Lee brown as media studies Coursework Evaluation
1.In what ways does your product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I believe that my product is typical of a music magazine as there are several conventional rules that I have followed. Such as the layout of the page and the choice of imagery. There are also many parts of my product that could be portrayed as being unconventional, or not very typical. However I think that I have used this so that it makes the magazine look original and interesting, and it does not in any way make the product seem unprofessional.
Front Cover I have tried to make my front cover look as conventional as possible whilst trying to make it look exiting and fun. I have used a large font for the masthead so that it is noticeable and so that it is obviously the name of the magazine. Underneath the masthead, I have used a tag line, which is commonly used in magazines, as this will give people another way of remembering the magazine. I have added a large splash in the middle of the page to make it clear what is inside. The text is the name of the person on the front cover which will make the customer automatically want to read more. I have used a large image as the background as there is then no blank space and the page will look busier and there is more going on. There are many other conventional things that are on my front cover such as the barcode, the price and issue number, and the date. I have also added the website amongst those things to further promote the company. I have chosen the colours for a couple of reasons. Mainly because they are bright and will stand out. The other reason being that blue and pink will instantly relate to both male and female, therefore attracting both genders. The background I have used is black and white to help the text stand out, however, I also decided to bring out the colours in the image to tie in with the text. My front cover is unconventional in some respects, as the colours I have used are not typically related to an R&B theme. However the reason I have done this is to make it seem more appealing and make the customer want to know why.
Contents Page My contents page fits with the conventions of a typical contents page, as it contains the word ‘Contents’ and it has a list of the articles inside the magazine. I have used a banner across the top of the page which is used to help promote the product. The reason it is at the top of the page is because it will be the first thing that the customer will read. I have used the name of the magazine at the bottom of the page, alongside the name of the photographer, the date of issue and page number. I have tried to make the page layout as simple as possible with the word ‘contents’ at the top in a large font, and one simple image in black and white. I have done this because I think it compliments the R&B theme well. There are very minimal colours used on this page, to add to the simplicity. I have used a black and white background to make the reader seem more chilled out. However I have used the same pink as in my front cover in small parts of the page to make sure that the colour scheme runs consistently through the product. I have also added a pink coloured spotlight on the main image to make it seem like she is on the spot being interviewed. My contents page is unconventional for a few reasons. The first reason being that not all of the page numbers are mentioned in the list, and just the important ones are pointed out. I have done this because it adds to the simplicity of the design. Another reason is that there is only one image used. Usually on a contents page, you will see that more than one image is used.
Double Page Spread I believe that this page spread fits the conventions of a typical double page spread, because it has one large dominant image that makes it clear what the article is going to be about. Also because columns of text are uses and not large paragraphs, and this makes the page seem a lot more conventional. I have also tied in the rest of the magazine as I have added the name of the product again with the issue date and page number. Commonly on double page spreads you will find that Q&A s are used, therefore fitting the conventions. Again, I have gone for the black and white background as it keeps in with the theme of the product, I have used the name of the celebrity in pink, because it makes it stand out and will make the reader want to pay attention, as it is the first thing they will notice on the page. I do not think that my magazine double page spread is unconventional, because there are so many uses for this page. In other similar products, I have seen many different ideas, and I believe that this in keeps with the genre of the magazine and the overall vibe.
2.How does your media product represent particular social groups? I believe that my magazine represents the younger generation of people that are in to the more popular/current music. I think that this would be, male or female aged between 12 and 25. I have chosen these ages, because the 11 year old that has been used on for the images will make the younger people feel more involved and will help inspire them and make them want to read and see what it is all about. I think that it will be targeted at both genders, because each issue there would be a focus on a different artist, of any gender. As I mentioned in the previous question, I have chosen the colours blue and pink because I think that it will help attract both sexes whiles simultaneously making the magazine look attractive and eye catching. I don’t think that this magazine would be suitable for children that are too young as there are some large blocks of text. However the text on the double page spread is sectioned off and is therefore easier to read. Also, I don’t think that this would seem attractive to rock fans, as it is an R&B/Pop magazine, and this is almost the complete opposite to this genre. I think that this magazine will reflect on the ‘cool’ teens and the bright colours will imply that they are fun however the black and white background makes it seem cool and chilled out so that it seems like not much is going on.
3.What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? I think that my magazine would most likely be distributed by mainstream institutions such as IPC. However, companies that will deal with more niche magazines may also be interested in ESSENCE. I think this because R&B could be portrayed as being a mainstream genre, as many pop songs that are in the charts these days can be classes as R&B. On the other hand, there are many songs that come under this genre that are extremely unheard of to the mass market, that is why I think that some of the smaller institutions may want to invest. There are many other ways of distributing and promoting a magazine. One of which is to digitally publish it. Meaning that the magazine will be available to read on the computer. Saving on ink and transportation costs. By doing this, you can also send them out much quicker via email. This is commonly used by subscription based magazine companies. Another way that I think my magazine could be distributed is by giving away free, toned down, copies in large music shops and department stores. This would be a good way to promote your company as well as informing the public about what is going on. Personally I think that the best and most suitable way for my magazine to be distributed would be in stores such as HMV and other music shops. Because this is where the music fans go to and I think that they will be most likely to pick ESSENCE up there. The other way I think would be a good idea is by making customers subscribe online and pay monthly, and the digital version of the magazine is emailed to them every month. The downside to this is that is could be forwarded on to other people. Therefore further research would be required to try and prevent this.
