Introduction… For my media coursework project I decided to chose the print option, for which I created a popular music magazine .
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Question One There are many specific and special conventions that are used by all music magazines on the market today, for many reasons from being a successful magazine to making them attractive to the target audience . Examples of these conventions are… An eye catching and memorable logo An appropriate colour scheme which will create a specific ‘house style’ Bold eye-catching headlines Celebrities of the specific genre which will attract the target audience An informal mode of address This is a typical girls popular music magazine cover, adhering to many of the conventions previously mentioned and so will attract the target audience very easily.
For my music magazine I decided to focus on the popular music genre, though after researching into this magazine genre I realised that there are many magazines already on the market of the same style. Due to this I decided that my magazine needed a unique selling point , this being that it would only be aimed towards young girls up to the age of around 16 . These images are some examples of similar magazines of the same genre… Both of these magazines follow specific conventions of the same genre and both appeal to the same target audience being teenagers. Although mine will have similar techniques and themes to it, it will only specifically be targeted to girls, unlike for example the “Top of the Pops” magazines which are mainly aimed at females but do appeal to many males too. Both magazines have colour schemes, the Sugar magazines being more feminine and so maybe is more aimed towards females, as opposed to the Top of the Pops magazine which is mainly pink yellow white and blue which shows it may be targeted at both genders of the same age. Both have a lot of images and captions causing them to look busy and eye catching and both headlines are eye catching and bold enough to have the images overlap them without them being totally ignored.
How my coursework both follows and challenges conventions… FRONT PAGE Bright, fun and eye catching font for the title, appropriate for the target audience. Professional and striking image of appropriate celebrities/musicians to immediately catch the target audiences attention. Barcode and price of magazine. Strap lines at the top and bottom to act as a frame. Multiple images, captions and snippets of information to both give the audience a slight insight to what will be in the magazine and also to keep the layout busy, interesting and eye catching. Appropriate colour scheme of pink yellow blue and white, which was not done to attract both genders but instead interest and attract all of the different personalities of young girls. Informal mode of address to attract a younger audience.
How my coursework both follows and challenges conventions… FEATURE ARTICLE Introduction to the interview in a separate colour, to catch the readers eye and make the interview look less intimidating and more fun. Multiple images to stop the article looking plain and full of words. This will cause the pages to look far more attractive and interesting. Bold and bright text grab to stand out and interest the reader, giving them an insight to parts of the interview. Three separate columns to set out the interview in typical article style. Separate colours for the questions and answers to avoid confusion and make it clear and easy to read for the target audience, seeing as they are of a younger age group. An eye catching and appropriate font for the title of the girl band to be easily recognised by the target audience. Also a caption is used to inform who and what the interview is about. Clear, professional image of the chosen band that are inspiring and attractive towards the target audience. The names of the band to inform the reader on who the members are by name.
How my coursework both follows and challenges conventions… CONTENTS PAGE Editors welcoming letter to familiarise with the audience and begin the magazine with its informal, conversational language. Small informal doodles on the page to link with the notepad/diary theme of the page. Images of just some of the popular and iconic artists that are to feature throughout the magazine and gain their interest. A notepad/diary inspired theme, chosen due to the target audience being of the stereotypical age and gender to keep a personal diary and so will attract them more because they will feel more familiar with the layout. Reoccurrence of the catchy and memorable magazine logo which re-enforces brand identity. Handwritten font for the title to both inform which page of the magazine this is and to again keep with the handwritten diary theme which will appeal to teenage girls. Five colourful, handwritten inspired titles to inform the reader as to what is going to be featured in the magazine without showing them in a boring or unattractive way.
