Evaluation: [Music Magazine]

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Evaluation: [Music Magazine]

  1. 1. My magazine conforms to most of the conventions of a proper magazine as shown by the inclusion of a top and bottom strip, the essential barcode, a large central image which covers a large area of the cover, as well as, maintaining eye contact, enabling my magazine to interact with readers, and a left third has also been included. The main image allows readers to recognise the genre of the magazine. The genres I was going for were indie/rock; as indie is still a relatively new genre, originating in the 80’s, there are no symbols or images particularly iconic to the tribe, so instead, I used colours associated with the rock genre, using them however, in a way that still allowed my magazine to be recognised as an indie magazine; I have used the colours in a way that is similar to The Fly (shown bottom, far right) which also has a similar concept to mine. I have challenged the typical form of magazines by replacing human models with objects, by doing this I think I have instantly made my magazine look more interesting compared to other magazines. The image I have used aims to capture the imagination and attention of readers. I have challenged this form again on my contents page, replacing the usual humorous comment within a caption with an amusing image. Previously in my magazine analysis, I mentioned that when a magazine reaches a certain level of popularity their main image, in a select number of issues, begin to cover the masthead. In recent years, The Fly, the magazine being used to compare my magazine to, has only started to do this as the magazine is just starting to become more recognisable and well known to the public; as my magazine is new I have done what I think is the sensible thing and followed this tradition, there is nothing covering my masthead, and if my magazine were real, my masthead would remain uncovered until it became more renowned.
  2. 2. Who would be the audience for your media product ? My magazine was, originally, going to follow the same kind of layout as the, popular rock based magazine, NME. In a recent audience profile for NME magazine, it read that their audience is predominantly male orientated with 65% of their audience being made up of male readers, with the remaining 35% of their audience being female –the average age of their reader audience resting at around 23. To support these statistics, I found a reference containing similar information- Reference : http://rhummerstone.blogspot.com/2010/03/nme-audience-profile.html As I was using NME as an example of what I wanted my finished magazine to look like, I gave my questionnaire out to more males than females –only a few more though, because I wanted to keep my audience widespread. I only gave my questionnaires out to those within the age range of 16-24, I did this as I thought it would allow me to see what my target audience wanted and therefore act on their feedback more accurately. For my main image I have used a puppet-like picture, as the age group being targeted through my magazine is quite young, I think that they will quite easily be able to relate back to their childhood as it wouldn’t have been long ago, and therefore be able to appreciate the idea and direction that my magazine has taken in this particular issue. This image was also used to represent the fun and excitement of being a fresh new act entering the music scene (as my magazine is based on the concept of new music) and I think my audience, because of their age, would be able to connect to, and understand the fun and humorous approach I have tried to incorporate on my front cover.
  3. 3. How does your media product represent particular social groups ? … and also attract/address your audience ? The genre I chose for my magazine to portray was indie/rock. For all my images, but my main image in particular, I wanted to focus primarily on the ‘indie’ part, and as indie is the short term for independent, I thought, ‘independent’ - ‘creative’ - ‘imaginative’; all the words that I thought should relate to the word independent, but at the same time the image would have to be strong and, in a phrase, the image would have to ‘hold its own’. Looking at the covers of indie/rock magazines the majority of them belong to bands or groups, there are few that host a central image of a solo artist (unless they are extremely well know within that genre, a magazine which demonstrates this is Paste (shown below right), a not so well known magazine, which covered a range of genres, emphasizing particularly on alternative, Americana and indie rock and sadly is no longer distributed); as indie magazines predominantly host bands/groups on the cover, I decided to continue this trend, but as I wanted my magazine to be ‘creative’ and ‘imaginative’ I had to think harder as to what I wanted to put on the cover. After a lot of thought, and persuasion on my younger sisters part, instead of having people on the cover, I decided I would take pictures of my sisters gloves –which had faces on them- and use them as the band ‘ESPY’. If my magazine was on a stand or on a shelf, by doing this I think I will have captured the attention of both young and old as well as my chosen target audience, therefore, expanding my target audience; not only would my cover stand out from the other covers, I think the younger people (possibly even children) would be attracted by the bright colours and also the ‘cartoon-like’ main image, the older people would be intrigued by the image and possibly feel curious and therefore compelled to read on. Through the main image I think that the older people could possibly relate back to their upbringing and for this reason pick up my magazine, and as for my targeted audience, I think that their open mindedness and willingness to experiment would be enough for them to pick up my product anyway. In addition, after taking in all the aspects that would have to be considered when creating a magazine realistically, I would say that in general my magazine represents the youth of this generation –fun, fresh and underestimated. Going back to my audience demographics I decided to aim my magazine toward Mainstreamers, Explorers and the Constrained, I also mentioned that my decisions would change, looking at my magazine it is clear that it does not address Mainstreamers due to the fact that my product would not be considered ‘safe’ and it is also not a big brand product; two things that Mainstreamers