EVALUATION Megan Rhodes 4478 Lutterworth College 25274
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Page 1
Masthead- The similarities are: used red as the fill colour, in capitals and very bold and large Puff- The similarities are: used white text and it stands out Colour Pallet- The similarities are: used the same colours red, white and blue and also with black (a very British colour pallet) Advertising- The similarities are: shown free giveaways inside the magazine Bar code- The similarities are- all magazines have a bar code Left side third- The similarities are: I have used red white and blue font in columns like this, however mine are on the right hand side Page 2 Cover lines- The similarities are: used a black background with a white font to show other bands inside the magazine
I believe there are similarities and difference with the title of my magazine when compared to others that are on the market today. The similarity I found was the size of it. As compared to previously, NME uses a very bold font that stands out and takes up a lot of the top right hand corner where it is placed. My title also does this but it takes up more space due to it being a longer word. I think it was a good decision to have it bold and standing out because it should catch people’s attention. However, different idea that my magazine uses is by having one of the letters in a different colour the letters that follow it. The conventional magazine title usually consists on the same size, style and colour in the hope that it will show professionalism and continuity. I hope that with mine not following this pattern it could look more interesting on the shelves. Lastly, I think the biggest difference is the name. Usually magazines use quite a soft name that sounds nice to say because people might be more inclined to read it, whereas the name I have chosen could be classed as quite a violent word which is exactly the image people have of punks- my target market- meaning they should be interested. Conventions that I found follow costumes, props and iconography to reflect the genre were definitely the outfits chosen and the pose the band are in. You often see if bands that consist of quite a ‘heavy’ sound or louder than your mainstream pop. That they will show this by using a stern look yet showing unity- they will fight together. I think my band have done this because they are all stood together but look very serious. The clothes I had them to wear also portray the bands genre because it matches the style of clothing worn during the punk era. Usually if there is a 4 piece band standing together they’ll be positioned in a straight line or have some symmetry used, my band on the other hand hasn’t done this. Two members are leaning on a wall and the other two standing; this leaves them at all different heights and being different sizes. The genre of my magazine is portrayed using a similar technique to most other magazines, this being the colour pallet. MixMag for example uses bright colours because it’s a DJ magazine, and these bright colours have connotations of party or ‘rave’. By using the classic red, white and blue with the use of black too, it represents the union jack and British, which was a strong symbol for the punks. Page 3
I don’t believe I have followed conventions when using “Contents” on the page because the majority of the time the reader knows that they are on the contents page so magazine decide not to write that at the top of the page. However, I think it works well with my magazine. The similarities between the layout of my contents page and others is each article has been classified into a section; by doing this the reader can immediately know where they wan to go. Differences on the other hand are the layout of the images. I have grouped images together that relate to each other, so I have used various different images on the page. I found that magazines such as NME use one main image and then only a couple smaller images. By doing this I could make the page more interesting. All of the costumes that my artists or reviewers can be seen wearing definitely reflect the genre of my magazine. I have used various different images but each time I have managed to tick to the same colours. I haven’t really used many props in the images on this page because I felt detail should be kept on the writing so the reader can decide what they want to read- the images just back it up. I think the framing of the images are good because as stated before it’s not a conventional technique. Instead of including just one image for one story I have tiled four images to make the article look more appealing. I have used 3 different fonts on this page which is different to the norm, such as NME sticking to mainly 2 fonts. However, due to them being the same as those on the front cover it should show continuity and make the page look more exciting. The parts that I want the reader to read the most are in the clear yet bolder font. I have followed on the idea of the union jack filling the “A” to keep up with the genre of my magazine and to give the magazine an image of symbol maybe. I have also stuck to the same colour scheme to reinforce that the magazine is really going for a punk image. Whereas on some contents pages they may include various different poses, ranging from deadly serious to those having fun, I have just stuck to one pose, and that is serious and stern. By doing this I am showing that each artist or reviewer is a serious punk because they all tend to have the ‘mardy look’ about them, so once again this helps to reinforce the genre. Page 4
