CONVENTIONS OF FRONT COVERS
I ensured that I featured several conventions of a music
magazine front cover in my own design. This is because as a
media practioner, I understand the importance of using
common conventions as it makes the magazine look
realistic, professional, and fulfil the desires of the audience.
For this reason, I ensured that my media pieces featured
the common conventions of a pop magazine. For example,
from my research of existing magazines, I found that a
common convention of pop music magazines is for the
image to dominate the frame and be position to the right
of the frame. This is a regular convention that features in
fellow pop mag We Love Pop. This allows space for sell lines
on the left hand side and this is a good place for them to
be, as the audience’s eye naturally starts scanning on the
left. I ensured that my front cover provided this convention
as it makes it look more professional and like a real pop
magazine. Also in keeping with conventions, the image fills
the frame and is dominant, so the audience’s eye will be
instantly caught by a large, eye catching image of their
favourite artists. As the image is of an artist they love, this
could make them want to by the magazine.
It is clear that the image is centred towards the right hand
side of the page, similar to We Love Pop. FAPs and sell-lines
are placed on the left in both front covers. This is a
common convention of magazines in general.
Conventions of Pop
Below is a link for Little Mix’s music video ‘Move’
This video features multiple conventions of the pop
CONVENTIONS OF FRONT COVERS
An example of another common convention of front covers that is evident in my own piece is the design
and position of the masthead. Pop magazine generally have large, bold and recognisable mastheads full
of bright, eye catching and contrasting colours. The typeface is generally fun and bubbly, just like pop.
For example, the Top of the Pops masthead has its own signature font that is vibrant and colourful, in a
bubble-style design. It is also unique and instantly recognisable to the audience, while it allows the
magazine to immediately show its brand identity. Their masthead changes colour, but is always features
in bright colours with an occasional contrasting colour as a background. This is a convention that is
evident in my piece. The masthead uses a unique font called Cheri. This font is bold, fun, quirky and easily
recognisable. The audience would know it straight away at first glance. The font is fun and youthful and
will appeal to the target audience. It also allows Ultimately Pop to clearly portray its unique brand
identity. I used two bold colours that contrast each other and make the masthead stand out even more.
This will allow my magazine to immediately catch the audience’s eye. Like other pop magazines, the
colours of my masthead -black combined with hot pink- reflect the bold and bubbly personality of pop
and the target audience.
One of the main conventions of pop mags evident on my front cover is the fashion element in the right
hand corner. We Love Pop feature a puff of that month’s top fashion tips on their front cover. This is a
common convention of pop magazines as fashion is an important and desired aspect of pop mags and a
key interest of the target audience. My piece has a clear section on Winter fashion. It is presented in a
quirky and brightly coloured shape to ensure it catches the audience’s eye. I chose this convention
because I wanted to allow my target audience to appreciate, at a glance, the range of topics covered in
my magazine. Also, to inform them that my magazine will provide them with the style tips they desire.
They will love the visual aspect, the fact that you can see the fashion items. To present the items visually
is another pop magazine convention.
Both mastheads are bold and unique. They are easily
recognisable to the TA. Colours are bright, vibranting and
contrasting which make them stand out more. There is a
clear and eye catching puff featuring fashion tips for that
CONTENTS PAGE CONVENTIONS
Several Conventions of Content pages are evident in my final piece. For example, by researching
multiple pop contents pages, I discovered that a common convention is to have a small section
indicating what is in the magazine and where it is located. Originally, I planned to do a similar
layout to We Love Pop’s contents page, with a small INSIDE section. However, after completing
a focus group, I found that representatives of my target audience preferred there to be multiple
sections, sub-divided into different categories, but liked the ‘Inside This month’ feature. The use
of sub-headings is a layout feature of the contents page of Top of the Pops. That is the main
reason why I chose to have half of the contents page dedicated to the articles featured in my
magazine, subdivided into categories such as Fashion, Music and Boys. I chose to combine the
feature of separate categories with the ‘Inside this month’ feature. This allows my contents
page to be unique and stand out against existing contents page. It also appeals to the TA as this
combination is a desired feature. It also appeals to my target audience and makes it easier for
them to instantly find the topics and relevant articles that they want to read.
