In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Throughout the research and planning for my magazine front cover, I analysed two music magazines- Kerrang and Q magazine. These gave me an insight as to what I needed to include in my music magazine front cover, as I took various elements from each magazine. This style of masthead appealed to me most as it spans the full width of the front cover. Therefore I decided that my masthead would be the same. I felt that having an image blocking the masthead was appropriate in a well established magazine like Kerrang, however for an unknown magazine it wouldn’t be suitable. Use of coverlines to the left side of the magazine seemed to establish an orderly layout and so I felt this was the best place to add my own coverlines. I instantly knew, during my research, that I would use an image of the main band for my magazine as the background for my music magazine front cover- meaning it would span the whole size of the page. I felt this looked most professional and it was used in the two music magazines I analysed in detail Use of coverlines written over the top of the main magazine image is space saving and aesthetically effective. This is used in many music magazines and so I knew it would be effective in Splash magazine. Taking inspiration from Q Magazine, I decided I would place a slogan above the masthead, to attract reader attention and generate excitement about the magazine.
This was my final outcome of my music magazine front cover. I feel it is in-keeping with the conventions of other music magazines in terms of the masthead, main image and coverlines. As with almost all music magazines I have looked at, the masthead is in a prime position for competition against other music magazines on a newsagent’s shelf. This is essential as often the masthead is all a perspective buyer will see, so it must stand out Music magazines will conventionally include a few sentences of coverlines over the main image to encourage people to buy the magazines. These lines are often enticing and may tease the reader by only providing a little information. “MySpace Sensation” Indicates great internet hype and causes the reader to want to buy the magazine to find out more. These coverlines are succinct, snappy and enticing. “Beyonce musical influences” will appeal to Beyonce fans, while “Top ten break-though UK Acts of 2009” appeals to those who enjoy unsigned acts. These coverlines correspond to my questionnaires- where I learnt that articles on both famous artists and new or unsigned acts are most popular.
To research contents pages, I analysed NME magazine and Q Magazine. Like my music magazine front cover, I found various elements that I liked and wanted to imitate in my contents page. Organisation of articles into sub headings is something I found in both NME, Q and in other music magazines I looked at. This immediately establishes a firm layout and results in an easily understood contents page. Both NME and Q used “Features” as a sub-heading therefore I included this. Q magazine have an “every month” feature, so I included this also. I included a section “Splash Review” as I got this idea from the Q magazine contents page. This details a review of gigs, albums and unsigned acts and I felt it would work well in Splash magazine I used the unconventional style of Polaroid images on my contents page to add a little variety to Splash Magazine. The contents pages I looked at had one singular image, however I wished to use two- one of my main band and one of another artist. I found this image of a Glasgow band on the internet when I began my research and wanted to imitate this somewhere in my magazine. I found that in NME, they used a part of the contents page to promote the magazine. Therefore I dedicated the bottom to promoting a free gift in this issue. I found from my questionnaires that promotions like these will attract more buyers to my magazine. The idea for the CD itself came from free CD’s that Kerrang magazine have given away in the past.
