In order to create my product I had to do a lot of research and planning, now that I have finished constructing my product I feel it appropriate toanalyse the process in which I went through to get to this stage.
In what ways does your media productuse, develop or challenge forms andconventions of real media products? (Front Cover) My music magazine’s front cover follows several codes and conventionsof typical music magazine front covers, ways in which it does this is the fact thereis one main image that dominates the front cover, the model within the image isaddressing the reader directly as she is looking at the camera and the image usedis a mid shot; these are all common features presented in music magazines. Also,my masthead has a trademark unique font and consists of only one word whichrelates to the genre it represents, it fills the width of the front cover and is situatedat the top of the page. The date and price are placed at the top right underneaththe masthead which again follows conventions. My main sell line relates to andfeatures the name of the artist appearing on the front cover which is anothercommon convention used in music magazines. I have included a puff which contains a buzz word; ‘FREE’, this is a codeand convention commonly used in music magazines and will draw the attention ofmy audience. My main cover line is the largest cover line on my front cover whichis a very important convention I felt I needed to follow. My front cover also consists of colloquial language in which will attractmy target audience, for example, in one of my sell lines I have used the word“swag” which relates to having a good appearance/representation of yourself
The word “swag” is commonly used by the target audience of my magazine sowill appeal to them, this is a feature used by most magazines promoting thisurban genre, for example, VIBE’s Eminem issue where they use “swaggajack” inone of their sell lines. At the top of my magazine I have included a strip in which will show theaudience what content is available within my product. Colour schemes used areusually very basic and consist of one bright colour and two primary colours; Ihave followed this convention by using black and white as my primary coloursand red as my vibrant colour. I gained my inspiration for my product from ‘VIBE’magazine as they are very successful and good at what they do, also all theirissues have a unique and different feel compared to the others and my magazineshould also bring something new and different each issue. In terms of costume I have followed the style and conventions of typicalR&B products. The artist/model featured on my front cover is wearing redlipstick which is a common make-up choice within this urban genre mainlybecause the colour red connotes passion and power which also relates to mymagazine’s slogan, placed on the right-hand side underneath the masthead. Also,the army print bralet the model is wearing is similar to a crop top which is acommon feature in R&B products, especially music videos, also, the high-waistedskirt is also a common feature as it shows a good sense of fashion and themodel’s beauty.
Click the picture to watch the music video by Rihanna performing Only Girl In The World
In what ways does your media productuse, develop or challenge forms and (Contentsconventions of real media products? Page)My music magazine’s contents page follows the codes and conventions of typicalmusic magazine contents pages as it contains common features such as the layout;it is set into columns and the page is divided in two, one half contains the contentfeatured within the magazine and the other half contains an image which relates tothe main feature article; this makes the page easy on the readership’s eye allowingthem to divert their attention to each column easily and quickly to find whatthey’re looking for. This is featured in the majority of music magazines promotingthis urban genre especially VIBE magazine who has used this convention tomaintain their brand identity. The word ‘contents’ is usually located at the top of the page; it is alsocommon to see the name of the magazine and the issue date at the top of the pagehowever as this is already placed on my front cover I felt it unnecessary to repeatthis convention, yet I have maintained my magazine’s brand identity by using mymasthead font on the word ‘contents’ and the other subheadings to create asymbiotic link. I have also followed through with my colour scheme to maintain mymagazine’s brand identity and create another symbiotic link, this is also aconvention used in all magazine’s so it was necessary for my magazine to developthis convention.
In what ways does your media productuse, develop or challenge forms and (Double pageconventions of real media products? spread)Most conventions of typical double page spreads can be found on my own design;these consist of a large image where the model/artist is making direct eye contactwith the camera, creating a direct address; this creates a connection between theaudience and the magazine which entices the readership to buy the magazine. Mydouble page spread also contains two pull quotes, one by the image and one by theheadline; the reason I have used this feature is because they are of extremeimportance and usually determine whether the readership reads the article or notas it refers to the most interesting part of the article which is why I felt it necessaryto use more than one. Another convention I have followed is having the celebritiesname highlighted and in a bold font, this is to show their status as a celebrity andalso grab the readership’s attention. I have also included a stand first to introducethe artist as the images presented of the artist may not be recognisable to somereaders. My double page spread contains a drop cap to inform the readershipwhere to start reading, also, my text has been set into 3 columns so that it lookstidy and gives my product a professional look and feel.
