much it would cost. I also believe a major internet advertising base for my magazine could be social networking sites (facebook/twitter) as a high percentage of my target audience would be using these sites. When designing my cover my main objective was to include key features which could then be used to address my chosen target audience. The cover of my magazine has many features which attract my target audience. I believe my cover story could strongly appeal to my target audience as the main artist may be seen as a role model or icon and therefore may want to read the article inside.
10. I also believe that by changing my main cover shot I have allowed the artist to have direct eye contact with the reader, drawing the reader in to buy the magazine. Also with my cover I have used a limited amount of colours giving a more professional look which could attract more readers as the magazine will look like its worth paying £2.50 for. With my magazine and mainly my double page spread I had to make sure that the written language was appropriate and clear to the reader I was trying to attract. With my target audience I believe it was appropriate to use a slightly informal tone so they felt like part of the magazine team and at ease when reading the magazine. However, I still thought it was important to maintain the language and not use ‘slang’ or offensive language; this was to maintain the professional image of the magazine. So overall with the written language of the magazine I have decided to create a balance of informal chat however avoiding using ‘slang’ words. Also to attract my audience I decided through the development stages that I needed to add a larger range of colour however, I had to be careful how I completed this as too many colours could make my magazine look tacky. So I decided to keep my original colours of purples and whites and introduced a bright orange. I decided to introduce this colour as it allowed a vibe to be added to my magazine and it also was appropriate to the my target audience of indie. This also allowed for my magazine to appeal more to my target age of 16-21 year olds.
11. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? During the time I have spent on creating my magazine I have under gone a development stage in order to finish with my final products and during this development stage I have learnt many new skills and expanded skills that I already have. The process of the course work has seen me use software which I have previous had little or no experience with and push my skills with software and programmes I have used. The first programme which I had not directly used before was blogger, during my coursework I have used the internet blog site to present an e-portfolio of my work and the progress and development within my work. Before starting my coursework I had never complete a blog so this has allowed me to work on skills of creating a blog. This was the dashboard to blogger where I learnt how to complete new posts and edit old posts or posts which were unfinished. This was the main central for controlling my posts. It has also allowed me to build on writing skills as throughout my blog I have had to describe and explain what I have undergone in lesson in order for followers to understand the development. Also when using blogger it allowed me to work with another website/programme called slide share it was good to gain knowledge of how to use this as it allowed me to vary the easy in which I present work on my blog as it allowed me to upload power points and many other files .
12. Within fireworks I had developed many new skills the main skill being very basic, this skill was organising and judging the layout and trying to fit all appropriate information into the canvas size and maintain a professional image. Also when completing the photographs needed for my magazine I had a chance to develop my photography skills. From taking these photos I learnt how to use backgrounds and how a white background worked well when editing the photos. I also found that if the photos were taken in natural light then the colouring was more pure. I have also learnt from the coursework that it is important to consider the Mise-en-scene and if it fits with the image you are going for. For example when taking my photos I needed to ensure that the setting and the outfit of the model was correct for the theme of my magazine. And finally I learnt how to angle my photo and where to take it from. Within the construction of my magazine two main programmes were used, these programmes were Photoshop and fireworks. I have had a brief experience with both of these programmes, however in order to get to the stage of my final products I have had to develop new skills and work on old skills. So my magazine both appealed to my target audience and looked professional. Within Photoshop I have gained new skills of cropping and cutting photos so they are the right size and unneeded background is removed from the images. These skills involved me using such tools as the magnetic lasso and the eraser (and when block colours have been removed the magic wand tool could be used). Having a range of tools to use allowed me to gain the best finish of the image.
13. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Before completing my music magazine I completed a preliminary task of making a school magazine. Between this magazine and my music magazine there are major improvements and a more professional image can be seen. My school magazine followed many conventions of a magazine, for example the magazine had a traditional masthead on medium close up on the front of the magazine and a large masthead. However I believe the overall construction of the magazine was very poor. So from completing the preliminary task I have learnt many skills which helped me to produce a higher quality music magazine. When considering the technology used in creating a magazine there is drastic progress in the way I have used this technology. The first improvement I can see is the way in which I have taken the photo for my cover shot. Although the clothing is correct on both I believe the general set up of the photos have improved. When taking the photos for my music magazine I also used a higher quality camera which I believe gave a better quality photo, however the main reason for the second batch of photos working well was my better understanding of angles and lighting and how getting these two key factors right can dramatically improve a photo. When looking back over my school magazine I believe the main reason for the cover shot not working well was my lack of knowledge towards programmes which could help in editing the image. On my school magazine it is very visible to where my photo has been cropped and erased. The main reasoning for this issue is the fact that the outline and background was erased by hand using the eraser tool on fireworks, which meant an uneven and sharp edge was left visible around the image. However when my skills improved over the piece of coursework I was able to use Photoshop’s magnetic lasso to cut around the model and remove the background meaning that the image was cut much closer and by using the feathering tool the edge of the photo was much smoother and therefore lay on the background better.
14. I believe that both of my magazines attract their audience mainly with appropriate images and colours. My school magazine manages to use appropriate colours which match the school it is aimed at, however I believe the grey colouring of the front cove gives the magazine a dull and dirty colour which may push people away from reading the magazine. However I believe my music magazine has more professional colours so this may be more appealing to the target audience. Looking back on both of my contents pages there has also been many improvements from my magazine to my music magazine. I believe that overall my music magazine contents page has a better layout and more useful information. However I believe one strength for my school magazine was the way in which the images were laid out. A difference between my music magazine and my preliminary magazine was the fact that I used a logo on my school magazine. I believe it was very conventional to use a logo on a school magazine so it was very visible which school the magazine was for, however I believe it was not a main convention for a music magazine as the magazine was not targeted so closely. To conventions which appear on both of my magazine are a date and an issue number I thought this was key as it allows the audience to see which magazine they have and have not brought. As stated before both of my magazines use a traditional masthead, however I believe there is great improvement with in my mastheads. I believe my music magazine has an improved masthead as it is shorter so therefore people will remember it easier. Also on my music magazine the masthead is in a much bolder and bright text so therefore would be more visible if I choose to have my magazine for sale in the news agents.