Heather AinsworthFoundation PortfolioAs Media Studies<br />The project that I chose to do was the print project- a music magazine. I decided on the genre indie-pop to target a wider audience as I felt this genre was lacking within the industry. I took and edited all the pictures featured within the magazine and designed all pages alone with a little help from the typical conventions of a music magazine.<br />
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions or real media products?<br />All magazines follow certain conventions in order for the magazine to look professional and appeal to the target audience. For each of my pages I have followed these conventions whist using my own take on a few of them.<br />Conventions of magazines:<br /><ul><li> The magazine should be bright, interesting and eye-catching to reflect the genre and target audience
A title/header- to create the “brand image” making it recognisable to the audience
One main image of a star- consisting of a close-up/medium shot with the use of direct address
The leading caption- which dominates the page and anchors the cover story
Subheadings- more stories to appeal to the audience
Straplines- attracts the reader to other stories in the magazine</li></ul>As my chosen genre was a hybrid of indie and pop I struggled to find magazines of this genre to help base my ideas on however I managed to create an “indie-pop” magazine which fulfil all the typical conventions by basing my ideas on both types of magazines.<br />Indie-pop<br />
Both of these magazines have used the same conventions the same but differently to appeal to their target audience, without these conventions the reader would be unsure as to what the magazine is about which would lead to the magazine not selling.<br />How the conventions show us this magazine is of the indie-rock genre:<br />How the conventions show us that this magazine is of the pop genre:<br />Title- well know music channel which plays indie-rock music, recognisable logo<br />Further subheadings- includes other artist of the genre who are recognisable amongst the audience which will attract their attention<br />Title- resembles the chart TV show “Top of the Pops” which was popular, title is now widely recognisable, bright colour again aimed at target audience<br />Medium shot of a star- well know with the target audience of teenagers, direct address is use which draws the audience in<br />Bright, bold “girly” colours are used which shows that the target audience is young girls- a lot of young children’s first experience of music is usually through the pop genre, the bright colours also represent youth and of it being fun.<br />One main star dominating cover, direct address in use again draws the reader in<br />Darker colour palette to show more of a darker “indie/rocky” side, appeals to both sexes, it also gives a more serious /adult look to appeal to a wider audience<br />Strapline- adds further information on bands of the chosen genre and stories within the magazine<br />Other subheadings and images of other pop artists<br />
How my magazine followed these conventions..<br />Dominant image using direct address- in this case the artist is inviting the reader in to introduce themselves<br />Title- gives the reader an idea of what the magazine is about- up and coming artists<br />Font is modern yet rounded to show the pop genre yet a dark colour suggests the indie genre<br />SUCCESS!!!!!<br />Subheadings- famous artists of this genre are listed which will attract the target audience<br />Leading caption- resembles the main image as the artist’s mouth is covered up<br />Bright (pop), bold colours which stand out and contrast with the darker more serious palette to indicate the genres<br />A barcode, date and price have also been added in order for the product to be sold<br />Strapline- added information on gigs<br />
A title/header which is situated at the top and also down the right hand side to show that the magazine is up to date (“This Week”) and what the page is (“contents”)<br />Contents Page<br />Conventions of a contents page<br />Bright colours have been used, also a colour palette of coral pink and black has been used to represent the target audience yet appeal to the genre, females are stereotyped as liking pink with black being associated with indie/rock genres<br /><ul><li> they should be bright and colour to encourage the reader in
one main dominating image to allow the reader to graze
a list of contents- these can be under interesting headings to draw the reader in</li></ul>I have used a main dominating picture of the feature artist which should be recognisable to the reader and page numbers directing the reader to the story<br />The contents are listed under sections which are suited for a music magazine<br />
Feature Article<br />Question and answer structure is easy to read, also allowing the reader to skim read if they want to<br />Headline- as my magazine is about new artists I decided to just introduce the artist’s name then add a quotation which could “sum up” the personality of the artist<br />Conventions of a feature article<br /><ul><li>Headlines and subheadings which should explain the story and catch the readers attention
A dominating image with further smaller images around the article
Clear writing with sometimes the use of slang/swear words
Text grabs to make the reader attracted to the article
Advertisement of the artist’s purpose e.g. tour, album</li></ul>Smaller images around the article- I decided on a strip of photos to make the artist seem more funky , fun and down to earth<br />Subheading- a nickname for the artist is “Lo” therefore I thought it would be clever and interesting to have the subheading as “...gives us the lo-down”<br />Page numbers<br />Dominating image, different locations and shots used<br />Text grabs- the quotes I decided to use make the artist sound quite bitchy however she is the total opposite, they also mislead the reader and are shocking which grabs the browsing readers attention and encourages them to read<br />Information on the artists new album and single<br />
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br /><ul><li>The stars used in my magazine are young teenagers/adults to be aimed at the target audience of 16-24 year olds.