To plan my double page spread, I analysed Kerrang and NME magazine. While Kerrang was quite Gothic and dark, NME provided helpful elements I could use in my own work. Like NME and Kerrang which both used many images, I decided to dedicate the left side of my double page spread to images. Through my questionnaire research I found that perspective readers enjoy use of images in the magazine and so I think my use of five images is appropriate. To continue with the theme of the contents page, I added further Polaroid images here to establish a house style. Magazines spend great time developing a firm house style. Q magazine continually uses red, white and black thought every magazine they issue. Use of a drop cap is important in setting the scene to the article. Like NME, the Splash drop cap introduces the band and the writer I included sub headings to organise my double page spread more neatly. Pull quotes are a regular occurrence on music magazine double page spreads. These are usually larger than the main text and in a different colour. I added two pull quotes to my article to attract instant attention. This title suggests a relatively new band and that this article will provide detailed background information. The colours reflect the house style of Splash also. The titles of articles are often catchy like this and entice the reader
Challenging Conventions My music magazine front cover just contains one main image, whereas on other magazines there tend to be three or four. I found through my questionnaire that my target audience prefer a simple layout with just one or two images and so I chose to go against this usual convention and create a magazine with just one front cover image. In my double page spread I chose to have the title or headline of the page in the centre of the page, rather than on the top left as is conventional of other music magazines. I didn’t want the title to overshadow the top of the main image and so I decided to place it over the photo near the middle. This too adds diversity to the double page spread and adds a little character. My contents page is generally conventional, although the use of Polaroid images is a little diverse and is rarely used in magazines. I feel this gives a laid back presence to the indie magazine and is attractive also.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? <ul><li>Traditionally, a colour scheme of blue and grey would be viewed as being targeted at boys. However, in more recent times it has been accepted that these conventional beliefs can be discarded and so I feel my magazine appeals to both genders. Much white is also used, for instance for my cover lines, Polaroid images, sub-headings and pull quotes. This denotes a fresh and clean-cut magazine and neutral colouring of white appeals to both genders. </li></ul><ul><li>In terms of images used, I chose a large long shot image of two boys to be placed on my front cover and a smaller long shot of the boys on my contents page. These kinds of images are likely to appeal to both boys and girls, as boys may be interested in a band where the members are close in age to themselves and are interested in reading a ‘rags to riches’ story. Similarly, girls may be attracted to the indie image and the clothing style of the two boys and will be interesting in reading more about them. </li></ul><ul><li>To ensure my magazine represented both sexes equally, I included an image of a female solo artist on my contents page. This adds variety and guarantees that a perspective reader will not feel that the magazine is targeted exclusively at one gender. </li></ul><ul><li>After undertaking my research and distributing questionnaires, I found that Indie and pop music were popular choices among my target readership of 14-22 year olds. Therefore I established the genre of the magazine as indie, however there are certain pop influences, such as the mention of Lady GaGa, Beyonce and the Brit Awards. In this way, I feel my magazine represents the main musical interests of my target audience well, as it is not simply a niche magazine, but incorporates other musical influences also. </li></ul>I have used four different fonts throughout the music magazine front cover, contents page and double page spread. These, to me, represent an indie or punk style magazine as the fonts are edgy and bold. I added this exclusively for the Uncut double page spread to act as the logo for the band. It represents an edgy band, with the blue reflecting the Splash house style This is a neutral font used throughout the project. It is appealing to both genders and works well to represent an indie magazine As with all the music magazines I looked at, simple Arial text was used for the main body of text. This allows the magazine to be simple and easy to read This is the main font used for the masthead. It is innovative and edgy and comes to represent Splash any time it is used
<ul><li>Due to the fonts used, the band depicted and the double page spread article, it becomes clear that my magazine represents a younger age group of around 14-22. This is generally the age group magazines such as Kerrang, NME and Q target and so it is this section of society that advertising, all images, logos and text is aimed at. </li></ul><ul><li>The National Readership Survey use social grade definitions to profile audiences. I feel, that as my magazine is targeted primarily at teenagers, they do not easily fit into the categories established by the survey- as part time jobs, schooling and disposable income must be taken into consideration. However, I would place my readership at the grades between C1 and E- lower middle class to working class. Although this age group tend to not have a steady regular income, any money they do have is disposable to them, so this teenage age group tends to be the greatest buyers in terms of luxury items like magazines. </li></ul>I feel that my readership may look and dress like this These are the kinds of bands that will be featured on a monthly basis in Splash
