Evaluation 1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My music magazine was produced using the basic ideas, structure and layout of current magazines such as Kerrang! and MOJO. At first I reviewed different magazines by looking at the type of genre, front cover layout and design, contents page and double page spread. I found the important aspects and details of what a successful magazine should look and be like. I found the similarities and differences between the magazines to decide what key features of the magazine can capture the reader in. I then briefly planned out the magazine front cover, contents page and double page spread.
I begin by looking at magazines from local shops to look at the way they would be sectioned by type of music genre. I was interested to find that it was also sectioned by age and gender because it is vital that the industry really targets their specific audience. I also researched through looking at the magazine websites and looking at the distinct difference in layout and design. I found that there was a difference in the way they promoted and advertised certain products that linked to the main magazine. I found that the website is another way the magazine can draw in their specific audience by giving special deals as well as promoting and recommending subscribing to the magazine. I think that the link to technology really helps the magazine move forward in difference directions because they can access worldwide opportunities more quickly.
I decided that I wanted to focus on something that I knew and liked. I chose a genre that I felt comfortable with and begin to think of names for the magazine. I found that it did take time to think of a name for the magazine because there are already many successful existing names. I wanted to keep it simple and have a straightforward connection to the genre of Independent Rock. I decided to call my magazine “SOUND” because it looks simple and straight away draws in a specific section target audience of the Rock genre. I decided to put the name in the eyebrow of the magazine because I felt that it was the best way to draw the attention to my audience.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I wanted my magazine to have its own style but still connect in the ways that I saw the other magazines do. I decided to go for a black and white style magazine because I felt that this was more of a different approach to my genre as well as overall style of magazines. In this way I feel that it challenges the conventions of real media products because it is different to the usual outgoing colourful music magazines. I was inspired by the font title of Kerrang! magazine which is why I choose to use a similar style for my own magazine. I think by using a similar style font to Kerrang! Magazine I could draw in a similar audience more quickly as it would be recognised. When I looked at other rock music magazines I noticed that the main image was of a medium shot with a clear focus and direction from the eye level. I decided that it was a good decision to keep to this style. I took a few images with a close to medium shot and found the best one was of a mysterious facial expression. I also found that the cover lines around the images were short but to the point with the main cover line being slightly larger giving out a clear direction to the double page special. I decided to layout my magazine in this style for it to look like a real media product. However as a font cover I feel that I could have used more images to enhance other pages in combination with the text. I think that it does took professional because it looks realistic in terms of layout and design but because it is in black and white it could be less appealing to the modern audience of this genre of rock. The contents page provides a direction in showing what is in the magazine and points out the important and interesting sections of the magazine. The contents page of my magazine is again simple and similar to the styles of MOJO and Kerrang! magazine in the idea that it combines images and text in a particular format. I decided to keep the text to the left and the images to the right. I think there is a certain limit to the amount of information that can go into the contents page which is why I choose only a few images. I choose to use the same style font from my front cover title for my sub headings because I wanted to keep the flow of consistency as a realistic magazine.
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups ? I have choose an audience target group of 16 to 25 which meant that I would have a diverse range of social groups. However my chosen genre of Independent Rock will draw in more of a specific social group. I feel that my media product represents my chosen age range because of the layout and design and also because of the person on the front cover. The female person on the font cover seems refreshed and young giving off a light energy. I think it represents more of the younger age range to my target audience in this way. In terms of language I have used a relaxed but formal approach. I liked the style of writing that Q magazine have written in and so I felt that it was appropriate to write in a similar style because I still wanted to reach out to the older side of my audience. I think that in most Rock magazines you could see that the use of language is short and to the point and occasionally with some swearing however I found there was less of an approach to use slang. I think that it could represent the softer less violent side of the younger generation because of the front cover image. I think that younger generation of the 21st century get stereotypically represented in being violent and negative and this is why I wanted to portray an opposite image to point out the positive and less violent side of that social group. In my double page spread my media product looks at an up coming song writer so I feel that it represents that social group because it provides evidence that the person has aspirations and wants to do something to take their career further. I think that it gives a better representation of my target audience who can be seen as lazy and uneducated. After looking through my magazine I looked at the standard occupational classification system and feel that my magazine targets the C2- E band.
3. What kind of media institution might distributed your media product and why? I think that the distribution stage of the media product is a vital and important stage because it is the first step into getting the opportunity to sell and produce the magazine successfully . I have recognised that Bauer and IPC are the two biggest media institutions. Both these media institutions are massive in publishing through using the idea of cross media in such ways as TV, radio, magazines and the internet. I think that after looking at other magazines and the pattern of style and context I think that Bauer media would be best in representing my magazine the selling and advertisement of production. I have looked and researched into their other major magazines MOJO and Kerrang! and think that my magazine would be best represented in a similar way. I think it would be similar in terms of specific demographics (age, gender, race, location and income.) I think this is important because I want to achieve a good rating to increase profitability. I also think that because of the expertise and recognition of Bauer media it would be the best institution to choose that would be able to help in increasing the sale of the magazine which could lead to an overall profit. I understand that because of the wider market in music magazines there would still be major competition to get recognition so it is important to choose an institution that already has a similar focus. Independent publishing would be long and expensive. It would also be more difficult to know the success and potential of the magazine and I would have to do a trial to see if my magazine would have the potential to sell. I think by using Bauer media I would have the potential to sell my magazine in major supermarkets, newsagents and possibly independent music shops. I would then believe that my target audience of 16 to 25 year olds in the C2 to E standard occupational classification system band would be more accessible to reach. In general by having Bauer media distribute my magazine I would have a greater potential in making my magazine successful through key ways of cross media, promotion and advertising as well as online subscriptions.
