In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The genre of my magazine is pop music, as part of my research I looked at other current magazines which also communicate this genre to the audience. You can see two magazine front covers I have analysed below and my own on the right. Both the magazine’s I have looked at in my planning are pop magazines, just from looking at two it is clear to see there is not a set ‘theme’ for this genre. The ‘Q’ magazine gives a very harsh, bold first impression whereas ‘Billboard’ is much more girly and inviting. This gave me quite a free range in what I wanted to achieve when creating my own. Both magazines however follow typical conventions in terms of what they include, for example an eye catching masthead at the top of the page, a kicker of a popular chart artists name, a main image of a solo female artist, use of straplines and a pug. These are all features I have included on my front cover. I took a mid way point in the style and feel I wanted to portray to in my magazine from looking at my research.
The ‘Billboard’ contents page I analysed on the left was one of the main inspirations for my own work. The main ideas I took were the use of red, blue and black, the idea of having a strip of images down the left hand side of the page and breaking down the page into differerent sections. My contents page appears much more busy than the ‘Billboard’ one and this could be an area where I challenged the conventions with a more complex layout. Both mine and the NME double page spreads consists of a title, main image and columns of text. Some of the most striking similarities between the two spreads are the colour scheme of black and red and the edgy midshot of the article star covering over half the double page spread. The articles differ from one another slightly by sizing and layout. NME uses a much bigger bolder title, as it links with the attention seeking theme of the article and because of the shape and positioning of the image it is possible. The article text is written in small columns at the very bottom of the page, whereas mine is written in one column broken up into the interview questions, the layout differences are mainly just due to spacing available because of the main image.
How does you media procuct represent particular social groups? The social group for people interested in pop music is very broad. People interested in pop music are usually early teens to late 20’s and in with the latest trends, music being no exception. People who like to be on the ball with all the latest songs and popular artists. By just looking at my magazine visually, it represents this audience/ social group as fresh and modern, with the bright white background, and vibrant red and blue colours used. The packed layout of the front page and contents helps suggest the magazine is cram packed with all the latest music, linking to the genre, and suggesting the audience like to have as much information as gossip as possible. My magazine mainly represents young upcoming or already successful artists in a very positive way. My magazine promotes their talents, like the cover star, 16 year old Vicky and various other famous young artists such as Justin Bieber , Miley Cyrus and Pixie Lott. The double page spread in particular praises Vicky’s rise to fame and shows her as someone for readers to be inspired by to fulfill their dreams.
The magazine tries to help eliminate bad and often wrong stereotypes of young people and does not highlight any bad press but focuses only on positive elements. My magazine does not really include many older people, mainly because young people are not as likely to be drawn and able to connect with people of a different age group. If they were mentioned, I would portray them as people for younger generations to look up to, where appropriate, for example on the cover the strapline ‘10 GREATEST SONG WRITERS OF ALL TIME’ includes older people, and also shows them in a positive way. My magazine gives out the message that peoples lifestyles in the pop industry are very glamorous and rich and shows people constantly in the limelight. It is a lifestyle many people desire to have, but the magazine helps it feel achievable if you have the talent, as it focuses on new, young and up coming artists, all represented in a positive way.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Prometheus Global Media would be an ideal media institution to distribute ‘number one’ magazine. The organisation publishes similar magazines to mine such as ‘Billboard’ and is the former publish of popular magazines ‘Vogue’ and ‘GQ’. By using an large established publishing company it would draw immediate attention to a new magazine coming from such a well recognised company and should help give the magazine potential to be a great success. The company also has a special focus on music and entertainment, meaning the magazine would fit perfectly into the institution and should have ideal customers at the ready.
Who would be the audience for your media product? Pop music is all the newest latest releases and modern and the most popular music at the time. People interested in pop music are usually early teens to late 20’s and in with the latest trends, music being no exception. My magazine is aimed at both men and women between the age of 13- 30. My magazine is average priced making open to a wide audience, not focusing on the high class and for those with a disposable income, but not cheap and tacky looking, putting other customers off. People may want to read the magazine to get ahead in the music world and find all the latest gossip and news in one place. People concerned with the latest music are also likely to want to be up to date with other aspects of their lives such as technology and fashion, the magazine might chose to touch on these elements too, if it might interest readers.