<ul><li>In taking my images and the choice of articles I choose to promote, regrettably people from different ethnicity to my own are not represented. This is a difficult aspect of my magazine creation to think about, as generally, the indie persuasion and trend doesn’t include Asian or black people. </li></ul><ul><li>Splash magazine would benefit from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures as this would attract a wider readership and result in a more diverse magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>On reflection, if I could re-do the magazine, I would attempt in a more detailed way to include minorities in society to reflect a twenty first century magazine effectively. However, I am well aware of what indie culture usually connotates, and this could be looked upon as unusual in a magazine of this style. </li></ul>
<ul><li>To research this I looked at two media institutions – IPC Media who publish NME magazine and Bauer Media who publish Kerrrang! And Q magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>IPC Media is one of the United Kingdom's leading consumer magazine and digital publishers, with a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year. </li></ul><ul><li>Almost two in every three UK women and over 44% of UK men read an IPC magazine. IPC employs over 2,200 people. </li></ul><ul><li>IPC Media Publish NME magazine, which reaches over one million fans every week. </li></ul><ul><li>NME includes articles on contemporary music, features, the latest releases, live reviews, and a guide to the best new bands in its Radar section, as well as a regular look back through the magazines 58 year heritage </li></ul><ul><li>NME magazine is targeted at a similar age-group to that of Splash and include a variety of bands such as Oasis, The Gossip and The Automatic. This indicates that IPC Media do well at promoting the magazine to a variety of readers, steering clear of a niche market magazine. </li></ul>What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Other IPC Media products This variety indicates that IPC Media are well established and accomplished at attracting interest in a huge variety of magazine genre.
Bauer Media <ul><li>With well established music magazines in it’s repertoire, Bauer Media obviously are accomplished at the promotion of various genre of music magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>Kerrang! is a rock music magazine published by Bauer Consumer Media in the United Kingdom. Kerrang! remained the UK’s best-selling music weekly in 2009 at 43,253 total circulation </li></ul><ul><li>Bauer media define the readership of Kerrang! Magazine as “Individually minded, independent of thought and musically experienced, an audience defined by attitude, passion and loyalty.” </li></ul><ul><li>Kerrang have featured many international artists of great notoriety such as Slipknot, Biffy Clyro and Fall out Boy </li></ul>Q magazine is another successful magazine published by Bauer Media Group. Since launch in 1986, Q has been the UK’s best selling music monthly magazine. The magazine has an extensive review section, featuring: new releases, music compilations, film and live concert reviews, as well as radio and television reviews. This is where I took for the review section of Splash magazine and so this is particularly important to me. Inspiration Bauer Media define the readers of Q as “Open minded experience seekers, the Q audience don’t define themselves by the music they listen to. Music is an important passion, but their love of music will never be to the detriment of their other passions, such as film, sport and comedy.” Other Bauer Media Group products
<ul><li>Due to the hugely successful Kerrang! And Q magazines, I feel Bauer Media would work best with publishing My splash magazine. Kerrang! Is a dedicated rock magazine, so I can be sure that Bauer Media do well to promote such a niche genre. To the contrary, Q magazine incorporates all music genre, featuring bands spanning across Oasis, Lady GaGa, U2 and Green Day. I feel Splash fits in just between these two kinds of magazine- it is neither niche nor does it have mass-appeal. Splash magazine primarily focuses on the indie and pop scene and so I feel Bauer media would work best at promoting and publishing it. The Bauer Publishing Group comprises 282 magazines worldwide in 15 countries and so I know that it is a tremendously successful company that could promote Splash across the UK and beyond. </li></ul>
Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>“ Indie music” is a term used to describe independence from major commercial record labels and a self-directed, Do-It-Yourself approach to recording and publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>This type of music has influenced Splash magazine and as it is a relatively new concept (with the term coined in the 90’s) my target readership and audience will be teenagers and those in their early twenties mainly. </li></ul><ul><li>The indie feel of the magazine is established immediately through the Mise-en-scene of the main image on the front cover of my magazine. Use of checked shirts, washed out jeans and converse style shoes scream indie and so a perspective reader will pick this up from the offset. </li></ul><ul><li>These images of indie bands The Gaslight Anthem and Tapes 'n Tapes highlight how the clothing I have chosen for the Uncut band is perfect for this style of magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel that readers who look and dress like this will be the very people to purchase Splash magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, the magazine is not exclusively indie-themed, with mentions of pop artists and so a person with an extensive music taste will enjoy reading Splash magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>The laidback feel and style to Splash magazine- in the inclusion of little on the front cover that will over-complicate the page, a cool and calming blue, white and grey colour scheme, a well laid-out and easy to understand contents page and a double page spread with easily read text and attractive images- attracts instantly a teenage or young reader, either male or female. </li></ul>
