Front cover In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The main image on the cover is the most dominant and the first thing the reader will look at. I did this as I thought it was most suitable to have the image on the cover relating to the main article inside. When researching ideas for my magazine, I looked at similar products, and found a Billboard cover. I liked this cover as I felt that the style of it was quite simple, but it worked and attracted the target audience into reading. I thought it was important for my cover to contain buzz words such as exclusive and win, which is a common convention used in real magazine covers. By doing this, it entices the audience, as they will feel they’re benefitting from buying the magazine, i.e. finding information other people don’t have access to. Also, by giving the audience the chance to win a prize, they’re gaining more, by buying it, as opposed to flicking through it in the shop and not actually buying it. I wanted the overall design/colour scheme to be quite simple, and not to contain too many bright colours, as I found from my questionnaires in the research that people often preferred a more ‘classy’ looking magazine cover, as opposed to other brighter magazines. As a result of this, I used mainly black, white and beige colours. I think that they work well, as it isn’t too colourful and overpowering for the reader. I looked at this example of a cover, when thinking of ideas, as it also uses a basic colour scheme, and I think it looks quite professional, and not as complex as some other magazines that are available.
Front cover I also tried to shape the test around the image, rather than overlapping it, as I think it looks quite professional and is a technique used in industry. The price is one of the key features that needs to be considered when creating a magazine. This is because it is usually, depending on the target market, the main features that attracts/detracts them to buy the magazine. I chose to make the price of my magazine stand out, so that it was easily visible to the reader. I placed it near the top of the cover, for if it was at the bottom of the page and was in a shop, other magazines could easily block the price, which may prevent potential customers from picking up the magazine up, as they may think it is expensive, or see better offers where the price is instantly visible. I again used a black and white font, as they are very bond, and contrast well with each other, making it easy to see from a distance, especially as it’s on a plain background, and may attract the reader. I used the same font style throughout my cover, as I wanted the theme to remain consistent. For this particular piece of text however, I changed the font colour to have a red outline. I did this as I thought that the red would stand out more as the background is fairly pale. This is a fairly common convention used with real media products, as using contrasting colours is a good way to catch the reader’s eye, making them read the magazine. I added two smaller images onto the side of the cover. By doing this, it gives the reader a preview of what there is inside, which may encourage them to buy the magazine. I again stuck to the main article inside when deciding what images to use, as by doing this it wouldn’t give away too many clues/ideas as to what other articles there are inside. I think that these images work well in appealing to the audience as it makes them want to see the rest of the photoshoot inside the magazine. I also added a black border around them, so that the edges looked neater and they could easily be distinguished. I made sure that my magazine contained all of the legal requirements needed in order for a magazine to be published. This included a date line; price and barcode. The date line is used so that readers know what issue it is their reading, so they can ensure they’re reading the latest and most up-to-date issue available. The barcode is used for scanning purposes in shops, so that it can be registered on the till etc. I also used a bottom strap line on the cover of my magazine. These are one of the key features in the magazine industry, in appealing to the target audience. The strap line is one of the last things you see when looking at the cover, meaning that it will stick in the readers mind throughout. For this part of the cover, I like the way in which I used white on black, as they contrast well and stand out. For the word exclusive I used a black box with white text, then reversed the colours for the text underneath. I also put the name of the mentioned celebrity in capital letters. By doing this, it draws the attention to the reader, and highlights this particular part of the cover.
