The Evaluation. AS Media Studies Foundation Portfolio.
In what ways does your media product use, develop challenge forms and conventions of real media products? When I was creating and developing my Front Cover I had always wanted it to have certain features that other magazines have. The main inspirations being ‘Rolling Stone’, ‘NME’ and ‘Q’, these were for different reasons. From each of these magazines and others such as ‘Kerrang’ and ‘Vibe’ I found techniques that I think would work well with my magazine, such as the layout, the fonts and the content. I then used this information that I had gathered to help produce my front cover, contents and my double page spread. This is my front cover and the conventions that I have used and some parts that are unconventional as well. This is my masthead ‘Pulse’, I placed it here because the popular magazine ‘NME’ also places it here, and I think that it looks professional in the corner and it also creates a border and keeps the page organised, where as if it was in the centre it wouldn’t. Also the ‘NME’ has a white and a black outline in it, mine also does, this is because it makes it stand out even more than it would normally. On my front cover I used one large image, this is so it stands out, this is conventional as magazine such as ‘Vibe’ and ‘Rolling Stone’ use the same technique, it also proved to me that it is a popular design that works as these two magazines are successful. Additionally I used quotes and writing over the top of the image as these two magazines both do it as well. Finally I didn’t place writing over the face as it is the key part of the image and magazine, as neither of these two magazines place writing of the face of the person. This is the banner, I used this as it allows me to place writing on the front cover without it going over the image itself, which would make it hard to read. The barcode is in the bottom right of the page, as it is with most magazines. As you can see the magazine ‘Q’ uses a banner, again it makes the writing stand out and shows the viewer what is in the magazine. This again makes my magazine front cover conventional.
Contents With my contents page I took a huge amount of inspiration from the magazine ‘Q’, as you can see my layout is similar and other features are also similar, making my magazine conventional, I also used one idea from the ‘Vibe’ magazine. As you can see I took a lot of inspiration from ‘Q’. Firstly ‘Q’ still has its masthead on the contents page, which I also have, this provides consistency through the magazine and links the pages together. Also the layout, I have used the same ideas as ‘Q’, such as Special Features, main features and review, this is because I think it makes it clear to the viewer and splits it up nicely. I also placed the ‘Christmas edition’ in the top corner again it links the pages together and is again conventional. This also links to my contents page because of the background, I thought that the light to dark background works well and then a contrasting font in the magazine ‘Vibe’ so I used this technique in my contents page again it is conventional. However my contents is also partly unconventional, this is because in my research I was unable to find any magazines that used a banner in their contents pages as well as the front cover, so I thought I would include one as it makes the pages link, makes it professional and consistent and it makes it unconventional.
Double Page Spread Firstly my double page spread is conventional because I have used the same idea as in the magazine above, writing as a newspaper article. This gives my double page spread an organised look. Also the magazine above uses one main image as my double page spread also does, again it makes it conventional. This is also consistent throughout my magazine, instead of just the page number it also says ‘page’ again this makes the magazine unique and partly unconventional, it also makes it organised and link together. My magazine links to this double page spread as this one has quotes from the band going over their faces, which take up just over half of the page, like mine, so the two magazines are similar, however my image doesn't have its face being split in half by the crease which gives my double page spread a better and more professional look. Again this is another magazine using the image as a whole side of the A3 piece of paper and writing in a newspaper style layout, again making my magazine conventional. The masthead is on every piece of work, gives it consistency and links the pages.
