In what ways does your media product use, develop or demonstrate or challenge forms and conventions of real media products The media products that I have created, follows the codes and conventions that are formed by other magazines within the industry, meaning that I use features and techniques that are standard for magazines to adopt. One example where I have followed codes and conventions of magazines is by including a primary image for my magazine front cover, this primary images usually contains a cover star that is covered in article inside the magazine, furthermore the primary image is usually accompanied by a main cover line that gives a brief synopsis and title in a large font, this clearly shows that I have developed a front cover that follows the conventions of real media products as I have included a main cover line saying ‘Rising Stars’ this title is one of the largest fonts on the page and overlaps the primary image, implying that the two things are related, showing that I have evidently followed codes and conventions of real magazines. Additionally the model on my magazine is looking directly into the camera creating direct eyesight between themselves and the audience, making the readers feel that the cover star is looking right at them and making them want to buy the magazine as they feel they have a relationship together. This is a common feature used in real magazines, once again showing I have followed codes and conventions. I have also included a free incentive banner at the top of the magazine containing the buzzword ‘WIN!’ which persuades the reader into buying the magazine has they feel they have the chance to win free tickets. Further techniques that I developed my front cover with is the use of a slogan under the masthead, in small sized font as the slogan stating ‘essential’ this makes the audience feel the magazine is a must have so persuades them to buy it, I also included a number of cover lines that give a summary of articles inside, which is a vital part to a front cover because it informs the audience what type of articles are inside.
Another convention that I have included on my front coveris the use of a masthead, it’s the largest font on the pageand is placed at the top of the page, the font is large so itgrabs the audiences attention and stands out off the pageand is placed at the top as people usually start reading fromthe top of the page so the first thing they see is the title ofthe magazine showing I have followed the codes andconventions of real magazines. On the other hand mymasthead also shows an example where I have challengedcodes and conventions set by real magazines – being thecolour scheme, usually real magazines will have a title withone solid colour, however I have challenged this conventionas in my title the ‘REC’ is in red and the rest of the title inblack, I did this as the red ‘REC’ is meant to symbolise andreflect the icon that appears when something is beingrecorded – which is associated to the music industryshowing that the different colour has been done for areason but also shows that even though I have challengedthe codes and conventions its not to extreme so the readerswill still recognize the product as a magazine, and act like apun relevant to the music industry. Further codes andconventions that I have followed is including a puff thatincludes a cover line which should interest most people so isput inside the circle puff to make it stand out so that theaudience can clearly see and read it and should bepersuaded to buy the magazine. I have also included a plusbanner at the which quickly and vaguely gives a outline ofarticles within the magazine. Also throughout my magazinethere is a colour scheme of red, black, white and blue whichcreates an organised feeling the magazine.
I have also followed codes and conventions usual to contentspages, one example of this is a features banner which givesthe title of articles, brief synopsis and page number in themagazine – its clearly shown that I followed this conventionas I have included a features banner at the side of mymagazine, which also sticks to the colour scheme of mymagazine. Another convention that I have followed is the useof images, my contents page contains two images – bothwith their own corresponding heading related to theirarticle, the image at the top of the page has a small columnto the left of the image, Its headed in a large font ‘JasonShader’ this is done to grab the readers attention and if theyfit the magazines target market they should be interested bythe name as they would most likely know who the artist andcould be a fan persuading them to read the article. Alsounder the large ‘Jason Shader’ title is a brief article that actsas a blurb and gives the readers a taster of the article andshould encourage them to read on. This technique ofincluding a small article next to an image isnt exactly aconvention for real magazines, however has been featured inmagazines such as NME, this shows that I have pushed theboundaries of conventions by including this feature in myown magazine as its not as widely used technique. Theimage also includes the model wearing headphones whichshow the image relates to the genre of music. The secondimage of the girl at the bottom of magazine is supported bya quote, the quote is designed to leave the readers insuspense and should force them to want to read on andanswer the questions – this is a fairly common techniqueused for contents pages, and the model is looking at thequote to indicate that she is actually thinking and saying thisquote in her head. Furthermore the two images stick to thecolour scheme of the magazine like the red scarf and bluejumper, this creates organisation and keeps the themerunning through the magazine.