Young or new artists may be especially interested in the magazine, as it has a big emphasis on upcoming stars and new artists can learn more about the current market what music is out there and what is particularly popular at a certain time. The magazine allows young people to be aware and be completely up to date with the world of music. The audience for my magazine should be drawn by the visuals of my magazine e.g. the images, mise en scene, content and language. The language used in the straplines is short and snappy and directly addresses the audience, they are not too long or short either to suggest too young a target audience or put others off by having large amounts of text. The costume of the model is realistic, summery and very modern, fitting with the summer issue of the magazine, the navy and white coloured clothes also match the colour scheme of the whole magazine, helping to make it more visually pleasing for the audience.
How did you attract/ address your audience? Ways I have attracted my target audience include how I have chosen my magazine to use a white/cream background on my cover, contents and double page spread, makes my magazine look new and fresh, helping to fit the genre of the latest most popular music. It also helps draw readers in as the magazine uses a consistent theme and layout which makes the magazine look professional and accurate. The other colours used, red and blue, together with white invite a unisex audience and give the feeling of Britain by having the same colours as the Union Jack. Helps attract a British audience
By including both male and female artist names on my magazine front cover again makes it open to a unisex audience, the main image of a female artist does not shout to appeal at a particular sex, not sexual to attract men, whereas not smiley and glamorous to appeal more to women. The modern, edgy pose with summery clothes I believe appeals to both. Another way I have tried to attract a middle class audience is by, particularly the front page, not having the layout too cramped or spacious and at an average price. A very busy cover can give the impression of cheap gossip magazines, and on the other hand too simplistic has the connotation of high class and more expensive. Both these can put the intended young target audience off, so I have tried to achieve a midpoint which satisfies the widest audience.
The young ‘pop star’ in the images running throughout the magazine, help the target audience associate with the pop star, due to being of a similar age and be drawn to someone similar to them and who represents their age group, music interests and possibly desires. The language used in the mast head ‘number one’ immediately screams pop music due to the UK top 40 chart show every week, and a song each week reaching number one. This attracts the target audience as it is a phrase they should be familiar with and create initial connections to pop music when they read. Some of the straplines I have used on the cover include artists names such as Justin Bieber, Rihanna and several other names under the heading ‘Biggest names in music’. These attract the audience as they are drawn to these famous names and are interested into what the magazine says about them. The language used in my double page spread is written in a way which tries to make the audience relate to the ‘star’, the article begins by reminding the audience of how this young stars life used to be, going to school, hanging out with friends, shopping. These are activities the intended target audience are likely to do, especially girls, and it creates some common ground and a realization of the similarities for the reader between them and the pop star. The article as a whole uses fairly simple vocabulary and is written in a friendly ‘cheesy’ style to attract the young audience further.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product When creating this music magazine cover, contents and double page spread I used a variety of technologies to help me make and improve my media product. My work would be completely different if I were without them as all of it was done using technology. I used a digital camera, computer with Adobe Photoshop and Internet Explorer. Using the camera was something I was already pretty comfortable with and I used to take all of the images throughout the magazine I created, after looking at a few shots I had taken on the lcdscreen I decided I wanted to make the pictures look brighter and increased the exposure on the camera. After taking all my images I then used Photoshop to begin creating, during this process I learnt how to cut out part of an image to have it over text (example on the masthead shown below). Also, hide and reveal parts of an image (shown on my preliminary task) and from my research and basic knowledge in using Photoshop I was able to start arranging my magazine, by typing, choosing fonts, colours and sizing.
Looking back at your prelimary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Comparing my preliminary task of a college magazine front page and contents, to my music magazine on the right, you straight away see a substantial difference in professionalism. Mainly due to having more time, a clearer plan and research and a improved use of Photoshop. I have learnt from thorough research about typical magazine conventions and tried to include them in my own work, such as a kicker, straplines, masthead, tagline. With all these elements I carefully selected fonts, colours and sizing, none of which I had even really considered before. My preliminary task is very simplistic and boring, and especially on my music contents page I learnt how to create compact, complex design, with less plain space, looking neater and making the reader want to investigate closer.
I learnt to take my photographs against a plain white background to avoid trying to cut the model(s) out, as you can see on my preliminary front cover there is a blurred effect and on my contents a jagged line, both taking away from the magazines professionalism, by having the photos on a plain background it allowed me to have the image as the base of my magazine and begin layering straight on top. My use of layers on Photoshop has definitely improved from first beginning, for example, being able to have the models head and arm over the masthead on my final magazine cover and just generally increasing in the number of layers used gives a more neat, compact impression.