My page layout of the double page spread is very conventional when compared to magazines such as NME and Kerrang. I have used one large image to take up one side and the article to take up the right hand side of the page. Also, over the image is where I have included the introduction to the band and the article. However, a technique that I haven’t seen be used before is having the title of the article go across two pages and change the colour of the font- I would hope this makes my article more unique. The costumes of the band have remained the same throughout the pages as I thought this was the best look possible for them to show their genre. A prop I used on the images was a safety pin; to do this I took a picture of a safety pin and uploaded it to Photoshop, and then edited as much as possible to get the worn look it has now. Safety pins were a big accessory that punks used on their clothing items so I thought I’d follow through with this idea. This use of the safety pins has also been used to frame the two images at the top of the right page. I believe the article of the magazine is written very similarly to those that are written for music articles. I have written it so it really portrays the bands attitude as well as feelings so the reader gains a clear understanding about the band. I have also used a key feature of picking out an interesting quote as making it a lot bigger to stand out and grab the readers attention of they were just flicking through the pages. The title of the article on this page definitely gives the reader an insight as to the genre of the magazine because it refers to a punk classic, so if the reader is interested into the genre they should immediately be enticed. The title is also written in the same font as the original phrase was, so it can easily be related. Each image on the page continues the look of seriousness which I have seen being used before- when I witnessed this I got the impression that the band were dedicated and serious about their music as well as carrying a large attitude, so I hope this has done the same. Once again, I have stuck to the same colour scheme used throughout each of the pages. By doing this I am showing continuity. Page 5
My double page spread is similar to this one I found taken from an NME magazine because of the layout NME and I have used. On the left hand side there is an image and the right hand side is the article. Both articles are made up of 3 columns with a large quote in the middle. I like this choice of layout because it’s quite simple yet very effective because it quickly gives you an insight as to who the band are. I’d like to say that my magazine shares similarities with this magazine called ‘Punk’ that is on the market today, however there are only a couple that exist. The first one being that both this magazine and mine have used red, white, blue and black- although Punk magazine uses many other colours and doesn’t stick to one scheme. Another similarity is we have both mentioned classic bands from the punk era to draw the audience in. For example, both covers consist on ‘The Sex Pistols’ being displayed in the top right hand corner. I think this was a good idea because it branches out too all aspects of the punk audience. I think if I was to make my magazine again then I could have tried to get mine to look more like this magazine because it’s the only punk magazine around and the moment yet its not very established at all; so when thinking about having my magazine published, if I were to design and create mine like this one it would create a competition on the market for punk magazines. Page 6
IMAGES AND ICONOGRAPHY For the heading of my article on my double page spread, I have taken inspiration from a very famous and iconic image that has been around for around 3 to 4 decades with its popularity still going today due to t-shirts being made with it on. I have used this but used stars for the inappropriate language and “Sex Pistols” was replaced by the name of my band. However I managed to use the same font as I found it on dafont.com. The iconography of the photo shows some unity due to them standing with each other yet each persona in the band are strong individuals because of their powerful poses. The mise-en-scene of this image is quite urban-esque because they are standing in front of a brick wall and billboard. I have tried to recreate this with my front cover image; my band are all leaning against a brick wall with a ‘fierce’ pose, however I think it could be improved my having their costumes more like the ones that The Clash are pictured wearing. Page 7
How does your media product represent particular social groups? Page 8
Page 9 As my band is quite unique and nothing greatly similar to those on the music scene at the moment, I did struggle to find a band that shared similarities with mine. There were various bands from the 70’s and 80’s that they could be related to, but it was necessary to find a band that they were similar to in today's society, so I came to the conclusion that a band that they were like are Paramore. The similarities include how the band consists of one female and three males; by having one female the majority of the emphasis is on her and each member has their own character. The female in both bands presents the idea of power and strength even though she’s in a male dominated band. Differences between the band is definitely the males costumes. The three males pictured in Paramore are seen to be wearing quite smart clothes- they are all wearing black shirts. Whereas the males in my band were wearing more casual yet punkish looking garments. However, the female of Paramore is dressed in clothes that make her stand out; this could have been a good idea to think about when I was shooting my bands images, because the reader would immediately be drawn into Emily and quickly understand that she is the lead singer. Another example as to the type of social group my magazine represents is some of the characters from This Is England. Despite it being set in 1983 when punk was slowly reaching the end of it’s reign, the characters have very strong images as to what I would like my band to have looked like if it was possible. The majority of the female characters in the film have a very ‘edgy’ look with shaven, dyed hair and a style where they aren’t afraid to express themselves which is a famous punk trait. If I had the time, money and found someone who would be willing to recreate this style, I would have definitely created my band to look this way.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Page 10
