All magazines, whether music, fashion or lifestyle, all follow the same rules, they can either be monthly 'glossies' or cheaper weekly magazines. They have an image, colour scheme and name that all fit the content and the target audience. Most magazines have a title and a slogan, these create a brand image make it instantly recognisable for the audience. There is normally one main cover star either in a close up or medium shot. The leading caption dominates the page and usually links to the cover star. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products ?
Most magazines use direct address, not many magazines use indirect address as it is less conventional. Most writing in magazines is friendly and informal. Magazines normally include celebrities or starts that are admired and aspirational, the main aim of this is to sell the magazine. Contents pages should be bright and colourful to entice the reader, on these pages image dominates text so images are used with page numbers to direct the reader. The magazines cover price doesn't pay for the magazine to be published. Therefore the magazine has to appeal to its audience and sell well to make profit, the magazine will charge for advertising space. The main advertisement of the magazine is the front cover, because this represents the whole of the magazine, they should be bright, interesting and eye catching, the colours used should reflect the genre of music and the target audience.
Feature articles in magazines are normally a double page spread (if not more). They include headlines and subheadings to explain the story. Most artists will not appear in a magazine unless they have something to sell. There is normally one large image with several others spread out across the pages. Some music magazines use slang and swear words as these may be relevant to the music genre and may appeal to the target audience. Many articles use text grabs these are usually controversial, funny or rude.
Unique Selling Point I decided to create a magazine for young girls (11-14 year olds). I made my magazine stand out form other magazines for this age group by adding elements of fashion and 'gossip'. I used bright eye catching colours and large fonts to make it easy for a younger audience to read. My magazine will be a weekly glossy yet for a younger audience, it will be priced at under a pound, as I felt this will draw in the target audience more and attract them to reading the magazine, as many of them may receive pocket money from parents and may not be able/ want to spend all of this on an expensive magazine. The tone of the magazine will be informal as this will help the reader connect. If I use these techniques this will help me create a 'house style' and make it more appealing to the reader.
Both magazine’s have a shot of the featured ‘celebrity’ on the front page. On my magazine the shot is a medium long shot, and on the professional Sugar magazine the shot is a close up. Both of these types of shots are conventional to the magazine genre. However, even though both covers feature a slogan about the cover star, on the Sugar magazine cover, this is not the leading caption. These magazine’s are both made for a similar age group and target audience, this is why both have a very girly colour scheme and name for the magazine. Both magazines have used direct address, which is also very conventional. As the main advertiser for the magazine is the front cover it needs to be colourful and eye catching, both of these covers fulfil that requirement
Both of these magazine feature articles spread across two or more pages, this is very conventional for the magazine genre. Each of the text contains ‘text grabs’ these quotes from the article that are made bigger to break up the columns Each article uses a pastel colour theme to link and attract their target audience. Both articles include images, the text has been ‘text wrapped’ around these images to make the article look more pleasing
My target audience is young teenage girls aged between 11 and 14. The magazine features a mixture of music and fashion as I think the age group find this more appealing. The magazine is brightly coloured and the fonts on each page are easy to read, this is due to the fact my target audience are of that of quite a young age I have used the stereotypes of young pre teen girls as I feel this would be more effective when it comes down to sales of the magazine The colours used throughout the magazine are quite girly and are bright and eye-catching, to draw the reader in and make them want to buy and read the magazine How does your product represent a particular social group? Many social groups are often portrayed through stereotypes in the media. These stereotypes are often the media re-presenting something to us that we are supposed to feel is “normal” I feel my magazine appeals to the stereotype of young teenage girls. These are normally represented in the media as having bubbly personalities, lots of confidence, and as someone who enjoys playing with their friends and doing “girly” things such as dressing up, and experimenting with make up.
