In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The genre of music for my music magazine is mainly Indie/Rock so to create my music magazine front cover, I looked at various magazines such as NME, Mojo, Q, Rolling Stone and Empire(which isn’t a indie rock magazine, but follows the same codes and conventions). These showed me the codes and conventions of indie/rock music magazines and therefore helped me create the best looking magazine possible.
Various Music Magazines use the convention of Skylines. This is a line of text above the name of the magazine. I have used an offer of a free CD similar to MOJO. This offer of a free gift is a popular convention of magazines as It draws the reader in and encourages a purchase. Both My Magazine and Mojo give a preview of the CD which is on top of the title of the magazine which shows importance and catches the reader’s eye. Another convention of music magazines is a preview of the artist that will be featured in the magazine. I have done this and separated each artist with a yellow circle, following the colour scheme. NME have done the same thing in this issue. Various other magazines use this common convention of a preview of the artists .
I have used a mid-shot of my artist for my image on my front cover. This is a common convention of music magazines. My Image and the way it is laid out is particularly simlar to this issue of Mojo. The Title is placed above the image in both magazines, making the title stand out, and be more memorable. The images are both greyscale which gives a vintage effect which relates to the indie/rock genre. Both artists are looking directly into the camera and the image takes up the whole page becoming a background. Various magazines use mid-shots, close ups or long shots but the use of a mid-shot shows the artist’s personality to reader which familiarizes them with the artist and encourages a purchase. Another convention of various music magazines is a preview of a rating list. In my magazine I have used the preview of the rating list “The 50 Greatest Albums of 2011”, similarly the rolling stone cover has a preview “The 20 Greatest Live Bands”. The use of the adjective greatest draws in the reader as it causes the magazine to look more worth purchasing as it something that is the greatest unlike other competitive magazines.
Similar to Magazines such as Rolling Stone and Mojo I have placed my title in the top centre of the page above the image of the artist, making it stand out to the reader and become more memorable, enforcing brand awareness. Some magazines however place their title underneath the image. In most magazines the title is at the top of the page in the centre however my magazine challenges the conventions set by magazines such as NME and Q as their title is placed on the top left hand side of the page.
Following a general magazine convention I have placed the majority of my cover lines on the left hand side of the page similar to music magazines such as Rolling Stones and Q. Following Conventions the text is aligned to the left hand side as readers read from left to right, making the page look more attractive to the reader. Another Convention of many music magazines is the use of a barcode. Similar the magazine MOJO. My barcode is placed at the bottom right hand corner. This makes it the last thing the reader sees and does not distract attention from the rest of the page. Most barcodes conventionally have other information on them. Many barcodes have the price and issue of the magazine however mine challenges this as it has the magazine’s website address instead so as to encourage website views and increase advertising potential. I Have challenged a general magazine convention here in one of my cover lines as most music magazines focus solely on music whereas I am mixing music and politics together. I got my inspiration for this from the magazine rolling stones as It has articles that relate to politics. I think the youth of today need to be more aware of what going on around them and mixing music and politics and music together is a good way to inform them.
A Common Convention of many music magazines is making the cover line that relates to the image on the cover and/or the main story in very large writing, larger than the rest of the cover lines. My Main Cover line is similarly placed to that of the rolling stones magazine as it is placed at the bottom left of the page over the image whereas NME has placed their text in the centre of the page and Q have placed theirs down the left hand side of the page. This large font catches the reader’s eye and draws them in, encouraging a purchase.
I Have followed the conventions of the magazines Rolling Stone and Empire as they place their Date and Price close to their title similar to mine, however to some extent I have challenged conventions as I have placed my date and price under the title whereas they have all placed theirs above. However I feel that placing my date and price underneath the title is more sophisticated and draws less attention away from the rest of the page
A Convention of mainly the magazine NME is the use of a band index. I have followed this convention by using a band index on my contents page. This makes navigation easier for the reader, thus making the magazine more attractive. I have followed the colour scheme of my magazine in the same way NME has followed their colour scheme. This helps to create a house style and make the magazine look more professional and worth purchasing which will draw in the reader. Any fans of bands in the band index are more likely to purchase the magazine after seeing their favourite band in the band index. I have followed a music magazine convention by putting the name of my magazine as the main title of the contents page, followed but “this week” similar to the style of NME. Various other contents pages also put the title of the magazine in the title of the page so as to enforce brand awareness and encourage further revenue.