A publishing company involves the process of production and for it to be dispersed. This applies for literature such as books or information such as newspapers or magazines. The reason for doing this is to make the content that has been created, available for the public. Originally a publishing company would distribute work such as just books created by author or newspapers; however due to the vast developments of technology they can now publish electronic versions of books, as well as much more. The publishing process consists of many different stages: the first one being development. This is when to original idea progresses and develops. It is then followed by acquisition, this is gaining possession of the work. The next step is copyediting, which means to edit the document for publication. This is followed by graphic design, which means to simply combine images, text and more to display the information to the audience. The last step is production, which consists of printing the final project, advertising and marketing it and finally distributing it to wherever it is to be sold. The company I have chosen to distribute my magazine is IPC Media. They state on their website that they are "A Leading Magazine Publisher In The UK" and I feel that if my magazine is published and distributed by a well known and successful publishing company then it should become more recognisable. The company is very successful and manages to sell over 350 million copies of their magazines each year. It's also the publisher for NME magazine- this was my audiences most preferred music magazine, so they should feel some sort of familiarity when picking a magazine off the shelf, and opt for mine. My magazine can be distributed through various ways, these include: through the mail, being on sale in shops or newsstands or they could be through free distribution at selected points where they can be picked up. The ways in which magazines can be distributed and sold are dived into three main categories, the first one being paid circulation . This is the most common way for magazines such as NME, Kerrang or any other music magazines. The have a fixed price for each issue or they can be subscribed to for certain periods of times. The second sales model is called free circulation . This means there isn’t a fixed price for the magazine on the cover and the issues are given away free. Examples of this are free newspapers such as The Metro that are found on public transport, or airline magazines that are found on the plane. The third way is controlled circulation , this means “insider magazines “ or those that are industry based, such as computing magazines, are distributed to only readers that are qualified by taking a survey or a form of a survey. It is also usually free. A magazine that mine is similar to institutionally is NME. The reasons for this are they are both published and distributed by the same company, that being IPC Media. Due to them both being published and distributed by the same company the process of each stage will be done in the same way, for example, both our magazines would go on sale weekly at a fixed price at chosen stores such as W H Smiths or local newsagents. Page 11
Who would be the audience for your media product? Page 12
This is Ash with his son, he is a 47 year old hard working family man but can always make time to appreciate music. His favourite genre of music is punk music from the era of the 70's and 80's, with bands such as The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Sham 69 and The Clash. He lived his childhood listening to these bands, worshipping the likes of Joe Strummer and living the life of a punk with his fellow punk rockers and mods. He doesn't have a specific favourite shop because he doesn't pride himself on his appearance as he believes he's already 'lived that part of his life'. Films that he shares an interest in include The Italian Job, The Great Escape and Quadrophenia. As well as music, he has many other interests, some of them including: going to gigs, playing football and socialising. He has dislikes such as main stream pop music, badly played football and high technology. For a magazine Ash would spend around £3 maximum per issue. He believes he has reached all his goals but an ambition he still has is to provide for his family and still manage to keep a 'cool' image for a man of his age. He likes to buy music magazines that consist of 'real' bands with nothing of pop music inside. Page 13
Lucy is a 17 year old student studying A levels. She prides herself on her appearance and bases her look on the music she is passionate about. Her favourite genre of music is punk, and likes bands such as The Clash and The Sex Pistols, but also like MOD bands such as The Who. She finds herself wishing she was an '80's kid' because from this era she has a great interest in. She likes to wear these bands t-shirts to promote her love for them, and purchases most of her clothes from vintage boutiques. Some of her favourite films are similar to fellow target audience, as well as classic films such as Juno and Napoleon Dynamite. Other interests of hers include going to gig ands festivals, shopping, socialising with friends and keeping active. However, her dislikes involve: R & B and hip hop music, people who essentially 'boast' about their lifestyle and various others. She is willing to pay around £2.50 for a regular music magazine. An ambition in her life is to do well in school and later go on to have a successful careers- managing to sustain a passion for music. Page 14 An interview with a member of my target audience
How did you attract/address your audience? Page 15
Page 16 Masthead- By using a recognisable name that my target audience know connotations of, they should be drawn in to read it. Masthead- I have used a flag that connotes the punk genre as it was used quite a lot in the era, so my audience should gain an idea as to who the magazine is aimed at. Advertising- This small advert advertises posters that are free inside the magazine. By having ‘The Sex Pistols’ larger than the rest of the font it will immediately catch the eye as they are a classic band. This is followed by ‘more’ being a larger size too. This should want my audience to want to read more into the freebies. Puffs- By having the puffs on the page in alternate colours makes the page look more interesting and shows the colour pallet. Cover lines- I have chosen to have the main article a different colour and font than the other articles on the page to emphasise the main feature. Also, I have included the word “exclusive” which should immediately draw the reader in because they will feel like if they read it they will be getting an exclusive when compared to no one else. Puffs- Including other artists on the page should boost the magazines status to show the audience that the magazine included other artists that they may not necessarily be interested in from the cover lines and other puffs.