Contents page When I was researching existing contents pages, I came across this one, which I used for a similar idea with my own product. I like the way in which it looks professional, but has quite a simple layout with only small amounts of text, in a way which is appealing to the reader, as they can avoid reader large amounts of text. When I was researching existing contents pages, I came across this one, which I used for a similar idea with my own product. I like the way in which it looks professional, but has quite a simple layout with only small amounts of text, in a way which is appealing to the reader, as they can avoid reader large amounts of text. I used a white font again on this page, as I felt this technique worked well on the cover. The white text has a black outline around it, which makes it ‘pop’ and stand away from the background. I made the page numbers a bolder, red colour. This makes it easier to distinguish the numbers from the rest of the text, so the reader can easily see which page it is they want to read, if they are interested. I thought that is was important for the image on the contents page to relate to the main feature article. I used an image and placed it on the right hand side of the page. By doing this, it meant that I could put the text on the left hand side, where the background was a plain colour. I felt that this was the most suitable way to do it, as it means that the text is easier to read against the background as opposed to the text being on top of the text, which often looks quite complex and may even confuse the reader. As the text was the main focus on the contents page, I chose to use the same font style as I had previously used on the front cover. I felt that by doing this, the theme would remain consistent, and wouldn’t be too much for the reader to take in at once, as lots of different and complicated designs may be too much for the reader. With the layout of this page, I didn’t want it to contain much text, as I looked at examples of other, and I found that when the contents contained a lot of text, it can often be quite confusing, and gives the reader too much information to take in at one time.. As a result of this, I restricted the text on the page, and wrote only main headlines, which I felt would particularly appeal to the target audience. I looked at this example of a contents page, and knew that this was the type I wanted to avoid, as I think it is too complex, and hard to read some of the list, as the text is quite grouped together. I feel that a contents page should contain purely the main articles, hence I created my own contents the way I did.
Double-page spread The heading it used for an introductory comment to what the article is about, and hooks the audience into reading it. I kept the title simple, as I wanted to avoid having too much text and a complicated heading. I used the same font for the title as I had used for the main heading on the cover and contents. I think that by keeping the same font style, it looks a lot more professional, as opposed to having various different styles. For the double page spread, I wanted to stick to the colour scheme I had used on the front cover and contents pages. By doing this, it keeps the theme nicely presented and consistent, keeping the images fresh in the reader’s mind. I chose to use just one photo on the double page spread as I think it makes it look more classy, and keeps the simplicity, rather than having lots of images, which can often fill the page, but make it look quite crowded, which may not appeal to the reader. I like the way in which the photo is on the right hand side, with the text on the opposite page, as the text doesn’t overlay, making it harder to read. I used a white font throughout, as it stands out clearly against the background, so that the reader can easily read the article/interview. I made the questions of the interview in bold, so that they could easily be distinguished away from the responses, so that it wouldn’t confuse the reader. I took two quotes from the interview, added effects to them i.e. italics, a coloured text box, and separated them from the rest of the article. I used italics and quotation marks, so that the reader could instantly recognise that they were taken from the interview. I used coloured text boxes and a larger font size as it makes them stand out a lot more and separates them from the rest.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? I made my magazine to represent the target audience of teenage girls. I incorporated this into my final product by using the various different codes and conventions used in the media industry. I wanted my magazine to have a strong theme with celebrities as many teenage girls look up to a certain celebrity as a role model, someone who has a glamorous image and luxury lifestyle. In today’s society, there are many different social groups and stereotypes , identified by the media. With teenagers especially, they are often portrayed in the media in a very negative form. I wanted to avoid this when creating my magazine, as I thought it would decrease sales and profits, as it was targeted towards teenagers, and they wouldn’t want to read