Q1 Gutenberg diagram – This is the way in which Weston society looks at images and text, particularly magazine and book covers. It is to do with the way in which we look at the front cover and how our eyes follow a certain path that goes from left and drag diagonally downwards towards the right. I have made my magazine cover to follows this rule as it optimises the eye’s natural path to look at the masthead first in the primary optical area and slide across the main image and cover stories to end up on one of the main cover stories in the terminal area. Masthead – This is the name of my magazine, NV. I have tried to create a short name for my magazine so I have used the letters ‘NV’ to sound like the word ‘ENVY’, I have followed this up with a sub masthead, ‘Music To ENVY’ to empathise the use of the masthead I have chosen. I have distorted the edges around the the masthead logo to give the effect that it has been torn out of the page, this adds to a 3D and textured look for the whole cover. Barcode – My research shows me that all magazines have a barcode on the front, so I have decided to stick to this rule. To make it look like it is a made to match for my magazine, I have used the same technique for the masthead here, to reflect the black, white and distorted look opposite at the top of the page. Left 3 rd Rule – This is the rule in which magazine companies display most of the cover stories on the left 3 rd so that when they are stacked in a way in which only this section can be seen (how they are usually stacked) the target audience see the best cover stories and are forced to pick the magazine up off the shelf. I have chosen to follow this rule because I think it is a core way in which my magazine would stand out as my audience will be enticed by the cover lines shown to them. Main Image – I have decided to use a picture of my feature artist so my audience know straight away who is the star of this issue of their favourite magazine. I have also chosen this image out of all the ones I had taken in my photo shoot because the artist is leaning forward to make it look like he is coming of the page. I have made sure not to cover the head and face of my artist to give the illusion that it is in front of the text and masthead.This adds to the 3 dimensional look, which makes the magazine more appealing. Also the eye contact consumes the reader. Cover Stories / Cover Lines – These are some of the best stories and features inside this issue of the magazine. They are key selling points to the magazine and are used to set this magazine apart from the competition, so they need to be interesting to the audience. I have chosen to use the most exciting and exclusive news on the front cover to draw my target audience in towards my magazine. I have used vibrant yellows and clean white colours to make my cover stories stand out. I have also included a list of artists and bands to give my readers an extra taste of which of their favourites are inside. I have also used techniques such as the principle of 3’s, and alliterations, an example of this is the cover story, “Rockstar Runs Riot”. Date of Issue – This is the date in which that this issue of the magazine is released. This shows that the information and news is fresh and up to date. I have noticed that all the music magazines that I have researched have the date of issue on their front covers. I have made mine stand out by placing it in the top corner in an open space and used a contrasting colour against the black background. Principle of Thirds – The principle of thirds is a layout technique that magazines and images follow to have main action areas. The offsetting of images, objects and text make the whole front cover more interesting.
Q1 Magazine Masthead – I have continued to used the masthead used on the front of the magazine on the contents page to remind the reader of which magazine they are reading so if they like it then they will look at for future issues of NV magazine. I have noticed in my research that a number of magazines include this convention, such as NME and Q magazine. Features – This is the information included on the contents page, which entitles the reader to know what is to be expected in this month’s issue of NV magazine. I have chosen to list my features out in a towered way to make it easy for my audience to read. I have used different colours for each feature to separate them apart. I have also used larger fonts for certain features to make them jump out to the reader, especially if I think they are exciting to my audience. Smaller Image – This is to show my feature artist and is produced in a way to stand out and to break up the text above and below the image. The image is accompanied by the name of the artist, a small line to show that it is an interview and the page number in which the reader can find this main story on. Main Image – This is what all music magazine contents page’s that I have researched included. It is usually an image of the next best thing after the cover artist, to make it look like the magazine is full of top artists and stories. They are positioned in an place that is not a great optical area but I have done this to include the name of the artist in a key optical area and to overcome the images not being noticed, I have manipulated one of the artists to make him stand out, I have also layered him in front of the other to push the artists into the sight of the audience. Subscribe Offers –Research suggested to me that all music magazines offer some kind of deal that asks if the reader want to subscribe to the monthly magazine in order to save money. Magazine companies want people to subscribe to them so they can build up a steady amount of regular customers that will guarantee them money every month, instead of people just buying individual magazine judging on the contents for that particular issue; subscribers have to pay for every issue whether they like that issue or not. Extras – The extra things that I have included on my contents page is the other means of media in which my audience can NV. This informs my readers the other things that NV has to offer, and the magazine is just the start of it. The advertising of the other ways in which my audience can get their NV fix may interest them to visit the website or download the apps and pod casts to their phones.