Similar to the magazines front cover the contents page also includes a masthead, shown to the left, the masthead titles the page so people can easily see it’s the contents page and creates clarity, the masthead also includes the magazines issue number – a common convention to contents page, simply just to inform the readers of the magazines issue number. The masthead again sticks to the colour theme running through the magazine, colour themes are a huge convention and are included in most real magazines.Another convention I followed when designing mycontents page is the use of numbers to simply indicate thepage number of the corresponding image and article. Byplacing the number in the box makes it clear to see for thereaders and by making the box overlap the image itindicates to the readers that the number relates to thatimage. Including page numbers is vital to contents pagesas it informs the readers to which article is on which pagewhich is the exact purpose of a contents page andtherefore is an imperative convention to follow.
When designing my double page spread, I had a number of codes and conventions to follow that are common to professional magazines, for example at the top of the page is the header, this acts as the title to the double page spread – it’s the largest font on the page so it stands out to grab the audiences attention and simply states ‘Jason Shader’ this is a buzzword so my target market should see the name and should instantly know the artist and would be interested to read about him. Underneath the header is the kicker – this adds extra information to the header, giving more of an insight to what the article is actually about, I stated that the artist is a ‘king’ I did this to try and persuade the audience to read on and find out why he is a king, it’s the second biggest font on the page to also grab the audiences attention by standing out.Another convention I followed when producing my double page spread was including a category text, this can be foundat the top right of the page and purely states ‘exclusive interview’ the word exclusive was used to show the reader thearticle can only be found in this magazine, so the audience will feel more intrigued to read it as they feel it’s a one offand more prestigious and the word interview is simply just to inform the audience the article is an interview. Anotherconvention that I followed when designing my double page spread was including a caption, this the small box found nextto the model – this is used to give extra detail to the image and explain what the person is doing in the picture. Anotherconvention I followed was to include the page numbers, the can be found in both bottom corners and basically informthe reader what page the article is on, done to add organisation to the magazine. An evident feature that I included forthe double page spread was to include the article – the article is divided into columns, a common convention forarticles, this is to make it easier to read and look more organised, stopping the article taking up too much of image asthere are gutter spaces in-between the columns.
A convention that I chose to follow when producing my double page spread was including a drop caption to the article. This can be shown to the left and is basically the large ‘C’ in the word ‘Crowned’ – a drop cap is when the first letter of the first word in the article is made larger than the rest of the word and articles font size that follow, they are used to enhance the article and make the text look more attractive to read as it stands out brings in attention, and also indicates where the article begins.I chose to make the articles font white, as I did for the header, kicker and category text – I opted to do this as the picture of thedouble page spread is fairly dark so by using a white colour the font stands out from the background, grabbing attention andmaking it easier to read. The article also contains a pull quote, this is part of the article that is a quote and is separated andmade bigger than the rest of the article so it stands out, its done to tease the audience persuading them to read the article andfind out what the quote is about. Another feature I included to the double page spread was the use of a feature image, this issimply the image that takes up the whole double page. The use of a feature is that of a convention – however in a way I havechallenged the convention by forcing the picture to take up the whole of the page, this technique has been used before bymagazines such as NME, however isnt a frequent occurrence, I chose to do this so it creates the feeling the image is essentiallythe double page spread and the audiences attention is constantly on the image and feel they are there with the artist. In theactual image the model is inside an editing studio, this is related to the article as the interview was conducted at the studio andalso the artist gave a sample of his new album – showing the image and article correspond. In the image the artist is wearingheadphones they are associated with the music industry and therefore show the images relevance to the actual magazine, andwhen the audience see the headphones they should be interested because they associate them with the particular genre ofmusic of dance. The studio creates a setting for the article and the use of props such as including the microphone andheadphones will show the audience the article is about music and the genre of dance – immediately this should interest myaudience as they should be fans of this type of music and will want to read on. The image includes the popular artist as he, incidentally looks into the text. Firstly by choosing to include a popular artist my audience should immediately recognize him and want to read on because they’ll be more interested if they know who the article is talking about. Also the image to the left shows the artist looking straight at the text, this both suggests to the audience that the article is coming from the model, but also creates a feeling that he is also reading the article with the audience – this creates a relationship and bond between the audience and him as they feel they are both reading together and should feel more involved with the actual magazine.