Question Two How does your media product represent particular social groups? Often in the media, different social groups of people are portrayed stereotypically due to the audiences then being able to rapidly recognise what certain media products are their favourite genre (rapid audience recognition). This is seen in television, film, radio and also magazines. Due to this in my magazine I portray two different social groups of people being young women and female music artists/celebrities . This is how my magazine portrays these two different social groups… Young women My magazine features young women almost all of the way through. I believe it was important to show different personalities in the women as by breaking the stereotypes of every young female pop singer having to be girly and fun it will reassure the readers that not everybody is the same, and its alright to be yourself. I believe this is a very strong selling point to my magazine. Female music artists My magazine includes a group of 5 girls that make up my band named “Crystalettes”. I have also included other female artists that I have made up named “Heidi” and “Francesca”. These are all portrayed as fun, kind and independent women which I believe is important for the growing knowledge of the audience. My five band members Francesca
The stereotypical representation of “Female Pop Singers”… Female pop stars are and always have been some of the most influential women for young girls. They have been big influences in fashion, hair and personality traits just to name a few. Both of these images are the stereotypical representations of young female pop singers. Both of these influential and iconic pop singers are dressed in bright colours, dresses and heels, with accessories, makeup and hair to match. All of these mentioned points give off a fun, laid back , giggly girly vibe to the stereotypical life and personality of every single female pop star on earth. Because I recognised this stereotype is very commonly used I decided to break the stereotypical views and make each of my pop girl band members have a slightly different twist on the original stereotype to help show to my audience that you don’t have to be giggly and girly to be a pop music fan.
The stereotypical representation of “Female Pop Singers”… Female pop singers are very strongly stereotyped in for many reasons, the main one being so that they attract their younger (mainly female) audiences very quickly and easily by looking fun , girly and almost Barbie-doll like . Pink and stereotypically girly outfit to attract attention and appeal to the targeted young female audience. Confident pose and posture to show the well used phrase by the targeted audience “Girls are better than boys”. This will appeal to the audience as they will be inspired by the artists confidence. “ Perfectly” shaped body (Barbie-doll like) to attract the target audience although could end up being a very big problem, due to teenagers wanting to copy a certain body type, causing them to think that this slim and toned body type is the only one that people will approve of. I do not agree with this and think it is a very dangerous aspect of the media and advertising industry which is why I chose to have different girls with different styles and personalities to show that everyone is naturally different and nobody is perfect. Flawless hair and makeup to inspire the young female audience and cause them to be very big fans of the artist as they look pretty, fun and friendly, and could end up becoming inspirations/role models for the young girls. This will also attract young teenage girls as many are very keen on their appearance also and will gain inspiration from celebrities who are the same or have a certain look that the audience like.
How the girls were represented challenging the stereotype slightly… As previously mentioned, I decided to represent my band members slightly different to one another, though all having the same idea of being young female pop artists, they just had slightly different personality traits that were shown through their image . Due to this decision, I based each of my band members on a different female pop artists already in the charts that all had the different personalities and slight style differences that I wanted my band members to show. I chose Pixie Lott as my inspiration for a band member because although she is girly she has an indie and more vintage style to the way she dresses. I chose Mollie from girl band “The Saturdays” for my inspiration for a band member because she is feminine and girly and although I am trying to slightly break away from this stereotype I believe it was also necessary to include someone with this personality as not to stray away too far from the genre chosen. I chose Katy Perry as an inspiration because her overall image is very feminine yet her clothes, accessories and makeup are much more eccentric compared to many others. Over the years Rihanna’s image has changed dramatically in different ways. I have chosen this look to inspire my look for a band member as i think it portrays a more wild and fun character which i believe is essential to attract my target audience. Cheryl Cole is also feminine like the rest but she is more on trend and up to date when it comes to her appearance which is what makes her a fashion icon to my target audience, this is why i thought it appropriate to use her as an inspiration.
Question Three What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? After researching into the different institutions that i could find that would distribute my product, i finally chose IPC . IPC produces over 60 media brands and with print alone reaching almost two thirds of females in the UK, 42% of UK males - almost 26 million UK adults. My main reason for choosing this institution is because of the huge figures that show they appeal to females and because my magazine will be aimed at females alone, this reassured me that there would be a high chance of my magazine possibly becoming a very popular choice . Magazines that are similar to my project that IPC produce… Both of these media products are targeted towards the female gender just like my magazine.
