In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Before creating my magazine I researched popular music magazines to find out what conventions they usually include. Front Cover I included a slogan for my magazine, as this is common feature of all magazines. From my research, I found that many magazine front covers such as Billboard and NME cover part of the title with their main image. I listed some of the articles and artists which are in my magazine. When doing my research, I found that Q put some of their articles in coloured boxes, to emphasise them, so I included this to make the text stand out over my image. I also found that most magazines include one main central image, and text to tell the reader what the article invollving that person is about. This text is usually bigger and more eye catching than the text about the other articles.
Front Cover I included the price of my magazine, as well as the date of the issue, as this is a convention of all magazine front covers. From my research, I found that the colours red, black, and white were very popular in magazines as they stand out and look good together, so I used this colour scheme for my magazine. I followed the structure of some magazine front covers by having most of my articles lined up down the left hand side of the page. A lot of magazines include other small images on the front cover. However, I challenged this convention by just having one main image, as I thought the cover might look too busy with another image on it. I put a barcode of my front cover, as this needs to be on the front of all magazines. Another convention I challenged was that some magazines include banners across the top, but I chose not to include this. However, I used a banner across the bottom of the page to include other names of other artists in my magazine.
Contents Page I listed all of my articles and page numbers down the left hand side of the page, and included a sentence stating more about the article under each one, which is similar to the layout of Q magazine’s contents page. I continued my colour scheme of red, black, and white, from my front cover, which is a common feature in magazines. I included images on my contents page, related to some of the articles, and included a caption on them to tell the reader which article it is related to. This is a common convention of most magazines. From my contents page research, I found that most magazines split the articles into separate sections, so I included this convention in my magazine and split my articles into “Features” and “Every Month”. One convention I didn’t include in my magazine contents page is an editor’s note, which is common in magazines. I didn’t include this as I didn’t want the page to look too busy.
Double Page Spread I continued my colour scheme, and used the same font as the contents page, which is a convention used in magazines. From my research, I found that many magazines used pull out quotations from the article. I included this and made them red and bold to emphasise them more. In my double page spread, I used an image of the artist which the article is about, which is a common convention in magazines. I included a filmstrip in the corner of the page, with an image of the artist, and tilted it so it was diagonal. This isn’t a typical convention usually seen in magazines, but I used it to make the page look less boring, so it isn’t just all text. I used the convention of columns for the interview, as this makes the page more organised and clear to read. I also put the questions in bold to make it clear where the answer starts and the question ends.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? My magazine represents the social group of teenagers, as the target audience for my magazine is older teenagers (15-20), and this audience involves the social group of teenagers. They are represented as fans of music, particularly of these genres, and as being interested in things such as gigs. This social group is represented through the articles used in the magazine, as well as the main image I used, as he is included in this social group. This main image also represents musicians, and I used this model as he looks like he would fit in with a stereotypical pop/rock band.
What kinds of media institution might distribute your media product and why? My magazine is similar to other music magazines such as Q and NME, as they include popular music which is currently in the charts, as well as upcoming artists, and focus around pop/rock artists and bands. Q magazine is published by the Bauer Media Group, which is Europe’s largest privately owned publishing group. They offer over 230 magazines in 15 countries, as well as online, TV and radio stations. Other music magazines published by Bauer are Empire, Kerrang, and Mojo, and other magazines include Heat, Closer, and FHM. NME magazine is published by IPC Media, which is one of the United Kingdom’s leading consumer magazine and digital publishers. The distribute a wide range of magazines as well as NME, such as Marie Claire, Look, and Now. Both of these publishers are part of bigger institutions, so they could promote the magazine through horizontal integration. Stores most likely to stock my magazine would be retail stores such as WHSmith, and newsagents, as these shops stock a range of magazines of diverse genres, and for all types of consumer.
Who would be the audience for your media product? The target audience for my magazine is older teenagers (aged around 15-20), as the magazine includes artists and articles relevant to this age range. It is not targeted at one specific gender, and I made sure to use colours and articles which are not gender specific, so I could target males and females. My magazine is also aimed at music fans, particularly fans of pop/rock as this is the main genre which my magazine focuses on.
How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted my target audience through the articles and artists I included in my magazine. From my research I looked at what articles appear on magazines which are targeted at the same audience as mine, such as Billboard magazine, and as I am in the target audience myself, I thought about what articles and artists I would like to read about. I targeted both genders by using colours which aren’t specific to males or females. Red, black, and white is a common colour scheme in music magazines, so it attracts both genders. I also used articles which would appeal to both genders, such asa gig guide, and the top albums of the decade. I also targeted music fans, particularly those who are interested in the pop/rock gender by having all of my articles music-orientated, and including mostly pop/rock artists and bands. I tried to make my magazine as eye catching and interesting as possible to attract the audience. The colour red stands out and catches the audiences attention. I also included a lot of titles of articles and artists on the front to interest the reader and make them want to buy it, as anyone who is a fan of any of the artists would be interested. In my contents page, I addressed the audience by asking them questions and including them.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Before constructing this magazine, I hadn’t had a lot of experience with Photoshop, so I have learnt a lot about Photoshop, and developed many skills whilst making my magazine.
I learnt how to edit images effectively using Photoshop. For my main image, I edited it by adjusting the brightness levels, and I used the Lasso too to cut the background out accurately.
I also edited the images on my contents page. I adjusted the brightness levels, and also added drop shadow and bevel & emboss effects.
I also learnt how to use different fonts, as instead of just using one of the ones already on Photoshop, I downloaded one from dafont.com called Reboard.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Since my preliminary task, I have learnt a lot about conventions of magazines, and developed many skills on Photoshop.
For my music magazine, I researched other popular music magazines, so I found out what features they usually include. Because of this, my final product includes a lot of typical conventions, and looks more realistic and professional than my preliminary magazine. For example, we only included 2 articles, whilst most magazines include a lot more, and we also included a small image overlapping the main image, which you wouldn’t normally see in a magazine.
I developed skills on Photoshop, which I didn’t have when making my preliminary task. Although we did edit the levels of brightness etc for our preliminary magazine, we didn’t add any other effects to it or cut out the background.
Whilst researching and developing my magazine, I have learnt more about how to attract and appeal to a target audience, through features such as the articles and the colour scheme.