How does your media product represent particular social groupsMy products are shown to mainly represent young people, this is because they don’tinclude any older people, this shows that the magazine really only represents the youth, interms of age, as they are the only ones included within the magazine. The magazine alsorepresents particular genders, the magazine includes only one female this shows thatwomen are only represented through one person which may result in an unfairrepresentation as the readers perception on women can only be displayed through theone woman featured. However in terms of males they are fairly dominant within mymagazine as they are featured more and given the bigger and more key articles, my marketresearch into the music magazine industry showed that more males read music magazinesthan women so by representing males more predominately it could appeal to males moreas they would feel its their type of magazine to read. I have also represented social groupswithin the magazine, most predominately are ‘indies’ and a hip-hop/urban scene, this typeof music is popular within the youth and were the two highest rated in my marketresearch, so by representing this particular social group I am reaching a higher pool ofpeople as there is a higher demand from that social group and they are more likely to buythe magazine as their favourite genre is the dominant feature in the magazine.
What kind of media institution will publish your products and whyThe magazine industry is full of potential publishers and institutions that could be willing to publish mymusic magazine products. One of these institutions could be Bauer Media group, a German companythat is widely successful, they currently publish music magazines Kerrang!, Q and mojo – this shows thatthe production company already have experience in this type of magazine, that even appear to be fairlysimilar for example all three magazines claim their primary audience is males – just like my products,and as a result should be more likely to publish my work as we share a similar audience in addition themagazines are fairly similar so they don’t have to adapt too much as they already have experience withthis type of magazine. Bauer are likely to publish and distribute my magazine and sell it in particularplaces, such as shops that share a similar audience like music stores such as HMV to maximise its reachto potential buyers. Another way the company could help distribute the magazine is by using their ownexisting magazines to advertise my products – as we share a similar target market the audience could beinterested in buying the magazine, and if they are reading the magazine is most likely evident they arealready willing to buy a music magazine. Furthermore the company will have an understanding of wheretheir magazines already sell well, so could also sell my work their, such as in airports where people –especially teenagers, my products target market, are looking for things to read on the plane journey andmy be intrigued into purchasing the magazine. Bauer will also be willing to publish the magazine as itwould help boost their collection of magazines and fill a gap in their portfolio, because even though thedemographic between our magazines are similar – my magazine is still aimed at ‘indies’ so therefore Iam adding to Bauers reach as my magazine brings in a whole new social group.
Who would the audience be for your product?My magazine is aimed at people who like the music genre of rock/indie andhip hop, as shown by the picture to the right, this variety of music was themost popular genre of music so there would more chance of people beingattracted towards the magazine because more people like this genre thanany other.My intended audience would be people aged between 15-20, during mymarket research I found that people aged 16 were most likely to buy musicmagazines as where students, that’s why I chose to aim the magazine at thisage group. My intended audience should mainly consist of students, as Ibelieve students are more interested in music, especially modern music, andas a result would want to buy the magazine to keep up to date with latestevents and are therefore more likely to be more loyal readers so there ismore chance of them buying the magazine more regularly. I used aninformal and colloquial type of language style when writing my magazine toattract the younger age more and create a feeling that the readers andmagazine are just having a normal conversation, creating a strongerrelationship between the two, on the contrary certain words within thearticles may require better knowledge but given the context that mymagazine is aimed at students education shouldn’t be a problem andtherefore my magazines articles wont be restricted to using simple andboring words – so consequently I would expect my target audience to have agood education – more likely to be found within students. My magazinewould include modern and fresh music and figures so I feel that theaudience for the magazine should be fairly fashionable and be up-to-date. Iwould expect a majority my target audience to have some sort of hobbywithin music, like playing an instrument, this is because if they have a stronginterest in music then they are more likely to buy my magazine to help keepthem up-to-date with the latest news and gossip and would be moreinterested in the articles featured.