Question Four Who would be the audience for your media product? By using many theories such as GRASS (gender, race, age, social economic status), I was able to come up with a specific target audience for my magazine. TARGET AUDIENCE Gender: Female Age: 12-16 Social economic status: Student/C1/C2 Music Genre: Fans of popular music Psychographic Profiling. KIPPERS : Kids In Parent’s Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings Any Race
How I used Psychographic and Demographic profiling to help determine my target audience… Psychographic profiling: I have decided that my target audience will be a mixture of mainstreamers and aspirers (Young & Rubicam theory), as 40% of the market are mainstreamers and because my chosen genre of music is the most popular they are very likely to be included under this title, and the rest will be the people that will follow the latest trends to stay popular and up to date , therefore if pop music is the latest trend and what most people are in to, then they will begin to like and follow it also. Demographic profiling: To put my target audience into demographic profiling i have placed my target audience in the C1 and C2 segments , i have chosen these two C bands because their SEC (Social Economic Status) will mainly have to depend on the audiences parents as most of the buyers will be too young to be put into a certain SEC segment due to them being students . (Although if some have a job they will most likely be in segment D , but this will only apply to a small minority of my target audience). To initially find my target audience I decided to create an audience survey so that I could target them appropriately and would know how to attract their attention. I also used Psychographic and Demographic profiling…
Question Five How did you attract/address your audience? Brightly, appropriately coloured catchy title to immediately attract the target audience. The for I chose is also very attractive to the audience as it is young, fun and exciting for them to look at. It is also easily recognisable by the target audience.. Using a medium close up of the band on the front cover is important so that the audience can clearly and easily see at a first glance the face of the main band or artist on the cover, even from a distance. This will automatically attract their attention even from a distance away. I also use direct address to immediately invite the reader in. I bordered my magazine cover in pink so that the magazine still had the girly theme running through it even though the background is blue, this causes It to appeal to many different personalities and broadens the target audience, though it is clearly a female target audience. By using a reference to a popular television programme for my target audience, It will automatically again attract their attention as they may be able to find out inside gossip on a favourite show of theirs. This band name was chosen because I believe it is appropriate and keeps well within my idea of attracting different personalities as the name isn't too girly or too boring. The font was chosen because it is very eye catching and different to most, influencing even more that the band is not just an ordinary girl band but does appeal to many different personalities.
Question Five How did you attract/address your audience? Introduction to the interview in a separate colour, to catch the readers eye and make the interview look less intimidating and more fun. Three columns of writing in typical print page style. Text grab highlights important information from the article and the audience’s eye is drawn to this causing them to become curious and more than likely read on into the article. Separate colours for the questions and answers to avoid confusion and make it clear and easy to read for the target audience, seeing as they are of a younger age group. The names of the band to inform the reader on who the members are by name. This band name was chosen because I believe it is appropriate and keeps well within my idea of attracting different personalities as the name isn't too girly or too boring. The font was chosen because it is very eye catching and different to most, influencing even more that the band is not just an ordinary girl band but does appeal to many different personalities. Multiple imagery to keep the reader from becoming bored or to refrain them from being intimidated due to there amount of text.
Question Five How did you attract/address your audience? Reoccurrence of the catchy and memorable magazine logo which re-enforces brand identity. The fonts and colours for the “contents”, “on the cover”, “top article”, “posters”, “gig guide” and “competitions and quizzes” were chosen to specifically attract the young female target audience due to the colours being eye catching and a handwritten font that used with the background acts as a diary page theme which will appeal to the targeted audience because they will more than likely have or have had a diary previously. AUDIENCE FEEDBACK : I gained compliments on the overall theme of the contents page for it being a diary theme because “it was a unique idea which caught our eye and interested us”. This full length shot of two of the artists is used so that that the audience can clearly and easily see artists and their outfits etc. This will automatically attract their attention even from a distance away. I also use direct address to immediately invite the reader in. An editors welcoming letter was used to attract the audience because it used a conversational tone which will attract the target audience because they will feel familiar and comfortable when reading the magazine.