How does your media product represent different social groups? My music magazine represents different social groups. I have been researching lots of different music magazines to see what social groups they represent. I did this so that it would give me an idea of how they represent the different social groups. There are many different ways that magazines can do this. The first thing that made me think of social groups was the genre of the magazine. I wanted to pick a genre that was the most popular and sold the most magazines and music. This made me think that the this will attract the audience I want because it is the most popular. I also found out that this genre of music brings in the most income into the business. I have chosen the genre of Indie. I think that this music can be portrayed in many different ways for children and adults to use and enjoy it. They can dress the way artists do, they can make their own music, they listen to it, and also the make up they wear. The second thing that I think about was the gender. I am aiming my music magazine at both sexes because I think that the colour scheme is very neutral which suggests both gender can buy the magazine and also be attracted to it. This is also because the models I have used. I think that the male model will attract the girls to the magazine and the female model will attract the boys to the magazine but saying this girls will also be attracted to the magazine by the female model because they will want to see what she is wearing and what her fashion sense is. Furthermore I think that I will also attract any age group to my music magazine because the colours are neutral and they don’t look like they are only aimed at the younger population. This means that my magazine will be bringing in a lot of custom because it will be aimed at a large group of the population. Finally I think that I will be attracting all different races and classes to my magazine because it will make my magazine more popular and this will then give me a bigger target market. This is good because I wont be discriminating against anyone.
What type of media institution might distribute your product and why. There is a range of different magazine distributers, The most popular being, ‘Music Mags’ , ‘IPC Media’, ‘Factory Media’ and ‘Future Publishing. The two companies on the left are ‘Music Mags’ and IPC Media’, the two main distributers. These would both probably be the ones that I would try and get to distribute my magazine, however IPC only to a certain extent. Music Mags specialises in music magazine, hence then name, where as IPC Media distributes all kinds of magazine, Sport, Gossip, some music and Model magazines. So in my opinion the most suitable is the Music Mags, simply because its trade is music magazines only. It would be a perfect idea to get a company to distribute my magazine because of the publicity. Also it would be done much better than if I distributed it myself. My magazine appeals mainly to teenagers but to all people who are interested in Indie music, not just this but it also includes recent music gossip, so this will enhance the target market. Therefore I believe that my magazine would be extremely popular with the target market and would make a great deal of money with the correct distributer. However another problem that I have discovered is convincing people who already buy music magazines to buy this magazine, this is difficult as there is already lots of music magazines, especially indie magazines in the market. Therefore if this was the case my magazine could struggle to get income. However to help solve the problem I would ensure that my magazine was distributed my a dedicated distributer who is concentrated on music magazines only.
Who would be the audience for your media product. My media product mainly targets teenagers aged 13-19, this is because it a genre of music that a large amount of teenagers are interested in, and there will obviously be other, older people that would be interested in the magazine. I chose to make this age my target age simply because other music (Indie) magazines such as ‘Q’ and ‘NME’ target this age, so I know that it is the correct age to target as all successful magazines target this age. I can then take inspiration from these magazines as they are targeted at the same age. This all links to the colour of my magazine. I didn’t want to reduce the target market by choosing feminine or masculine colours, so I chose neutral colours which will appeal to both genders. I also didn’t want a colour that was too striking or in your face as I wanted the main image to have this effect, the neutral background also fits in with other magazines that I have researched such as ‘Vibe’, where all the colours complement each other so the magazine is very pleasing on the eye. Additionally I wanted the model used on the front of my magazine to look she has been dressed up pacifically for the magazine front cover, again conventional as I don’t want to scare anyone away from the magazine and also people my like the clothes that that the model is wearing and then be interested in the magazine. Finally I feel that my masthead ‘Pulse’ reflects the magazine and it also gives it another dimension, this is because most Indie music has a consistent beat or pulse in it and it may also attract people who enjoy dance or rap music into the magazine, enhancing the target market. In conclusion my target audience is teenagers aged 13-19, simply because it is the biggest area of the market to target and other successful music magazines all targeted this age group.