I have used the ‘A’ from Anarchy on the front cover and continued with the idea on the contents page. By doing this I was hoping it would give my magazine an image, which would show professionalism. This professionalism is also added by continuity. I have used the same colour pallet as of that used on the front cover, this being: red, white, blue and black. This helps to give my magazine an image and become more recognisable. The various images should definitely entice the reader because it gives the reader a full idea of what will be in the magazine- it’s not just done through text. I have included an offer for my readers if they subscribe. The offer includes two features: saving 35% and getting a limited edition vinyl. The important parts of the offer have been capitalised so the reader should be drawn in immediately. Page 17
I have picked out a quote that is quite important from the article and enlarged it and changed the colour to make it more noticeable. By doing this if the reader flicks through the interview they should want to carry on reading. The headline of the article is very recognisable for my target audience. I have used a very famous phrase from the era so punk fans from the time should be drawn in straight away because they feel they can relate. By having the text change colour when changes onto the next side of the page, I feel that it confuses the eye slightly and your eyes are immediately drawn to the crossover. Page 18
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Page 19
Page 20 WEBSITES The first site I used was Blogger , this was were I put all my research together to display it and for me to look back on when needed to find information or inspiration from current magazines. I did have a blog before I created this one however it was using a different site and I didn't post as regularly s I have done for my coursework blog, therefore I was quite new to the blogging experience. Originally I found it quite hard to format the posts so when they were published all the images and text would be in the position I wanted them to be. However, after the more posts I did so did my experience with the site meaning once I had written out the post it was a very quick procedure to edit it and quickly post it. I have found Blogger very useful because it allows me to ‘follow’ blogs done by other students in my class, meaning I could check to see if the work I was doing was correct and to gain some ideas as to what else I could include into my research or when experimenting with my magazine pages. Another site that I was newly introduced to with this course is Scribd ; I had never heard of this site before so I was intrigued as to how it works. Therefore, once I found out it was a site that enables you to upload Microsoft Word documents and then allows you to put them onto your blog I was impressed and would be sure to use it on my blog. This was especially helpful when I had to scan my draft images, upload them on a Word document and could use Scribd so each image could be displayed on one Scribd document. However I did find some faults with it, because sometimes after I had uploaded my document the positioning of text and images had moved and weren’t aligned in the original position. Slideshare was another site that was similar to Scribd in the fact that you could upload documents (this time being PowerPoints) and I was impressed and used it multiple times on my blog. I think it’s a useful tool because a PowerPoint presentation allows you to display information in a well presented way and it didn’t take up too much space. It was a very simple process too from uploading it to embedding it onto my blog because each step is clearly pointed out to the user. The fourth site I used was Flickr , however unlike the rest I had used this site before so I had no struggle using it. I think it’s an excellent way to display pictures because it will only take up one post on my blog and looks very professional. It enabled me to put all of the images into a slide show and fits it to the screen. When viewing them it also gives you the option to view the slideshow in full screen so you can clearly see them images and it is all very professional looking.