Question Six What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? During the process of creating my print product I have learnt a lot about many different technologies . I have expanded my knowledge on technologies I have previously used but I have also learnt how to use many technologies that I have never used before creating and constructing this product. For each part of this project be it research , planning , production or evaluation, I have used modern technology in some way…
Technologies I have used throughout this project… Each of the photographs I took were edited in Photoshop which I have briefly used in my photography course before. Due to this I knew some basics about the program but the construction of this product definitely helped me expand my knowledge on it which will help me in the future. I enjoyed using Photoshop because it enabled me to edit my photos in countless ways which made the experience very interesting and I enjoyed gaining knowledge on the program as I am sure I will be using it for many years to come. Examples of techniques I learnt and used… - Cutting out images, layering, using tools to create different effects and blurring. To create my product I used In Design which is another program that I used on the Mac laptops. I found In Design very similar to Photoshop and so quite quickly learnt the basics of the tools and techniques I needed to use to construct my print product. However I did have one problem with this program as I downloaded a trial of it from the official Adobe website which was the most recent version of the program. Unfortunately , due to not having the most recent version at college to work with , this caused me to be unable to open my work at college after I had edited and done some work at home because it was not the same version. Even though that was quite a big problem for the construction of my work and resulted in me having a definite time issue with it, I did manage to complete my product on time, and this is the only criticism I have with the program. Examples of techniques I learnt and used… - Creating the magazine page layout, layering, cutting out, changing opacity of fonts.
Technologies I have used throughout this project… In order to keep on top of my work load I created an online blog on www.blogger.com . I updated this blog very regularly with details on my progress throughout the project and to help me keep organised. I found this very useful as my work was very neatly presented and the blog was easy to get started, to work with and to edit posts if needed. I do believe that this was a very good choice of technology to work with when presenting my work as it looks much neater and professional which was important for this project. I also used the internet not just for Blogger but for my research in general on the Apple Mac laptops. I believe the internet played an important role within my project as it enabled me to widen my research quickly and easily because the internet found what I wanted to know in detail much quicker than it would if I was to look in books for my research. In order to have imagery throughout my project I had to use a camera to take them myself and for this I used a Canon D500 SLR camera. This camera produced multiple professional shots for my magazine and so it became quite hard at times to chose the images that I was going to use in my project. I did my photo shoot in a photography studio which I do believe helped the quality of my photos but I am currently also studying for a photography A-Level and so my previous experience with photography also helped dramatically in my opinion.
Question Seven Looking back at your preliminary task , what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? PRELIMINARY TASK FINAL COVER I believe there is a clear improvement in my work from when I first started to my finishing products and I am very proud of the progress I have made throughout this task mainly due to the different techniques used in my final product. These techniques include gradient changes and a satin effect in the title, more opacity changes in the borders and the gradient change in the background. The colours are also more interesting and varied, and the fonts are much more eye catching to the reader compared to my preliminary task and my cutting out of the images was much more accurate in my final product. My preliminary task is very basic with a simple colour scheme, average photograph/image editing and plain fonts and captions. My final product is definitely more eye catching and although it is not perfectly done, you can see a very clear improvement has been made.
Conclusion In my opinion my final product turned out a lot better than I fist expected due to technical problems (Mixed In Design versions) and time issues. Although I did encounter these few problems along the way I did think I would find the project much harder to manage and I didn’t think I would finish it on time so I am very proud that I did manage to do so. When I looked back on my preliminary task I realised how much I had actually progressed and so this made me more proud of my final products. I enjoyed the project much more than I thought I would, my favourite part being when I had to organise and direct a photo shoot. This was really fun as my models looked just how I had imagined them to and it was very fun thinking of poses that would work on the magazine. Although it was fun and very worth while working with a group of 5 models, If I was to redo this project I would definitely just choose to work with a single artist just due to the planning and organising would be much else stressful as you would only have to organise times for one person as opposed to five, also there would be many more poses for a single artist as you know that you can fit them on easily being just one person. I would also have spent more time trying to fill my front cover as it is in my opinion not as strong as my other two pages. Overall I very much enjoyed the experience of the project and I am very pleased with my final pieces.