How did you attract/address your audience? <ul><li>Through research I carried out in the form of questionnaires distributed to my target readership I asked “What articles would you like to read in a music magazine?” I found that new or unsigned acts and articles relating to music awards were most popular and so I decided to include these in my magazine. </li></ul>The new/unsigned act that I created was Uncut, an indie band with two male members. This was documented extensively throughout my front cover and contents page, while my double page spread was written exclusively about the band itself. I felt this would appeal to my target audience, as I had learnt that this kind of discovery of new bands was pleasing to the people I questioned. Marketing the band as indie increased their appeal also, as this was a genre of music noted as being popular by my target audience. I mentioned the music awards twice throughout my magazine, on my front cover and contents page. On the front cover I added it as a cover line to the left side of my page, another element sited by my target readership as being appealing- as summaries of the main stories in the magazine were welcomed. Elsewhere, I added text a little more substantial to the contents page indicating that the article could be found on page 3. New or unsigned acts Articles relating to music awards
<ul><li>I also asked my target audience “In what way could you be persuaded to buy a music magazine?” – images were the most popular option, followed by competitions, feature articles and free gifts. </li></ul>Free gifts Pictures Competitions Feature articles In my magazine, I therefore included, the feature article on the band Uncut, eight images throughout my magazine and a free gift as promoted on the contents page. Through researching an NME contents page, I decided that a free gift should be documented on the bottom of the page, so I created a CD featuring both unsigned acts and new artists. The inspiration for the CD came from the Kerrang! Free gifts that they release round once a year. The main image is appealing to both genders, the style indicates indie music- a popular music genre, the boys look approachable, amicable and are easy to relate to for other teenagers. My front cover appeals to the readership in a variety of ways. The masthead of the magazine should appeal to my readership as blue was sighted as a preferred colour for the magazine in its entirety. The font is edgy and reflects an indie magazine I found in my questionnaires that coverlines were preferred and these help a perspective reader in their decision to buy the magazine or not My questionnaires indicated that one or two images would be preferred for the front cover as opposed to a variety of images, I took this to mean that a simple front cover is desirable and so my front cover avoids over-complication
Many images as opposed to one appeal to the target audience that have indicated that images are appealing. Also avoids an overload of text that will loose the interest of the reader quickly. Drop cap to inform the reader of the background to the article and writer Pull quotes attract readers attention and are instantly appealing . Emphases the humility and friendly nature of the band- readers will relate to them. Overall calming colour scheme of blue, white and grey. The reader becomes familiarised with the house style of the magazine and appreciates it. Colloquial language allows the reader to feel at ease, as the article feels friendly and conversational. “We just recorded one of our own songs one evening and posted the video on the net.” Double page spread- attractive to the audience Article ends on an upbeat and positive note- “At Splash we’re confident for the future of these Irish teenagers.” Various quotations embedded into the text “This felt like the breakthrough the band needed- ‘We finally had hope we could go beyond our internet roots.’” Whole left hand side dedicated to images. Images of the boys in the style of Polaroid's interest the reader and are consistent with the contents page
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>Prior to this project my knowledge of Photoshop was next to none and so throughout my preliminary task I spent my time learning how to create backgrounds with gradients, how to draw basic shapes, use of fonts and positioning these on the canvas, and adding and editing images. These skills that I was developing allowed me to create a front cover and contents page for a school magazine. </li></ul>Although these are basic they provided me with a set of skills that I could develop into my main outcomes. After I had completed my preliminary task, I began taking photos using a digital camera for my main task. For each of these framing, composition, Mise-en-scene, lighting and editing had to be considered. Learning to take good-quality photos on a digital camera can be difficult, especially as there were time constraints in terms of how much time I had with my models. These photos denote two teenage boys in checked shirts and jeans. However the connotative meanings of this are an indie band, a laid back magazine, a relaxed new act and a specific genre of music- denoted especially with the guitars.