Q1 Creative Space – This is space that has deliberately not been filled in order to create an effect. This makes the writing that I have emerged into the space more noticeable and important. It also makes the pages look less cluttered, to give it a clean and expert finish. Not a Page Number – This has to coincide with the information given to the audience on the contents page. The page numbering makes it easier for the reader to find what they are looking for after looking it up on the contents page. Along side this is the name of the artist to let the reader be sure of who they are reading an article about. Having both, the page number and the title together in the prime optical area makes the page even easier to find and see what the article is as they are flicking through the magazine. Text – I have looked at many double page spreads within music magazines and all of them followed a vital rule of not allowing the text to run across the centre of the pages where the page fold is, to make sure that the text is consistent and easy to read. I have chosen to follow this rule as I think it is very effective. Edited Text – I have used only two colours for all of the text on the double page spread. This is because, unlike the front cover and the contents page, there is a large amount of writing that has to be in a smaller font, so making it lots of different colours could make it unreadable and it is unnecessary as the bright and bold writing is to draw the reader in, so by the time they get to read this page, they have already bought the magazine. But I have chosen to use red on certain words and letters to emphasise them. I made the “I” red to make the headline “I will not be stopped”, this is to make it unique and unlike other magazines. Opening Paragraph – This is used in many music magazines for their key feature stories. It usually stands out from the rest of the text and offers words that will grab the reader’s attention. I have also made it more appealing for customers to read by making certain words red. Images – The images are one of the key features on a double page spread. I used my artist for my images and I have used five images to acquire space and to add a degree symmetry. I hoped that my audience would appreciate the different camera shots of my artist. I have used the three red lines going across the page as a type of imagery. I used the lines with the images of my artist to add a depth to them, by placing the four outside images to give an effect that they are behind the red lines, whilst the centre image is in front of them to make it stand out even more. Columns – For my story and interview I have chosen to use columns to make the text look neat and easy to read. This makes the audience more willing to read it and it is more easier to find different questions in the interview. My research showed me that most magazines used columns for their articles, and usually included two or three columns per page.
Q2 Readers of music magazines can be split up into certain “social groups”. Magazine companies target these social groups through the rich tapestry of connotations that their magazines create. This influenced through the artists included in the magazine, such as the Gallagher’ working class-ness. My magazine is more or less aimed at the mainstream music fans, although it is not to everybody’s taste. It is primarily a music charts styles of magazine that has a more NME look about it, without being to much Indie/Rock, but more towards the RnB genre in terms of artists. It does not just contain the latest of the current chart-toppers but also contains feature stories that reintroduces older music to a younger audience. One of the cover stories reads “ Rockstar runs riot”, which is typical of a proper rock star. This also links in with one of my main themes with a kind of anti-social look by contrasting a deep, dark black with striking vibrant yellow to rebel against usual colour schemes portrayed by other magazines. Nearly all of the artists I have chosen to include in my magazine are those who have come from nothing, as in they started off with not much hope but they have used there talents to now being amongst the best artists in the world right now. This allows a large proportion of my demographic to aspire to make something of themselves to become what they want to be.
Q3 Q magazine is distributed by Seymour International Limited. I think it would be best for this company to distribute my magazine, as it is aimed at a similar mainstream audience.
