In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I think my media product has used a lot of stereotypical conventions, as well challenging some of the typical conventions. First, I used the common conventions of the masthead at the very top of the front cover, a barcode, date, price, main cover line, a button which advertises freebies and a banner advertising a free give away.
Next was one artist being shown on the front cover, which acted as the main focal point of the magazines. However I challenged some of the typical conventions by not including things such as a strapline or added any other pictures of other artists/bands featured in the magazine. Which music magazines commonly do. Most of my inspiration was drawn from a number of NME covers, the simplicity is something I have taken and incorporated into my text. The indie scene
is notable for its unusual and different dress sense, and this can be reflected with the presentation of the magazine and the artists included inside, predominantly the one featuring Paul Weller on the cover. Although I have not chosen to use the same style of model for my magazine as NME. I have still tried to stick with the layout and limited use of colours, making it simplistic .
Most of my inspiration for my contents page came from the older styles of NME. I have chosen to follow their conventions of using one main image of an article featured in the magazine and sub headings placed on a block of colour. I have also added a subscription feature, which is commonly seen on music magazine contents pages. The main picture I have used is very simple yet affective, and much like the NME one it doesn’t give too much away about the article, making readers want to carry on reading.
I have made the page numbers bold making them stand out, so it easy for readers to navigate around the page, and kept within the colour scheme used on the front cover and double page spread. Although I chose to follow conventions of a real media product, I have also challenged it by not choosing to have a band index as shown on the NME contents page.
For my article I have stereotypically followed the conventions of a double page spread that you would find in a music magazine. I chose to do an interview with the cover artist, and I have stuck to the convention of placing one main image on a the page, covering a large proportion of it. And then put the interview on the opposite page, and used alternating colours for the questions and answers, which you would commonly find in such magazine.
I decided on using a main image instead of a few smaller ones which is also common in music magazines, because I wanted the readers to be fully focussed on the artist and her interview, and being able to connect with her without being distracted by a busy background or an instrument, instead of being confused by lots of little pictures scattered around the page. This could give the impression that the artist is more focused about having that connection with her fans, than she is about her music.
I have stereotypically written my interview in columns and have started the text of with a drop cap.
Again, along with my front cover and contents page I took most of my influence from NME magazine, as I found from looking at various other music magazines NME had more simplistic double page spreads, in appearance.
Throughout my magazine I have used images where my model has got direct eye contact with the camera, this ensures that the reader always has a connection with the magazine and feels that they can relate to the articles in it.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
The social groups represented in my magazine are a range of social groups, because my magazine has an average age range from around 15-25, that are in social groups such as college students, younger workers and university students. I think my magazine represents these types of people as it uses appropriate colours for both males and females, and the images used are appropriate for the genre of magazine that it is and the age range of the social groups, as the models and images used are all within that range.
The cover model is young, which allows this particular social group to relate to my magazine and find it more appealing. I have also used bold colours and text, allowing my audience to be attracted to the magazine on first look, as stereotypically young people are always on the go and doing something, so by instantly being attracted to the magazine, without having to be stopped, while on the go and search for it.
My chosen colour scheme was blue, red and white. Ironically the colours of the Union Jack. This fits in with the theme of my magazine as my articles are predominantly British and the model I have used is British.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
A media institution such as IPC Media might distribute my product because they are already a big company that deals with similar magazine types, and as they are big they would have the money that could be put into my magazine. Or an institution such as Bauer who have successful magazines such as Q and Kerrang! that are highly respectable magazines and have a strong audience, which could be beneficial for my magazine to help build that as they do not currently distribute any other magazine that is of a similar genre to mine, so therefore there would be a niche in the market for my magazine attracting more customers. They are a highly successful company and publish 323 magazines in 15 different countries, which would help with the promotion of my magazine.
My magazine would be distributed in local shops near to schools, colleges and universities, which would make it accessible for my target audience to purchase. Without them having to go out their way to search for it and missing out on issues.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
The audience for my media product would be both males and females aged between 15 and 25, that have a keen interest in indie music, and do not have a very high expendable income.
How did you attract/address your audience?
I attracted/addressed my audience by using consistent colours appealing to both males and females. I also used features such as ‘win Reading and Leeds tickets’ and ‘free new music poster special’ to entice my audience to buy the magazine, but also to appeal to them as they may be on low income, and getting things for free appeals to them. I have priced my magazine fairly cheaply compared to real media products that are already out there, as I noticed, some magazines will go as far as charging £3.00, so I thought by choosing a price between what most magazines charge, which is £2.00 and £3.00 would make it more appealing to my audience, because it is fairly reasonably priced. I used fonts that are considered mature and easy to read quickly and on the go as most students will be on the go when reading this. I also didn’t want my audience to feel patronised by using a childish or silly font. I tried to dress the models in my pictures in clothes that were stereotypically ‘indie’ and that could be seen affordable to this demographic. I used and informal language that would relate to my audience as this is how they would speak in day to day life, and I wanted them to feel apart of the magazine .
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
When I first started this project I have found that there was a big transition between using photoshop on a MAC and photoshop at home on a laptop, and I found it hard to get used to using this programme on the MACs as there was no right click option and it was just a guessing game of how to use it, as I had no real understanding of it. I found that using photoshop on my laptop was very different to using it on the MACs. I found it easier, but when saving your work on the laptop to be able to open on the MACs was difficult as you had to save it in a different format to be able to open on the MACs and it would sometimes lock some layers, making you unable to work with them. But this all came to my understanding of using photoshop and getting used to working with it, and as the weeks went on I felt more comfortable using it. When I was able to gain full understanding of how to use it on the MACs, I was able to use certain tools to help give my magazine more of a professional look.
The digital camera I used had a large memory, allowing me to take a large amount of pictures, and store them until I needed to use them. I was able to instantly look at the pictures after I had taken them and delete them if they had not come out to my liking. Another thing I found useful when taking my pictures that my camera had face recognition, allowing me to focus solely on the models face.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I feel from looking back at my preliminary task, I have gained a better understanding of how to address my audience better with the use of limiting the use of colours and the choice of images I have used, and specifically related them to my target audience. I also found that looking back into the progression to the full product I have learnt how to make my images and the overall appearance of my magazine look more professional. I have improved my manipulation of my images by cropping some, blurring the background and resizing some without making them distorted, instead of just adding an image . I feel I chose fonts that appealed and stood out to my target audience more in my final product instead of using fonts that I liked and looked nice, which I did in the preliminary task. I have also learnt how to arrange my images to avoid overcrowding and consequently only added one main image to my front cover and two on both the contents page and double page spread, which made it look more aesthetically pleasing . I noticed that in my preliminary task I left a lot of free white space around the edges, that looked very unprofessional. I also learnt that the cross over between the two magazine had two very different audiences. The Negus magazine had an audience of students, teachers and parents that were interested in reading about school news and it was aimed at a range of demographics. However my magazine has an intended audience of avid music fans that are into indie music, and want to read about the latest music news, and are from a specific demographic and social group.