In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I feel that my music magazine generally utilises forms and conventions of real media products; whether this be in the layout, design or styles. The ‘main’, feature article on the contents page. For example: I have positioned the magazine masthead in the conventional place - at the top of the page. This will make the magazine stand out to the audience when positioned on the shop shelves. Also, the contents page has a typical structure, with features etc on the left, and then a ‘main’ article featured on the right of the page - this layout is shown in my magazine research, in the ‘Q’ magazine example. Articles featured within the magazine.
Perhaps one development of forms and/or conventions, is the picture layout on the double page spread; instead of having one large prominent image on one page, I have decided to include three medium sized images on a single page. I think this adds more interest to the article for the reader, with giving them more images of the artist featured.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? The magazine is clearly targeted at readers with an interest in Indie music. This means artists that work independently, and therefore are most often solo artists. This is shown in the magazine, with me focusing the articles shown on solo artists; ie: Daniel and Alice. With the solo artists using electro acoustic/acoustic guitars in the images, it shows how they wouldn’t record music such as heavy metal. This reassures the audience on what genre of music is featured in the articles and ultimately how they will perceive the artists and their music.
I believe the impression a reader would get of the people featured in the magazine would be that they are non-rebellious artists. This is bought across even in the clothes they are wearing. For example Daniel is wearing a light blue hooded jumper and a pair of jeans, possibly showing his relaxed ‘side’. I also think that this ‘dress code’ - what Daniel is wearing - would match that of the audience; the jumper and jeans are possibly what the target audience would wear every day. This allows the audience to connect better with, and ultimately relate to the artist. Blue is a neutral colour, showing calmness.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Most magazines are published through publishing houses. This is a suitable starting point for magazines. However online distribution has become an increasingly popular option for new magazines, as it is cheap and often already focused at the teenage target audience. Bauer and IPC Media are already specialists in producing magazines of a similar genre to mine so if they were to publish a new magazine like mine it would have a good chance of being a success in the market. For example, NME is published by IPC Media. If I were to put my magazine into production, I think the best place to start would be an online edition. This is a cheaper form of distribution and one which would target my audience of teenagers (16-20 year olds) well, as they are the audience group who use the internet most often. If the magazine then became popular through this type of distribution, I would probably look to a media institution, specifically a publishing house, who would possibly publish my magazine for sale in shops.
Who would be the audience for your media product? As stated in my audience profile the audience for my media product would be 16-20 year olds, who, I feel this age are most interested in reading about music, specifically Indie music. I have made the magazine so that it is possible to target both male and female audiences and at the same time appealing to the interests of the target audience, through the articles, ie: ‘new albums, new singles, new tours’, as well as including appropriate images of artists and free gifts. For example the colour scheme used is appealing to both males and females; shades of reds etc.
How did you attract/address your audience? To attract the 16-20 year olds, I have used things such as the colour scheme. Using reds, oranges and yellows will make it stand out from other magazines on the shelf. To target an audience interested in Indie music, the title had to be catchy. To achieve this, I settled on ‘Indiependent’. Which captures the genre and what the genre means.
I have made the magazine so that it is possible to target both male and female audiences, this is through colours – reds and oranges, and also the artists featured, one being male and the other female; interesting the two genders. To capture the interests of the audience, I have included relevant and appropriate articles and images, as well as free gifts and competitions. The free gifts will entice the audience to buy the magazine when seen on the shelf.
Audience Feedback I undertook interviews of my class peers to establish the success of my magazine. Questions asked included; whether the colour scheme was appropriate, whether the images used related well to the content and whether this would effectively appeal to my target audience. From the interviews I have discovered that there was a general possitive response to:
the colour scheme being appropriate for my target audience of male/female 16-25 year olds.
images that relate well to the content of articles/text.
the fonts used were appropriate for the genre, as well as being easy to read.
a memorable masthead, defining the magazine against others on the shelf.
My peers were able to recognise my intentions in attracting a certain target market through such mediums detailed above. The feedback in the interviews show me that there was a generally possitive response to my magazine, where factors such as colour scheme, fonts and images help the magazine achieve its full potential in attracting the targeted audience.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? The preliminary task allowed me to become familiar with desktop publishing; using Microsoft Publisher. For example applying images as backgrounds to the mastheads. Software used in the whole project includes;
Microsoft Publisher, in which I created the final magazine product. This software was used for the layout of pages; ie text and images, and I also used it to edit the brightness and contrast of some images.
Macromedia Fireworks, in which I manipulated and edited images that were used in the magazine. This software was primarily used to remove subjects, ie: people, from backgrounds. I also used it to edit colours and hues.
Using ‘Splashup’ (image editing software) to edit the images, also allowed me to become familiar with the process of image editing. This could be the hue, to cropping certain areas, which all help to enhance an image.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I have learnt how to manipulate and edit photos in Macromedia Fireworks, including how to remove a subject from a background. I also used a simple image editing technique in Microsoft Publisher; editing the brightness and contrast of pictures. Using these techniques made for a stronger full product as the images used created pages that were more eye-catching and interesting. After researching existing products I found that most music magazines follow conventions in the layout of pages, in particular the front page. This was something I took on-board and built into my own magazine. The forms and conventions of magazines are something I feel I have learnt in the progression from the preliminary task to the final magazine product. Another thing learnt from research of existing media is that magazines need a house style. This creates a product that has consistency and a professional quality, that appeals to the target audience.