As the brief states that the front cover of the preliminary tasks must include a medium close up shot, I found 5 photographs (though not reflecting the school magazine genre) of medium close ups so that I am prepared for the type of photography I must use: Mid - shots
Preliminary Task – School magazine Front Cover – Existing products After viewing these font covers, which are for a range of schools from pre school to college, I identified some conventions. These magazines use bright colours, bold mastheads and ‘action’ mid-shots of a child completing certain stages of education. However, I plan to create a sixth form magazine, therefore will use a simpler design and house style. I used this to create a new front cover which I believe to be a simpler and more professional design.
Preliminary Task – School magazine This is my first attempt of a preliminary task. I created the cover using a mid shot of a student as was required. I took the photographs near the book shelves in my school library to fit conventions of school magazine styles, however I think it would have looked better with a plain background as the cover looks very crowded. I used a consistent house style with main colours of blue, yellow and black, I included a plug, with free planner attached so people would pay attention to the magazine. This uses the gratifications theory in audience theory; the audience would gain personally from buying the magazine. I did not include a bar code or price on this magazine as I would assume that school magazines would be free. I think it fits the conventions adequately, with the large bold masthead and the splash across the front cover, however it could appear more professional. Overall, I am not very happy with this front cover, therefore I plan to analyse professional school magazines further and develop a new cover and contents page with a more sophisticated style. Front Cover 1st attempt
Preliminary Task – School magazine Although many of the school magazines use front cover photographs which replicate the environment of a school, I would aim my school magazine at a sixth form audience, and therefore believe that using the conventional popular magazine cover with a simple background would be more effective for this audience. However, I still incorporated the book as a prop into the shot to establish the educational theme of the magazine. The students costume in this shot (non-uniform) was established to help me create the sense that this is a sixth form magazine. Her age and appearance back this up. The masthead is bold and simple, which is very conventional for magazines, and i believe this to be effective. I found my school logo on our website and therefore incorporated this onto the cover as this would increase how proffessional the cover looks. The strap lines are simple in design and context as I believe that the simple design of the front cover would attract older students. I believe this is a more effective school magazine cover. I followed the conventions and house style I used for creating the contents page of my school magazine Front Cover 2nd attempt
Preliminary Task – School magazine Contents Page – 1st & 2nd design After deciding to use the second version of my front cover, I created my contents page based on that house style. I used main colours of black, white, red and blue similar to the front cover as they are the sixth form school colours. The school logo ties both pages together, as does the fact that the font for the front page masthead and contents page title are the same. I used the block background of red for the list of contents with simple, white font in a list with page numbers, which fits the conventions and needs of the reader. The images are framed and small, which is conventional for contents pages and I put them diagonally to represent the more chaotic taste of sixth form students. The images reflect some of the features listed on the right hand side. I used quite a simple design, which I think is appropriate for a school magazine. The background is plain white but with pale yellow flowers to represent the fact that it is a spring edition. I decreased how opaque the images were using Serif Photo Plus to make them blend in more.
Preliminary Task – School magazine Photo shoot I done one photo shoot for my preliminary task and only used 6 photographs, as all seemed fitting for my front cover. This slide, and the following, document these photographs and explain my reasons for location, costumer, camera shot etc. Location: My choice of location was my school library. This is fits conventions very well, as in the existing school magazines I analysed, the front cover shots were of a student in an educational background. The books also help add the vibrant, bright colours to the scene and help establish the educational genre of the magazine. Costume: My choice of costume is not as conventional due to the fact that my model is not wearing uniform. I done this as I want to aim my magazine at a sixth form audience. Her long green coat creates the image of a sensible student while her hood adds an aspect of individual style, which would appeal to a sixth form audience, to the image. Model: I used my friend, Giselle, for this photo shoot. Not only was this convenient for taking the photos, I believe she fits the conventions of a school magazine cover. Her hair is appropriately styled and her attractive features are conventional, although I did not use makeup for this shoot as I believe a natural look is more effective for a school magazine.
Preliminary Task – School magazine Photo shoot Camera shots: Every shot I took was a mid shot of the student as this is what the brief required. I used a variety of angles of her face and body language in order to have a range of photographs to choose from. I also used surroundings such as the bright book shelf and calming window scene to highlight the school genre. Above (final 2 images used): These are the two photographs that I finally edited into front covers. I chose number 1 because the background if bright and educational, and he model looks happy while choosing a book. I edited this slightly: I changed the saturation, brightness and contrast in colour settings to make the photograph bright and cheerful. I also used tools on the photo editing software to make her skin seem slightly smoother and teeth whiter. I chose photograph 2 because this was an appropriate image to edit the background into plain white, giving the effect that is achieved in many mainstream magazines. I did not edit the model much in this version as I think the natural appearance is more effective for this particular genre.
Preliminary Task – School magazine Final front cover and contents page evaluation Positive: I think the front cover I created fits the conventions of a school magazine; the masthead is very bold and clear at the top of the page, the mid shot of a cheerful student is very common in this genre of print and I used articles that are likely to appear in a realistic sixth form magazine. The prop, the book, fits into the genre and the non uniform establishes the sixth form twist to my magazine.This task also enabled me to experiment with different forms of technology such as cameras, digital editing software and using the internet as a research tool. Negative: I think the front cover could look more professional, perhaps by dressing the student in brighter, more attractive clothing. Using an SLR camera would increase the picture quality, however this camera was not available. Also, the font could be more professional and graphic, perhaps by downloading fonts on the internet. Positive: The contents page has every feature that is essential; it lists the main articles in summarising and simple language, the layout is clear and organised which is essential and the title grabs the readers’ attention. The photographs make the contents page more like a music/fashion magazine therefore attracting my target sixth form audience. Negative: I only used one of my own images as they would have looked too similar if I used all of mine. Also, I could have used more which reflected the school genre more but they do reflect the index. The overall effect could be more technical and impressive, however due to my deadlines, I could not spend a lot of time on my subsidiary task.