In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (Front cover) When I first started planning my front cover, I had intended to try and make it look more ‘unconventional’ than most magazines, in order to try and allow it to stand out from the rest in the market. However, when I started making it, the ideas that I had were pushed aside as it looked too unusual. After realising my mistake I have created a front cover which is mainly conventional to its type of genre and to its audience, however, it has certain unconventional features to it, allowing it to stand out. The image I have used is very conventional, as I have used only one photo and I have made it stand out in the front cover. This technique is also used in the two ‘NME’ sample covers. This enables the audience to be focused on one main image instead of multiple images confusing them. The colour scheme that I have used is quite conventional as it is made up of one main colour (red) and several plain colours (black, grey and white). This is similar to the sample covers. This attracts the audiences attention as there are not too many colours to see. The title could be classed as slightly unconventional, due to the fact that it isn’t perfectly horizontal and it is slightly off centre. This was done to attract the audiences attention and it intrigues them. The title also falls behind the main image, allowing that to stand out more. The title still stands out though, as it is made up of the contrasting black and red tones, making it appear bolder than the rest of the text used. I have kept the form of a traditional media product by including a barcode on my front cover, this follows the conventions of real media products giving the front cover a professional look.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (Contents page) In terms of indie magazines, I think that my contents page displays a fairly conventional layout. However, there are some aspects of it, such as the images across the right hand side that could be classed as unconventional. The most conventional aspect of the contents page is the way that the contents are listed out across the left hand side. This method of advertising is used in most magazines as it is the perfect way to allow the readers an insight into the magazine. I have used subheadings to break the listings up into 3 different sections, making it more appealing to the audience and less over powering. As I mentioned above, the images used down the right hand side are slightly unconventional as typical contents pages, such as the two example ones, use a main image along with other smaller images to highlight the contents, whereas I have used three main images resembling photographs to attract readers inside the magazine. Another way in which my contents page challenges conventions is with the background. I have used a two-tone background instead of block colours. I believe that this has helped my images and text to stand out, as I have written the contents on the lighter part of the page, and displayed my images on the darker side.
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (double page spread) My double page spread is more unconventional than my other two products, this is mainly due to the background that I have used and the quote that I have turned into the heading. Instead of using a plain background and developing a spread onto that, I have used a whole photo as the background. I chose this image carefully as half of it is busy and the other half plain, allowing me to add text to half of it and allowing the page to flow, but still be a split up spread. Another unconventional aspect of my spread is the heading that I have used. Most spreads have the name of the band as a headline, or something similar to advertise who they are. I have used taken a quote out of the text and used that to attract the audience and make them interested in the rest of the article. I have, however, stuck to conventions while presenting the article, as it has been placed two columns, making it more aesthetically pleasing to the audience and not overpowering them with text. I have followed the form of a real media product by adding a section of text down the left hand side of the photo stating the photographer. This enables the spread to take on a professional look matching it to that of the real media products.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? My target audience is for older teenagers of 16+ as the Indie genre typically attracts that age audience. I have made this apparent in the way that I have set the magazine out, with the layout looking funky and young and the articles being about different Indie artists. The images that I have used are all of females, this could suggest a female audience, however I believe that a male audience will also be attracted to the magazine due to the genre of it and the features of the magazine, such as the competitions. The colour scheme that I have chosen represents both genders, as it is a mix of grey and black tones with the bolder red main colour. Red is a unisex colour creating no conflicts between genders. I don’t see any racial issues with my magazine, however the images are all of white British females. This could deter any other races to my magazine slightly, but I think that the articles included in my magazine will attract them to read it anyway. My magazine is generally aimed at a working class, this is because this is what the Indie genre is more targeted towards. The price is also aimed at this class as it is a reasonable “pocket money” price.
What type of media institution might distribute your media product and why? When thinking about what media institution might distribute my media products I decided that it would be best to choose an institution that deals with music magazines. When searching for an institution that fits this criteria I found “Music Mags” a media institution that distributes magazines about different music aspects e.g instruments, songwriters or bands. This suits my magazine as it is advertising different bands. This is a screen shot of the magazines that are published with Music Mags. I think that if this institution would distribute my magazine, it would attract my target audience as it is sold amongst other similar magazines. The only problem with this is that only certain retailers would sell the magazine as only certain retailers have a “Music Mags” stand so this could limit my potential audience.
