2. Products Front cover Contents Page Double Page Spread
3. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? I decided to create a conventional magazine front cover, this is so that my magazine doesn’t look unusual or odd compared to other magazines. However, I have tried to make my magazine stand out from the others by using bright, youthful colours and a large, bold image. I have made my magazine conventional by using one large image, which is used in a number of different magazines and different music genres to emphasise the main story. This technique is features on ‘NME’ and ‘KERRANG!’, which shows that it is a very effective technique to use as it catches the audiences’ eye. I have included a barcode to give my magazine an authentic feel and to make my magazine appear more realistic. The layout of my magazine is of conventional inspiration such as a bold image and title, yet with an unconventional twist including my magazine slogan, ‘techno. retro. electro.’ this is an unconventional feature as not many magazines have this. I believe the use of this mainly conventional magazine with unconventional features will allow my magazine to look like other magazines and yet allow it to stand out from the crowd. I have included a banner along the bottom of my magazine to give the reader an insight to what is included in the magazine. This is similar to the magazine ‘Kerrang!’ except that mine is below the main image aas not to distract from the main story, however the concepts are both the same. I have included a large masthead that dominates the upper part of the front cover to allow the audience to recognise it. I have only used two of the three colours used on my masthead, this is to allow the orange colour to stand out more and to allow the ‘Elektrow’ to vibrantly stand out from the white background, I did an orange background behind the title, but I felt that the colours clashed when in close contact with each other and this looked unprofessional. I have thought about certain aspects of my magazine and linked them together to create a ‘summer edition’ feel such as the use of the word ‘hot’ in the description of the band, and also the image of the band in sunglasses to support the summer theme. This is also supported by a bright and vibrant summery colour scheme.
4. As the front cover of my magazine is conventional, I also decided to make a conventional contents page to allow my products to be reflected in each other. I have used headings to split my contents page into sections to allow my magazine to be easier to navigate and also, this is an effective technique used by a number of different magazines, including ‘Q’ and ‘Kerrang!’ This technique is a simple yet effective way of making my magazine appear more professional and sophisticated. I have made my contents page conventional by using the same colour scheme and font to that of the front cover. This is conventional as most magazines have a consistent colour and font scheme to link the pages together and allow the magazine to look more professional. In terms of colour scheme, my front cover is quite unconventional. A plain white background is used in a number of magazines as it allows other colours and images to stand out, however the use of the colour grey for text instead of the conventional black allows my magazine to appear softer and not as harsh as black text, this is because my colour scheme is bright and vibrant and therefore black would look odd and unprofessional. I have included images on my contents page to keep the reader interested and also to give an insight as to what will be featuring on that particular page. This is quite a conventional technique and it used by magazines such as ‘Kingsize’ and Kerrang. I have included conventional images so that my magazine looks similar to those that it would be among on the shelves. The images used also reflect the music genre of my magazine and are a typical stereotype of the gerne.
5. I have used the same font, background and colour scheme for the name of the band, ‘Flexx’ it is identical to the front cover and therefore allows my magazine to flow, which is a feature of a conventional magazine. It may also show that it is a trademark of the band or maybe the bands colour scheme and font featuring on their album or merchandise. The repetition of the font and background will remind the reader of the band and the magazine which will help promote both. My double page spread is unconventional as conventional magazine is usually split into sections and is usually predominately dominated by text, with pictures elsewhere. However, I have decided to have one large dominating image with little text to create a different approach to a double page spread. There are some conventional aspects to my double page spread, such as the use of an image, text explaining who the band is and also a large, bold band name and also the page numbers in the bottom corners of my double page spread. This is very conventional as they are included in the majority of magazines also, the positioning of these page numbers is very conventional. From my earlier products, I have continued the ‘summer theme’ by using an image of the band on a beach, this is mainly an unconventional image to have, as many images have a plain background so as not to distract from the text, however, on my magazine I have made the main focus of the double page spread the image used, instead of the conventional text dominating spreads. Also, I realise that the media industry is changing and a number of people are using the internet as a media source. As my target audience is teenagers, and stereotypically, teenagers use the internet a lot, I have included the famous ‘twitter’ symbol to allow people to find out about the band from the internet, which is a very large media source. As the genre of music is Electro/Indie, which is quite an unusual and unconventional music type, I have tried to reflect that in the unique ness and unconventional style of my magazine.
