In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The Smash! hits magazine is a music magazine aimed at a young audience of predominantly adolescent females. I have also aimed my magazine at an adolescent audience however I have attempted to make my magazine suitable for both sexes as I want to maximise my target audience margin. The smash! Hits magazine has a yellow/pink/white colour scheme that attracts the female audience as males would not buy a pink ‘girly’ looking magazine, It also makes the magazine look bright & youthful which matches with the overall ‘young’ theme. I have also made my colour scheme appear bright and youthful however have used a black/orange/green colour scheme to attract both sexes to buy my magazine. Green & orange are colours that are not associated with a particular sex as opposed to pink which is more associated with females. However they are brightly coloured and give my magazine the overall ‘youthful’ look to it. Like the Smash! Hits magazine I have used a bold & easy to read font as I think it is more appropriate for a younger audience, also most teenage magazines I have looked at during my research all used plain bold fonts for the front cover so I think it makes my magazine look genuine. I have placed a barcode on the front of my page which you can see is also present on the Smash! Hits magazine. It is only small on my front cover but still gives the impression of a real magazine as they all contain a barcode to be sold in shops. I have also placed the price on my magazine. The Smash! Hits magazine does have a price however is very small and is placed under the title. Some magazines used this method and others chose to have there price as a pull factor by enlarging and colouring it to make it stand out. I have gone with this method as my magazine is a relatively low price which will encourage audience to buy it. Therefore I thought it was appropriate to take the real magazines idea and place it in my own magazine. The dominant image on Smash hits magazine is a medium close up shot and is placed very large in the middle of the page allowing the title and anchorage to overlap the image, this is because it is the only large image on the magazine and only has text anchorage at either side making it able to be so large and overlap . I have also used a medium close up image but have placed it to the right of the page and have not made it as large as the one on the other magazine. This is because I also have another image to the left hand side acting a part of the anchorage therefore have to make my image a bit smaller to make room for it.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? I have made my language and the way in which the artist’s talk in the article very informal and humorous to represent my artist’s as young and boisterous teenagers. Somewhat of an idol figure to the younger audience. I also noted the types of music my band produced to state their musical interests, fitting them in a social group with members of the audience who also have the same interests. I used a close up image shot of each of their faces to show how young my band is. It also showed their immaturity with their facial expressions which makes them look like an exciting, bubbly band that would appeal to a younger audience. I have made my bold text appear red with a white outer glow I have also added an emotion that most 10-16yr olds are familiar with. I think this makes the text look exciting and the red gives the article a ‘racy’ look to represent the bands boisterous and cheeky personality. On my front page the artist in my dominant image appears as a young girl who is looking interested toward the title. This is to represent the younger audience and how this magazine is appealing to them. I have also used the headphones as a symbol to represent the musical theme to the magazine. And to give people the impression my artist is interested in music.
The top of the pops magazine was originally a music magazine that also aimed themselves at a younger audience like my own. They also appear to have similar layouts and use of language. However more recently they have gradually changed the magazine so it had less music related content and was shifting to be aimed at young girls. This gave my the idea that BBC magazines could publish my Fixx magazine as they have had previous experience with younger audiences magazines before, and have developed a good reputation and popularity. Therefore they would be able to take my magazine and make it into a successful, high selling product. They may also be wanting to expand on their younger audience magazines so that they too had a music magazine for the younger audience once again. It would also mean their range of audiences would expand to also include younger male audiences. What kind of media instutution might distribute your product and why? Emap was the publisher of the Smash hits magazine. This magazine appears to aim itself at an audience of similar age to my Fixx magazine. It also contains similar content that my magazine has including interviews with singers/bands and general celebrity gossip with a musical theme or approach to it. As well as other similarities such as the layout, use of language, the bold text & bright colours. This made me think that Emap would consider publishing my product as they have had previous experience with a younger audiences magazine and will be familiar with their profit margins and possible success rates. However Emap stopped publishing the magazine in 2006 due to it being outdated by the release of the more modern top of the pop’s magazine, published by BBC magazines. Which you can see to the other side of the page. This gave me the thought that Emap may be open to ideas of bringing out another new young teens music magazine. A magazine with a more modern approach that has all the appealing content and design to a younger audience, like my Fixx magazine! In a hope to overthrow the Top of the pops magazine by BBC by gaining more younger readers than them and possibly taking their consumers due to being better value for money.