Stereotypes for teenagers are usually loud, ignorant, arrogant, bad mannered, scruffy, etc.
However the genre and artist used in my magazine challenges these views as the artist is the opposite as a nice, friendly, well mannered young woman who is loyal to her friends.
The “independent” image also differs from the stereotypical teenage image as they are seen as different, old fashioned-vintage styled, down to earth, rebellious, unique, non conformistand majorly musically gifted which was important when portraying the genre and social group.
“Pop” genre is mainstream and conformists which usually represents girly girls who like either girl bands or boy bands or solo artists- this conforms to the dominant ideology of pop, this social group is represented through the solo artist and the boy band that are featured within the magazine.</li></ul>Stereotypical teenagers<br />Indie-pop artists<br />These artists are the “type” of social group I am aiming for- they are shown not to be loud and are dressed nicely and appropriately , as there are more and more different social groups I wanted to aim for one of the different ones to show a sense of belonging to them<br />
On the contents page I wanted different types of social groups to be represented for the indie kids I used a large image of the feature artist and dressed her in “indie” clothes with grey leggings, a table cloth scarf and a flower in her hair, this also can represent the pop side of the genre.<br />As my artist is young and of the “indie-pop” genre she will appeal to the girly girls of the social groups yet the more indie audience- both of these being non stereotypical teenagers.<br />I added an image of the indie band which can be attracted any social group who like boy bands. For their costume I used cardigans and straw hats as a lot of indie bands have worn these making them well recognisable amongst the genre, for the shot I had the band sit on a drum kit and hold a guitar which shows that they are an indie band and not a manufactured pop band.<br />I used a medium shot for the front cover to address the reader and show that the artist wants them to find out who they are. The fact that the artist has covered her mouth shows that she isn’t a loud mouthed teenager or artist, again breaking away from the stereotypical teenager.<br />
The language used in the article is definatlya typical teenage language, although Lois isn’t a typical teenager she still speaks like one and I have made her out to be a bit like one by using text grabs in order for the magazine to sell. <br />In the top image of the strip I wanted the artist to show that she's reaching for her goals and that anybody can do it, the location was in some woods to show that the artist likes to do everyday activities like walking and be outdoors, this represents many teenagers and young adults. It also shows a positive and healthy image of teenagers which challenges the negative stereotype of teenagers.<br />In the feature article for the main image I wanted the artist to show that she is crossing the line in to following her dreams and to show to the audience that you can be different you just have to go for what you believe in. For her facial expressions I didn't want her to look too serious, instead more fun like how youth should be and to show that she is a normal teenager which the target audience can relate to.<br />I wanted the images to be bright and stand out to show the artist’s personality therefore i used bright natural lighting which also shows again that the artist is natural and now a “fake” role-model. The target audience should now be able to look up to this new artist and be able to relate to her.<br />
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />In order for my magazine or any magazine to sell they have to be produced by an institution.<br />To decided on the right institution I did some research in to which institutions distributed my type of magazine. I ideally needed the institution that has had the best experience with the genre of my magazine or similar genres, as my magazine is a hybrid they might not have produced a magazine like this before so the research is vital.<br />The two institutions found where<br /><ul><li>EMAP
IPC</li></ul>Through the research conducted I have found that the institution EMAP produce more rock magazines such as kerrang, although indie-rock is similar to my genre of indie-pop I feel that they wont have had much production with an indie-pop magazine.<br />IPC have produced many well known magazines such as Marie Claire and look magazine although these are fashion magazines they are aimed at females-a similar target audience, they have also produced the music magazine NME-an indie style magazine- a more similar type to my genre which gives satisfactory knowing that my magazine can be produced to a high standard as similar mags. IPC is also the UK’s leading magazine publisher which has also aided my choice.<br />And the winner is...<br />