Q4 Like all music magazine companies, I have done primary research to collect data to find my target audience’s needs, and to find out what my target audience want from a monthly music magazine that is aimed towards them. This helps me in getting to know my audience and this also helps me to decide what to include in my magazine in order for my consumers to buy my product. I have chosen to use questionnaires as a method of research as it is a cheap way to get the questions I want answering straight from my potential customers. The questions I asked helped me recognise what artists my audience want to hear about, how much they would be willing to pay for my magazine, what style they want my magazine to look like and more to help me market my magazine to what my customers needs are. This indicates to me what my audience is into and things like financial status of the young generation that I am targeting to make sure my magazine is accessible. I now know my audience are willing to pay on average £3 for their monthly magazine. There favourite artists are primarily of a hip hop/RnB origins, yet the style of magazine that they thought is most appealing is the Rock layout and fonts. And the main features that they require from a monthly music magazine is gossip, news and album releases. All this collected information shows me a gap in the current market that I can exploit to a wide audience to feed there needs as I have listened to what they crave.
Q5 Once I knew who my target audience is and what they want from my magazine, I then needed to make my magazine stand out above the rest of the competition to allow my audience to want to pick up my magazine over any other. To do this, I had to use different features to get my magazine noticed. I followed three effective rules; make my magazine jump off the stand, look impressive as he or she flicks through it and make it easy on the eye and easy to read on closer inspection. To make it jump off the stand, I used my main feature story artist on the front cover, and I have used an image of them which creates direct eye contact with the audience that draws them in and the image is also made to look like the artist is coming out of page to make it stand out. This accompanied by the vibrant yellow text surrounding makes the audience wanting to pick it up. Once they have picked it up they may first turn to the contents page where they will be pleasantly surprised by the feature stories that they want to here about in contrasting colours which make it easy to read and more appealing. The typeface is edging and not so clean cut, which I think my audience will appreciate as it has the perfect balance of not being neat but still highly readable. As the reader is then in search of actual stories, they will be greeted by a display of double page spreads that are a showcase of uninterrupted balance of images and text, making it easy on the eye of the readers. All this results in my audience relating to the magazine as they feel it is directly aimed at them and ticks all the right boxes that they have been needing from a magazine which makes this magazine perfect for them.
Q6 I am surprised by how my skills in different areas of constructing my product have progressed. Before I started this unit, I have never used Photoshop or Blogging, but now I feel confident in using both. Although I have taken pictures before, I have never known how to take professional digital photos using different techniques to capture different connotations that I want to inflict on my audience. In Photoshop, I have learnt a varied amount of different features to use to get the most out of editing for my images and text. This editing includes change in contrast such as making images brighter, cropping images, using different typefaces and fonts, using distort tools on text and using red eye remover and spot cleanup to perfect images. Once my product was finalised, I uploaded it to a Blog that I had created especially for the project. To do this I had to convert my files to jpeg format. For my digital photography part of my project, I had to learn how to use the camera most effectively. I used different heights of shots, such as high and low angle shots. I also used a mixed variety of ranges, including close ups, long range and mid shots. A range of different multiple shots gave me the chance to decide which shots worked best for my magazine, which was a main factor in getting my product to the standard that it is.
Q7 As I have never used Photoshop before, I was not expecting my preliminary project to go very well. I was pleased for the most part of it, until I came to finishing my actual music magazine, and now looking back on my preliminary project I have realised the vast differences and the incredible improvements I have made with my skills on the software in order to make the success I have put into my music magazine, in the light of my not-so-good preliminary project. Since the preliminary task, I have broadened my use of different features on Photoshop such as easier and more effective ways to crop, how to alter images in terms of colours and contrast, distort images and text, alter images effectively. I have learnt the features and designs in which makes big magazine companies successful, and applying these to my magazine. These include the principle of thirds, the left third rule, image eye contact, making the images and text jump out at the audience to grab their attention, the Guttenberg diagram to exploit the main optical areas to maximise the chances of my magazine being picked up, distinctive masthead and more. One of the main problems with my preliminary tasks was how unprofessional it looked and by practice and more experience I believe I have changed this in my full product.