The social groups these type of ‘characters’ represent are, “teen female pop stars” To create my ‘celebrity’ I used images of real celebs to help me. These celebs play up to typical stereotypes such as, girly girls, fun loving, confident and bubbly, this is the side of Jessica’s personality I wanted to show. To do this I dressed her in brightly coloured clothes and used soft lighting. Just as the images of Pixie Lott do below
Many young girls look up to celebrities as a form of inspiration. This is why I have used an older model, than those of the age group of my target audience, to be on the front cover of my magazine. The model on the front cover, “Jessica”, looks very glamorous on the front cover and on every page of the magazine. This helps persuade the reader to buy the magazine as it may make them feel as if, if they buy the magazine they can look like her. Jessica is wearing bright, trendy, fashionable clothes. Although she is older than the girls of my target audience they will still feel as if they can look like her and dress like her as she isn't too much older. Jessica’s facial expression and body language suggest that she is just a normal girl having fun, which helps the reader warm to her and makes her seem down to earth and “normal”.
The institution that I would like to use to distribute my music magazine is IPC. After carrying out research about different distributors I decided on this company as I feel they relate to the type of magazine that I wish to publish. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? They publish lots of popular magazines from a variety of genres, including weekly and monthly magazines for both males and females. Although they only publish one music magazine (NME) I feel there is a gap in their market for a magazine like the one I want to make. All of the magazines they publish are priced between £4.80 - SuperYacht World and 49p - TV Easy, this shows that they publish for all types of people.
After carrying out my questionnaire I have discovered that most young girls receive weekly pocket money but don't wish to spend this on expensive magazines, therefore I am going to price my magazine at below £2 as many of the girls I asked the questions to said that they don't want to spend anymore than £2 on a magazine. Lots of them also prefer to read articles, I found this surprising as I thought many of them would prefer to look at the pictures rather than read magazines. The final question on my questionnaire was asking about if the young girls would prefer a music magazine or a fashion magazine or a mixed magazine. The most common reply was a mixed magazine, this means that my feature article can contain questions on music and fashion to the cover star. Below are some of the questions I included in my questionnaire 1) How old are you ? 8 9 10 11 12 13 2) Do you receive weekly pocket money ? Yes No 3) How much pocket money do you receive ? £1-£2 £2-£3 £3-£4 £4-£5 £5 or above Who would be the audience for your media product ?
The readers of my magazine will be a young teenage girls aged between 11-14. She will be the girl within her peer group that will know the latest news on her favourite bands and artists and she will filter this information through to her friends. Her friends look to her for music and fashion advice, as they know she is clued up on both topics. She will receive weekly pocket money from her parents and this determines how much she spends on clothes, magazines and music. She will not only read the magazine for the latest music and fashion gossip but she will also use the internet to check out new songs and listen to her favourites. She will be a typical girly girl who loves bright colours and her favourite genre of music is pop, however she also likes dance music and some RnB. She enjoys school and loves reading my magazine with her friends at lunch and break times.
By using GRASS and other theories I have identified my audience… G ender – female R ace – mainly white british A ge – 11-14 S ocio-economic S tatus – depends on parents income (C1-D) The young people who will be interested in my magazine will more than likely be “mainstreamers” and be people who seek security in conforming and tend to buy well known brand names. Although there are magazines already on the market for this audience I feel there is a gap in the market for a music, fashion and gossip magazine. Most of the young girls will receive pocket money and will spend this on magazines, I feel they will be more attracted to buy my magazine than any other as it has a range of genres and does not just stick to one specifically. Demographic and Psychographic profiling
How did you attract/address your audience ? I used direct address on my front page to attract the reader and make them feel as if the artist on the front cover is looking into their eyes and making them want to buy and read the magazine The bright colours and variety of fonts help create a house style for my magazine, they also help reflect my target audience as these are colours they will be interested in The multiple captions help attract the reader as it lets them know that the magazine is ‘jam-packed’ with things for them to look at and read The strap line across the bottom of the front cover resembles a border and helps highlight the main features in the magazine The fact that I have told the audience there are, exclusives and free posters inside the magazine help attract them, as do the features in the magazine described on the front cover
I have split up the contents page into boxes as this makes it easier for the reader to understand and navigate around the magazine The repetition of the magazine logo, helps create a house style and reminds the reader of which magazine they are reading The informality of the language used helps attract the reader as it shows that the same type of language will be used throughout the whole magazine I have used more than one image, and a text grab to show variety and to link to articles