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?<br />Throughout the process of planning and making my magazine I have kept my target audience the same as mainly females within the age category of 16-24. I decided on this as this is an age where a lot of artist start out as therefore I thought that an audience of this age interested in music would be attracted to the magazine.<br />To help me to define a target audience I used the term GRASS:<br />Race: mainly white people as they fit the music genre over other ethnicities such as Asian, Caribbean etc however the magazine is available for all ethnicities<br />Age: 16-24 year olds as I feel there is a gap within the industry for this age group especially females and younger people, they are more likely to buy a music magazine than older people as they have more disposable income.<br />Gender: I decided to have females as my main target audience as from research I felt that there was a lack of music magazines for females .<br />GRASS<br />Socio-economic Status: social groups C1 and C2, as the magazine is sold weekly the target audience would have to be able to afford to buy it weekly, audiences in these social groups will have money which will enable them to buy the magazine.<br />
I decided on the middle two groups on the social economic scale as this is where the feature artist originally comes from, as stated in the interview she says that her parents aren’t famous musicians so she has had to work hard to get to where she is, I wanted the magazine and artist’s to show to the target audience that they can be like the artist’s or even become the next feature artist as shown on the contents page.<br />People in this group will more than likely have a steady income which means that they will be able to afford the magazine as it is at a reasonable price meaning that the magazine will sell well. People in higher groups are less likely to buy the magazine as they probably will feel like they don’t need advise etc on their future or following their dreams whereas working class/middle class will. It will hopefully also gives people in these lower/middle classes hope for their futures. I also feel that females are more likely to go out and buy a new magazine as they relate to artist’s/celebrities more than what males do.<br />As I have done indie-pop the audience broadens to a variety of females and as being “indie” is becoming more and more popular the audience will gradually increase in size making profit for the magazine.<br />
Audience feedback!!<br />I asked10 members of my target audience to give feedback on my magazine, here is some of what I got:<br />“ I think it’s really good- love the pictures”<br />“ It looks like a real good read, I'd definitely be interested ”<br />“ It draws the reader in well with the use of colour ”<br />When asked about if the feature article sounds like a piece of journalism all 10 respondents responded with yes!! Mind blowing! This shows that the unique pictures that I used and following the conventions have produced a music magazine that is a success amongst the target audience.<br />
Originally as I did an audience questionnaire, I based my magazine on the findings from the questionnaire. The title “Breakout” was chosen by the audience, the two genres that the audience said were their favourites were “indie” and “indie-pop” therefore I chose to do “indie-pop” as it is a combination of both.<br />Overall all of the respondents correctly identified either the actual music genre I have tried to represent in my magazine or part of the genre, which shows that the magazine cover would be highly recognisable amongst the target audience.<br />To improve the front cover I would need to change either the main image or the other artists featured slightly to ensure that all of my target audience correctly identify the music genre.<br />Professional<br />Professional?<br />All of the 10 people asked said that the pages all look professional and after all the hard work, annoyance with Photoshop it has finally paid off!<br />
5. How did you attract/address your audience?<br />The title Breakout was selected by an audience of my target audience, this shows that this is the most wanted and likeable by the audience, I also think that the target audience can address the title in many ways such as breakout for new artists, a breakaway from fashion magazines as there is a new music magazine aimed at females etc.<br />I used a young up and coming artist as the feature artist of a similar age to the target audience, they can feel they relate to them and will want to see what they have to say.<br />For the costume I wanted the artist to dress in her own style yet a more casual everyday look that will appeal to the target audience. I used a bright colour palette to stand out and to suit the genre of indie- indie people tend to wear bright colours and pop- bright girly colours, however to get away from the girly image I used red instead to make it more indie and less childish.<br />Other famous artist’s are seen on the front cover which will attract the target audience if they are a fan of that artist- bright, bold colours such as white have been used for the artists to make them stand out against the crazy colourful background. The language has been kept simple and informal as the younger generations can understand it more as it is what they are used to.<br />From my own experiences I've found out that covers that are bright and look attractive and pretty have always caught my attention therefore I wanted my magazine cover to have the same effect.<br />