Factory media Factory Media is Europe’s largest and most innovative Action Sports media owner. The Company publishes 19 traditional print and 23 new media brands reaching over 500,000 readers and 4 Million online users every month. The business currently focuses on two market segments, Boardsports and Bike, with an international footprint and multilingual products. Brands include: Factory Media would possibly invest in my magazine as it has a niche market theme and the overall feeling of the magazine is similar to that of a biking magazine. As far as layout, colours and font is concerned.
4.Who would be the audience for your media product? In my media product, I am trying to attract people of a variety of different ages. I think that in general, people that listen to R&B will be in there late teens or early 20s. However I think that by using a young girl as the main image I may attract the younger generation. I think that many different social groups can enjoy my magazine as it will include the latest gossip about some of the top artists, and even find out about tour dates etc. My magazine will be an easy read. Meaning that it will not be too complex and there will be a lot of pictures of celebrities, with important information about their new singles and albums. Therefore I think that this will make it more attractive to girls and younger people. As they tend to be interested in the latest news about the biggest stars in the industry.
5.How did you attract/address the your audience? To attract my target audience I first of all had to think of the name of my magazine. I think that something that has a rock sound to is such as NME(enemy) would not fit in with the theme. Therefore the name Essence came along, as it is a simple and chilled out name with no harsh letters to make it sound smoother. I think that the colour scheme that I used works well, as it has been chosen to attract customers attention and this may even work for people that aren't necessarily interested in this genre. By using a slogan, or ‘tag line’ underneath my masthead, I believe that it can be used to help promote the product. For example, If the tag line comes up in any TV commercial or radio advertisement, it will automatically ring a bell in your head, linking it to that magazine. As I mentioned in the previous question, I think that by using a younger girl in my product I have widened the audience, as more young girls will want to read it. On my front cover, I think that the title will attract my target audience because it stands out and the font that I have chosen has a rough look to it which goes with the R&B theme. Also on my front cover, the splash I have used will attract many of the fans of the artist that has been featured. I think this because once the persons eye has been drawn to the cover by the brightly coloured masthead, the second thing that they will look at is the splash that reads the celebrities name. The language that I have used in my magazine is quite basic, and will relate to all ages. The majority of all articles will be very informal. However the sleek, sophisticated vibe of the page will make the audience feel like they are reading something that is important.
6.What have you learned about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Whilst making my magazine I have learned to use many new tools and I have developed a lot of new skills along the way. Before this project, I had never used a blog before, and this has introduced me to them and made me aware of that they are used for and how they are useful. It has also opened me up to a lot of other software such as fireworks, which I have learned how to use well and I have discovered how to make a product look professional and dynamic. Also I have developed my skills using a digital camera. I have found out about changing and playing around with the exposure to make my images lighter and darker. I have also learned how to frame my photos when taking a picture, by leaving some space around the edges of the main focal point it gives a frame to the image which makes it more aesthetically pleasing. I have gained knowledge of using slide share and many other websites. As well as manipulating images on software like Photoshop and Picassa. I now know how to make an photograph look better by digitally enhancing them using professional level equipment with ease. The best thing that I have learned over this project is fireworks. This is because it is a useful piece of software and it can be used for lots of things in life such as designing posters and DVD covers etc.
7.Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the full product?
Since I have done my preliminary task, my skills on the computer have increased dramatically due to frequent use of the programs. This has shown on my work, as there are far more edited parts to my fill magazine. However I think that the preliminary task gave me a chance to try out the programs and see what the different tools and effects do to the images and the text to make them look more appealing and effective. Such as the ability to add borders around text to make them stand out more, and being able to fade an image to make it blend in with the background. In the progression from my pre-lim, I have also learned a lot about the conventions of a typical music magazine. I have learned about the layout, ant where the images and text should be positioned on a page and what size to them to make them in the priority order of importance. I think that making a conventional is important as if a magazine does not look conventional, it can easily be mistaken as another media product such as a flyer, poster, or maybe a book. Also since I completed the pre-lim I now understand what is needed to attract the target audience. Such as choosing the correct colours that will best match the genre. Colour plays a large role in the aesthetics of a magazine. As they can be used to change a mood and alter an atmosphere. Another way of attracting your target audience is to choose the correct language. For example you cannot expect a kiddies magazine to include long sentences with words that they wouldn’t understand. Therefore you must selectively pick the language used, as communication with your audience plays an important role when designing your product.
OVERall Overall I think that my final product is a success. I have made something I am proud of and I think that I have followed the theme consistently through the magazine, with using similar colours, font and layout to each other. I believe that my design is original, innovative and creative yet at the same time meeting all of the conventions that a standard music magazine should meet.