Question 1In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
For my media coursework, I created a front cover, a contents page and a double page spreadof a new music magazine. All my images and text I used were original, produced by me.I named my magazine ‘Encore’ because I was basing my music genre on new, fresh to the scene,rock/indie music. A magazine like mine would be the NME magazine which I based a lot of myideas around, in the making of my magazine. While I was designing my front cover, and doingresearch on existing covers, I noticed that there were many similarities and differences betweeneach and every magazine. The first similarity would be that the colour scheme of the majority ofmagazine are carried on throughout the magazine. I have taken this idea, and adapted it withinmy front cover. The same font is mainly used throughout the magazine and the magazine articles,which is ‘Century Gothic’.On current magazines, there is barely any space left on the front cover, which is normally eithertaken up by the image, or by cover lines. For my magazine, I have tried to take up as much spaceas possible, but at the same time, made it so it doesnt look too clustered. One thing I later addedonto my magazine was a banner, I felt it was a big thing missing from my magazine which nowmakes it look much more professional, as it is bold and stands out against my nude background.Another convention of a music magazine is the use of a large, dominant photograph , they areused to take up the majority of the layout. I have decided to develop this convention into my ownpiece of work, by using a very large image that takes up most of my front cover structural layout. Ifeel that my image provides dominance, because it is fairly colourful due to the clothing worn alsobecause it is used for the background of the cover, making it a vital feature of the layout.In terms of the common phrase and colour schemes that are conventionally used in musicmagazines, I have developed these features into my piece of work by ensuring that the red bluesand whites are repeated through out my work to ensure a uniform and individual appearance. Ifeel that this has helped my work conform to conventions because it has ensured that mymagazine has an identity and act as the representing of my magazines.I have also used the basic conventions of a music magazine, including the date and price,website by the masthead so people straight away know what they will be paying and whetherthe issue has been recently distributed. I placed the barcode in the bottom right corner of mymagazine because this was the most common place to find a barcode on a music magazine, thisall allows my magazine to fit in with the rest.
For my Contents Page, I kept it simple and straight to the point because Ibelieve the contents page has to be easily readable for the audience toidentify what page they need to be on.A lot of conventional magazines have a main image dominating thecontents page, I decided against it because I felt it would have moreimpact with several smaller images on a dark background. Also, the smallerimages introduce the other features within the magazine withoutdominating the page.The font, size, and colour scheme are mostly carried on from the front coverincluding the nude background, which creates a house-style theme for themagazine. Starting with the title, many magazines only have "contents",instead of "contents page". The purpose of this would be to cut space, sothat there is more space for the images, and the article titles anddescription. Another reason is that simply, it doesnt need to be there.When discussing my content page, I feel that I have adapted theconventional normality of a real magazine by ensuring that features such asa page title and issue number have been identified in a large and dominantfont that is clear for the audience to read. I have also ensure that I havebroken up my text so that it is obvious and straight forward for my audienceto read, so the page doesnt appear too text orientated. I have adoptedthis idea by using a tile for the different sections. These being the reviewsfeatures‘ and ‘News’ I have used bright bold colours to help break these up.I feel by using these tiles, it helps identify the section and exciting to read(due to the fonts and colours)
The magazine article which I previously analysed was flavour I noticed theimage on one side of the article was enlarged, to create more focus on thestar, I used this concept in my magazine as this is the effect I wanted tocreate. I added the name of the star in bold and a subheading next to thelarge image which shows that this is the exclusive story and gives detail ofwhat he article is about. One of the convention used in a magazine articleis the enlargement of certain quotes, the ones which are enlarged arenormally exaggerated with font styles and colours so the reader wants toread the article to find out the whole story is about.As for the colour of the text, I noticed that most interviews in magazineshave at least two different colours. One for the question being asked, andone for the answer from the person. I have done this in my magazine,having a kind of gold colour as the questions, black for the answer and mymain colour red for the quotes, the artist mentions. The reason I chose thisgold colour is because I spotted it on the artists clothing and thought itconnected with the artist. The use of space on the double-page spread isalso the same. Again, I tried to take up as much space as I could, withoutthe article looking too cramped, or too busy.I have also used a smaller image on the text side, which gives moreinformation about the artist in a different way. Regular magazines usuallyuse this to add more to the article without having to read excessiveamounts of text. The black and gold text helps the reader to read theinterview without getting confused about who said what.I have added a page number at the bottom and the website in tiny writingwhich again is another conventions of music magazines.If I had chance to improve it I would play around with the fonts and text alittle more so I could as I don’t think I have achieve what I wanted to withthe layout.