I inverted conventions by putting my main image on the right side rather than thetypical left as I would like the readership to make their way over to the main imageso they still have more to uncover. Instead of putting a by line under the image which is a commonconvention I decided to put it at the very end of the article so that the readershipactually pay attention to it as most by lines are not taken notice of. My article usesa lot of colloquial language to appeal to the readership and my double page spreadfollows the same colour scheme as the rest of my product therefore creating asymbiotic link. Having the image on the right means that it will be the first thingthe readership will see as they flick through the magazine, grabbing theirattention; visuals always appeal to a male audience first and will grab theirattention more easily than text. The content within my double page spread isconventional as I have used one main image, 3 smaller images relating to thenature of the article and the interview relates to the artist’s success and upcomingproducts/shows she wants to reveal to her fans. The mode of address used on my double page spread is extremelycolloquial, for example, “trillest” and “trapstar”. This appeals to my magazine’starget audience making them feel they can relate to the magazine which will attractthe readership.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?In the music industry, women are represented mostly as sex objects; they areusually naked however covering their assets, the reason for this is that sex sellshowever it is very degrading so I have decided to break this convention andrepresent women in a more beautiful, strong and independent way; therepresentation of females as sex objects is particularly prevalent in Hip-hop andR&B magazines. It is also common for magazines to portray youths in a negativelight, you commonly see pictures of youngsters in front of graffiti or withcriminal activity going on in the background for example 50 Cent’s ‘VIBE’ issuewhere there are explosions going on in the background and he has a briefcase inhis hand creating a ‘gangster’ feel to the magazine, I am also inverting thisstereotype by using a plain brick wall as a background, not the typicalgraphitised wall you’d usually see on an RnB related text. When creating myfront cover I wanted to highlight the beauty of women and their power which iswhy my model is doing the pose she’s doing. In my contents page I wanted toshow the strength of women in this current era which is why my model has twoclenched fists as this connotes strength and power.
Also, when creating my double page spread I wanted to show that women can besexy with their clothes on, it doesn’t take a naked photo-shoot to grab someone’sattention or to be called beautiful. This breaks the codes and conventions of atypical RnB music magazine however I find it more appropriate as society isrevolutionising. The model featured in my magazine is doing poses in which reflect herflirty, bubbly nature instead of poses in which highlight her assets and createsexual innuendos; this creates a positive representation of women as she stilllooks beautiful and feminine however isn’t degrading herself by showing lots ofskin or posing sexually like females represented in this urban genre often do. Thelanguage used within the article on my double page spread supports thisrepresentation, for example, one of the pull quotes says “I’m a strongindependent woman” showing her self-respect, also she uses assertive languagethroughout the interview using phrases such as “I believe” which gives her avoice; proposing her opinion counts.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?A media institution is a company or organisation in which is accountable for a mediatext. This could be through distribution, production or marketing. Four examples ofmedia institutions that I have looked into for the production and distribution of myproduct are Mail publisher solutions, IPC media, future plc and TimeInc. I have come tothe conclusion that the media institution I would like to produce and distribute mymedia product is Future plc.I chose this company because they are a successful, well known, mass marketingcompany in which sell around 50million copies of magazines monthly; they’ve alsobeen around since 1985 and have been getting stronger ever since. It is evident thatmusic magazine sales have majorly decreased so it is important for my product to bedistributed by the best institution that I can possibly find and I believe Future plc is thatinstitution. Also, Future plc are an international media group therefore there are nolimitations to where my magazine can be distributed which gives my product a greateropportunity to be highly successful. Future plc are a multi-media company thereforecan provide my product with more services than just production and distribution; theycould provide my product with services such as its own website, adverts, radio station,TV channel and much more. Teaming up with Future plc can mean teaming up withbigger more popular artists, having a greater variety of links within the music industryand many more possibilities which will benefit my product greatly.
Who would be the target audience for your media product?I have aimed my music magazine at a predominantly male audiencealthough there will be a small section of female readers, however, a solid80% of the readership will be males within the age bracket of 16 to 25.The core reader of my magazine will be a confident, easy going, successdriven, bubbly, sporty, fun individual. He knows exactly what he wantsin life and where he’s going and will do almost anything to get there,he’s very focused and allows nothing to get in his way. He would like tobe a part of the music industry and uses ‘FIERCE’ magazine to getknowledge and find the road to success within the industry. He may bein full or part time education or in a full or part time job(if still ineducation). He likes to have fun so he stays single and commitment freehowever he stays loyal and devotes himself to one magazine. Mymagazine is suitable for this type of person as it’s quirky, fun,entertaining, informative and talks about things that would appeal tosomeone trying to get into the music industry such as auditionopportunities, record label signings and much more.
How did you attract/address your audience?In order to get feedback from my target audience I created a miniature postproduction questionnaire to find out how successfully I satisfied my audience;the questionnaire was distributed to 15 people. The results were extremelypositive however when asked what improvements they would make themajority said a better location or no location could have been used, a moreglamorous costume could have been used and more powerful poses would bemore appealing and more appropriate. My positive feedback consisted of agood choice of colour scheme, a clever use of black and white focusing, itappeals to men more than females as intended, the main sell line is attentiongrabbing, the price is perfect(not too low and not too high), some said that theywould definitely buy this magazine and would not be able to walk past it andignore it. The mix of black, white and colour within my product seems to workwell and attracts attention well; through feedback I have discovered that thereadership see the black and white backgrounds as setting a more professionaltone to the magazine and provides a contrast, making the product stand out.Throughout my product I have used direct address which seems to help incatching the readership’s attention as well. The lettering used is placedcorrectly and creatively and through feedback I have discovered that these littlethings make a big difference as the font of my main sell line is what had drawnthe attention of my readers.