Who would be the audience for your media product? I have designed my magazine to be aimed at younger audience of around 10-16 years old, using lots of pictures and bright colours to do this. I have aimed it at both genders however may be more dominant to the female audience due to it’s celebrity gossip and the fact that younger males tend not to read up on gossip like that. I don’t think my magazine would appeal to younger audiences of high class who are fairly well off as this is a fairly cheap magazine and only contains 60 pages. I made it this cheap with less pages as I wanted my magazine to appeal to younger audiences of lower class also as I wanted them to be able to afford it. I think mostly Caucasian people will buy this product as most of my artists featured are also white. However I have created my colour scheme in a hope to attract younger audiences from different races but I think the most dominant audience will be Caucasian teens. My magazine will not appeal to older people such as teenagers 17+ and adults as the language used is far too immature for them to be interested in. I also think the cheap price and limited number of pages will put an older audience off from buying my product. I don’t think my magazine will appeal to anyone under the age of 10 as the language used may be too difficult for them to understand and the contents will not be of their interest. I think this magazine will appeal to younger audiences that are interested in music such as pop, rock, and dance due to the articles I have shown in my contents page. I think younger females who are interested in celebrity gossip will also be appealed to my magazine due to the celebrity interviews and articles there is.
I also enlarged the price on my front cover as I think £1 is a low price for a magazine and will encourage my audience to buy it as it is a ‘bargain’ buy. It is also the suitable price for my younger audience to buy as they will not have as much money to spend as an older adult audience would, therefore the price will be lower compared with other teenage magazines. Encouraging the audience to choose my magazine compared to other teenage magazines on the market. How did you attract or address your audience? I have used a range of ideas taken from real magazines in my research to attract my audience. One of which was a free Justin Beiber poster that I used to attract my audience to buy it. Many of the magazines I have researched often giveaway free item’s to encourage the audience to buy the magazine and gain better sales. I have used a Justin Beiber poster as he is currently an iconic pop singer amongst the younger audience and many of my audience will buy the magazine so they can get the free poster. I used bright colours that would stand out and catch my audiences eye. The bright orange & green colour scheme on a black background looks attractive and will encourage the audience to pick it up and read it. I also used popular artists such as Cheryl Cole for the anchorage on my front cover. Advertising on the front cover that I have an article based on an interview with Cheryl Cole will attract my target audience as Cheryl Cole is a hugely iconic popular celebrity both in the music world and outside of it, meaning my audience will buy the magazine to find out any information or gossip they can about her. I also added anchorage advertising the Top 40 chart we have inside the magazine. Younger audiences are always keeping up with the latest songs and the most popular that are out, therefore advertising this on my front cover will encourage my audience to buy the magazine to see the top 40 chart and read personal reviews on the songs currently out.
How did you attract or address your audience? The writing style I used in my magazine was that of plain English with no complicated or hard-to-pronounce words. I also tried to write in a style that would feel as if the writer were conversing with the audience to keep them engaged in the article. I wrote in a humorous and light-hearted way so the audience would not lose interest and find themselves enjoying the article as younger audiences tend to get board if presented with large quantities of text. To try and narrow down the amount of text there is I put some information of the band into a basic profile that listed this information in an easy to read format, complete with images to illustrate this text.
What have you learn't about technologies from the process of making this product? Research: Through my research I carried out a number of tasks including researching existing publishing houses using the World Wide Web to gain knowledge on the types of audiences they specified in and the topics of magazines they publish. This was to give us options on what we wanted our magazines to look like and who we wanted them to be aimed at. It also made us consider the success rate of our magazines and how we would have to create them in a way that would encourage publishing companies such as Emap or IPC media to publish them, where they would gain interest and become a popular brand. I also researched 2 existing magazines to gain knowledge on the way they were designed and how that appealed to their target audience through language, layout, colours, content and feature artists. I also compared them to note the different ways they designed their magazines and how this appealed to the different audiences. It also helped me in how to design my magazine so that it looked real. Planning: I then went through numerous planning stages to help me progress onto my final product including my preliminary task in which I had to create a mock front cover and contents page of a school magazine. I used a camera to take the photos for my magazine. This helped me gain some experience on using a camera. And also helped me learn the way magazines were laid out and designed to look real and appeal to the target audience. It also gave me experience on how to use the basic functions of adobe photoshop, an image manipulation program that I would use to create my final magazine. I then went onto brainstorming my ideas to decide on colour schemes, titles, fonts and cover artists. I also created a questionnaire that I gave out to my target audience to fill in. This helped me design my product in a way that would appeal to them and what price they would find acceptable for it. It also helped my decide how many pages my readers would want to have. Giving me the best chance of creating a successful, popular magazine. Construction: Throughout the first stages of my construction I used Mircrosoft publisher (A desktop publishing application that enables you to create newsletters, brochures, postcards etc.) to draft my front cover, contents page and article page. This helped me to decide of what layout my magazine should have. It also helped me decide on what images I would use and what they would look like. I.e. what shot compositions are going to be used, what artist are going to be included in the shot and what costumes scenery will be used. I needed to consider these things very carefully so that they would appeal to my target audience. For the creation of my final magazine product I used Adobe Photoshop which is an image manipulation program. I used this as it had qualities in adding effects such as a glow or embossing tool to text. It also had effects that could enhance image quality by making it brighter, sharper or the colour stronger. Which was convenient as I some of the pictures I took we poor quality as their original copies, but after using the image manipulation tools I was able to improve the quality of them drastically.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learn't from the progression from it to the full product? After I finished my preliminary task and started of my final product I learned that more care was to be taken in the collection of images, layout and design of the magazine. For example I must always keep in mind my target audience and design my magazine the way it would appeal to them. I must also make sure the colours used merge well with each other and do not cause text to be unreadable but stand out. I also took into account that any anchorage or text must not be placed over the dominant image and cover it as this will cause a bad layout and take away any impact the image may give. Also in relation to images I had to take more care when taking the photos for my magazine taking into account the appropriate costumes and facial expressions they will have that will match with the overall theme of the magazine. Having the correct shot composition was also important and making sure my images were framed right to give my magazine the professional, real look to it. I also used a more appropriate font for my text as it was possible some members of the audience may not be able to understand the text so I used a bolder, plainer font that would be easier to read. I also used a different program for the creation of my final product as I used Microsoft publisher for my preliminary task; which wasn’t appropriate for my final product as I required more designing and image editing tools for which I used the popular adobe Photoshop.
