#1 In What Ways Does Your Media Product Use, Develop or Forms and Conventions of Real Media Products? In my music magazine, The Squeeze, I follow the conventions of a music magazine closely such as the way most layouts are set out and the main features that appear in all magazines such as the masthead, coverlines, byline, folio etc. But, in a way I have also challenged the conventions by changing the stereotypical layout of a music magazine that’s aimed at teens who love heavier music such as Kerrang! I’ve done this by having a more modern uncluttered layout which almost resembles Mojo (which is aimed at an older audience of classic rock lovers).
Front Cover For my front cover I have followed the forms and conventions of a music Magazine’s front cover closely as they repeat throughout most music magazines and have done for a long time so they’re obviously effective. Coverlines : I’ve kept my coverlines simple with just the band/festival name as readers only scan the front page and with this method they can take in more information about the content. I’ve also shaped the text around the artists head so that it doesn’t take over the image. Skyline: I’ve included more coverlines so that I can maximise the amount of space and also include more content. I’ve put important articles there because one of the main attractions to the magazine is the Masthead which Is below the skyline, so people eyes are drawn to the skyline after seeing the masthead. Masthead: I’ve customized my masthead to tie in with the name of the magazine. To do this I’ve edited the word ‘squeeze’ so that it’s dripping and also used a white to red gradient to make it look as if the ‘red’ colour is dripping off of it. ‘Squeeze’ also has smaller spacing between it to make it seem as if it’s being squeezed together. Having a design so prominent helps to strengthen my brand identity as it will be easily recognized. Slogan: This is incorporated within my masthead so that there is more space For other features in my magazine. It also helps it to be seen as it’s so close to the main feature on the page. This follows a convention of music magazine because many other magazines such as Kerrang! and Mojo do this too.
Headline: This is the second largest feature on my page and I’ve used the font that I’ve also used on my features page to strengthen my brand identity. The headline also acts as anchorage text for the main image for anyone who doesn’t know who the artist is. Also, I’ve included the buzzword ‘exclusive’ in the headline as it makes people want to buy the magazine because the interview isn’t anywhere else. There is also a sense of humour in the way I’ve written this which reflects the way the mode of address in the rest of the magazine which is very casual and humourous. Box-Outs: With the box-outs I’ve also incorporated lures ‘Free Swag!’ so people can see the freebies that the magazine is giving away. The other box out is a live shot which shows the different styles of photography shown in the magazine as the main image is a serious, studio shot. The mode of address is also shown in the box-out text because I use slang terms such as ‘swag’ and slang is used throughout my magazine. Lure: This catches readers attention and I carefully chose the word ‘intimate’ as my target audience’s main interest is to know the bands personal life, so this is a perfect example of an interview they would want to read. I’ve also used a spray paint brush for the background of it so it’s not a conventional box-out and also because I use this type of brush throughout my magazine creating another feature for the brand identity. Barcode: Every magazine has a barcode and I’ve specifically placed mine in the corner so that it doesn’t interfere with any of the design features or the main image. Also, I’ve followed the convention of including the issue number, the date, the price and the magazine’s website under the barcode.
Main Image This is the edited and unedited main image I used for my front cover. I wanted to make my magazine very sleek and modern, much like the Magazine Mojo, so I had to chose my mise en scene carefully. Many magazines use studio photos for their front cover so I put up a white background as this gave it a more professional look and didn’t distract the attention away from the main image. For the hair and makeup I decided to include my house colours using the red lips and the streak of red going down the face, which also has dark themes. This attracts my audience as they listen to rock music which also has quite dark themes. My ideal reader is quite laid back and rebellious, which is shown by the music they listen to, so I’ve made the hair messy and swept to the side as if the artist doesn’t care about the appearance of it. The shot is only a medium close up so I’ve kept the clothes casual And simple so as not to distract from the main feature which is the Direct address and the bright red colours. In the editing stages I brought out the reds in the picture and made All the shadowy parts blue so that the reds really stood out. It also Made my picture seem more cold and dangerous as blue is a cold Colour and red has the connotations of danger.
Masthead: This is typical of every music magazine and is extremely important towards the brand identity. Like Kerrang! I have edited the masthead so that resembles the word. So ‘Squeeze’ is dripping and ‘Kerrang!’ is broken up. Skyline : This always appears at the top of the music magazine and usually includes more coverlines although it can include the slogan. Coverlines: This gives a quick overview of what’s in my magazine. I’ve used the same format as it’s simple and to the point. Direct Address: Mostly all magazines use direct address as it’s the best way to connect with the audience. Kerrang! have maximised their space by including coverlines in their skyline. This also helps to attract more people as it displays more of the content. Headline: This shows the main feature in the magazine and every magazine has this on their front cover. Mostly every Kerrang! cover has direct address. As well as creating a brand identity this is a quick way to connect with the audience as Kerrang! Is a magazine that has fans as one of the main priorities. Barcode: Every magazine has to have a barcode but it shouldn’t interfere with the layout but includes issue date, number and website. House Colours: These are Extremely important towards The brand identity of a magazine. Kerrang! Uses different main colours on their front cover to suit that audience but like Kerrang! I have reused my house colours throughout the front cover and even in the colours of the photo. Anchorage text: This links all the images on the page to text which shows the reader what the image is about. Box-outs: This helps to break up the main image and also Show more content of the magazine. Kerrang uses box-outs to showcase he free posters also they incorporate lures to make their magazine appeal to the audience.