Who would be the audience for your media product? My magazine is similar to the magazine ‘NME’ which is an indie magazine, attracting the mass market. This magazine is contrasted with ‘kerrang’ magazine which attracts more of a ‘niche’ audience as it is a heavy rock magazine. This example of kerrang magazine shows how it is targeted for a niche market. The cover is totally washed out except for a few bold red colours. This could represent the anger and passion put into the type of music. The pictures used on the front cover also represent this as they are all a very specific genre which would only attract a certain audience who enjoy this type of music. This example of NME magazine shows how it is targeted for a ‘mass’ audience. The colour scheme on this page is more vibrant than kerrang, making it more young and fun looking attracting a wider range of people. This is similar to my magazine as we have both used the same genre of music and hope to attract the same people. I think that my audience would more of a ‘mass’ market rather than a ‘niche’ market. This is because my magazine is an indie genre of magazine, representing a wide selection of music.
How did you attract/address your audience? The first thing I did when thinking about attracting my audience was to choose a font to use on my magazine. I used the website ‘DaFont’ to research different fonts. After going through a variety of them I decided to use the font ‘inked god’ as I believed it was bold, could be dressed up and down and suited my indie genre. I then decided what colour scheme to use. After researching other similar magazines to my own, I decided to use one main colour and have tones of black and white as background colours. I decided to make my main colour red as this is a unisex colour and can appeal to both genders along with the people who enjoy indie music. As it is a bright colour it will reach out and grab the attention of the audience, encouraging them to read the magazine and buy it. I didn’t want to make my magazine language very informal, as it might suggest another genre of music, I.e rap music. However, I didn’t want to make my language too formal, as it might suggest an older audience than I intended. In the end I didn’t use any ’text’ speak but I didn’t make the text too old and formal. I used disjointed words and little punctuation, attracting my audience without looking like a I was trying ‘too’ hard. The photos that I used represent my target audience as they are all of younger artists. As my magazine is aimed for older teenagers they will be drawn to the magazine as the in it are of the same age group.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? The main program I used while creating my products was Macromedia fireworks. I put my magazine together using this program and edited the photos using it. I have found that my knowledge of fireworks has dramatically improved during this project as I have experimented with different effects on my various images. The image on the left is the one that I started out with, I chose this one because the model was clear, the image wasn’t blurred and because I thought it had good potential. The image on the right is the one that I used on my front cover, this was edited in a variety of ways in fireworks. I started editing the photo by removing the background by using the magic wand tool and selecting what I wanted to remove. I then edited the colour and brightness of the image to suit my front cover. I the added effects such as a drop shadow and made certain features, such as the lips, more pronounced.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in your progression from it to your full product? This was my preliminary task, which was to create a front cover of a school magazine. I feel that I have improved dramatically since then as I have improved on a number of things, such as my use of fireworks and my planning and research. Since my preliminary task, I have planned out better and done more research into different magazines similar to the genre that I was creating. I think that if I had done this with my preliminary task I would have produced a better piece of work. I have also learnt to research my magazine better by gaining inspiration from other magazines that I like, to make my own magazine better. These include subtle things such as general conventions, the way the image is taken or the layout of the contents page ect. Doing this has allowed me to create a more professional looking magazine, which suits my audience more. I have also done found feedback for my magazine from my target audience, allowing me to know what they want in the magazine and what would make them want to buy it. Another thing I have improved upon is my use of fireworks, on my preliminary task I have used the basics on fireworks as I didn’t have a great understanding of how to use it. However, as I have progressed in making my magazine project, so has my understanding of fireworks allowing me to create a professional looking piece of work. I have described the different aspects of fireworks that I have improved upon on my previous slide. I have also improved upon the way I have set my pages out. On my preliminary task I have used limited text which doesn’t attract people well, I have picked up on this for my project and used more text and a busier background attracting the attention of more people.