Page 21 SOFTWARE I only used one piece of software when making my magazine pages, and this was Photoshop . I was quite nervous about this because I had never used Photoshop before so I had concerns that this would possibly damage my final grade for my coursework because my skills wouldn’t be that good. However, saying this, my skills can’t have been too poor because I am quite pleased with my final outcome. Before I went on to make my final magazine pages we had a quick practise with the software when making our preliminary but this didn’t help hugely as I didn’t have much time to use a full range of the features that are available. To develop my skills on Photoshop I decided once I had taken my final photographs that I would experiment with them to get a better understanding as to how to use it and see how far I could transform my image to look as professional as possible. Eventually I got a clear idea as to how to use the software, this was during creating the drafts so it gave me plenty of time to know which tools I was going to use on my final pages. At times I did find using Photoshop quite stressful. Due to my experience of the software being very minimal, or in fact none at all, when problems occurred I did struggle to find a solution for them. At first I tried to solve them myself, however if this didn’t work I had to get either a teacher or a fellow classmate who knew how to use it, to find a solution. On the other hand, when situations did go right for me I really enjoyed using the software and was highly impressed with what it could do; it enabled me to transform images to look very professional, get rid of anything that was unnecessary in the image, change the colour of different parts of the photograph and much more. After being introduced to Photoshop I can definitely say I will be using it again.
Page 22 EQUIPMENT To take the photographs I used the camera Canon 1000d . Unfortunately I had a regular digital camera and didn’t think it would give me the best possible results for the images to use on my magazine; to get round this I borrowed my friends camera. She then supervised me on the shot to make sure I was using the camera correctly and to its full potential. With this camera my friend also provided a lens to go with it which enabled a fantastic zoom. Another piece of equipment I used to help me was a tripod . By using this I could make sure that the camera wouldn’t go blurry from being shook when I was taking the picture. This allowed me to place it on a secure surface and adjust it to the correct height to get the best resulting images. I’d never used a professional camera before and when I saw the results I want to permintantly use one. It was really easy to work and the outcomes were really good- I was very impressed with the focus of each images. The fourth equipment I used was my laptop, this was called Pakard Bell EasyNote TM . I used my laptop to upload the images I had taken, store them and then edit them on Photoshop. I did various amounts of work on the school computers which also had Photoshop, however I did the majority of my work on my laptop because I was more comfortable using it. My laptop has quite a fast pace so I didn’t waste any time and could get on with my work as quickly as possible and nothing was time consuming.
Looking back at your preliminary task (the school magazine task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product? Page 23
I definitely think my skills have progressed from when I originally started the preliminary task. The improvements on the front cover are: the masthead of the magazines are very contrasting. The reasons for this is my final magazine name stands out hugely which would be far easier to see on the shelf, whereas my preliminary uses a very simple font that doesn’t differ much to the size or of font used on the rest of the page show the emphasis on the magazine name is less. Although with my preliminary I used the left side third techniques with puffs, and instead I have done this on the right hand side with my final magazine, I still think I have improved. This is because each puff on the page of my final cover vary in colour and attract attention more. On the other hand, my preliminary uses the same colour, font and size which makes the cover look quite boring and gives the impression that the articles will be the same. The mise en scene has definitely improved; this is due to you being able to gain a clear understanding as to the genre, target audience and purpose of my magazine. My final version uses a clear colour pallet that portrays the theme, costumes that match the theme and articles, masthead and cover lines show exactly what the genre of the magazine is. My prelim however uses feminine colours yet has a male on the front, which questions what the magazines audience and purpose is. The biggest difference between the two contents pages is the amount of content I have included on my final contents page. By showing there are more articles in the magazine should encourage the consumers of the magazine to carry on reading it. By having more articles it also enabled me to place them into different sections which makes the magazine easier to navigate around. Due to not having many articles in my preliminary I was unable to do this. Another improvement was definitely my images and what they consisted of. The images I used on the contents for my prelim were very limited as I only used two different images. Both of these were long shots and considering it was a school magazine the mise en scene did not imply this due to there being nothing directly school related in the images. Whereas with my final contents I have used many images each to help portray the genre. The costumes that the people photographed are wearing all relate to the punk theme as well as the images being easy to relate to as to what they are about. Page 24