Q1: In what ways does your magazine use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
skyline lead article main image masthead cover lines flash price/barcode
I placed my lead article in the middle, over the main image. This is something that runs constantly throughout magazines like Kerrang!, and the Stone Sour cover is no different. I also used a tagline to invite the reader in and interest them, just like Kerrang! does.
I put my cover lines in the left third so that the reader would be able to see them when the magazine is placed on a shelf (as this is the only part visible due to the way magazine are normally arranged). This follows what RockSound does – in this particular issue, the “plus” cover lines are more important than the art cards or the specific cover lines.
I followed another typical code and convention with my skyline by placing at the top, which is another common feature with Kerrang!’s front covers. I included the ‘FREE POSTERS!’ part in the left third rather than the ‘WIN GLAMOUR KILLS!’ part because, as shown in my survey before I made my magazine, free posters are something my readers value over competitions.
I included my posters in the left third because, again, in my earlier survey I found out that these are what my readers value. Kerrang! does this a lot too, and my readers also turned out to be readers of Kerrang! magazine, therefore I saw it necessary to include previews of the free posters, as well as the ‘FREE POSTERS!’ in the skyline, in my left third to attract my target audience even more.
I placed my Masthead at the top as is with typical with most magazines in general, including RockSound. I also used an eroded font which is typical of magazines that are of this particular music genre (pop-punk/rock). I also used an eroded-style brush to create a background for the words so that they stood out.
Like Kerrang! and many other magazines, I have included my magazine masthead in my contents. This reinforces that this is Lost in Stereo and keeps the name fresh in the audience’s mind. I chose to place it at the top so the audience it hit with it again almost right away. I also included ‘Contents’ as a title in an eroded font to make it clear that this is the contents page. This is similar to Kerrang!. My contents page is, like Kerrang!, half text and half picture, with a main article being the main picture, though mine is the lead article on the front cover, Kerrang!’s is the skyline article on the front cover. I chose my lead article for the main picture on the contents to emphasise my artist.
Unlike Rock Sound, I chose to incorporate my stand first with the main article to make it all fit in together. This suited my layout better and made it flow. If I had included it separately there would have been too much going on. Though similarly to Rock Sound my DPS is also half picture and half text. My target audience said this was something they liked, and is commonplace in magazines like Rock Sound and Kerrang!. Although, the photograph is a little more serious than mine. I also used brushes to texturise the background a little bit. My pull quote is less serious and lengthy than the pull quote used in the All Time Low article. This shows that Rock Sound are trying to show All Time Low as quite serious, and I am not trying to show my artist as seriously as that, so I felt a small, quirky pull quote would sum up the article and what I’m trying to get across. I used a two column format, like Rock Sound, but the nature of the All Time Low article has a more serious tone than mine. I did use a drop cap, which is also a very common feature in most magazines.
Q2: How does your magazine represent particular social groups?
I based my model on Hayley Williams because I wanted to show her as a happy-go-lucky, hyper kind of person. Hayley Williams is a large female figure amongst my readers as she features largely in magazines like Kerrang! and Rocksound which my magazine is similar to. She also has bright hair and comes across in a similar way in interviews as I tried to make my artist come across in my article. Also, when taking my photos I showed my model photos of Sierra Kusterbeck who is the front woman of another alternative, female-fronted band. I know from personal experience that she is seen as a stronger and more independent Hayley Williams and I wanted to combine that to create an image for my artist of energetic and sweet yet independent and strong, which are popular and desirable among my target audience (females aged 15 - 18) as I have learnt, again, from personal experience.
I think the photos in my magazine effectively show the playful-but-serious image I was going for with my artist. The bright colours help to convey the happy-go-lucky and hyper kind of idea whilst her expressions border on serious, especially on the contents page picture. The shadows help with the serious side, and offer a hidden side which is bypassed in the article and creates an air of mystery about my artist, like she has a hidden side of her personality. I have also dressed my model in clothes which appeal to my target audience and clothes that they are also likely to wear; plaid shirts and skinny jeans which are general and popular attire for most pop-rock fans. My pull-quote on my DPS includes the word ‘weird’, which I think offers an apt description of my artist and reinforces that kind of hyper-but-mysterious sense about her.
Q3: What kind of media institution might distribute your magazine and why?
Kerrang! is a magazine that I looked at and tried to make my magazine a similar kind of style to so that it could possibly compete with it. However, my magazine is a slightly more ‘watered down’ version of Kerrang! – K! features artists like Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Stone Sour a lot. My magazine focuses more on the pop-rock side of things with bands like All Time Low, Paramore and VersaEmerge. Whilst these bands are featured in Kerrang! often, they are more the bigger bands of their genre. In my magazine I would focus on smaller bands within this genre. Therefore Bauer Media may be interested in publishing my magazine for an audience who are maybe not quite old enough for K! or who do not listen to or like bands such as Slipknot or Marilyn Manson but are interested in bands such as All Time Low and VersaEmerge. I have taken this idea from personal experience and brought this into my magazine. I am not interested in most of the bands that Kerrang! include in their magazine but buy it when bands like All Time Low are in it, so I think there is a market for this.
IPC media publishes NME. I did not look at during the process of making my magazine as it is a completely different style to the audience I had in mind. This is the only alternative-music style magazine that I can see. IPC media do not produce a magazine like mine, therefore they may be interested in publishing mine as a competitor for Kerrang! magazine as produced by Bauer Media, although I think I would prefer to have my magazine published by Bauer Media as they have the experience with Kerrang! and could market it to the Kerrang! readers who are not interested in the harder rock but more into pop-rock/punk.
