OCR Media Studies – AS Level
Unit G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media
Name: Taylor Sabga
Candidate Number: 6485
Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College
Center Number: 64770
Set Brief - Print
Music Magazine – Production
Preliminary Task Progression, Log Book
Preliminary Task Screen Grabs –
This is a screen grab of my completed
preliminary front cover, the most
time consuming part of the front
cover was when I had to edit the
image of Aaron (my main image)
using the tools I used to manipulate
the image was the quick selection
tool, the eraser and I had to rasterize
The font for my masthead was
downloaded from ‘Dafont.com’. I felt
that the font fit the purpose of the
magazine which is a sixth form based
magazine. The font is easy to read
and the masthead is visible from a
distance which is what I liked about
the font as it is easy to read.
The strapline is very
simple but yet can help
make my magazine stand
out to other sixth form
magazines as people can
see that the verbal
code‘best’ has been used.
I rotated the barcode
which helped fill the dead
space which was there
when the barcode was
horizontal but now that it
is vertical it fills the dead
space and allowed me to
insert social media logos
(Facebook and Twitter).
This is my final version of my preliminary
contents page, the most time consuming
part of the page was when I had to decide
on what layout I was going to do for the
page, I decided to use boxes to help fill the
‘dead space’ on the page.
Another time consuming part of the page
was editing the image on the page, this
included removing the background from the
image, making the image sharper by using
the effects on Photoshop which helps make
the image look sharper and a higher quality.
I took a screen grab of my
preliminary front cover and
placed it into my contents
page, I used the rotate tool to
rotate the page to make it
take more space up.
I added images from Google
images to put inside the boxes
I placed onto the page, the
images were used because
they are motioned on the
page and go well with what
has been said.
My puff promotion was also used on the
page, I put a box behind it to help make it
stand out on the page. I also inserted an
iTunes logo as the puff promotion was to
win iTunes vouchers.
I chose to use the same colour
scheme as my front cover to
keep my pages consistent. The
colour scheme is the same as
my school which my magazine
is based on. The colour scheme
is also very simple as the only
colours used are black, maroon
and a light blue. I only used a
few colours because if I used to
many colours it will become
hard to read and my magazines
of inspiration also only used 3-4
different colours per page.
This is my contents page half completed, I
used the ruler tool to help place my shapes
in, I used ruler tool to help make my page
look more organized and easier to place
Music Magazine – Genre research
(Hip-Hop)Hip-hop originated from the early
1970s. An artist called ‘Grandfather
Flash’. The artist helped the genre
be recognised by the mainstream
audiences by having hits in the 70s
that reached the chart one of
which called ‘The Message’.
There are a number of Hip-hop
magazines available, these include
XXL, The Vibe and The Source. My
chosen music magazine (XXL) of
inspiration includes ‘star’ (Dyer)
rappers from the genre that are well
known at that period of time.
Hip-hop was extremely popular in
the 90s, which can be backed up
with Hip-hop magazine sales in that
time period, also the amount of cd
sales in the hip – hop genre.
Hip-hop is usually stereotyped as being listened to by a
predominantly African American (Hartley) audience. However, the
genre is now listened to a wide variety of people age ranges and
even ethnicities. My statement can be backed up by statistics of
Hip-hop magazines which state that it is bought by more males
then females and is bought buy 16-25 year olds from many
different ethnic backgrounds (Statistics from Wikipedia).This genre
is also stereotyped as being male dominated, however the genre is
listened to by a large female audience , this is stereotypical as hip–
hop magazines appeal to both male and female audiences.
Females reading hip-hop magazines can show how the genre has
evolved over the years.
Sources: Wikipedia, XXL.com
Conventions of a Music Magazine
The front page of the magazine for
‘XXL’ is extremely simple in layout and
very easy to read.
The non-verbal code of the indent for the
magazine can be clearly seen as it is at
the top of the page in a bright red
background. The logo also stands out
because the colour scheme of the front
page is in black and white. The right hand
side of the logo is partially covered by the
rapper ‘Drake’s’ head, which is used by
other magazines to give the magazine a
high quality finish.
The Unique Selling Point of the music magazine
‘XXL’ is that it is one of the longest running hip-
hop magazines that people can buy. The
magazine also includes extremely famous
rappers which include Drake and lil Wayne.
The strap line of ‘XXL’ can be found on the far left hand
corner which denotes 'Hip-Hop on a higher level’, this can
connote the magazine is a premium hip-hop magazine and
better than its competitors.
On the left of the magazine it has the
artists that are included in the magazine.