negative stories about people like themselves. As a result of this, I felt it was important for the cover only to contain positivity, which I think I achieved with my final product. In order to represent this particular social group, I focussed on the look of the celebrity, i.e. hairstyle, fashion sense etc, presenting it in a way which would appeal to the social group. I wanted the teenage girls to see the how the celebrities lifestyles were portrayed, and make them feel as though they could also achieve the same in their own lives. By doing this, teenage girls would be enthusiastic and passionate about the article they are reading. I looked at this example of an existing magazine when creating my cover. Although it’s not a music magazine, I like the way in which the magazine aims itself at teenage girls and women. I looked in detail at how this was done, and found ways I could incorporate it into my own product. To do this, I analysed the image used on the OK! cover. I thought that the celebrity’s look was very fun and energetic, and I wanted to create a similar vibe with the model for my own product, so that it would appeal to the target audience. I used a model of a similar age to my target audience as I thought it would be the most appropriate way to appeal to, and represent the readers.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? The media institution I chose to market and distribute my media product is IPC Media. This is because IPC Media are very diverse range of institutes within the company, such as IPC Connect and ICP Inspire. IPC already produces over 60 iconic media brands. The print products alone from IPC reach almost two thirds of women and 42% of men in the UK – roughly 26 adults. As well as this, their websites achieve over 14 million users each month collectively. IPC Media is the institution responsible for producing the popular music magazine NME. The company targets three main audiences. These are: men; upmarket women and mass market women. As a result of this, I felt that they would be a suitable organisation for my magazine, as they don’t seem to have any products aimed primarily towards teenagers, especially girls, which was my target audience, so I feel that there may be a gap in the market for my magazine, as a new media product from the IPC company. Due to the fact that IPC is already a well established and famous for their products, it would be good if my magazine were published and distributed by them as well. This is because readers trust the company, meaning it would help my magazine become more established and recognised. IPC would be a good starting point as my magazine is just starting out, as they advertise products in some of their other media products. This would mean my magazine could be advertised in some of their other popular media products, such as magazines, websites, texts, TV advertisements etc, helping to increase the publicity from other readers. IPC also produces other popular fashion magazines, such as Marie Claire and Look. These magazines are aimed at a similar audience to my magazine, which means it would be good for them to publish my magazine, as they’re both already recognised and very popular with my audience. We know that they’re popular due to the fact they’re instantly recognisable, meaning IPC could do the same for my magazine. IPC have the knowledge and ability to produce both fashion and music magazine which are successful, which is especially good for my music magazine to attract the target audience into reading.
Who would be the audience for your media product? The target audience I chose for my magazine is female teenagers. This was because although there are a lot of music magazines already in the market, I felt that most of them are either for both genders, or purely males, and that there isn’t already a magazine simply for female teenagers, meaning there was a gap in the market to do so. I wanted to aim my magazine simply at teenagers, rather than limiting the age group, as I felt that it can sometimes be quite restricting with a specific age group. By having a wider audience, this could consequently mean that a wider range of people buy the magazine, resulting in more sales and increasing profits for the magazine. I also thought that by aiming the magazine at females, it meant I had more flexibility when deciding the house style/colour scheme. For this particular magazine I used simple colours, i.e. black and beige. However, in other issues, the magazine could still use the same house style, but change the colours used for the designs of the articles. For example, there would be less restrictions on colours with it being aimed at females, as it could use pink/purple feminine colours, as opposed to it being targeted to both genders, meaning the colours would have to appeal to both. I chose to aim my magazine to females, as I have more knowledge on what they would want to see in a magazine rather than males, meaning I could add features which I know would appeal to them, helping to make my magazine successful. I feel as though the magazine market is fairly male dominant, so by aiming it towards females, it would help to fill a gap in the market.