Question 2How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My product has represented age as a young, fairly mature audience. The target audience that I chose for my magazine was 16-25. I have taken images of people within that age group, which makes this target audience age group seem morebelievable. I have chosen to make up my own rock artist for example ‘Lacey Uscroft’ for the magazine, which I believe to be within the age group that I have selected. For the person in my images while I was taking the pictures, I wanted to have her wearing stylish clothes, which she was. This represents this age group, as this age group is more likely to want stylish clothes, and are more likely to copy from their idols.My magazine also represents both male and female, which is why I kept my colours very neutral, e.g. using black, white blue and red. In order to appeal to both. My magazine represents middle class people, this is reflected in price and content, italso affects where would distribute my magazine. My title: ENOCRE is very modern, quirky, young and clearly related to music. Therefore it relates to my audience. My product represents ethnicity by not discriminating any type of ethnicity, this isshown by making my magazine appeal to everyone in one go, by having white and black rock stars names on my magazine front cover. However, my images only contains one ethnic group, which is white, which I could have improved by putting more than one ethnic group for the images on my front cover, contents page and double-page spread.
Question 3What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
ENCORE is a mainstream magazine, therefore the publisher would besomething like Bauer (the publisher for Q magazine) or EMAP, (the publisherfor MOJO) or IPC (the publisher of NME) would distribute my magazines as itis similar to other magazines such as Vibe, NME and Q that they distributewhich are very successful magazines. My magazine has a wide range oftarget audience resulting into a huge amount of profit if it was distributedby well known companies.My magazine is designed to appeal to middle class people, therefore itwould be sold in places where middle class people shop, e.g. WHSmithsand Tesco’s etc. I decided to make my magazine £2.30, because in myresearch, most good quality monthly music magazines were about thatprice, if it was any more my target market (middle class teenagers)wouldn’t buy it. In my questionnaire, more than half of the people said theywould pay between £2 and £3 for a music magazine.Over IPC would be the most suitable publication company for mymagazine because it has the widest variety of magazines which indicatesthat successful in their production of magazine and the results they get.
Question 4Who would be the audience for your media product and why?
The main target audience for my magazine is 16-25 (teens / young adults). I had to useseveral media conventions to make sure my magazine was suitable to the age group. I didn’t find this hard, because I was part of that age range so I was able to ask my friends and also think to myself about what would be interesting to see in a magazine. Although to capture the full attention of this age range is a hard task. This is done mostly by including bright text, and large images, and not too much text. This is because people of this age range dont normally read texts, they just look at the images, so the images have to tell most of the story. Font was a big factor in this, as I tried to stick with two fonts to not only grab the readers attention, but keep it throughout the magazine and allow the pages to flow. In addition, as I was creating the magazine to appeal to a specific audience, it was important that I chose fonts to go with the particular age groups, and I think I did this successfully as the fonts I picked were simple and clear to read. Also, as the magazine was based around rock/indie music, I think the fonts I chose matched the genre quite well, and it was clear to identify the genre when looking at the pages. The colours were important in representing the age groupbecause they had to flow, but have enough difference between them to contrast in the right places for the right reasons. I picked the primary colours because of the significance they have to young people. Besides these colours were able to go together well, as well as standing out over each other in the right places. The colours I used will also appeal to both genders and therefore opens up my target audience to both males and females . I alsomade certain that the outfits and props matched the music genre, which I think they did. The language I used in my magazine was quite colloquial, so it fit quite well with my targetaudience. Also, as it was informal, the readers of the magazine would be able to understandand relate to it . By doing this, it helped the reader gain a sense of trust towards the magazine as they may feel like the speech is directed towards them. Overall, I feel that my magazine represented my target audience well, by the use of font, colour, images and other factors,and I feel that young people would be able to relate to the magazine through the language used.