usually tend to go for. Taking into consideration the remaining two groups, I think Explorers would continue to read my magazine because of the fact that at first glance it is unusual and different compared to other magazines –which is the main quality this group looks for when buying a magazine. As for the Constrained, my magazine represents young people and I think young people, as a result of our economic climate, would fit into this group, being ‘skint’ most of the time, which means they have little to no money. With EMA being cut off and University fees rising, more young people will have to get jobs to fund their education, but with this being a significant amount of young people there will, presumably, be a shortage of jobs which means young people will need to budget –they won’t be able to afford the cost of buying monthly, or weekly, magazine issues- so, I think the people within this group would appreciate a free magazine containing updates on the newest music. I think my magazine would have to largely advertise music events, such as gigs held at Barfly/HMV Institute as this is where a lot of the money to fund the distribution of my magazine would come from, these events also play a large part of young people’s social lives, so I think readers would appreciate being kept up to date socially. If my magazine became more well known and our economic climate improved, advertising shoes, clothing, and products –such as CD’s, vinyl records etc- would be strong possibilities
  4. 4. Front Cover: The feedback I received from my questionnaire, (shown below), allowed me to see that the majority of my audience preferred a free magazine as opposed to having to pay for a one. As the barcode is a vital part of a magazine, and I wanted to include one anyway, I created my own which states that the magazine is free eye; it has purposely been misspelt to make the magazine original and separate from the animal The lower half of my magazine contains a number of current artists of similar ages to my target audience therefore making my magazine, its features and overall content more relatable. On the cover of some NME issues I’ve noticed that there is sometimes some reference to music history. As NME magazine was my original inspiration, I decided that I would incorporate this feature in my magazine (‘CD’s VS CASSETTE’-‘NEW VS OLD’) –but, like NME, my main content is current and up to date My main image maintains eye contact with readers, making them feel involved in the magazine as soon as the cover is seen; by maintaining eye contact the reader will also feel like they’re on a personal level with the individual(s) in the picture Within the strapline, I’ve used genre specific terminology -speaking directly to readers and my chosen target audience The strapline also allows reader to decide whether or not they want to continue reading Instead of having another feature article in the top strip I used the words ‘*LIMITED* EDITION*’ repeatedly, altering the arrangement of the lettering slightly so that it gave off the impression that this issue in particular was exclusive or special; that way, in terms of audience, I would attract more people, as, if something is special, people want it more and as this is the first issue I think it these words are appropriate Like many magazines, the central image sets the atmosphere for the reader. Through elements within the central image, such as colour, picture quality, mise-en-scene, feelings and expression, the reader is able to decipher the genre of the magazine The masthead is instantly identifiable – its boldness makes it easy to catch the readers
  5. 5. I’ve used personal pronouns, e.g.‘you’, within my contents page allowing my magazine to further interact with readers on a personal level Contents Page: I succeeded in including all the different types of articles from my feedback (shown above) in my contents page, slotting some articles subtly into others that were of a similar category. For example, Tour Dates and Gigs are similar article segments in the sense that both involve artists playing live, the only differences being that a gig is held at a venue, tours are held in stadiums and arenas, a gig is more of a one night performance, whereas a tour is a series of performances at a number of places and overall an artist’s performance is as intimate or as extravagant as they make it By incorporating the use of informal language in my contents page, I have made my magazine relatable to the relatively young age group of my target audience This image acts as the caption, it does not describe what is going on within the picture, instead, making a humorous comment aimed to make Surprisingly, the majority of people, when asked whether or not they would like to contribute to the magazine, selected yes as their answer (shown above) –to contend with this feedback, I added a feature called ‘Mad World’ which allows readers to send in anything funny they’ve overheard someone say that no one is meant to hear the reader smile; it has been edited and placed subtly so that it looks like it is the part of the main image
  6. 6. D.P.S: I added extra information about the album so that the image didn’t look so empty on its own and also to promote the artist -which is what other music magazines , such as ‘Q’ , include in their articles. The mysteriousness of the artist would make males, interested in the indie/rock genre, want to read on to find out more about her, and her new success would make females interested in these genres, presumably, respect her and possibly even aspire to be like her Within my article I have tried to reach my target audience through pronouns like ‘us’ so that readers feel as though they are talking to a friend or another person My feedback showed that my audience preferred more images to the amount of text, in another question, the feedback showed that a straightforward approach was also preferred; so that my D.P.S wasn’t cluttered I used an image that covered both pages, in comparison to the half a page that was taken up by text, by doing this I think I have fulfilled the preferences of my audience The Platapus website is also included in the album information, because many popular music magazines today, have their own website due to readers from more recent generations being more accustomed to using modern technology, i.e. the Internet, one of the only main reasons people still buy magazines is that being able to hold it makes the experience more personal A logo for my magazine, similar to The Fly (right), will help my magazine to be recognised as well as remembered Drop capital is a typical convention within magazine articles, it makes the article look professional and also enables the reader to know where the article begins Clearly identifiable as the headline as it uses the biggest font, different to the rest of the article, and it is a different colour to rest of the article