How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted my audience by using a model who was of a similar age to my target audience. I feel that this is a good way to address the audience, as it would feel more personal to them, as opposed to using a model who was much older or younger. As this model was used on the cover, it would immediately attract the audience into reading, as they would enjoy reading about someone of their own age. I also added a bottom strap line, which gives the reader the opportunity to win concert tickets. This would appeal to my target audience as it gives them chance to win a free prize, which will attract them into buying as they can win something they want without having to pay. I chose the band Kings Of Leon for this, as I thought that it was a fairly popular band who are well known by the target audience. s I think that the audience would be attracted by the cover, as the image is quite fun looking and attractive. This immediately appeals to them, as it seems as though the magazine is exciting and makes them want to read what’s inside, rather than a photo which doesn’t contain much excitement. I made sure to use a female model, as the audience I was attracting were female teenagers. I also made sure the articles mentioned on the cover were only about female artists. By doing this, it would appeal to a female audience as portrays women to be more powerful and dominant. The music artists I mentioned on the cover and contents were those of which are targeted to a younger audience, similar ages to my target audience. This would attract the audience as it would be a topic they’re interested in and make them want to read the magazine. All of the images I used in the magazine use direct mode of address. This is a very good way to address the audience as it makes it feel more personal to the reader, as though the model is looking directly towards them, helping them to attract/connect with the magazine. I looked at this existing magazine as I thought that the image used on it was a very good way to attract the audience. It uses direct mode of address, which appeals to the audience as it makes it seem more personal, which is what I wanted to achieve with my own magazine.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product? As my target audience for the magazine was teenager girls, most teenagers today use technologies such as mobile phones, Internet etc. As a result of this, I could keep my audience through the use of mobile technology, by setting up a text message subscription for the reader to be informed when the latest issue of the magazine is in store. Also, most teenagers today use to Internet, so I could create an online magazine, whereby they could pay to read the magazine online, as opposed to having a hard copy, which they may find beneficial, as they use the Internet a lot of the time. Another way in which the reader could be kept informed is through social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, as these are also very common with teenagers. Pages could be added onto either of these websites containing the latest information regarding the magazine, so the reader can be kept informed at all times. By doing this project, I have learnt about digital photography, and how to plan and conduct my own professional looking photoshoot. To do this, I made a rough plan beforehand, which set out certain issues I needed to consider. For example, I looked at who the photos would be aimed at; the purpose of them; how I could make them appealing; outfit; hair; makeup; what I wanted to achieve from the photoshoot. By doing this, it meant that I would have an idea of what I was trying to achieve before hand, rather than going straight into it, not knowing what I was doing. I learnt how to use Photoshop, as I wasn’t familiar with the programme and how it worked. I found that using this programme was a very useful way to create my product, as it allows you to use tools which help to improve the overall quality of the product, making it look done on a professional level. Photoshop allows you to upload your own images, which you can remove the background on to highlight main features, and works by using layers, so that you can add effects on top of one another and manipulate your way around the product in which you are creating. I learnt how to create a blog, which was an experience I was unfamiliar with before. For the project, I had to update my blog regularly, uploading my latest media work/research for my magazine. I learnt about the various things that can be posted onto blogs, such as images, PowerPoint presentations etc, and how to upload them myself.
Looking back at your preliminary task (the College magazine), what do you feel you have learnt about in the progression from it to the full product? I think that since the preliminary task we had, which was creating a College magazine, I feel that I have learnt various different skills and improved my knowledge in to how to create a successful final product. For example, I created a questionnaire for the music magazine, so that I could gain feedback from members of the public, and find out what they would want to see in a music magazine, rather than diving straight in to it, which is what I did with the college magazine. By undertaking this research, it meant that I could create my magazine, with consideration to what the readers would want, which would help me when making decisions, such as what model to use; colour schemes; styles etc. Also, I think that the photoshoot I created for my music magazine was a lot more professional looking than that of the College magazine. This was because I spent a lot more time with the music magazine, thinking about the lighting; outfit; hair; makeup and the overall impression I wanted to give from it. By doing this, I think that it helped the reader to connect more with the model, and looks a lot more appealing and fun for them to read, rather than the college magazine, as it creates a much more exciting image. I also improved my skills in the music magazine, as I think I created a much stronger house style. I ensured to use colours that worked well together, and that the font styles would fit in, in order to appeal to the target audience and match the genre of the magazine. I learnt how to improve the quality of the images I have produced, by taking them into Photoshop, and using tools such as the ‘magic wand’ which allowed me to remove the background of some of the images, whereas I kept the background in on my college magazine. I think that overall, I have improved a lot from the college magazine, as I was creating three different pages for the music magazine, so I knew I had to keep the theme consistent, which helped me to make decisions, such as colour schemes etc. I also think that my music magazine is a lot more creative than the college magazine, especially with the front cover, as I think it does a good job in attracting the reader into buying it.