I Have followed another music magazine convention in the sense that my contents are on the right hand side of the page. Both NME and Rolling Stone do the same thing. Similar to most magazines, following convention, I have titled all of my contents and given them a brief description to draw the reader in. I have also sectioned my magazine contents similar to NME with the sections “NEWS, RADAR, REVIEWS, LIVE and FEATURES”. This makes the magazine easier to navigate and therefore makes it more attractive to the reader.
Another common convention of music magazines is the use of more than one image on the contents page. I have used the same kind of layout as the rolling stone magazine with the page number placed on top of each image which makes navigation easier and therefore the reader is more attracted to the magazine. The use of a variety of images also attracts the reader as it makes the magazine seem like it has more depth and variety making it seem like it has more quality. The use of images also catches the reader’s attention which helps to draw them in and read on.
I have used a plus section for my magazine. This is general convention for music magazines as a part of the contents section with articles that are in every issue. This makes regular readers feel appreciated and so they keep purchasing the magazine again and again. This is a convention of many magazines such as rolling stone, NME, Empire and Q
I Have followed another magazine convention similar to NME by including a subscription box in my contents page. I have created another front cover to put in my contents page in the same way NME has so that there is 2. I have Also coloured my font in a similar way. I have used a price offer which draws the reader in as they want a good deal The terms and conditions are placed in a very small font at the bottom of the page so as to be very inconspicuous and Not draw attention away from the subscription offer.
My Double Page Spread follows various music magazine conventions Firstly, I have placed my image over the whole of the right hand page. This is common in magazines as the big picture catches the reader’s eye and draws them in, increasing the chance of a purchase. This is done in several other magazines. The large size of the picture makes the image more dynamic and therefore more attractive to the reader..
Another magazine convention followed by my Double page spread is the use of the artist’s name as the title of the article. I have used the full name of my artist similar to the article on ‘Sean Penn’. The use of the artist’s name draws in the reader as they see an artist they know and are drawn in to read the article about that particular artist. Following Codes and Conventions set by other magazines I have used a drop capital at the start of my article. The use of a drop capital helps the page look more professional. The larger sized letter also catches the reader as It is so big compared to the rest of the article. However I have challenged magazine conventions in the sense that in most articles the text of the article is placed so each line starts at the same place whereas mine flows with the shape of the drop capital.
Similar to various magazines I have used a pull quote in the middle of my article in a larger font than the rest of the text. The use of a large font catches the reader’s eye and the pull quote itself gives the reader an insight into what the article is going to be about and therefore draws them in to buy the magazine. I have used a very interesting part of the article so as to create interest in the reader and encourage a purchase.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? I Feel My Magazine Explicit represents social groups C2, D and E. It also Represents mainly students. It Represents Self Actualisers (Who are Focused on people and relationships, individualistic and creative and enthusiastically exploring change), as well as Innovators (who are self-confident risk-takers, seeking new and different things, setting their own targets to achieve as they will both be interested in new, unique music, which is the type of music my magazine will feature. They will generally be from the ages of 14-25 and will be both male and female. The majority of them will still be in education and as this is an indie music magazine they will be interested in live gigs and ‘anything and everything’ to do with this genre of music.
I have represented the particular social group talked about earlier by the clothes my model is wearing on the front cover and double page spread and the style of my model on my contents page. they are dressed in an indie style so readers will be able to relate with them and therefore will be more likely to purchase the magazine. I have also used the colour yellow for my house style which isn’t gender specific and therefore appeals to both sexes, thus creating more revenue from both genders. My models are generally young and attractive which represents these social groups. The sections in my contents page (Band Index and Live!) represent these particular social groups as they will be interested in mainly Live music and therefore will want to know more about them. The band index represents them as it is a simple way to find favourite bands which applies to my social groups as they are likely to be loyal to their favourite bands and artists.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? http://www.ipcmedia.com IPC Media is a major publishing company and the publishing company I am interested in for the distribution of my magazine. IPC Media distributes NME magazine already which is one of the most successful indie magazines there is. This shows IPC Media know what they are doing and if they distribute my magazine it will be just as successful. I believe there is a niche in the market for a new magazine on music today, maybe a sister magazine to NME, which can show a range of music genres and appeal to an even wider audience, a music magazine aimed at both men and women whereas NME is aimed at mainly men. IPC have an audience of an estimate of 26 million readers in the UK and 20 million online views, that’s two thirds of UK women and 42% of UK men so my magazine will have a very large audience. I plan to sell my magazine in mainly big supermarkets as they have the biggest number of customers and are generally the best place to get magazines and therefore the size of my audience will increase. As My Magazine is aimed at students who will use the internet I will also use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to market my magazine and an online subscription will be available.
