Chloe Morley March/April 2013Media EvaluationQuestion 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms andconventions of real media products?For my media coursework, I had to create my own media product, this being a music magazine. As astarting point for my magazine and to get some inspiration and ideas for it,I did some product research on popular music magazines that are out in theshops right now, examples of these would be VIBE, NME, Q and Kerrang. Ilooked at their front covers, contents pages and the main double pagearticle that they were offering to see how they were lay out and what theircontent was. I looked at the typical conventionsthey were using and saw that they all were similarin basic formats. All front covers had a largemasthead with a main image taking up most of thepage, with a barcode in the corner and smallercover lines surrounding the edges of the page. All of the contents pageswere jammed with information, including the date the magazine waspublished, the magazine’s website, and all had images showing features inthe magazines. The double page spreads all had large headlines whichattracts the reader’s eyes and had a large image of the artist beinginterviewed taking up one page. The written articles onthese pages also talked to the artists in depth andpromoted them well, but still kept it as an informal as achat between you and friend. All of the magazines had aconsistent house style throughout so you knew whichmagazine a page would be from. I decided that I wantedmy magazine to have these conventions like the popularmagazines do to make it look professional and that iswhat I did. I developed my layouts of each of my pages to reflect those of the ones I researched andoverall I think I achieved this.The music magazine that I created is called ‘ENCORE’. I named it this as encore is a musical term,meaning the public automatically know what type of magazine it is. An encore is when an artist iscalled for by an audience to perform repeated or additional performances of an item at the end of aconcert. Because the genre of music formy magazine is mostly pop, and pop musicis constantly repeated on the radio and onTV, and is the most listened to music
Chloe Morley March/April 2013genre, I thought the title would be fitting. I took inspiration from the ‘VIBE’ magazine cover I lookedat for the masthead. The masthead runs across the page in the ‘VIBE’ magazine and uses a gradientof colours in it and also the lettering was in caps and in bold. This is what I wanted for my magazine,so the masthead is situated in the middle of the top of the magazine, and the text is in black with afading pink edge and is also in block caps. The font for the masthead is quite unusual, unique andeye catching which will attract the reader’s eye and also can reflect the uniqueness of artists in thepop industry, this giving a subtle hint into what the magazine holds. I think the advantage of having asimple main colour (black) for the masthead is that it can be changed in future issues to fit in withthe background of that issue and then can be placed all around the magazine.For my music magazine, I wanted the front coverto follow the Guttenberg design principle. Ithought this would be good as most of the othermagazines follow this rule, especially the ‘VIBE’magazine front cover. The front cover follows theprinciple and the axis of orientation as it the mainheadline in the primary optical area, the first bitthe eyes see, and then has the barcode and otherless important headlines in the terminal area.Whilst planning my own layouts, I used aspects ofthe Guttenberg design principle by placing the magazine masthead in the primary optical area, andthen placing the barcode in the terminal area. But I then challenged the principle by placing the mainheadline at the centre of the bottom of the page. I did this as I thought it would work better with themain image I was using. For the layouts of myother pages I followed similar designs as that ofthe real published music magazines. For thecontents page I used images like the othercontents, but instead of placing them around thepage, I placed them all on one side as I thought itlooked better. The contents were all to one sideand was easy to follow and the page looks tidyand professional. My initial plan for my doublepage was to have the main image of the artisttaking up two thirds of the double page, with a large headline at the top of the right hand page, akicker underneath this and then two columns for my written article. I then later changed this to havethree columns of writing after looking more closely at other magazines as this was the moreconventional way of setting an article out. The house style throughout my magazine was consistentand reflected the way themagazines I researched hadtheir house style. In the NMEmagazine, they used 3 maincolours, blue, black and whitethroughout the magazine andmade sure each page had asimilar basic layout of page