My contents page features smaller images to attract the audience. This is a common feature of
all music magazines of all genres. For example, NME magazine always features at least three
images on its contents page. We Love Pop features an average of 5 images on the contents page
in each issue. This is a convention that is clearly portrayed in my contents page. The feature
artist is placed in the middle of the page, and the image is larger than the others. This is another
feature of contents pages. This convention will attract the audience as when they see the
magazine on the shelves and flick through it they will see the images of their favourite artists
and instantly want to buy it. However, it is evident that the layout of my contents page is very
different the other pop contents pages. This makes my contents page unique and instantly
emphasises the brand identity. Alongside each image, you see large page numbers, thus
allowing the audience to know at glance where to find the article relating to the image. This is
another convention in place that helps the audience to navigate their way around the mag
Both contents pages are very image heavy. They both feature an
‘Inside this month’, whereas, Ultimately Pop is more detailed and
Double Page Spread Conventions
Several features of DPS’s are apparent in my piece. One common convention of DPS that
features is using a Pull-quote from the article as the Headline. For example, Top of the Pop’s
double page spread on Justin Bieber features the headline; “Girls give me a headache.” This is
a pull-quote from the article that is effective in drawing in the audience as they want to know
more about the context of that statement. The headline also features at the top of the left
page. This is due to the fact that our eye’s go to the left side first.
Another convention of double page spreads is that the image features on the right hand side.
This is a common feature of double page spreads in all magazines. This is due to the fact that
when flicking through a magazine, the audience see the right page first. By featuring the
image on the right page, the reader will see the image of their favourite artists and stop to
read the article. This is a convention that I featured in my DPS, however I also adapted this
convention to make my magazine unique. I chose to feature two images of my artist
underneath each other on the right page. I decided to do this as it creates a more personal
and unique touch to the article. It also shows that my artist was having fun on the shoot,
rather than just standing there posing. The images draw in the audience as they insinuate that
the article will be full of the serious information about Leanne’s music, and the fun and
exciting gossip they desire to know. The fun and upbeat feel of my double page spread
reflects the upbeat and laidback style of the pop genre itself.
Another convention I chose to include was using different colours for the questions and
responses. This is a common convention of magazine interviews in general. I felt that this was
an important convention to include as it allows the text to be broken up and looks more
visually appealing. It also makes the article more digestible and flow easier as the reader can
differentiate between the different speakers.
Another convention that I included in my DPS is the use of a stand first under the headline.
This is the strip of boxed text that is presented under the headline. A stand first is used to
give the audience a small insight into the content that the interview will feature. It usually
consists of a the content that will entice the audience the most and make them want to read
the article. In Top of the Pops interview with Justin Bieber, a stand first features underneath
the headline saying; “dating dramas, family feuds and coping with crazy feuds.” This
immediately informs the audience of the content that will feature in the magazine and that is
the desired information that they want to know. My DPS features a stand first underneath
the headline that is presented in a bold and vibrantly coloured rectangle. It is short and
snappy and draws in the reader.
Both of these double page spreads feature a Pull-quote as the headline. This
gives the audience an insight into the kind of content the article features.
This is further emphasised by the standfirst, which is another convention of
DPS that features in both pieces.
Both of these double page spreads feature the image on the right hand side
of the page.
The both feature the questions and responses in different colours. This
makes it easier for the audience to read and makes the article flow easily.
GENDER AND BRITISHNESS
My three pieces mainly represent females. There are some male artists presented in my
magazine, although the main focus is females. This is because my magazine is by females
and for females. It is a celebration of the success of the female pop artists that the target
audience want to read about. I chose to base my magazine around female artists as they
can act as role models for the target audience. They want to read about the success of
female artists in the music industry and aspire to be like them in the future. The TA can
relate more to female artists than male artists. My magazine goes against gender
stereotypes as it celebrates female success and presents females as strong, successful
women who young girls should aspire to be. The representation of females in my
magazine isn’t the conventional presentation for pop magazines. This is because pop
magazines celebrate the success of female artists, but usually focus on males and gossip.
However, my magazine still features multiple male artists as the TA of my magazine will
have crushes on them, want to read about them and get posters to stick up of them on
their wall. I portrayed the focus on female artists by using a female as my main feature
artist who appears on the front cover and the double page spread. This artist also had
the largest image on the contents page. I also represented mainly females through the
other artists that feature in my magazine. For example, on the contents page, the
majority of the articles were based around female artists in the current pop industry such
as Jessie J, Little Mix, Nicole Scherzinger and The Saturdays.
My magazines represents Britain in a positive light. It portrays the success and talent of
these British born and bred artists who are achieving their dreams. Although my
magazine celebrates the pop genre, I wanted to portray the celebration of Britain and
British culture that is reflected throughout NME. This is a feature I thought could benefit
my magazine and allow it to fulfil it’s true potential and make it unique from other pop
magazines. I tried to present this through the celebration and achievements of these
young, British artists that my target audience can look up to.
These representations of females and britishness are set up through the images and
artists featured in my magazine. For example, the representation of females is presented
through using a female artist as my main feature artist. The interview with her talks
about her success and presents her in a positive way. While britishness is presented
through the fact that all the artists featured in my magazine are british, with the
exception of Justin Bieber.