Q4: Who would be the audience for your magazine?
This shows that my target audience is 15 – 18 year old females, which reinforces my choices for my model and influences in terms of my article and how I wanted to portray my artist.
Reader Profile I made this Reader Profile at the very start of my magazine project to get an idea of what my magazine should be like based on my first survey results. From this I have taken free posters and added them into my magazine and concentrated on a pop-rock/punk and alternative music theme in my magazine, including bands like All Time Low (who are featured on this Reader Profile). I have also incorporated Glamour Kills (clothing company; also featured on this profile) into my magazine by offering a t-shirt as a free prize as I own Glamour Kills clothing myself and therefore it was easy to incorporate this as free competitions were something my target audience said they valued somewhat.
Overall, people prefer to buy physical copies of magazines. This will influence whether or not I want to publish my magazine through IPC or Bauer media, or whether I want to publish it online. As the majority who do actually read magazines prefer to buy physical copies, I would therefore choose to publish it physically rather than electronically. Two people are not bothered how they read their magazines, and if this were added to the amount of people who prefer to read it online, people who prefer physical copies would still outweigh those who do not.
The majority of people who took my survey said they would buy it and read it. Three out of eleven said that they wouldn’t buy it, but they would read it. This may influence whether or not I would want to start off my magazine as a free, small thing and work it up to a bigger magazine which you would purpose, but seeing as most people would buy it and read it, I think I would start off as a bigger magazine straight away.
This comment may influence future presentation of articles and pieces in future issues. If people keep them they may possibly be putting them up on their walls. Therefore the presentation and look of my magazine may need special attention and make changes to accommodate this. This comment brings up the online publishing idea again. I could publish the magazine online but charge a subscription fee at the same time, or I could produce a physical copy and an online copy, making the online copy available through a website via code, or perhaps a specialized link sent in an e-mail. This is obviously someone who was in the ‘I don’t buy magazines’ category in the previous question. This could influence me to look at other features I could include in my magazine that may not be included in magazines similar to mine like Kerrang! And Rock Sound to maybe influence this person into changing their mind and buy my magazine because it has a ‘special’ factor.
The majority of people entered an ‘other’ option, so a minority of people said I needed to improve on the pictures, layout and colours, which runs true throughout the survey. I could improve my pictures by assigning more time to them, and maybe give a little more neatness to the layout. A lot of people mentioned that they liked the colours throughout my survey, so I feel that this response isn’t a major issue. A lot of people commented on the font, and the size in particular. However, I used a font size of 8pts which is average for a magazine. I think it showed up smaller on the computer screen, and in real life after it has been published the font will look the right size. I would change the text colour on the contents page if I did this project again because after reading this comment a couple of times I agree that the colour is slightly too hard to read. I would also incorporate more into the background, but subtly.
I used the opacity tool to create my text boxes. First of all, I made a new layer. I then used the selection tool to select an area, and then I filled it in red. I used the ‘opacity’ slider, which is located just above the layer bin, to adjust the opacity (how see through the selection is) to about 25% so that the background brushes would be visible but not too obscuring and distracting. This also allows me to put text on top so that it is still visible and not obscured by the background graphics. Photoshop Opacity
History Brush On photoshop, I first turned the image black and white. I then clicked the History Brush and moved it over her eyes carefully, ensuring her irises were the only thing to restore their colour, which gives the below result. One thing I found out was that you have to have the image saved first for the History Brush to actually work, otherwise photoshop doesn’t know where to get the ‘history’ from and therefore will not work.
Selection and Fill tool This is an effect used in many alternative style magazines like mine. To do this, I cut a jagged outline around the model (my picture previously had a white background) and after it was selected, I pressed Ctrl+Z to Cut it. I then opened a new document, set the dimensions and filled the background in pink. Then I pressed Ctrl+V to paste the picture onto the pink background and put it where I wanted it. This produces the below result.
Online Tutorials Picture-in-Text I used an online tutorial ( http://www.photoshopessentials.com/photoshop-text/text-effects/image-in-text/ ) to do a picture-in-text effect. Although I did not use this in my magazine, it was something I really liked and if I could have found room for it in my magazine then I would have certainly used it. Unfortunately, there was no room for it, but I have still learnt how to do this on photoshop from an online tutorial.
Tumblr Throughout my magazine project I have been posting bits and pieces of my magazine on a blogging website called Tumblr. I have my own personal blog with around 1,000 followers – this allowed me to gather feedback from my followers across a wide range of people and gather many opinions and ideas on how I could improve. I also posted my surveys to this.
Throughout my project I have used the college’s Media blog to help me in my project, including this evaluation. There are many slideshows with key terms and keywords.
This is my college magazine from the start of the course. I think I have improved on my pictures. I have also used brushes in my music magazine, and I feel that this adds a significantly more ‘professional’ feel to my music magazine. I also think that in my music magazine that I have laid things out a lot better – I have used the space better. College Magazine I also think I have improved on the front size – in this magazine the font size is too large. I also feel that I have improved on how to create a masthead. I have used my flashes better in my music magazine.
A2 I would like to continue Media Studies at A2. I have found this year very interesting and enjoyable, and this is mostly down to the Music Magazine project. I have enjoyed doing my Music Magazine a lot and because of this Media Studies has been my favourite subject to study this year in AS. I would like to work in the media, specifically for a magazine so doing this project was of great interest to me and I found it really enjoyable.