6. How does your media product represent particular social groups? My magazine represent young females of all classes. This is because all of my images contain a group of females and on every picture they are dressed for different occasions, which links to the different classes, for example, on the contents page, there is an image where the females are dressed formally and then is an image where the females are dressed casually, this therefore appeal to people of all classes as there is a range of different dress styles. My magazine portrays young females as fun loving and happy due to the bright and vibrant colour scheme and also the fact that the females are smiling on all of the images used. The teenage girls may also been seen as sociable and easygoing, which is portrayed by the fact that all of the photos used are of groups of people, not one person on their own, this could show that females have a bond and are close to their friends and that it is a main priority of theirs. The articles featuring in my magazine are of a light hearted nature and are mainly about music gossip and awards, and because of this, will probably attract a younger audience, the colour scheme is also a fresh, young and feminine colour scheme and so will attract young females. As the colour scheme is unconventional, it may also represent that female teenagers are quirky and individual. There is young females on my magazine and this reflects my target audience, I doubt that this magazine would appeal to an older generation, especially males, due to the overall presentation of my magazine, including the images used, the nature of the articles, the music genre it is based on and also the colour scheme.
7. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? When it comes to my magazine, there are a number of different institutions that could distribute it. I decided to research institutions that specialise in music magazines. While researching a number of different media institutions, I found ‘MusicMags’, an institution that deals with a number of different musical aspects, which suits my magazine as it is featuring a number of different artists. As my magazine would be sold along with similar magazines, it may boost the sales of my magazine and therefore could make a massive profit, especially as MusicMags distribute to America and Canada, and this could help my magazine to become sold internationally and help promote bands featured inside it. As the magazines that they already distribute are already like my magazine however, this may lead them to not want to distribute it as it is similar to those already being distributed and they may wish to try something different. Also, another disadvantage would be that only a certain number of retailers supply MusicMags magazines, and this could lead to a loss of profit and not attracting as big of a target audience as it could do. On the whole, however, and after research, MusicMags seems to be the right distributor for my magazine as it specifically specialises in music magazines.
8. Who would the audience be for your media product? The audience for my magazine would be females, around the 14+ age. Although my magazine contains a bright and young colour scheme and little text, the music genre itself is usually aimed at a mid/late teen audience and so this would be my target audience. Also, the females featured on my magazine are of the 16/17 age and so this also links to my target audience. By having images of the people I am trying to attract throughout, people who reflect the images used may be attracted to my magazine. Due to the quirky colour scheme and music genre, I think my magazine would attract female teenagers and a niche market, this may sound like it would not make a high profit but due to trends, and trends of clothes featured on the magazine. Whilst planning my magazine, I wanted to attract people of all ages and both genders to my magazine. However, after researching existing magazines, I discovered that magazines generally did not attract everybody and instead focused on a specific age and social group. Hopefully, if my magazine is successful, it will attract a young audience who like electro/indie music. As I have called my magazine ‘Elektrow’ it is quite a unique spelling and this may attract a quirky and lively audience. As Electro/Indie is usually quite energetic, I think that my magazine will attract teenage girls who are generally upbeat.
9. How did you attract/ address your audience? I did research into existing magazines into how they attract their audience so that I could incorporate similar ideas into my own magazine. I incorporated the ideas used by magazines with my own personal ideas of what I believe makes a good magazine. I decided that my magazine needed to have a title that would attract my target audience. I surveyed a number of people from my target audience to help me choose an appropriate name and colour scheme for my masthead. I chose a number of colour schemes that spring to mind when I think of the music genre ‘Electro’ and out of these, I asked my target audience (14+ females) to choose which one they thought to be the most attractive. Using the chosen colour scheme, I decided that my magazine should look futuristic and young and therefore the simplicity and clashing colours helped me achieve this image. The majority of conventional magazines include a large, bold image and I decided to use this feature on my magazine. I thought carefully about the clothes in which my models should wear as this will determine the type of people that my magazine will attract, so I chose to dress my models in the clothes that a stereotypical teenage female would wear on holiday as I wanted to create a “summer” feel to hopefully lighten the mood of my audience and make my magazine more youthful. Another factor that I had to consider when attracting my audience for my magazine was the models on the cover. If my models would have been of too young then a number of my potential market would have been put off my magazine and it would have most likely have attracted a young audience, likewise if the models on the cover would have been too old for my target audience. Therefore I concluded that images of my target audience would be the most likely models to attract people of the same age and gender.