contents<br />For the contents page I wanted it to be eye-catching yet subtle, first of I added an editor’s letter to welcome the reader in and make them feel like the magazine is for them, the contents within the letter tells the reader about articles within the magazine and what the editor and team have been up to during the week just to give a little insight as to what they get up to at work which might be interesting to some readers. I added an image of the editor to show that the editor is a down to earth normal friendly person and again to personally welcome the reader to the magazine, the image has also added warmth and colour to the page which again gives off a sense of welcoming.<br />The language within the letter is again formal as I wanted to give a direct approach to the reader as if they were my friend, to get onto the same level as the target audience.<br />I placed the main image towards the right hand side of the page as when people are flicking through they generally only see a slight bit of this side, therefore they should get a split sight of the image which should catch their attention to the page, the subheadings and other articles are placed towards the bottom of the page as people tend to skim read over these therefore they aren’t as important as the images, yet they provide the reader with the information if they need it. I Tried to give funky titles for the list of contents to attract the readers attention.<br />
For my feature article I wanted to make it look a little more edgy for the indie genre from my hybrid, so with keeping the main dominant image the same as the conventions I decided for the other smaller images I wanted them to be in a photo strip to make the article seem more interesting. As the images are all kept together this has saved more space for the journalistic piece of writing which was a bonus as I had to condense my article down by a lot.<br />With the headline I wanted the reader to be introduced to the artist beforehand so they know exactly who they are going to read about, I added a small subheading underneath to add a tad of humour to the article as the artists’ nickname is “Lo” as well as it cooperating with the main heading. Quotes taken from the interview have also been situated around the artist’s name to portray her as a bitch etc, (just like how the media does this to every celebrity.) This should catch the readers attention as females are known for liking a good old gossip and bitch. The language of the article has been kept informal to portray teenagers and their language in today's society which will attract readers as it will be in their “style” of language and how they speak allowing them to understand it and to relate to it. In the article when talking about a collaboration with Snow Patrol the artist says, “ yes! It’s epic! I actually have a crush on Gary”- this shows that she is a typical teenage girl/young adult who is into boys and her choice of language “epic” shows the informal style of a teenager.<br />Feature Article<br />Overall for my feature article I have produced a two page spread that is the same but different-(Nick Lacey): elements of the different are:<br /><ul><li>Not having half of the double page as the single dominating image
Using smaller images in a more unique and creative way
Using the artists’ name for the heading instead of an interesting eye-catching heading</li></li></ul><li>Celebrity ideologies<br />bitchy<br />drama<br />bitchy<br />drama<br />I have tried to represent my artist as at first your typical big headed celebrity however the artist is the opposite. I did this to make the magazine and article attract the readers attention. As the artist is also unknown they’ll need something exciting about them for them to get noticed amongst the fans, by making them sound a bit edgy and drama orientated people will be eager to found out more about the artist e.g. on the “reality” TV programme “The Hills”, the target audience is teenagers of around 16-24,they show clips of all the drama and “bitchiness” at the end of the programme which instantly grabs the viewers attention as we the audience get caught up in the stars lives making us want to watch more.<br />drama<br />bitchy<br />bitchy<br />drama<br />drama<br />bitchy<br />drama<br />bitchy<br />
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?<br />Over the past several months I have used a variety of technologies to help me produce my product, some of them I had never used and some I was familiar with they were in my eyes the good, the bad and the ugly!!<br />Before<br />PHOTOSHOP<br /><ul><li> I had used Photoshop in the past so I was familiar with what it does, however I had forgotten how it works so I had to pop onto the internet and find some online tutorials.