How did you attract/address your audience?I aimed to attract my audience through a number of techniques, the first way I tried to attract my audience towardsthe magazine was the front cover star, the cover star on my magazines front cover is wearing clothes that are subjectto my audience so once they see the model wearing these clothes on the front cover they would be drawn towards themagazine as they recognize and have a connection with this style of fashion and will most likely know and enjoy thegenre of music associated to that style of fashion. Additionally the audience are certainly going to recognize the actualcover star - as he is famous to the particular genre of music that my magazine represents, so when they see him on thefront cover their eyes are automatically pulled in towards the front cover and should leave them craving to purchasethe magazine. Likewise the cover lines on the front page should also do the same job in attracting the audience, as thecover lines include buzzwords customary to the genres of music my magazine represents, for instance using an artistsname, as shown by the picture to the right, I have used a DJ’s name‘Jason Shader’ by using the DJ’s name people who know and enjoy the genreOf music he makes, my audience, will recognize the name and as result should beattracted towards the magazine as they can see this artist is featured in the magazine.Similarly the other cover lines also feature buzzwords such as ‘exclusive’ because if theaudience see this word they will understand that the interview is only available in thismagazine – so they have to buy my magazine or cant read it at all. The cover lines act asa magnet and lure the audience toward the magazine because they can see articles andartists that they want to read about - leaving them hungry for the magazine. This isespecially in the case of the main cover line as in big bold red letters sprung acrossthe page is the title ‘rising stars’ this should straight away grab the audiences attentionas they will be engrossed to find out who the title is talking about, and once they see the A-list band ‘lost exotic’ the audience should be attracted into reading the magazine because it would be a name my target audience should be familiar with.
Another way I addressed my audience was by including a free incentive, popular to the magazine industryfree incentive require the magazine to give something to the reader, I have included winning tickets(shownabove) as my free incentive to try and persuade the audience to buy the magazine – as they feel they areearning more for there money if they have the chance to win tickets, and the word ‘win!’ being in a big boldfont should make it stand out, especially with the white font against the blue background leaping of the pageand dragging the audiences attention to the magazine. Overall I tried to make my magazine aestheticallypleasing towards my audience, I stuck to a solid colour scheme that makes the page look organised and niceto look – so people arent put off by disjointed colours and a disorderly layout. The cover star of the magazineis looking directly into the camera, which I did intentionally to create eye contact between them and theaudience so they feel engaged and involved with the magazine, as if the cover star was addressing theaudience personally. I also used a number of quotes that can be found within my contents page and doublepage spread, that comprise of a-list celebrities giving direct quotes – this should involve the reader as theywill feel the celebrity is closer to them and is actually just speaking to them – which shows how I haveaddressed the reader through using quotes. I also attracted my audience by using a fairly informal andcolloquial style of language, so they arent put off by complex words, but instead just feel like they are havinga chat with someone resulting in the audience feeling more addressed directly, this can be shown in mydouble page spread where made sure to write an article that involved the audience, for example “you thepeople felt Jason” this is a direct quote from my double page spread article and the word ‘you’ shows that mystyle of language has actually addressed my audience involving them more with the article and bringing themcloser to the magazine so they feel more attracted to read the magazine because they feel they have aconnection with the magazine and arent just a third-party spectator.
What have learnt about technologies from the process of constructing these products?I used a number of technologies, both hardware and software to construct my products. For the construction of theproducts I used the photo editing software Photoshop, I feel my knowledge with the software has greatly expandedsince creating the magazine – for the front cover and the contents page I had to delete the background using a numberof tools such as the magic wand, the rectangle tool, lasso tool and even the eraser, as shown below the original imageincludes a blue background that I removed to create a transparent background to place onto my magazine, so theaudiences attention is just on the model. To remove the background I started by using the magic wand tool, to remove The majority of the blue screen and then used the lasso, rectangle tool and eraser to remove the blue screen closer to the model – so I didn’t delete any of their body. After removing the blue screen I then used the blur and smudge tool – to make the image look more smooth and remove the pixelated edges, this was a new technique I learnt from making these products and didn’t know previously, this was a very useful in making my magazine helping make the magazine look more aesthetically pleasing and shows that by constructing these products my knowledge on using the photo editing software Photoshop was expanded. I also used edited my layers in a number of ways – for example I used drop shadows to give the image the feeling that its jumping off the page and standing out. I also used colour correction to make the images look more professional and less overexposed – this was new feature that I never previously used before and helped create a professionalI also used an SLR camera to take the images for my magazine, this was new as previously I just used digital image for my magazine.cameras, the SLR camera was successful in making my images look far more professional and I was very pleased withthe way my images turned out when using the SLR camera, its auto focusing features was great in giving the images ahigher definition and created a very professional feeling to the images.
