Q1: In what ways does your magazine use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My magazine has a very simple layout, and a simple colour theme. I wanted it to be simple, yet effective. I thought that if I didn’t overcrowd my magazine, it would appeal to my audience better as my original Magazine Survey found that people preferred less text, and more pictures, image led rather than text led. I used an image for the front cover which I like to think is quite strong. My survey results showed that people preferred a strong front cover, and I tried to create that as best I could. I think that my lead image is strong and works well for my magazine, as she is looking directly at the camera, which gives the audience a representation that she is going to give an open, honest interview. Hopefully, this will draw in my readers. I put two columns on my double page spread as I think three columns would be too much, and just one big chunk of text would be too much for people to want to read. My original survey showed people didn’t like too much text, so I spread it out to look like less. I put only a small standfirst as a slight introduction to Polly, people read that first to know what the interview is about, so it has to be short and simple, but still as interesting.
Price: The price slotted in perfectly at the top of my masthead. Its easy to read, and easy to find. Masthead: I made sure my masthead was simple, yet still able to stand out. I didn’t want it to overpower the picture. Front Cover. Main Image: I made the background of the image blurred, as it made Polly the main subject. She stands out well, and the background colour fits well with the other colours I have used. Magazine Email: I put a web address for the magazine on the front cover, as I thought it looked effective under the masthead. Pull quote: I included a pull quote, as I thought it introduces a first look at Polly's interview, also, its full of positive language. Lead article: The lead article is the only thing shown on my front cover, as I thought it was effective not to overcrowd my cover. This is ‘Image led’ rather than ‘Text led’. Cover line: The cover line adds interest for the reader.
Masthead: I made sure the masthead was the biggest font on the page, as this makes it clear what page you’re on. Consistent House Style: I use the same font on each page, also keeping the masthead on each page as magazines like NME did. Contents. Exclusive Articles: I put exclusives at the top separately as they are the most important updated news in the magazine. Main Article: I put the page number in a larger font as it is the main article of the magazine. Main Image: There is only one image on this page, I didn’t put any more on as I wanted my page to be simple, yet with just one effective picture on the side. Regular Articles: I put regulars next, as people who would regularly buy this magazine, would probably like to read them. Featured Articles: These are articles for people who are interested in competitions would look at. Page numbers: I put page numbers in bold so they stood out.
Masthead: I used the same font size and style for the masthead as I have for the other pages, I did this to make a continuous house style. Double Page Spread. Drop cap. Standfirst: I put the standfirst along the top as I thought it looked more effective and made it stand out so it will be the first thing to be read. Columns: I put it in two columns as it splits up the writing to made it more interesting to read. Its not in big chunks either, I’ve separated questions up to make it more appealing. Lead image: I put my image on one whole side of the magazine, I did this as I thought it looked more effective that having a couple of small pictures with writing placed around them.
Q2: How does your magazine represent particular social groups? I think that I have presented my music artist as a fun, outgoing, bubbly character. I have made the interview light hearted and quite open, yet still keeping within asking music-related questions. I wanted my magazine to be a soft rock, edgy magazine, and I like to think I achieved that. I made sure she looked young, yet professional, by wearing a leather jacket, military boots, and harsh colours such as black and brown. I took the photo’s in places which I also thought would fit with how I wanted my magazine to come across as. The front covers photo was taken at an old Chapel door, the contents page photo was taken on an old crumbly Graveyard wall covered in moss, and the DPS photo was taken in an old Quarry. I think these images and their destinations helped me show the ‘rock’ side of things, yet I think how I didn’t ask her to wear too much makeup, made it seem young and friendly still. My interview is written in a way which would appeal to quite a few different types of people. Its not aimed for men or women, its aimed for both. I have written it so it appeals to teenagers/young adults, its not written in a ‘language’ for people over the age of 25. It is written for people that enjoy finding out about new artists/new bands, and whats coming up for them.