10. Another way in which I attracted my audience was by using a bright and vibrant colours to allow my magazine to appear light hearted and fun. I used a futuristic and electronic font as it supports my music genre and title of my magazine- ‘Elektrow’. By using font that matches the general theme of my magazine, hopefully, although subtle, it has a large impact on my magazine. After researching magazines, I found an effective technique of attracting an audience- a splash. Splashes give an insight as to what is included in the magazine or article. Stereotypically, teenage girls are more attracted to gossip and trends, and I have tried to incorporate these stereotypes into the splashes surrounding my main image. Although splashes are conventional, the splash on my main image in unconventional as it is in a white box. This is to draw attention to it and also to link the white background into the magazine. Another way in which I attracted my audience is the banner along the bottom of the page, this is bright orange which contrasts to the white and green surrounding it and stands out really brightly. The banner shows features that are included in the magazine and what is inside, instead of including other story lines, which is more conventional in a music magazine, I have included general things inside to not draw too much attention away from the main storyline.
11. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Since starting my music magazine, I have been more conscious of aspects and details needed to create authentic media products, for example, the lighting required to take a professional photo and making sure that my magazine is in proportion. My music magazine product has helped me to pay more attention to detail and hopefully it shows through my work. Before the magazine, I took pictures however I fancied and now I realised that by altering a few small details can transform a picture instantly. A slight change of angle or lighting can be much more flattering and can look a lot more authentic. Another factor that can alter a picture is clothes, hair and makeup. To make my magazine look as realistic as possible, I had to pay a lot of attention to detail to ensure that my photography looked at its best. I got to use a new way of communicating and sharing work when starting this project by using blogger.com. This is the way that I shared my work throughout my project- from my preliminary task up until my finished products. As I had never used Blogger before, there was a lot I had to learn, luckily it was simple and easy to use and I find it a very effective way of doing coursework as my progress can be clearly seen throughout stages. Also, another bonus of having my work on the internet is that my coursework is now easy to navigate and it is simple and easy to find a piece of work, instead of searching through a number of print outs, not to mention that by doing my work on the internet, it is also more environmental friendly as I am not printing off lots of sheets for all of my work. For my fonts, I used a website called dafont.com this was also new to me, but luckily it was really clear to navigate and fonts are sectioned into styles so I was able to find a suitable font efficiently. I also used a new software called Fireworks. Fireworks allowed me to edit pictures and make my own personalised effects. I used Fireworks to construct my magazine.
12. I used fireworks to edit the brightness of my pictures to make them stand out and appear clearer. By making the images brighter, I figured it would blend in with my colour scheme more as my colour scheme is bright and vibrant and this is the look I wanted to create with my images. The software Fireworks also allowed me to delete any unwanted background using the ‘magic wand’ tool. This is a very useful and effective tool that allows a clean deletion of unwanted colours that are of a similar shade. For example, the image used on my front cover originally had a bright and busy background and as this would not have looked professional as an image on the cover on an authentic magazine, I needed a way of getting rid of it. I could have used the ‘rubber’ tool, but this would have taken longer and the ‘magic wand too was much more efficient. However, for close detail around the images, I used the rubber tool and added a soft edge to the rubber, allowing the image to appear smooth. For some aspects of my project, it was easier to use a PowerPoint presentation (such as this one), and in order for it to be published onto my blog, I needed to use a website called Slideshare.net. Slideshare allows documents from programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and mainly any other program to be uploaded to Blogger. This is very useful as it means that however I chose to complete my work it could be uploaded. However, I chose to mainly use Blogger as it was new to me and I thought it best to use something new to me and improve my skills than to use a software I was already very familiar with.
13. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full project? Since my preliminary task, I feel that I have been able to use and identify different media techniques and aspects. Looking at my preliminary task, I feel that my work looks more advanced and authentic. I feel much more confident in experimenting with vibrant and energetic colour schemes and images. I would like to think that my photography skills have vastly improved and that I understand how attention to detail can change the overall aesthetics of my magazine. My preliminary task looks very amateur and unprofessional, it is clear that this magazine is not a genuine real magazine as it is a little too simple and boring. There is no sophistication and does not attract the attention of the audience as well as my music magazine does.