The text grab has been taken from the article to inform the reader about the type and style of interview The text grab also makes the artist seem down to earth therefore making the reader feel as if she is similar to them The magazine logo is repeated again for the reader to familiarise with The three column layout is very conventional to the magazine genre The layout of question answer helps make the article easier for the audience to read and grasp The language used in the article is very informal and this helps attract the audience, “sometimes I feel like I could just do with a girly night in and a Chinese takeaway!!!” because it is easy to read and the questions asked are of the type a typical fan would ask. Therefore it is getting the information that the fans want to know The lighting and style of pictures are very naturalistic and her facial expressions make her seem very friendly
What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing the product ? To create my magazine I used a number of technologies. For each part of the project I have had to learn how to use different programs, software and devices
Before starting my project I had to complete a preliminary task, this involved creating a front cover for what would be a college magazine. Looking back at this and at my finished project I can see how the more frequently I used the software the better my technique became and the better my work looked. Technologies used: Digital camera, Photoshop and InDesign To keep track of my progress I used the website, www.blogger.com . On here I could post my work and it helped me keep up to date. I feel this is a much easier way to keep work organised as I could look back onto my blog and check what I had done and what needed to be done next. As part of my research I used the internet a lot. This was really helpful as I had no limits as to what to search for and what I could find. But, I found that sometimes the information I found was not always reliable and accurate so this was a small issue.
To take the photographs for my magazine I used a quite high tech camera, which was very easy to use. After taking the pictures I had to edit them so that they fit onto the pages, and that they matched the mock up. To do this I used Photoshop, this program was really useful in the helping of this process as it is easy to use and helped me get the exact result I wanted. I wanted my photographs to look as if they were for a fashion magazine and with the help of cropping and cutting them out, and rubbing out parts that weren't needed I feel I achieved this look. As I used the program more it became a lot easier to use however this was the most lengthy part of producing my product as it took time to make changes to the photos. To actually create the magazine front cover, contents page, and feature article the main program that I used was InDesign. Like Photoshop I found this program useful and easy to use. It helped me make my pages look professional and give them the finish that they needed. I didn’t find any problems with this software as I wanted to keep my magazine simple yet colourful and eye-catching and I feel this program helped me fulfil this. I found the rubber tool very useful as it helped me create an airbrushed effect on the image which made it look more authentic and professional.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? There is a very noticeable difference between the two of my products. When creating my final piece I had obviously had more practice on all of the programmes so this was a major advantage to this piece looking better. I spent a much longer period of time working on my final piece, I spent a lot longer planning and researching for my finished product, whereas with my preliminary task I created it in a matter of a few hours.
The colour scheme on my preliminary task is very basic and not very eye catching at all Unlike my finished product there are only two colours used and two fonts, this makes the magazine look boring and not very appealing at all There is only one image on the front cover of my preliminary task this makes it boring and the reader would not be as interested because they may think that the magazine is very text heavy My finished product has many colours on the front cover and is very eye catching and appealing I have used a variety of fonts and to make the cover a lot more exciting The number of articles indicates that the magazine is fun and exciting and enjoyable to read
Conclusion Overall I am very pleased with my finished piece. I feel that it looks professional and authentic. When carrying out the preliminary task I struggled to get to grips with the software and the technologies I was going to be using, sometimes I got frustrated because I expected it to be a lot easier at first. After using the software more and familiarising myself with it I found it a lot easier to use, once I had grasped the basics it was much more simple. I think the fact that I completed the preliminary task so quickly, was another reason why I struggled and felt frustrated. After doing some research on other magazines of a similar genre to the one I wanted to create, I found that they all had a specific house style which helped the audience familiarise and relate to. To create my own house style I used a similar colour scheme on all of the pages and repeated the logo to help create a brand image. The colours also reflect my target audience and the type of people I want my magazine to appeal to. The direct address on each of the pictures on my front cover draws the reader in and gains their attention, thus helping sales of the magazine. I am also pleased with both my contents page and my feature article. Both of the colours used on each page link back to my front cover. The style of journalism used in my article is informal and friendly which I feel makes it seem professional.