The idea behind my model’s costume was to connote that she is a strong leaderso her costume represents that of an army Lieutenant, this gives her power andleadership qualities; my audience clearly stated that this choice of costume wasappropriate to the genre and they almost felt like she was superior to them sothis was a good use of iconography, also this choice of costume made them wantto find out more about her; they also made it clear that the lack of strong sexualimagery did not disorientate their attraction to the magazine or artist in factmajority found it more effective as it did not draw attention away from the artist.Also, the red lipstick she’s wearing is another form of iconography as mostfemales in this urban genre sport red lipstick to show their passion and fieryattitudes. The images featured on my double page spread will appeal to thereadership as they are eye-catchy and highlight the model’s beauty; also, thepictures lead the reader’s eyes to the pull quotes in which will draw theirattention and attract them to the article. My target audience are mainly men whostrive for success, they indulge in sports and other activities relating tofitness, their body image is extremely important to them; this includesfashion, fitness and beauty. The content on my double page spread will appeal tothem as it talks about fashion and other areas which may interest them andallow them to reach success. Also, the mode of address used is colloquial and willappeal to my target audience as they will be able to relate to and understand thelanguage used, for example, “trapstar” is a commonly used word amongst thereadership meaning someone who hustles and has good street credibility.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?Before I began the process of constructing this product I had absolutely no idea how touse the majority of the technology I have now used so I feel like I have made a bigaccomplishment and have learnt so many useful technological skills. Since beginningthis project I have learnt how to set up, use and maintain a blog, I have learnt how to usea professional camera and I’ve learnt how to use ‘slideshare’ and embed slides on to myblog which I had difficulties with at first. In relation to blogger I found many advantagesof having a blog; firstly it gave me the opportunity to keep track of my work and allowedmy target audience to comment on it, now that the process has finished I can look backon my work through my blog, see how my work has progressed and see what I couldimprove on. In addition to this, skills that I had already gained are now improved due tothis project; I have a better knowledge and understanding of how to use AdobePhotoshop; for example how to use the ‘liquidify’ tool to enlarge or shrink something inthe image, also how to use the ‘burn’ tool to remove blemishes and even out skin tonesetc. I have used Photoshop before at GCSE however my use of it was very basic, forexample, I mainly used the text tool and the clone tool which did not give me a variety ofskills to work from at AS level but now through the completion of this project I knowhow to use almost every tool on Photoshop which will help me in the future. I havelearnt new ways to carry out research such as focus groups and I have better and moreefficient computing skills such as the use of Microsoft word, Microsoft PowerPoint andMicrosoft Excel.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?Since creating my sixth form magazine front cover for my preliminary task I feelmy skills have developed greatly and I have made great progress, some of the skillsI believe I have developed on are my Adobe Photoshop skills as I feel morecomfortable using the programme now compared to when I did the preliminarytask. I have learnt that layout is extremely important as a terrible layout createsan unprofessional, messy looking magazine; alongside this I have also learnt thatcolour schemes are very important as in my preliminary task I used very brightcontrasting colours in which made my front cover look messy, unprofessional andalmost child-like. Through comparison you can blatantly see that my musicmagazine front cover is of a higher quality. My masthead font for my preliminarytask is inappropriate, it’s too small and doesn’t work as well as my masthead fonton my music magazine front cover which is appropriate, the right size and itrelates to the urban genre it’s promoting. In my preliminary task I did not followthrough with the typical codes and conventions of a magazine front cover and I didnot do as much extensive research as I did in my music magazine front cover whichI used as a learning curve which led me to create a much better product. I havefound the use of codes and conventions extremely important as they determine thesuccess of the magazine and the appeal to the target audience.
After the preliminary task I found the construction of my front cover, contentspage and double page spread much easier and everything I did I wouldquestion myself asking if it would appeal to my target audience and how I couldmake it appeal to them more which led me to produce a more appropriatemagazine. I did not use any mise-en-scene elements as I did not want attentionto be diverted as my target audience is predominantly male and males are moreeasily distracted than women. In my preliminary I didn’t take intoconsideration all the codes and conventions necessary, for example, mode ofaddress; the mode of address used wasn’t altered to appeal to my targetaudience and wasn’t thought through as much as the mode of address in mymusic magazine task, for example, I did extensive research to find out moreabout my target audience, what would appeal to them and what language theyused making my work in the music magazine task more relatable to the targetaudience. With regards to effort and work ethic, I believe I worked much moreefficiently for the music magazine task as more pre production planning tookplace, more research took place and I took more time to consider differentdesigns, layouts and conventions I could use to produce a better product.