  7. 7. Looking at my finished media product it is clear that there is a continuous theme present. The colours that can be seen on the front cover carry on through to the D.P.S which allow the reader to know that everything he/she is reading is coming from the same magazine. In general, my magazine displays the use of dominant dark colours which are balanced out by the use of a number of lighter, more vibrant colours used to represent and attract the young audience being targeted. From looking at the colours used overall, it is easy to see that my magazine is not aimed toward an old audience. The contrast in colours, I think, not only furthers the likelihood of my magazine standing out, but also makes my magazine look very distinct. The simple structure of the cover and other pages, add to my product’s clarity which, in this case, was requested by my target audience within the feedback of my questionnaires, (shown far right), and by meeting these preferences I will have, presumably, made my magazine more effective. The continual colours, simple structure and clarity, help my magazine to look professional and also aids my magazine in selling, in a way, a rockers lifestyle; being free, independent, going against the normal appearance of things and thinking outside the box. The images I have used support and reinforce the idea of this lifestyle, the images, being quite edgy and worn –which could link in with a rockers dress sense, however, the mix of light and dark colours could link in with an indie kid’s fashion.
  8. 8. If my magazine were to be sold, the institution I would choose to distribute my magazine would be IPC (International Publishing Company). I would choose this company for the obvious reason being that they are the institution I chose to release my magazine every month mainly because The Fly is released monthly, this decision was supported by my questionnaire feedback as the majority of the people, selected the monthly option as well. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAMA_Group http://www.mamagroup.co.uk/ behind NME, and as I structured my magazine in certain ways that are similar to NME, I think that it would only be appropriate that I choose IPC as the institution to distribute my magazine. However as my magazine is free, I carried out some research on the free magazine ‘The Fly’, which, I think, focuses on a similar genre to my magazine as well as a similar audience. The institution responsible for the distribution of ‘The Fly’, and the institution I would want to distribute my magazine, is MAMA Group, founded recently in 2002, MAMA Group is the parent company to several UK based music/media businesses and owned by HMV Group Plc. With MAMA Group operating a number of venues, such as Birmingham’s HMV Institute and Barfly, and events, such as The Great Escape Festival, and Global Gathering, the money to fund the production and distribution of my magazine would come from the money made from these divisions which are controlled by MAMA Group, as well as advertising aspects.
  9. 9. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product ? To create the required components of my music magazine, I, once again, used the programmes Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, as well as the Nikon D19 to take my pictures. Throughout the production of my magazine, I have further developed my understanding and knowledge of both the programmes, unlike my previous experience with InDesign, I came across fewer problems, and as for Photoshop, I’ve used and experimented with tools that I wouldn’t have dared to even consider using before because of the fact that I had no idea how to use them. As a result of making this product, I think my ability and skills for using these programmes have strengthened and has made me more confident when it comes to using them in future. By researching magazines, and looking at them repeatedly, I have realized that the codes and conventions of magazines play an extremely important part when it comes to identifying them, planning them, attracting an audience for them, and overall making them become as successful as they can possibly be. For my magazine, I didn’t have to do too much editing on my pictures; but from looking at the editing that went into other peoples images, I learnt how important the prospect of layering the image is when manipulating it to create a specific effect. After using the editing software in both tasks, I understand the impact technology has on creating the final products.
  10. 10. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Looking back at both my school magazine and music magazine, there are visible differences between the two. There are clear improvements that have been made which I feel are not only as a result of my understanding of the codes and conventions of magazines, but as a result of being more familiar with the software. From analyzing the mistakes made in my preliminary task, I have learnt how the codes and conventions of magazines play a crucial role when attracting an audience and also when portraying the objective of the magazine clearly to readers. After carrying out research for my preliminary task and completing it, I noticed that school magazines frequently break the conventions usually incorporated within magazines –I learnt that this was due to the fact that school magazines have no commercial pressure on them as in the world of magazines, everything is, or has, a specific image which is manufactured and then presented as reality. The power of technology plays a big part in helping magazine companies to create and, ultimately, to control the manipulation of the ‘image’ and lifestyle being sold. I have seen and learnt how layering an image and changing it can create an exact effect, and in order to achieve this effect a lot of time is needed as well as a lot of patience and skill. The ‘image’ magazines sell also project a way of thinking onto readers, certain elements of magazines can influence the choices readers make in situations, style choices and can even influence a readers attitude.

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