Audience feedback. Maria - 12 Gary - 16 Hannah - 15 I have collected feedback from my audience and overall they were very pleased with my magazine however they did suggest I change the colour scheme and font of my text to aim it more at their age group. They also liked the cover artist I used as it was a singer also in the same age group making the magazine appeal to them more, however one did suggest that I used an artist that was more well known, such as a celebrity singer. I found gaining audience feedback very important as I know what the magazines strengths are for attracting & appealing to my audience, I also know what needs improving on and could then re-design my magazine to my audiences needs. In this case I would change the colour scheme and fonts, making it more appealing to them. Do you think my magazine is appropriately designed for a younger (10-16) audience? Why? YES /NO Reasons: Because the design is aimed at our age group and has the right topics Would you buy my product in a store and why? YES /NO Reasons: Because it’s eye-catching, colourful, has a large title & cheap! How would you rate my cover artist, as a suitable choice out of 10? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Because they look like a young band that would interest us How would you rate the colours used in my magazine in correlation to the audience? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Because there bright and a mix but sometimes it needed different colours. How would you rate the layout of my magazine? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: A good layout, liked everything around the image. How would you rate the language used in my magazine? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Can understand the language. Are there any flaws you could point out from my magazine? And suggest any improvements? Flaws: The colours Improvements: Use more colours like green and purple to make it a bit different. Out of 10, how well do you think my magazine looks like the real thing? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Because of the free gifts advertisement and has a good contents. Do you think my magazine is appropriately designed for a younger (10-16) audience? Why? YES /NO Reasons: Has interesting articles that I would enjoy to read Would you buy my product in a store and why? YES /NO Reasons: I liked that they reviewed albums and interviewed bands. How would you rate my cover artist, as a suitable choice out of 10? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Good because of the headphones she wears but maybe use a famous singer instead How would you rate the colours used in my magazine in correlation to the audience? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: I liked the colours as males can also buy the magazine because the colours aren’t aimed at girls How would you rate the layout of my magazine? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Neat and understandablelayout How would you rate the language used in my magazine? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Language was simple but still had the appeal to teenagers Are there any flaws you could point out from my magazine? And suggest any improvements? Flaws: Font of text Improvements: Try to use a font that isn’t as plain, maybe a bubble font or Out of 10, how well do you think my magazine looks like the real thing? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Has all the content a real magazine would have and the layout is similar to that of real magazines Do you think my magazine is appropriately designed for a younger (10-16) audience? Why? YES /NO Reasons: It includes all things we like to read about such as the younger popstars and includes posters and games Would you buy my product in a store and why? YES /NO Reasons: I like all the celebrity gossip they have inside. How would you rate my cover artist, as a suitable choice out of 10? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: The girl is in our age group and gives the impression the magazine is aimed at my age group How would you rate the colours used in my magazine in correlation to the audience? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Liked the colours as they apply to everyone but maybe a different colour scheme using other colours that apply to everyone How would you rate the layout of my magazine? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Good layout that looked just like a real magazine, very neat and no covering of images How would you rate the language used in my magazine? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: talked about all the things I would like to read and in a way I could understand it Are there any flaws you could point out from my magazine? And suggest any improvements? Flaws: Colours used Improvements: Maybe uses colours such as baby blue and pink or purple to appeal to us more Out of 10, how well do you think my magazine looks like the real thing? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Reasons: Has real looking articles and a good contents page, front page also looks like a real magazine