In what ways does your magazine use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real magazines? Mostly all magazines sold on the high street or on the internet abide by unwritten rules if they want their magazine to sell well and attract a large audience. These include such things as a masthead, cover lines, pull quotes, an interesting main image, skyline, consistency and a colour scheme. I have incorporated these conventions from real magazines into Boogaloo. Large Mast-head A large masthead will attract the target audience with a good use of colour, font and style linking with their preferences. Since my target audience is quite mature but not over 30, I used a bold serif font in dark/navy blue. I wanted the masthead to attract attention so added a little colour (going against my previous ideas of a full black & white front cover) to attract more attention. Left-third rule Magazines such as Q, Mojo and NME all use the left-third rule where most of the cover lines and pull quotes are placed to the left of the cover so that when stacked in a shop, they can be easily viewed by the readers. I wanted to sell my magazine in both shops and online so I abided by the left-third rule.
Cover lines & Skyline The cover lines will give the reader an idea of contents of Boogaloo. If the main cover line includes a specific artist, their name is usually made very noticeable so that the artist’s fans will be drawn to Boogaloo. I have placed the main cover line above the other cover lines to act as a pull factor for potential readers. The majority of popular, real magazines of my genre have more than one cover lines to widen the attraction of different tastes so I have included cover lines about articles focusing on other musical genres. The Skyline is another space that can be used to show the contents. I noticed from research that music magazines usually put their less important cover line in the skyline simply because the skyline isn’t as noticeable as bold, in your face text across the middle of the cover. Interesting image I have not seen a successful music magazine’s front cover that hasn’t included a main image of a musician or a band. This is because when on the shelves in a shop or online, readers can view the front cover and recognise their favourite artists and be automatically drawn to the magazine. I originally was going to keep the image black and white to give that more artistic feel but after further research into other rival magazines, using a black & white image would have made the front cover less noticeable and eye catching (as found in my flat plans).
To keep my magazine consistent throughout and to keep a professional feel, I had to use a colour scheme. Since Boogaloo isn’t a young, commercial magazine, I was able to keep it fair simple with only using black, white and navy blue.
How does your magazine represent particular social groups? My target audience is unisex 20-35 year olds who enjoy Folk, Jazz, Indie, Blues and Reggae music. Therefore my magazine must appeal to this social group. Since this target audience is quite mature and cultural, producing the style and design had to be carefully executed to maximise appeal to this group. I have had to make sure that the language used suits with this age group and also that a lot of information is given. For example I asked Maisie: ‘As we can see from your NME award and multiple mercury prize nominations in both rising star and break through act categories, the past couple of years have flown you away from being unknown, playing in small to stardom where you are playing the most prestigious venues in the UK and around the world. How did this all happen?’ instead of simply asking: ‘How did you get famous?’
When planning the photo-shoot, I had to accurately represent the type of artist included in the main image and double-page spread, in this case, a folk singer-songwriter. I did this by making sure that she was wearing appropriate clothing and her hair linked to the style of a typical young folk artist. This mean that she couldn’t wear little clothing and adopt the promiscuous look, nor could she dye her hair black and wear loads of face piercings which would suggest she was a rock artist. After researching into the type of photo I wanted for Boogaloo, I decided to have a medium close-up of Maisie with good lighting so booked out a photography studio to ensure that the lighting looked professional. I mainly used serif fonts throughout the magazine to give the more sophisticated look that various fashion/music magazines use such as Vouge or Paste. Such magazines do not purely use serif fonts throughout the magazine due to it being harder to read and get repetitive; so for the articles and various titles a sans serif font has been used. I included this into Boogaloo because these magazines have a more sophisticated target audience, as with Boogaloo.