Contents Page Headline: I’ve included all the house colours in the design of my headline for the contents page and also the house font which goes towards my brand identity. Using a large spacing between letters I’ve almost made it a banner heading so that it’s bold on the page so my readers know this is the contents page and can go back to it and find it easily if they need to find another feature they want to read. Under the headline I’ve also included the issue number and cover date as it’s a convention of many other contents pages and I’ve placed it here so that it’s easy to find. To make the design more interesting I’ve added a spray paint design feature which I’ve used in other parts of my magazine as it’s part of my brand identity. Images: I’ve used images in a neat boxed section as my aim for the layout Of the magazine is to have it simple and clean. I’ve also used a system of Having the more important images shown bigger on the page, so the main Feature (the image on the top left) is the most important as it’s the largest Image in that section. I’ve also included a variety of different shots to show The different styles of photography and articles in the magazine so that readers can see that as well as having serious, sit down interviews which Have images that are studio quality there’s also behind the scenes, live gigs And candid photos such as ones taken at music video shoots. Anchorage text is also used so that the readers quickly know what article the image is referring to and the page number is bold, large and also in the house colours so these can be found easily if they are just skimming through.
Organisation: Before doing this part of my contents page I thought about how I would actually organise the magazine itself as this would effect the way this would have to be laid out. Taking inspiration from other magazines, I have put it into categories with the features nearer the centrefold of the magazine as these are the most important. As my magazines ideology is to include fans there’s also a fan section, which is composed of fans articles and pictures. As well as this there’s live reviews and gig dates as my ideal reader attends a lot of gigs as they’re interested in music. Also, there’s giveaways which help to lure readers in as they want win these items as my ideal reader has quite a low budget. I’ve used a simple font for the title of the pages so that it’s easy to skim through or to find one that you’re looking for. Also, I’ve used a boxout on the subheadings to break up the list more and make it look neater. Advertisement: Subscriptions for the magazine are also advertised on the contents page to encourage readers to buy more copies as there’s also a special offer. I’ve also used the spray paint brush again as an alternative to a box-out to make it more interesting and the text is in the house colour and font. Folio: The folio is included on every page of the magazine, saying the page date and the magazine name. This repetition creates brand identity. Editors note: The Squeeze tries to connect with its readers more so with a personal note from the editor with information about upcoming issues and a contact e-mail this helps to do so. I’ve put it in a box out so that it looks neater on the page and is easier to read. There’s also the editors signature included which makes it seem more personal.
I have taken inspiration from this contents page from Kerrang! As I like the simple, uncluttered layout. There are many similarities that can be seen in the two such as the placing of the boxes, the style of the sidebar and the layout of the pictures.
Features Page Headline: The headline is in bold striking colours and is also in a font that’s been used throughout the magazine. I’ve also used a gradient overlay on the text with red and white which are two of the house colours, this helps to in-keep with the brand identity. I’ve chosen the headline ‘hard candy’ as in the picture the girl has a lollipop in her mouth so it’s a humorous take on that which suits my mode of address. The headline is also offset at an angle to give it a twist so It’s unconventional. Byline: I’ve included the byline to make the reader feel closer to the magazine and also if the reader likes the style of the interview or photography they can look up the photography or journalist. Page lead: I decided to put a page lead into the article because as well as it being a convention of features pages, it gives a small insight into the article and the mode of address used in the magazine. I made it short and to the point with some humour as I use this style of mode address throughout the magazine. Pull Quote: The pull quote is a small extract from the text and I’ve chosen this one to show the playful atmosphere of the article. It also gives a small insight into the magazine and pulls the reader in to wanting to read it.
Body Copy: I’ve done the interview in a question and answer style as my ideal reader has a short attention span and a busy life so this is easier to skim read and pick a certain point that they want to read from. The drop cap is in the same font as the headline and always has the same colour as other parts of the page and the lollipop in the main image to tie it all together. I’ve used a simple font for the interview to make it easier to read as well bolding the questions from the journalist to make it separate from the answers. For the answers I’ve done them in quotations and in the casual mode of address so it connects with the audience and seems more personal. At the bottom I’ve included an arrow to show the reader that they need to turn over the page to read on. Folio: The repetition of the folio increases the brand identity as it includes the magazine name and It’s in the house colours.
Main Image This is the edited and unedited versions of my main image for my features page. I decided to keep with the studio shoot theme as the artist on my front cover is the same as the one on my front cover. Also, the style of the interview is a sit down, formal interview so a studio shot would fit this. My readers want to feel close to the artist so I’ve used direct address to help towards this. Also, I’ve made it quite a playful image as this goes with the mode of address I use which is casual and laid back. I offset my image so that person wasn’t in the middle so I could use the blank left side of the image to write the article and do all the design features in. The hair and makeup was well thought through. I had ‘bedhead’ hair which makes it seem more casual but I used bright lips which matched the house colours and also dark eyes as it goes with the rebellious side of my target audience. For the editing I decided to make it black and white so that I could bring out the bright colour of the lollipop, which I also edited to match the house colours of the magazine.
I’ve taken the idea of having a page mostly taken up by images and having a large heading which is offset.