Who would be the audience for your media product? The target audience for my magazine is 16-25 year old males and females, who are interested in indie music, going to gigs, fashion, instruments, gaming, food, technology, computers etc.. I have made a reader profile portraying the target audience for my magazine, showing images of what sort of things they would like and may be advertised in my magazine because they represent my target audience’s interests. My target audience would enjoy listening to music as well as making their own; be interested in fashion and clothing , go out with friends and use social networking websites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter etc... My target audience’s occupation would range from student at college/university, working part-time, but mostly working full-time. They are also interested in gaming /the latest gadgets and entertainment and a good bargain.
How did you attract/address your audience? My media product is aimed at mainly 14-25 year olds. I’ve used my design layout, colours and images to represent this age group. The layout features have also been used to represent the gender targeted audience of males and females. There are no colours or images used in my magazine that would appeal only to one sex. All of Explicit’s features are unisex. This is done as a way to keeping male readers interested, while increasing female readers thus leading to a higher profit made overall. On the front cover I have used a picture of a female. This image appeals to a wide target audience of males as the image has a sexual appeal. Women will also be attracted by the picture for inspirational and admirable reasons. As the target audience is mostly males but varies between both sexes, it’s important to include things that will attract both genders. The colour scheme is yellow, black and white. These colours aren’t gender specific so won’t encourage any gender stereotype within potential readers. Thus expanding the size of the audience. The model in my image is wearing indie clothes and a stretcher. This makes my audience relate to her and encourages a purchase. As the model looks like someone who may be from my target audience the readers understand the magazine is aimed at them and become more attracted to purchasing it. The banner at the bottom of the page has names of well known rock/alternative bands which interests and attracts my intended audience. Furthermore I addressed my audience with a questionnaire about what kind of things they liked in a magazine, I then based my magazine around those answers. For example readers wanted a lot of magazine on the front cover without it looking to cluttered, which I tried to do. One of my intended audience told me that she thought my magazine was real and thought the girl on the cover should be in a band because she really has the look for it.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I used Photoshop CS5 to create my magazine and from this, I learnt how to use this program to create an effective, attractive magazine cover, contents page and double page spread. I learnt that Photoshop was very good at keeping the quality of photos the same once they have been uploaded from a digital camera and resized. Using a program like Microsoft Publisher wouldn't have been as good as the photos are more likely to pixelate and therefore would be unusable. Also, resizing images without distorting their proportions was made easy by using the ‘shift’ key when resizing which kept photos looking realistic. I also used the contrast and brightness feature to make my images more dynamic. I cropped my images so they would be the appropriate sizes and then used the layering feature to layer various text and/or other images on top. I also used the fx tool to make my front page title stand out more with a stroke around it.
For taking the images for my magazine I used a canon 1000D. This is an entry level DSLR so the photos are a lot better quality than photos taken by a digital camera. Although this camera is mainly for beginner photographers the image quality still looks quite professional and when edited was perfect for my magazine. The camera had various effects and contrast settings on the camera itself and I mainly used the monochrome effect with a high contrast when taking my pictures, however I did take some in colour so as to have a variety of different images. I used Microsoft publisher for my prelim task and first drafts. I’d used it before so I knew what I had to do and didn’t have any difficulties with it. It was easier than using Photoshop because everything you could do on it was quite basic, however because of that It wasn’t as professional and therefore I didn’t use it for my actual magazine. However For the majority of my time working on my magazine, when preparing, making the magazine and evaluating, I used blogger as a website to share my work and keep everything in one place. This meant my work was backed up and easy to access. I personalised my blogger and added a photo so that people would know it was mine. www.nadiaewins-asmedia.blogspot.com I used the internet website Zoomerang to create an online questionnaire. This made the distribution of my questionaire easy as it was cost efficient and quick . I could share my questionaire via email, social networking sites and embedded on my blogger. The analysis of results was done by the website which made understanding my audience much easier.