Question 5How did you attract/address your audience?
I found that throughout my magazine the images I used were predominantly of females. This may have made the magazine for females only, however, in my short survey it showed that the majority of boys were more inclined to read a music magazine, and they are more interested in rock oriented music rather than pop. This is the reason I made my magazine more for male and female and made sure I had at least two images of male. however the use of female models in the magazine would attract male attention in a different way. Costume was used in my magazine in a way that would attract the attention of the audience. According to my previous survey, lots of teenagers don’t have the money to buy expensive clothes, so it was important that I had a balance of affordable clothes on the models. Converse and sweatshirts are very average and affordable, however, as my targetaudience are influenced by their favourite artists, they will be attracted to the idea of simple clothing. The words “Exclusive” and “Latest” tell the reader that this is what to read if they want something no one else has read, and they will be the first to know of something new in the music world.I also wanted to make my magazine seem friendly, so I used chatty and colloquial languageto attract the audience. I also used a lot of synthetic personalisation which is words like ‘you’and ‘we’, to make it seem inclusive and personal to each and every reader; I believe this is a great way to attract my target audience. All of the fonts I used were all bold and bright so that they would stand out to my audience.
Question 6What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Before beginning my practical project I had to create an account onhttps://www.blogger.com/start which is an online blog which can be easily accessed in andout of college. it allowed me to upload recent developments in my magazine, includingpictures, blog entrees and PowerPoints.During the process of constructing this product, I used many different types of technology. Iused cameras, computers and different programs I had never used before.For taking the images, I had to use a camera. I only have a basic knowledge on cameras, soI only know basic things, like how to turn the flash on and off, how to take the picture, andhow to view the picture on the camera, but that is about as far as it goes, so photographyisnt my strong point. There were different modes for the camera, and I didnt know whichmode it was in, so I just hoped for the best. I knew how to put the pictures on to thecomputer, I knew that you needed a card reader, and needed to plug it in to thecomputer, but I didnt have any idea on how to edit these images for my magazine.I created my magazine on Photoshop which I only had little knowledge about. I beganlearning how to use this program thanks to the Preliminary task, but I still only had a basicknowledge on how to use the tolerance tool and the rubber tool to take the backgroundout of the picture. This then became a lot easier as I progressed with the project, creatingthe front cover, contents and double-page spread.
Question 7Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
For my preliminary task I had to create a magazine cover and contents page for a college magazine. Instantly you can see the difference in the two covers and shows how I have progressedmy the preliminary task. I think the biggest mistake I made when looking at my preliminary task is the white writing against the polo shirt which making the cover line hard to read. Whereas my final product I have bold black headings around the picture to draw the audience in. From my preliminary task, my products have improved dramatically. The standard of my preliminary taskmagazine cover is nowhere near the standard of my final front cover. This helped me to understand the programs, which helped me to design my final front cover, contents page and double-page to my full capability. By doing the preliminary task, I have realised just how important the analysis ofexisting products is. Without analysing the existing products, I wouldnt have known what to include inmy magazine front cover, contents page or double-page spread. The reason to why my preliminary task isn’t as good as my final product is simply because I had very little time to produce it and I was new to the technology in which I was using to create and edit my photos. Overall I am very happywith my final piece. I like the colours I have used, and I also like the images which I used, as they aredifferent from your average magazine. I think with a bit more time I could of improved my article. But overall I am happy with my final piece and enjoyed every part of creating it.