Photoshop- skills <ul><li>I used Photoshop to edit some of my photos. This mainly consisted of cropping, changing photos to grey scale and removing the background. </li></ul>I cropped this image and made it black and white so it looked more professional on my double page spread The background here was dull and boring. Therefore I used the background eraser tool to remove it. I had to alter my tolerance however, as I got closer to the parts of my model’s hair and clothes that I wanted to keep in the photo. I also used the blur tool around the edges slightly to remove any imperfections in the image after I cut out the background. I changed the background to grey, to follow the house style of Splash magazine. Using layers confused me at first, but I learnt how to navigate between layers eventually and found this a useful way to isolate the section of the image I was working on. <ul><li>Other tools I used were: </li></ul><ul><li>Paint bucket tool </li></ul><ul><li>Magic wand tool </li></ul><ul><li>Red eye tool </li></ul><ul><li>Spot healing brush tool </li></ul><ul><li>Text box tool </li></ul><ul><li>Custom shape tool </li></ul><ul><li>Magnifying tool </li></ul>
I learned to use grid guidelines when completing my tasks as these help to align the work and ensure everything I used was straight and accurate. Fonts For my fonts I used 1001 fonts, an internet site and copied them into a windows folder for fonts. I was then able to open these in Photoshop and use them throughout my magazine. This font is called ‘If’ and is the font I decided to use for my masthead, title on the contents page and sub headings. These other fonts were downloaded from 1001 fonts also and are used in both the front cover, contents page and double page spread. This splash mark used throughout my magazine is also downloaded from Google and pasted into a windows folder for brushes. This adds to the Splash theme of my magazine and is aesthetically pleasing
Microsoft Publisher <ul><li>In order to create preliminary flatplans, I used Microsoft publisher, as this was the most obvious method to use before I became accomplished at Photoshop </li></ul>This is the flatplan of my music magazine front cover. I created this on publisher before completing another flatplan on Photoshop. These are the contents page flatplans I created on publisher. These reflect the two colour schemes I was originally considering when planning my magazine Becoming more accomplished at Photoshop, I decided to create the flatplan for my double page spread on Photoshop instead
Microsoft Excel This graph was created in conjunction with the results I received on the most popular articles that could be placed in a music magazine. The graph clearly illustrates that new or unsigned acts and music awards articles would be most popular. This graph illustrates the results found when I asked people what images they would like to see most in a music magazine. The clear favourite was of both famous and new or unsigned acts. However, as all of my images had to be original I simply included the names of famous artists and filled my magazine with original images. I inserted the data like this into various cells on Excel and was able to make these into graphs to illustrate the results I obtained <ul><li>In order to produce graphs of results for the questionnaires I distributed, I used Microsoft Excel. This allowed me to produce visual results that were meaningful and results that could be compared easily. </li></ul>
Blogging <ul><li>Initially, I was confused and daunted at the idea of using a blog site. However I quickly began to understand PbWorks and soon learnt how to post my work up quickly and efficiently. I learnt how to create new pages and to post links from the main site, to the various pages I had made. I updated my Sidebar with links to all aspects of my work and was able to change the colour, size and font of the text. </li></ul>On my front page, I have been keeping a blog up to date on the various work I have completed and on which dates. This blog provides links to individual pages. These links then follow onto full pages of work that I have completed- for instance, this reader profile page. Through my blog I was also able to upload all of the images I had taken associated with my project and get peer opinions Lisa said at 1:00 pm on Feb 11, 2010 I like photo 1 and 8 as possible front cover images and I think you should use photos 3,5 and 7 in your contents page On my blog I can also keep up to date by viewing my classmates blog sites and seeing their work. I was also able to keep a sidebar which includes links to all of my work, and this was separated into preliminary task work, planning and research and construction
