1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Front Cover My front cover mostly uses conventional methods that you would expect to find on any magazine. I stuck with a simple title at the top, followed by a series of smaller ‘Sub titles’ and then a picture for the background. The most unconventional method I used is the various coloured text you will find, which I believe helps to attract the unsuspecting shopper to my front cover. Conventional Pug Multi-coloured font
Contents Page My contents page follows the most conventional format out of my three media products. It has a simple two-colour font, with the text going down the page in list(numerical) order. To show the conventional format of my contents, I found an example from ‘Q’ magazine, which follows a similar format to mine. Text list Page numbers One main image
Double Page Spread My double page spread follows a similar format to most mainstream magazines. I decided to go with a simple background image with my main colour theme, and then simply place text boxes over the top. The image I used was large enough to link one page to the other, and a text box across the bottom links empty space to the image. The reason I chose this image is because it is outlandish and weird. The idea behind it was to create something so random it would make people stop and read the page whilst scrolling through the magazine. I then used two boxes to separate the two articles about the same person, one being a small interview and the other being a Q&A.
2) How does your media product represent particular social groups? Over my three media products, I was able to target one main social group, which is teenagers. My front cover is the best example of this, as I used an inquisitive image of someone who appears to be a ‘rocker/punk’ yet is playing the piano. This targets teenagers as it is a teenager in the picture, and the person is also wearing a school tie around their head, suggesting they are still in education and therefore under the age of 18. Another way my cover is targeted at teenagers is the bizarre colour scheme I used. Most of the colours I used were bright and stood out, which helped the ‘Free CD’ offer stand out from the rest of the cover. A third method to attract my target social group was to create a band called “Yer Mum”, which as any teenager today would know is the perfect response to any question. This shows that the magazine is humorous, and may attract the attention of the more immature readers.
These methods to attract the attention of my target social group show that they would be rather immature quirky people. I went for these outlandish methods as being a teenager myself, I know what the majority look for. Something completely random usually goes down well for those who haven’t matured as much as others. These methods also make my product fall into the typical teenage stereotype, that they’re all random immature people that go out and have fun every Friday evening. This could lead to my product getting a bad reputation from older readers who don’t like the teenage life, but they aren’t my target audience.
3) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? My media product would be aimed more towards digital distribution rather than anything else. My target social group, teenagers, use computers nearly every day, so the best way to attract their attention would be to distribute it online via social networking sites such as Facebook or Bebo. An example online media institution I found was ‘iDigitalEdition’, which creates contracts with magazine publishers to place their magazines online and provide a swift distribution system. This insitution would be best for my media product as they simply take the ‘Print ready’ magazine and convert it to a high-resolution PDF file for the publisher to distribute. Because I would be going straight for online distribution, I would be able to cut out the middle man and go straight to an institution like iDigitalEdition, who could then help me distribute it over the internet. Obviously their service isn’t a free service, therefore I would charge a small fee, probably slightly higher then whatever it cost to distribute it, making a small profit for each copy sold.
4) Who would be the audience for your media product? As stated in Question 2, my target audience is teenagers between the age of 13-18. This is because the majority of the magazine is rather bizarre, which fits perfectly for 13-18, as they’re just maturing and still laugh at people falling over etc. My front cover could also attract a more adult audience, as I went for a classic punk/school rebel picture, with a tie around the head to show rebellion against the typical uniform rules. This could release the inner-child in older teenagers, and encourage them to purchase the magazine.
5) How did you attract/address your audience? At this size, the reader can see the detail in the picture, which can make them curious as to what the magazine is about. A final effect is the title, with the word “Phrixus”, people are unsure of the definition, and enquire inside. All of the main headlines are big enough to read, but the smaller print is just faded out. My magazines front cover was designed to attract an audience of any age, as I used a series of colours to draw attention to it. However, because I opted for a digital distribution rather than physical, the front cover has to act by itself in an online store, or a thumbnail on an online networking site, therefore it had to be designed to be attention-pulling regardless what size it is in. Below are some samples showing the different techniques at different sizes. These images themselves act as advertisements for the magazine, that way the consumer knows exactly what they’re buying from the moment they see the advert.
My products were constructed as to attract teenagers easily.
The typical teenage stereotype falls into two categories:
Everyone goes out drinking on Friday nights, listens to loud music and rebels against their parents
Everyone has ASBO’s and hangs round on corners early in the morning and mugs people.
I decided to construct my products to advertise/fall into both of these stereotypes, by creating something completely random. The combination of a rebellious school student on the front cover, who is at the same time having fun attracts to both stereotypes.
My contents page on the other hand is more adult themed. The reason being is so people do not hang around to read the contents page, therefore they wouldn’t memorise the numbers of the articles they want to read, and would instead read the entire magazine from cover to cover. This means all the work put into the magazine is actually worth it, and gives authors that warm fuzzy feeling inside. However, I still kept the same colour scheme from the front cover, and used pictures of two students in their school uniforms, without ties, just to keep my target audiences interest in the magazine.
6)What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I have learnt about several different aspects of technology while I have been constructing my media products. Blogger: The first technology aspect I looked into was Blogger. I had heard about it previously but had never looked into it. What I learnt is that Blogger is quite possibly the easiest way to keep track of all of your work, and hand it into the teacher. Plus, it helps the environment as no work has to be printed. Slideshare: At the same time as learning about Blogger, I discovered a new website called Slideshare. Slideshare is a website which you can upload PowerPoint presentations to for easy distribution. This site proved useful during the construction of my blog, and allowed me to conduct and report my thorough research.
Adobe Fireworks: This is the largest technology aspect that I advanced in. I have worked previously with this program, but my skills greatly developed when creating my media product. During the construction of my product I mastered several new skills in the program, such as adding effects to photographs after they were taken, and positioning everything in a format that looks attractive. Digital Camera: The most minor technological skill advance was usage of the digital camera. I was an avid photographer before starting the construction of this media product, therefore I just had to apply my previous skills into this product. One advance that I did make was different lighting sources, and discovered that the best photos are taken with light from 3 different sources (excluding behind).
7)Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I believe I have progressed greatly compared to my preliminary task. During the entire creation process of both products, I managed to advance many skills in photo editing and photo taking. Below is a comparison of the two front covers: As you can see from my preliminary product on the left, my skills progressed vastly. Previously, I was just throwing everything together, hopping that it would fit, and would create an unconventional yet catching magazine. Unfortunately, this idea didn’t work, and just looked cheap. Therefore, I went with the more conventional formatting that you see on the right.
My final product also looked more authentic compared to preliminary, and even included a price/barcode pug. I learnt mostly about making an authentic magazine after peer feedback revealed that I had created an image, rather than a magazine. From peer feedback I also discovered the best way to target and attract your audience is to hold small surveys with a selection of people over what they think would be ‘best’. As my peers all fitted into my target audience, for aspects such as choosing the best font, I would ask which they believed was best, and the one with the most votes would be used. This way, I had at least some basis for the fonts/colours. The greatest advance I made between my preliminary to my final product was how to communicate with my target audience. I conducted research into other music magazines that were aimed at teenagers, and I was able to see that the majority prefer indie/rock, so this create a genre for my magazine, and allowed me to base communication on this by using music related images that linked to indie.