4. Who would be the audience for your media product? To identify the characteristics of my magazine I would have to know the specific target audience. I have looked into the standard occupational classification system band and found that my audience would fit into the C2 to E category. (16 to 25 year olds.) My target audience would mainly be young female adults; students. The cover of my magazine is of a young female so I think girls would relate to her however I think that it does still have the potential to relate to males because of specific features like the 100 Free downloads. I think that the chosen price range of £2.99 would be affordable for teenagers or young adults. As it is specifically a indie/rock music magazine I think it has the potential to interest some older adults because of the range of cover music that is sometimes shown. The lifestyle of an indie rock audience can be seen as mellow, hippie and relaxed which would mean that the magazine would be suited to someone with that sort of a lifestyle. I think that because this magazine is specific in the indie/rock genre the target audience would be small and limited. Other magazines could have a better sell in the fact that they have a wider genre of music which would mean that they attract a wider audience. However by have a specific genre of indie rock I would be able to have a clear connection and interaction with my audience. By creating this link I am able to gain loyal and consistent customers compared to magazines that have a general audience.
5. How did you attract/ address your audience? To address my audience I first looked into the types of music they would listen to. I went to music shops such as HMV and Zavvi and looked under the indie rock section. I found the range of music bands they listened to and took notes of what they sounded like and what impact this had emotionally. I found that most of the music was of either a light mellow tone or slightly pop. Knowing this I knew that I would be aiming for teenagers and young adults. I then looked into the styles of some of the indie rock bands and saw that they wore a lot of black, red and sometimes white, this helped me in choosing the colours for my front cover and main sections of the magazine overall. I decided to choose a female to make a difference to the norm of male domination because in the indie rock culture there still seemed to a fairness or equality feeling about it. The female on the font cover of my magazine is looking straight at the camera because I wanted to create that automatic appeal connection to the audience. I kept it simple and clean by only using black and white and not too many different fonts. My title “SOUND” is simple and straight forward but it also relates specifically to music. I used the key word of FREE in the “100 Days=100 FREE DOWNLOADS” to attract my audience who specially use MP3’s such as iPods which is more common now. I also looked at the pricing of my magazine and knowing that I was aiming to target students so I chose to price it at 2.99. I think this price is a reasonable price which fits my target audience because it is not too high in the fact that they can afford it and not to low which means that it should have a good standard quality in terms of information provided. The font I used for the main article stands out because its large and at the centre of the magazine. I wanted to show that there was a new band in town and they were going to be the first to read about it. I think its important to attract my audience in both the imagery and context of the magazine.
6. What have you learnt about technologies for the process of constructing this product? I have learnt the important of having a variety of methods in creating this product through doing research, photography and interviews. To understand more about my genre specially I used the internet. My main search engine was “Google” as this is what I normally use to do most of my research because it is quick and easy. I then used a website which I also use to listen to music daily www.last.fm/ this website was really helpful in reviews and finding similar artists. I then looked at magazine websites such as http://www.kerrang.com/ , http://www.nme.com/ and then the main distribution company Bauer http://www.bauer.co.uk/. I found that it was important to know that difference between a hard copy magazine and the internet magazine because the technique would be different. I found that these websites were easy to use because they have a clear direction and are simple in design and recognition; I could follow this idea through to my own magazine. To do the front cover of my magazine I choose to use a professional DSLR camera as I think it would have a better effect. As I was limited to time because my model was not always available to take photos I only took a limited amount and that it why I feel that the main image could have been better or improved. I found that the camera was not that difficult to use but just the fact that I was limited to the amount of time I was not able to use the camera to its full potential. I think that because of factors like time and studio space technology is efficient towards editing and developing the images further. I used two main design programmes Indesign and PhotoShop to create my magazine. Indesign was a new programme that I did not previously recognise. I found that it did take me a while to get used to the controls of the tools. I think that because the programme was new to me I had to take my time in carefully arranging my magazine however I think the programme was efficient in the fact that I could really see the creation in making my magazine look realistic. I think that overall by using different types of technologies I am able to create a magazine to a good standard by interacting different methods and learning how to bring my ideas effectively together.
7. Looking back at your preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I feel that I have learned a lot about many different aspects of the process in making a music magazine especially because I started off at a basic level. The preliminary task helped me understand the importance of layout and design as well as research and quality standards. I think that it helped me recognise how much work that needed to be done in order to achieve the task. I was able to look at how to use the tools of the programme as well as how the main design of the magazine would look like. I used the programme to create a quick Mock of what a magazine should look like. This helped me develop some skills in using the programme. I felt that what I produced for the preliminary task was very basic however I knew that once I created my own music magazine my ideas would be better suited specifically to the task. When I got to the official task I knew that I wanted to follow in a similar direction of style to my mock. I decided to stay with using Indesign and PhotoShop to make my magazine. I have learned that it takes time to practise and understand these possibly complex programmes. I have learned that it is important to look at the needs of the target audience to get a better outcome in terms of the whole design of a magazine. In the preliminary task it was very basic in terms of editing, photography and information. In my official magazine I was able to really extent the information through using appropriate language, editing the imagery and creating a more professional look to the magazine. I have learned that it is important to look carefully and take time to check all the elements in creating a successful magazine. I have learned that there is a connection between music magazine genres especially if they are from the same distribution and publishing companies. I have learned that research is a vital aspect in creating a good magazine in terms of context for my double page spread. I have also learned that by using programmes such as Photoshop and Indesign I am able to create a professional realistic looking magazine that has the potential to sell.