My double page spread focuses solely on the success of a female artist. The colours used also
represent her femininity as they are very feminine colours. This reinforces the positive
representation of women. This double page spread is used to draw in the audience to see Leanne
as a role model. This is successful through the use of fun images and the fact that the article
focuses mainly on her success, classic beauty, perfect boyfriend etc. These are things that the
target audience aspire to have to look up to Leanne.
RACE AND AGE
Most of the artists featured in my magazine are White British artists. This is due to the
fact that most pop artists in the current music industry are white. It is not a common
feature of pop magazines to feature artists of a minority ethnic background. This is a
typical convention of pop magazines as there simply aren’t many artists from
marginalised ethnic groups, except for artists like Nicole Scherzinger, Leanne from
Little Mix, Zayn from 1D and JLS. Though not from a British background, however,
these artists have been born in the UK (apart form Nicole) and are thoroughly
Westernised in their behaviour, style and values. This was a typical representation that
would easily be changed if there were more ethnic pop artists. However, as this is not
the case I found it difficult to represent more than a minority of other ethnicities in my
magazine or other ethnic identities and cultures. It is also obvious that pop is a genre of
music that has its culture deeply embedded in Western civilisation and thus the
representation seems to be suitable and one that would appeal more to a the
My magazine focuses mainly on young and fresh artists. The age ranges represented in
my three pieces stretches from around 17 to25 . This is a common representation in pop
magazines as pop is a youthful genre that is predominantly enjoyed by younger
audiences of youthful and bubbly girls. It wouldn’t fit in with the genre to feature
artists in their late 30s as my magazine is meant to be youthful, fun and bubbly and the
audience are supposed to be able to relate to the artists or see them as role models.
This would be less likely if the artists were older and not either a similar age or slightly
older. This representation is also due to the fact that current pop artists are all young.
The youth in my magazine are presented in a very positive light. This is because my
magazine talks about the success and popularity of the artists. I presented them as role
models for the target audience. I wanted to portray the idea that the TA can do
anything they set their mind too, just like their favourite artists their reading about. By
presenting these young artists in a positive light, it provides the target audience with a
positive view of themselves and their ambitions. I created a positive representation of
youth by focusing on their success and positive aspects of their career.
All the artists
An ideal media institution to distribute my media product would be one that shares
similar values to my magazine. It would be an institution that is successful and has high
experience in distributing successful media.
One of the media institutions that could distribute my media product is Egmont. Egmont
is the owner and distributer of pop magazine We Love Pop.
It is the UK’s biggest children publisher. It is the publisher of multiple known magazines
such as We Love Pop, Go Girl and They also have wide experience with working across
different platforms. For example, they have websites and apps for their magazines and
e-books for the books that they publish.
I have chosen this institution as not only do they have experience with publishing pop
magazines, they have strong values which are similar to my product, Ultimately Pop.
They put all their focus into producing high quality media products, just for children.
Children are their focus, not a sideline. This is similar to the values of my magazine, as
our main focus is to appeal to the desire of the young girls who read our magazine. This
is one of the reasons that Egmont is a suitable media institution to distribute my
magazine. Egmont Group is a world-leading media organisation in more than 30
countries, with a structure like no other. It is owned by a charitable foundation set up by
the original Egmont H Petersen and still firmly committed to ethical principles.
Egmont is a media institution that has large impact, but is small enough to care. They
have wide experience in how to make a magazine successful and ensure that it appeals
to the desires of the reader. This is why I believe Egmont will be an ideal media
institution for my magazine.
They have experience and understanding children and my TA so understand how to
make effective media products from them. Also they understand who to cater for their
needs and desires in magazines.
My media product is aimed at young teenage girls, aged between
12-15. She is a fun, bright, bubbly young girl. They love all things
pop and desire the freshest, juiciest gossip about their favourite
pop artists. The reader is a down-to-earth young girl with big
aspirations. She enjoys anything that requires the use of her
creativity and loves al things pop. This is something my magazine
aims to provide, the hot gossip on the current pop industry. The
reader of my magazine is a dedicated pop listener, who is
obsessed with getting the latest pop music magazines. They look
for music magazines that provide the juiciest gossip, the most
exclusive articles and the hottest artists. They will love my
magazine as it provides everything they look for in a music
magazine. It is unique and full of the exclusive information they
can’t get in the other magazines. This is the reason they choose
my product over rival products of its kind. They would also
expect the magazine to provide fun activities such as quizzes,
games and cringe pages. This makes the magazine full of
everything the reader desires. My target audience loves
magazines full of images and posters. This is another feature that
is provided in my magazine, which makes it a hit with the target