Chloe Morley March/April 2013numbers in the corners, and having the magazine masthead in the top corners of the pages. Alsosimilar text fonts and sizes were used for every article. I liked the way they had done this so I tookinspiration from that for mine and had 3 main colours, pink, black and white to use throughout themagazine. I used these colours as they were bright and eye catching, whilst also working welltogether and they reflected the music genre well. I made sure each page had the page number in thebottom corners and the magazine masthead in the top corners; this made the magazine look moreprofessional.When doing my product research I lookedvery closely at the images that were shot andplaced in the magazines. I wanted to makesure that my photography lookedprofessional and of a high standard. The finalimage I used for the front cover was amedium/close up shot from the shoulders tothe top of the artists head. I took inspirationfrom the ‘Q’ magazine covers as this is thetype of photograph they used and it workedwell and looked of a high standard. The direct mode of address makes it look like the artist is staringright back at you so therefore draws you in. I also, like the ‘Q’magazine, placed the photograph in the middle of the page, thisenabling cover lines to be situated around the artist to showother features of the magazine. I also was inspired by the CherLloyd and Ed Sheeran images I analysed for my artist analysis asthe Cher Lloyd image just had the artist in the middle of the page andwas well edited and attractive and the Ed Sheeran image was simplewith a simple background, but was still effective. The rule of thirdshas also been accomplished here as all for interconnecting points aresituated on a part of the artists face so have points of interest there.The image used also has symmetry as both sides are near enough thesame as each other; this is very rarely found onfront cover images so this could attract thereader’s eyes. For my front cover I also used awhite backdrop as the background as it wassimple and keeps the focus on the artist. Theimages used for my contents page were all shotagainst a plain coloured background, I did this asI thought it would make sure all the attention was focused on the artistin the image, this challenged the research I looked at as most of thoseimages were shot at concerts or gigs and had quite dark backgrounds.It took a lot of time to get my main image for the double page articleright as I had to think of the mise en scene and props that could beused. I took inspiration from the NME double page article as it used animage that took over two thirds of the double page, this showing who
Chloe Morley March/April 2013the article is about, this is what is typically found in music magazines. I used a medium shot for myimage and the background was a black wall with some graffiti on it – I used this as it relates to thewritten article as the artist is thankful for her roots and where she grew up and lived, and this iswhere the image was shot. I made sure that artists clothing was fashionable and reflected the typeof artist she is. The artist is wearing headphones around her neck, this showing how into her musicshe is and how dedicated she is. I also used the prop of a guitar as this is what the artist plays so itgives a subtle insight into the type of artist she is and how she likes to perform; it also reinforces thatfact that this magazine is a music one.I decided that to make my magazine and the photographs I took to look more professional I shoulddo some image manipulation and editing to make them look better. I looked at the way the musicmagazines that I researched did this and tried to achieve the same professional standards as them.To do this I used Adobe Photoshop. For the front cover image I zoomed in onto the artist’s upperbody and cropped unwanted material to make the direct mode of address stronger. I then changedthe hue/saturation of the image to gain more definition on the artists face. For my images used onthe contents page I changed the hue/saturation for theseas well as the contrast, this made the artists stand outagainst their backgrounds. And finally for my double pageimage, I zoomed in to change the image from a body shot,to a medium shot so you could see the artist clearer. Thestarting image was quite dark, so I changed the brightnessof the image first off. I then changed the hue andsaturation to make the artists skin look brighter and lesswashed out against the strong black background. Theediting done on all the images make them look reallyprofessional and up to the standards of a real magazine.For my product research, I looked at the written articles on both double page spreads that I lookedat. Both the ‘NME’ and ‘Q’ articles were promoting the artists that they were talking to. They wereinforming the readers of the projects they are getting up to now and in the future; they are veryinformative. I took inspiration from this and in my article Ipromoted the artist and informed of their albums, singles andconcerts. I developed from the ‘NME’ article the way myarticle was set out, this being a question and answer format. Ithought this was best as it was the simplest to follow and itwould make the reader feel more engaged with the artist,almost like they are talking to them. I used an informal styleof interviewing as this would be more relevant toteenage/young adult audience that would be reading themagazine as its how they would speak. The layout of mywritten article was in 3 columns as this is the conventionalway most magazines set there articles out, it would look moreprofessional. I also used a kicker after the main headlinewhich contained snippets of what is was being talked about in this interview and it makes them wantto carry on reading and find out what is going on.