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? <ul><li>As I have addressed already, I have learnt much technically in the progression from the preliminary to main tasks. </li></ul>I learnt how to rotate this text by clicking edit, transform and rotate. As I had no previous experience with Photoshop, I learnt how to create text boxes and fill these with colour and text I learned to insert, crop and edit the colour of images Due to learning this previously, I then was able to rotate my Polaroid images on my contents page and double page spread
<ul><li>Following on from this, I then learnt how to download fonts and paintbrushes from the internet which contributed hugely to the look of my front cover, contents page and double page spread. </li></ul><ul><li>I learned how to create a more aesthetically pleasing layout but just adding one image on the front cover and two in the contents page. This has avoided over-crowding, something that is present in my preliminary task. In my contents page I kept all of the information on articles to once side of the page, as opposed to across the whole of the page in my preliminary task. </li></ul><ul><li>During my preliminary task I did not know how to remove background from photos. However, during my main task I watched several Photoshop tutorials on the internet and learned this skill to use on my photo in the contents page. This adds to my contents page as, had the image been left how it was originally, the magazine would have looked less professional. During my preliminary task I received feedback that some of my images were blurry and this caused the magazine to look poor quality. Therefore in my main task I was very careful about my choice of images to avoid the same mistake again. </li></ul><ul><li>Through the task I have gained much knowledge as to how the media industry works that I was unaware of before. The need to create an advertising pack for potential advertisers was a new aspect to me that I hadn’t thought of before. I achieved this through distributing questionnaires to my target audience and finding out their favourite foods, shops, fizzy drinks and music genres. </li></ul>
<ul><li>This information can then be used to create a reader profile for the target audience of my magazine. Throughout my research I found that these are the most popular brands among the target audience and so these are all potential advertisers. </li></ul>I also learnt a lot about media institutions- learning that companies like IPC Media and Bauer Media and the National Magazine Company are responsible for the hundreds of magazines on the shelves of newsagent’s each week. I learned that magazines have particular conventions they follow in terms of the layout of their magazine- masthead at the top, coverlines, buzz words and drop caps. As well as their house style and tone in addressing the reader. Many magazines, like Splash are conversational in their writing, often use the personal pronoun “we” and frequently use quotations to anchor their points. I know that getting the masthead style and position is vital as this is the first and possibly only part of the magazine a perspective reader will see on a newsagent’s shelf. Each magazines is in competition with hundreds of others and they need a unique selling point to be noticed. I learnt that almost all of magazine revenue is generated through advertising so this is one of the most important elements to get right. This is all driven by the target audience which I had firmly in mind throughout my production- both male and female from age 14-22.
Communication skills <ul><li>I have learned much about communication throughout this media task. The need for communication with the models for the photoshoot was essential. I had to organise a date, time and location and on the actual photoshoot- dictate the clothing, poses and types of shots I wanted. </li></ul><ul><li>Communication with my peers and teacher became very different as we contacted each other much more through C2K emails, our blog sites and discussion forums. This brought me into a whole new age of technology and helped me get to grips with new forms of communication that I wouldn’t have used previously and on a daily basis. </li></ul>This is the St Catherine's teacher’s blog, on this work for each week that needed to be completed was posted on the blog and so we could keep up to date on the tasks that needed to be completed. This discussion forum could be used to get peer opinion or to simply chat about YouTube clips and was a useful way to keep in touch Using a questionnaire to gauge peer opinion is another useful means to communicate with a wide group of people and this is something I used at the beginning of my task