When making my double page spread I also used the editing software Quark – I had no experiencewith the software whatsoever, so using the tools and the software itself was basically a learningexperience about technologies. I used quark to mainly add text to my double page spread, as the pageitself is primarily just the image so I didn’t need to add too much else. Using the software helpedexpand my knowledge on using editing software other than Photoshop and helped to teach me newfeatures such as wrapping text around and columns which helped give a professional look to myimage. When making my products I also used the internet, however aspects that I havent previouslyused before, I made a blogger to distribute my products – creating the blog was useful as it was easilyorganised and showed all my work in one simple place. I also had to use YouTube to upload my marketresearch interviews, this was something again I hadnt previously done, but by creating these mediaproducts my knowledge of technologies was expanded. By creating my magazine products myknowledge and understanding of using technologies to both create and distribute was greatlyexpanded, especially when helping to add a professional feeling to the product.
Looking back at the preliminary task, what have you learnt from it to the full product?When producing my final product I conducted much better market research, this helped me when producing themagazine because I know knew what my audience wanted and what interested them more, so therefore it was easierto please them because I didn’t have to guess what would attract my audience towards my magazine. Whenconducting my market research I asked numerous questions such as favourite music genre and what made people buya certain magazine – this helped as I now understood how to please my target audience because I knew the majoritysfavourite music genre so I knew to include these genres, furthermore asking why people bought certain magazinesalso greatly helped because I now understood how to attract my audience because I could work on the features theylooked out for, such as a-list cover stars or free incentives, this taught me that conducting market research helps toproduce the magazine, unlike my preliminary product where I didn’t conduct a great amount of market research, andespecially didn’t ask the right questions, but now I understand what type of questions to ask. When it came toplanning I already conducted a fair amount into the preliminary task so I knew this was going to be helpful again whenit came to the final product as the plan acts like a blueprint making the product faster and easier to create, whichshows I learnt the importance into planning. When taking the pictures for my preliminary task I used digitalcameras, which were good enough for the preliminary project, however when it came to the final product and usingthe SLR camera I feel my knowledge into photography greatly expanded, the features and options to choose fromtaught me what goes into a professional and good looking image, moreover using industrial and professional lightingshowed me the importance into lighting on an image, in the preliminary task I simply just took my photo outside –where it was well light – my image looked overexposed, washed out and colourless, however using the specialisedlighting helped my knowledge towards lighting expand as I now understood how to position the lights to bring mypicture to life and create a professional look. My journalism was improved after writing my double pagespread, making my work sound more professional and more pleasing to read, it also taught me how to write to pleasecertain audience, such as writing informal and colloquial. My design work and editing, I feel, vastly improved inbetween and after producing both my preliminary and final product. I have already stated the journey of producingmy work helped expand my knowledge of image manipulation as I tried out new features and techniques and I pickedup new methods into creating professional images such as using a blur tool to smooth any pixelated images afterremoving the background. Furthermore in between making the two products I feel I have done a greater job in editingmy images and designing products. Such as using colour corrections and adjustments, and I also learnt how to usenew technologies such as quark and SLR cameras – which shows my knowledge of designing work expanded.
Although I am pleased with the way my preliminary task turnedout I feel that my knowledge expansion of design work reallyshows when my work is compared with each other, for examplethe main cover line on my full product, bottom image, is muchmore prominent and stands off the page more due to theknowledge I learnt after producing my preliminary task. Its alsoevident the primary image of my final work looks muchbetter, the image looks far more lively and professional, where asthe preliminary work looks fairly plane, because I learnt how toadjust an images colour the full product looks much moreenergetic and professional. Furthermore the text on my finalproduct, I feel, looks much better the fonts used look much moreprofessional and the adjustments I made make the text moreopen and well spaced – this is because it learnt how to addadjustments to text in Photoshop after my preliminary task andshows my advancement in knowledge towards design work, asmy skills have developed into those more professional and makemy products look like real conventional magazines and I muchmore pleased with the way my final product looks like comparedto the preliminary work – due to my progression in knowledge ofmy image manipulation and design work.