Because my intended audience are all likely to commonly use social networking websites, I decided to use them get feedback to improve my design. I put a survey on facebook, twitter and tumblr (aswell as blogger), and had people fill it out electronically for me. This meant I could gather important information on my intended audience from a variety of ages and places quickly without spending any money. Using the Social Networking Sites to gather my information was a useful way of interacting with the wide range of my intended audience and learning how to make a magazine that appeals to them. I used the internet to search for information and images of current brands of media products. I also found a website on which I could create my own barcode to put on my magazine front cover. It was also helpful when searching old material to influence me when designing my magazine, by looking at google images I found various magazine front covers, double page spreads and contents pages. This saved me having to buy lots of magazines to use because I could find them for free on the internet therefore this way of researching was quick and cost efficient As I needed to upload all of my research onto blogger and blogger’s interface did not make uploading word documents possible, I used the internet program called slideshare. On the website I uploaded my word documents/powerpoints to slideshare and them used the embed feature to paste the html onto my blogger.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I used Photoshop for my full product as opposed to Microsoft Publisher which I used in my prelim task. From this progression I was able make my music magazine look more professional and like a real product. I studied successful magazines and learnt the codes and conventions they use on Photoshop to make their magazines look better and stand out from less-successful ones, and tried to use them when making my magazine. On Photoshop there’s a lot more tools you can use to edit the colouring and positioning of your product, which is why my final draft of my magazine looks so much better in contrast to my preliminary task of a school magazine. When taking pictures for my full product I used a professional photographer’s camera, as opposed to a cheaper one I borrowed from the school to take pictures for my prelim task. This meant that the images looked better in my magazine because they were better lit and had a better contrast than the ones in ‘NEWS@NEGUS’ The colour scheme is completely different from my prelim task to my magazine as my prelim task was quite bright and based around the colour orange whereas my magazine is a lot darker and looks more proffesional
I used Microsoft publisher for my preliminary task and then proggressing I used photoshop for my final draft of my contents page. This progression meant I was able make my music magazine look more professional and like a real music magazine product. I studied various magazine contents pages and learnt the codes and conventions they use to make their magazines stand out from less-successful ones and followed their example. On Photoshop there are various tools you can use to edit Images and text in a better way that aren’t available on microsoft publisher. Using these tools my ability to create a successful product has increased and therefore my final draft looks much better than my preliminary task. For my contents page in my preliminary task I only created a mock-up to get a rough idea of what my contents page would look like whereas for my final draft I finished my product completely.
I spoke to individuals who would fit the criteria for my intended audience to get their opinions on the designs I had done so far, and help me improve my product. I used teenagers of the ages from 14 to adults of the ages of 25, both male and female. I showed them my first and second drafts of my magazine then used their opinions to develop it into my final copy. I wanted to develop my magazine into something that would really appeal to my targeted audience so I needed to know exactly what they wanted and asking them individually was the best way to find out. The majority of the people I asked liked my magazine a lot and said they would buy it, however some has valuable constructive criticism that helped me create my final draft of my magazine. Firstly they said they would like to see a preview of the bands featured so I added a section at the bottom of the magazine with certain bands featured. Another point one person made was that the text should be aligned to the side of the magazine it was on as It looked a bit unproffesional centred so I aligned my text to the left and right, depending on where it was placed on the page. They also said that the Title needed to stand out more as it kind of blended in with the models face so I used the fx tool on photoshop to add a stroke to my title and make it stand out. Another suggestion was to change the image on the CD cover that was being given away as It was the same person used for the main image which made the magazine look as if it was all about her. So I changed the image to another artist and made the CD cover look more real. I was also advised that my barcode looked too long so I cropped it.
Everyone I asked said they liked the images so I kept the images as they were but changed the sepia image to greyscale as I thought it looked more proffesional. My Audience also said they would like a subscription box so I added one in with a special offer. They said that there were not enough different sections so I added more such as ‘NEWS, RADAR and LIVE’. My readers said they also wanted a way to know which bands were featured in the magazine so I added in a BAND INDEX similar to that of NME’s. My audience also made the point that the contents page looked a bit too yellow so I used yellow more subtlety in my final draft.
Conclusion I think my music magazine was very successful and it has turned out allot better than I expected. However I think that I should have taken better pictures as my image could be of better quality. For my contents page I think the plus section may have needed a little work but it all fits together and looks good and very professional. My double page spread came out well however I think it would look better if the article text was justified however I did not understand how to do so on Photoshop. My whole magazine has a house style and a continuous flow and I am very proud of it.