What kind of media institution might distribute your music magazine and why? After research into which publishers distribute rival and similar magazines to Boogaloo, I can see which institution will be best for the success of Boogaloo. The two main publishers in the UK are Bauer media and IPC media. Both of which publish music magazines, for example IPC publishes NME and Uncut, whilst Bauer publishes Q and Mojo. Out of the two I believe that Bauer will be more interested in publishing Boogaloo as both Q and Mojo have an older target audience compared to the relatively young target audience of NME. But as I do not want Boogaloo to be as commercial and have such a high content of advertising as these magazines, I would prefer that Boogaloo is published through a smaller company that already publishes similar magazines. I have researched into the publishers used by similar magazines such as The Wire, Downbeat and All About Jazz and found that most of these magazines are not using external companies to publish their magazines and publish themselves. Also, many similar magazines only publish their magazines online, therefore no external publisher is required from the start.
Who would be the target audience for my music magazine? From the start of the creation of Boogaloo, I had an image in my mind of someone reading it at a coffee shop on their lunch break from work. From this thought I have based my target audience. Therefore my target audience is both males and females aged roughly between 20-35 years old from an urban background. This is because the genres of music Boogaloo includes are mainly listened to by this group. I decided to make this magazine unisex to maximise its success by not restricting the appeal of one gender. The design of the magazine gives of an urban feel and also many articles are about city venues and bars/restaurants found only in the cities so it would be ineffective to try and appeal to country lifestyles where these places are hard to get to. To appeal to this age group I had to make sure that Boogaloo had an artistic and sophisticated feel. I achieved this by keeping a simplistic colour scheme with only three colours throughout the magazine, which also introduced constancy (helping to the appearance more professional). Other ways I achieved this is by using serif fonts, using simplistic layouts and making the images used similar to current music magazines of the same target audience.
In terms of content appealing to the target audience I didn’t include any advertisements or competitions because I feel that these methods of increasing money and recognition compromise the classy feel that I aspired for. For my main article, I made sure that my target audience would be interested in the interview by keeping the questions and therefore the answers informative with a little humour and would never have included gossipy questions which will have related Boogaloo to such magazines as Hello or OK magazine which are on the other end of the spectrum in terms of interest from the target audience.
How did you attract/address you audience? I attracted my target audience through the use of subtle and simplistic layouts and careful use of colour to draw the reader’s eye to certain points of interest in the front cover, contents page and double page spread. I used the same sans serif font for my masthead and contents/double page spread titles and kept them the same colour to be consistent, giving the professional feel. I only used dark font colours against white background for easy reading and also changed from sans serif to sans font for the double page spread for the same reason. I made sure that my main image was eye catching by taking a high quality image with Maisie looking directly at the lense and thus, the reader, and also by removing the colour of the shirt so the reader can logically focus on her face. Finally I utilised the inspiration in the form of a layout from an article from RHYTHM magazine. This layout has a good eye-line for easy reading and keeps up the simplistic feel that Boogaloo promotes.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of construction this magazine? At the start of the project, I had little to no skill using programs such as Photoshop to create and manipulate images. Creating the magazine has helped me to develop my skills and being able to confidently use many techniques and tools such as the history brush. Also, after doing the research and looking at other magazines, I am now able to see various techniques and be able to produce a similar effect for myself. I am now able to use keyboard short-cuts with ease when using Photoshop to make the process drastically quicker and simpler.
Using a blog to upload work for everyone to see has been a major factor in using technology to make creating Boogaloo easier. I now feel happy with uploading presentations through slideshare and using embed codes to publish the presentations straight to the blog. Also, I have used social networking (Facebook) to get people to participate in my two surveys. I am already familiar with the use of social networks to communicate with friends but being able to use these sites to get feedback on my work has opened my eyes to the potential use of these sites for work purposes.
Looking back on your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full magazine? Looking at the college magazine now, I can instantly see areas where I would have changed if asked to do the same task now. For example the front cover looks quite dull, despite the use of bright colours. In Boogaloo I used a lot of drop shadows under titles, cover lines and the masthead. So I would’ve done this on the college magazine to add a 3rd dimension and increase the professional feel. The image I used for the college magazine was of a bad quality which instantly brought down the quality feel of the magazine as a whole. In general, after looking over the college magazine. It is obvious that the target audience is an essential factor for decision making and inspiration. Although I have vastly improved since the preliminary task, I still could have improved Boogaloo because I feel that the front cover is a little too busy for the simplistic style I’ve tried to create.