Q3: What kind of media institution might distribute your magazine and why? I think if anyone published my magazine, it would be IPC publishers. This is because they publish NME, and my magazine is similar to NME. My magazine is not very crowded, and neither is NME, yet both have the same features of a conventional magazine. I think my audience might prefer to have a digital copy of my magazine. I think this because its aimed for teenagers/young adults, and that’s the generation that prefer to do many things online. Also, the price is an attractive feature to my audience, therefore I think it would be cheaper if it is sold online. My magazine has lots of competitions in it, so I think it would be easier for my target audience to apply for them online, I think they would find it an easy thing to do and prefer it to having to send it off. It also includes gig information, so having it online, makes it easier for my readers to look up any extra information, or to book the tickets. I think they would find many aspects of magazines better if it was placed on the internet. The reason why they would possibly like a hard copy, is so that they have something to own, as you buy something, you quite like to own it, and if they wanted to cut out any pictures, they would be able to do that if it was printed.
IPC: IPC has music magazine giant NME, I based my magazine partially on NME as I liked how it wasn’t overcrowded and used a large picture to sell itself.
Bauer Media: Bauer Media publish music magazine Kerrang!. Kerrang! Is a popular magazine, with lots of fans and readers. This magazine is very different to mine, as it is more grungy and informative.
Q4: Who would be the audience for your magazine? I have targeted my magazine for ages 15-20. This is because I can relate easily to that age group, and can understand what people in this group like, and dislike. My survey showed me what kind of things people liked, and I tried to develop my magazine, by using a lot of these ideas from people. I also added in things that I had seen in other magazines, such as NME which is what I found a lot of my target audience read. I would say my magazine is aimed more towards females, rather than males, as my featured artist is a girl and this could put some men off by thinking it will be too girl-related, yet some guys would still like some of the things I have featured in my magazine, such as gig information and discounts. I don’t think older people would benefit from my magazine, they would probably enjoy looking through the latest bands, and maybe doing the quiz, but I don’t think they would enjoy some of my interviews, and some of the competition prizes would be classed as something a younger person would enjoy more. A younger person would probably have a better time going to some of the gigs, and downloading the free music that my magazine offers as prizes.
What elements appeal to your target audience? I included lots of interviews as the majority of people that did my original Survey, said that they felt interviews would attract them to my magazine. In my original survey, people said that they like vouchers/discounts, and they also mentioned a lot about how they enjoy regularly going to gigs, so I included a discount on a ticket website. I included featured bands and updates, as my target audience selected how they like gig information, so I thought it would be good to include information about new bands/current bands, so that they can see what's new. A quiz just adds to the fun, and works with the age my magazine is targeted at My original survey showed that people want to know about upcoming gigs, and all the information to go with it. So I added that into my regular pages, and I thought latest rock bands fit in quite well with it too, so maybe people will find other bands they might be interested in. My survey showed me that my target audience liked competitions, so I made sure that I included competitions with different prices available, so that it attracts more than one type of reader. I added a subscription page which would have offers for all readers that subscribe, I thought this might attract them to continue to buy my magazine.
Most people liked the picture and the effect that I used for my front cover, saying it looks professional and eye catching, this helps draw in the readers. My survey showed how my audience likes a strong front cover, and I feel I’ve achieved this. A lot of people also like the colours that I have chosen throughout my front cover, saying that it is simple, yet effective, my target audience obviously prefer this. My survey showed that my audience liked a picture led magazine, and I think my magazine fits that.
A lot of people have said that I could improve by adding more content and information on the front cover. They would like to be able to see more of what is inside, by simply looking at the front cover. I added as little information as I could due to the response from my original survey suggesting people prefer a poster style magazine, but it seems I have now added not enough. People have also suggested that I make my writing stand out more, and add more colour to it. I put it in the pale grey, as I thought it fitted with my colour scheme, I also thought it looked good against the door, I did try to make it stand out by putting a transparent colour rectangle behind it, although this obviously wasn’t enough. I would have to try making it a darker grey next time.
Lots of people have said they like the layout of my magazine. They have said they like where I have placed the picture, and they like the way it is still simple, but stylish. People have found my contents page easy to navigate, which was my main aim. I put the pages under different titles so it would be easier for people to find what they are looking for through my magazine.
Everyone has mentioned that I should change the background, the colours used, or the font colour. I made the font grey, as I wanted to stick to the theme of the front cover as much as possible, and whilst I was making my magazine, the grey font stood out, but I did not realise that on other peoples screens, it is possibly hard to see and hard to read. If I was able to make this magazine again, I would make the font a darker grey, so that way it would be readable for everyone. As for the background, I wanted my picture to be the centre of everyone's focus, so I wanted to keep the colours minimal, but maybe I should have added a pale colour background to improve this, so it isn’t just white.