On the right hand side of the magazine it
has the stories and interviews that are
included inside the magazine.
The main image is in black and white which has been
put in black and white with the hue saturation tool to
make the image more effective on the stage. The colour
of the image compliments the text colour, the main
headline is in gold and the image helps the main
headline stand out on the page.
Publisher research -
The music magazine XXL is published by Harris
Publications. The magazine is released 6 times
every year, which connotes that the magazine is
a special magazine to readers as it is less
frequent compared to its competitors vibe and
the source as they release a new magazine every
month. For my magazine I will use a similar
release pattern as it is a very successful
Harris Publications is an American
consumer-magazine publisher in
New York. It publishes many
magazines and genres, they include
fitness magazines and financial
XXL magazine currently has around 210,000 copies in
circulation, this is a low number compared to other
magazines such as vibe as that currently has 800,000
magazines in circulation (statistics from Wikipedia).
Another USP of XXL,
based on this secondary
research, is that is does
not include just one
genre of music, it
includes R&B and Hip-
hop also Rap.
Therefore the audience
would find the hybridity
of the magazine very
Magazine of inspiration – XXL
• My magazine of inspiration will be an XXL magazine,
this is because it is a hip-hop themed magazine.
Also XXL magazine is a good magazine to use
because its magazines pages are fairly basic and will
be fairly simple to ‘repeat’ some of the conventions
from the magazine.
• The XXL magazine front cover is easy to read and
appeals to its target audiences, an example of how
it appeals to its demographic would be the images
used on the front cover, the colour scheme used
and the language that is also being used.
Target Audience –
The target audience for XXL magazine can be denoted as for young adults (16-25)
who enjoy rap/Hip-Hop music. I believe this is clearly shown by the main image of
artists on the front cover such as Drake this is because it ‘signifies’ the way the
main artist presents itself. XXL magazine allows the reader to show empathy
towards the celebrity of the double page spread within the issue, this is because
they are reading an interview about them. Also a double page interview can help
develop a close ‘personal relationship’ (Katz) with the Rapper.
What is the USP of this magazine?
From the research completed into this media product, I think the USP of XXL is that they focus on
exclusives with international and well-respected artists on the front cover and in general
throughout the magazine where they have interviews with that specific artist or band. An
example of this would be Drake, a well respected Rapper known internationally, interviews and
exclusives will be a very strong USP because he has a very large fan base. Readers and fans look
up to this male rapper which means it can help engage them to read XXL magazine. Also the USP
of a good and well known rapper helps the reader to develop a better sense of ‘Personal
Identification’. The promotion of the media product would appeal to the reader because that way
the audience can connect with their favorite artists and rappers.
Ideas for my Magazine name
DTB (Drop The Beat)
Ideas for magazine -
• The magazine will include exclusive interviews.
• The magazine will be called DTB. (Drop The Beat).
• As my magazine of inspiration (XXL) has a list of rappers
on the front cover which I should consider.
• The magazine colour scheme should only include a
maximum number of 3 different colours.
• I should also include a form of promotion as it is my
first ever issue, an example would be a free mix tape of
the of a rapper in the magazine before they were
• My magazine should also follow the basic conventions
of a hip-hop magazine such as including many well
known rappers and exclusive interviews with them.
The results collected
The results collected tell me how I should create my magazine and what I should and should’t do.
Question one tells me that I should have a good main headline over a good main image, this is
because 3 people who completed the survey said I should have a good main headline, however this
question also told me to have a good main image as 3 people said that a main image is important to a
Question two tells me to include a puff promotion on magazine as it will help entice readers to buy
my magazine. However 3 people who completed the survey said it depends on what promotions that
are on offer.
Question three tells me that my magazine should have good use of colours to help it stand out to
other magazines, however 3 people answered saying that the magazine should have a good front
cover to help stand out to other magazines.
Question 4 tells me that I should target my magazine at teenagers, however 3 people responded
saying that I should target my magazine at young adults (18-30 year olds). This shows that my
magazine should appeal to teenagers as well as young adults, I can do this by using language
stereotypically used by these age groups.
Question 5 asks people if the price of the magazine was high (£6) but the quality of the magazine was
high also would they consider buying it, 7/8 people responded by saying ‘no’, this shows that I will not
price my magazine at a high price point and keep the price fairly low.
Question 6 tells me that the images used can help appeal to both genders, this question also tells me
that the language used can help appeal to both males and females along with the use of colours.
Question 7 tells me that the use of colours will make the first impression of the page, this means the
colour scheme I use will have to be good as it will be the first impression of lots of people.