How did you attract/address your audience. Firstly I thought that I needed to do a large amount of research on music magazines. This was so I could find information out of how to get my target audience interested and what the best target market would be. The first thing that I noticed about the other magazines is that they all had one thing in common. A big, bold and catchy masthead. As other popular magazines such as ‘Q’ have, this gets the audience to remember the name and every time they think of a music magazine it will click. Because of this I chose a font colour that contrasted the neutral background, to make it stand out, so I chose black. To make it stand out even more I then but a white glow around the masthead, this makes it look professional and stand out even more. I also put a quick slogan underneath the masthead, again this is so that the audience can remember my magazine rather than others. Another technique I used to attract the audience was the main image on the front cover. The image takes up the majority of the page, so it stands out, not just this but the model is also wearing clothes that people may want to try and find in the shops themselves after they see someone on a magazine cover wearing them. This is conventional as I didn’t want a picture that would possibly scare the audience away from the magazine, this wouldn’t go with all the other images that I would put on my front covers either, so it would break up the consistency. Additionally there is a slight glow around the model, this is again to make her the main part of the front cover. Another technique to attract people to the magazine is my font, this is a nice font too look at and is easy to read. Like the colours in my front cover the font is a neutral font, it will appeal to both male and female, which is what I wanted to achieve. Additionally the model herself, hence her age, I didn’t want to choose a model that was too old, however on other covers there would be some older bands such as The Killers or Muse, but they fit into the chosen genre, but generally the models will be younger so that my target market can relate to them. Finally I have quotes situated over the model to show that she said these quotes. These will attract people into the magazine as it will show them what lies beneath the covers, and this could tempt them to buy the magazine. However these are not as important as the model herself, hence why these quotes are not over her face, as again that is the main feature. I got the idea of the quotes on the front cover from the majority of the magazines that I researched, so it must be the right thing to put on the cover to attract people into the magazine.
What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing the products. I was reasonably familiar with some of the programs that I used in media, such as fireworks. However to create my products I had to explore fireworks and use some of the tools that before we started the course; I didn’t know what they did. The main thing I have learned about the technology is to do with photography. I learned that it wasn’t just as simple as taking a photo, but that you needed the lighting to be perfect to get a good picture. The main thing that I have improved on throughout the course is using a camera. Before I would just take a photo and wonder why it turned out so poor, but now I know why this is. I have learned that to take a good picture the lighting has to be perfect. When I took the photos for my pre-lims the lighting wasn’t but it was when I took the pictures for my final products. Also I learned that you need to think about what the model is going to wear and that only the right costume will work with my magazine, this is something that I didn’t know before doing this course. I also became very familiar with the program Blogger, which I had never used before, not just blogger but other websites such as Da Font and Slide Share. I can now use the programs extremely easily. When I started Blogger I new what the basic buttons did, but as the course has grown old I have found out what the majority of the buttons do on this program. I also got to use fireworks much more, enabling me to find out what the different buttons did, for example I discovered what the twist and fade button did; which I used for my background. I used the rubber stamp tool to duplicate other images. On one of my drafts I used the hue/saturation tool which changes the colour of the images, I then changed mine to greyscale, however it didn’t look that good on the cover. I also used the burn and dodge tool, this allowed me to slightly change the colour of the images if the shot the I took wasn’t as good as I had hoped, if there was a light patch I could make it darker with the burn tool and visa versa. Finally I found out how to analyse a magazine properly, I am now able to pick out key features of a magazine, such as the masthead, banners, the type of shot used, if it’s a model shot or not, and the layout. Whereas before I did this course I would just look at the picture on the front of the magazine.
Look back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt from the progression from it to the full product. Preliminary Final Products The main thing that I have learned is the use of colours on the audience, In my prelims I thought that the colours were maybe aimed at a male to much so I change this. Also I learnt that you really need a good quality photo to be able to have a good product, I think the photos taken in my final products are much better than before. Also the banner than goes around the edge of me prelim, at the time I thought it looked good, but after doing research I noticed that most magazines had a banner just going across the bottom, allowing more space for the main image, so I kept it conventional. I also changed the whole layout of the front cover as I thought it was more effective to have one main image taking up the whole page. However there are a lot of things I have tried to keep similar, such as the positioning of the issue (top left), the layout of the contents is very similar, also my front cover has a banner on both the prelim and on my final front cover. So creating the prelims gave me ideas that I thought were good enough for my final products. Overall there is a huge improvement between the two simply because the prelims showed my the ideas that would be successful and those that wouldn’t, and because I became more familiar with the technology.