The majority of people have commented about the layout of my magazine, and they seem to like it. My original survey showed that people preferred a poster style/image led magazine, so I made a whole page, just a picture of my artist, and put the text on the other side, as I thought my audience would like this and find it attractive, and it seems as though they did! People have said that they like the information which I have given on my DPS. I tried to make it appealing to my target audience by separating out the columns and making it look less, but still be full of good, useful information. I feel I've achieved that as people have said that's what they like about it, and that's what I was aiming for, people to like my interview.
People have suggested I mix up the pictures and text, or reduced the size of the picture to add more text. In my original survey, my target audience said that they preferred to have less text, so in my magazine, including my interview, I tried to make it seem as though there was as little text as possible and mainly led with my images. I could have added more text, but from going by what my survey results were, I didn’t think it would attract my readers. A lot of people have commented on how I should try to make the font a better size and darker in colour. I would have done this, if I had known it wasn’t readable, although, the computer screens that I worked on to make my magazine showed the font fine. Although if this affects my readers, I will bear it in mind for my next project.
Here are a few things which people have said about my images. There were mixed responses, some people liked them, others had some things I could improve. Most people liked them and thought they suited my magazines style. I tried to make her look at the camera at least once, for my front cover, as her looking towards the camera is a strong, striking pose. Yet she was more comfortable looking away for the other poses, I also liked my chosen places for the photo’s, someone suggested using a studio, but I wanted it to be in a ‘rough’ looking place as I thought it suited the genre better.
Most people have said yes, they would buy it. The majority of people have included in their comment that it looks good, and the price is good. A few people have said they wouldn’t, as they are guys, but that is good as I aimed it for girls more than for guys, as I think there are a lot of magazines out there that mainly aim towards guys (Kerrang! NME, Q). They also mentioned it would be aimed for younger girls, this is also good, as my target audience is teenage girls mainly, with the exception of a few guys who might just be interested in the competitions.
Q6: What have you learnt about technologies? I have used many different websites whilst doing my magazine project. I have used my Facebook account to post surveys which I have learnt how to do on Survey Monkey. I also used Blogger, which was completely new to me, as I have never written a blog before. I used Slideshare to publish PowerPoint presentations on my blog, and also issuu, which is also used to help convert things to be published. I have learnt how to use those two websites throughout this course also. I can now confidently create a piece of work, make it accessible through Slideshare/issuu, and post it onto a blog, if I was asked to do that in September, I wouldn’t know where to begin! I have learnt so many Photoshop techniques through doing this magazine project. I had never used Photoshop before, so even getting a piece of paper on the screen was new to me! I can now confidently use curves, Gaussian blur, Lens corrections. I can also use things like brushes, and add different fonts to Photoshop from dafont.com. I can also adjust images by using black and white, Hue and Saturation, contrast and brightness. I have learnt so many different techniques from different websites, I am confident that I could create something like this again.
Q7: What have you learnt? You can tell by just looking at these two images of my front cover, that I have improved a lot throughout the production of my music magazine. My first one is very crowded, and in my opinion, not laid out very well, things are just placed everywhere as I wanted to fit in as many features as possible. Now I have learnt you don’t need to follow the conventional magazine features, you can do things how you like and make it just as effective. Also, you can tell that my Photoshop skills have improved greatly as I haven’t stuck with a simple image, I have used effects on my Music magazine, whereas I just left my Student magazines image without any adjustments. My Music magazine looks a lot more professional than the College magazine, I personally think I have learnt many things since beginning this media course.
Has doing this magazine helped me decide whether to continue with Media A2? AS media has definitely given me an idea of what this kind of thing is all about, I didn’t know that magazines weren’t as hard as they look to create! I have enjoyed this year a lot, and I think I have made loads of progress (seeing as I didn’t know the first thing about Photoshop when I arrived!), although, unfortunately I don’t think I will continue through to A2. I don’t think I would be able to cope with having to create a music video as I’m not really interested in that kind of thing, I think I would struggle. I think it’s a fun idea for other people, and I’m sure its a really good thing to have a go at doing, it’s just not my thing.