I used Photoshop for all the editing of my images, I was unsure of what look to go for so I tried a variety then decided on the final look.
through Photoshop I learnt all about layers, different settings for image quality and effects, I attempted to cut out the front cover however this didn’t work for me so that was defiantly a no go!
I enhanced the images by using the colour range and changing blending modes to overlay, I then smoothed the skin of the artist by adding a filter blur to the image. I applied this method to all the images throughout the project.</li></ul>After<br />
InDesign<br /><ul><li>This helped in the creation of the magazine, I had never used indesign before however it was pretty simple to use once I got the hang of it.
I added all images to the magazine in indesign along with all the texts.
I was able to change to colour of the text however using the swatches palette drove me up the wall as it would take quite some time to change the colour of the texts but I did manage it in the end.
I was also able to change the opacity of the images/shapes, I did this for the Strapline, I decreased the opacity allowing the background image to be seen through the Strapline with the Strapline still visible.</li></ul>Blogger<br /><ul><li> I had never used blogger before, however it was very simple to use and understand, all I had to do was create new posts every time I wanted to post some work, then post my work to my blog.
blogger allowed me to create new posts and save them without posting them which was a plus when I couldn’t finish posts in class, allowing me to continue with them at home.
it also kept all my posts together and under separate monthly headings in a column down the side which showed me what work I had done over different times and allowed quick access to specific posts.</li></ul>www.blogger.com<br />
7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?<br /><ul><li>When I first started the project I had to learn how to use the different programmes etc so my preliminary task was a good practice. I feel like iv come a long way since then and I think this can be seen in my final product.
In my prelim task the image was unedited so it doesn't stand out however in my final cover the image is edited and stands out, the shot is also better and clearer in the final cover.
The title on the prelim task is plain and boring and hard to see, the text used also didn’t allow for the text to be filled in so for my final cover I chose a text that could be filled in and stands out.
The leading caption and further subheadings are hard to see on the prelim task, the text is also very plain which isn’t eye-catching at all! There is also a lack of subheadings around the cover on the prelim which makes the cover lack character and appeal, I have added subheadings around my final cover and used a variety of colours to make them stand out.
The strapline on the prelim task is too big making it as dominant as the main caption, for my final cover I have decreased the strapline making sure it is only recognised for further information in the magazine.
The colour palette overall is hard to see on the prelim task, whilst on my final cover the colours used are bright and bald making them eye-catching.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li> for the text on the practice I used texts that were already available in indesign however for my final product I used the website www.dafont.com to download some funky texts which have been used throughout the project, these fonts have made the cover and captions throughout stand out and look more interesting.</li></ul>To make progression from my preliminary task I had to teach myself how to use Photoshop by finding tutorials off the internet, without doing this my images wouldn’t have stood out as much as they do now.<br /><ul><li>I also had to learn how to use indesign from scratch as I had never used it before, from using indesign for the first time with my prelim task I feel like I have learnt how to manage colours better and how to make things looks neater and more appealing.
Finally I have learnt how to generate a barcode, there wasn’t a barcode on my preliminary task as I didn’t know how to generate one.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion!!<br />Overall I am very happy with the results of my product, they have all turned out how I had imagined them to. I am very pleased with the audience feedback as I have reached the aim of targeting my target audience through colours, images, language etc used throughout the magazine. <br />Strengths about my product:<br /><ul><li>Bright bald colours are used throughout the magazine which makes it eye-catching and the colour palette has been used to represent the type of genre used.
Clear images can be seen throughout-also following the typical conventions of a magazine.
Audience feedback shows that the front cover looks professional and that it is a music magazine for the genre indie-pop.
The layout of the contents page is nice and simple yet eye-catching with the colour palette and choice of texts and headings around the page
Text grabs and puns have been used to grab the readers attention which through audience feedback has been a success!
The language throughout has been kept informal and simple to aim at late teens/early adults and how they speak.</li></ul>Weaknesses:<br /><ul><li>The colours on the front cover are hard to see from a slight distance, they clash a bit with the background.
The different texts on the front cover can look at bit too much, fewer styles might have been better.</li>