Evaluation question 1

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Evaluation question 1

  1. 1. Evaluation of ‘GBM’ Magazine Question One
  2. 2. How does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  3. 3. Front Cover Masthead The masthead is white text written in a bold red box in the top left corner of the page so the target audience will read and therefore recognise the brand first. The masthead in a red box is a convention of not only music magazines but across various genres of printed publications (for example, The Sun newspaper, Hello and OK! Celebrity gossip magazines) and in the last few months, NME have also adopted the masthead style. This establishes the traditional, conventional element to the media product and is relatively genre-neutral. A conventional masthead allows the cover to include multiple genres rather than appealing to a niche target audience. The main image is superimposed in front of the masthead so the top of the image overlaps the red box slightly. This is conventional of a music magazine as it creates an interesting layered effect and shows the masthead to be recognisable even if it is partly concealed. However, the majority of the GBM masthead is visible to emphasize the brand’s importance.
  4. 4. Front Cover Main image The main image is a medium close-up of the featured artist’s head and shoulders. This fits with the conventions of Q magazine covers - the close up image creates a sense of intimacy with the reader and implies that their interview will offer exclusive information to fans. The main image is striking and the artist is making a strong direct mode of address by staring straight into the camera lens. The bright lighting and high contrast colour and tone follows the conventions of established music magazines (e.g. Q and RollingStone) as the main image looks striking and professional
  5. 5. Front Cover Main image The use of ivy as iconography is a convention of both Q and NME used to convey messages about the featured artist to the audience. (e.g. Este Haim holding a retro camera reinforces the band’s cool, carefree and fun-loving image. Alex Turner holding a record in a powerful stance presents him as a knowledgeable and influential figure in the music industry.) Ivy Jones surrounded by Ivy acts as obvious visual anchorage to her name in text and also suggests the theme of the album she is promoting on the double page spread.
  6. 6. Front Cover Cover lines NME GBM I used similar typography to conventional music magazines – contemporary sans serif fonts following a colour scheme of red, black and gold. Like Q and NME, the typography matched with the colour palette of the main image so the cover looks professional and structured. Similarly to NME’s cover lines, my product has names of featured bands across from the masthead in small bars of text. Although my cover lines and NME’s are visually similar, NME use them to appeal to fans of a wide range of genres (e.g. Lily Allen is a mainstream pop artist whereas Yeah Yeah Yeahs are more edgy).Unlike NME, I have mentioned names of bands with more niche fan bases. As bands like Loom aren’t often featured in mainstream publications, their fans will be enticed by the mention of their name without the need of puffs to boast the magazine’s content or inform readers why they are featured. Q magazine GBM The names of more established bands are displayed in a larger font in both Q magazine and my own product (Motley Crue and Arcade Fire). This is so the cover line appeals to the mass market as well as the niche audiences for less well known bands featured in smaller cover lines. My own cover lines conform to the music magazine conventions of listing buzz words that will attract the audience’s attention e.g. ‘alter egos and clandestine cabarets’ make the feature on Arcade Fire sound unusual and surprising. Similarly to Motley Crue’s ‘heroin, hookers and hair metal,’ the coverlines boast a performers’ lifestyle which is a common convention in music magazines of all genres.
  7. 7. Front Cover Cover lines The main cover line fits the codes and conventions of music magazines as the name of the artist is the largest and clearest piece of text on the page, so it acts as anchorage text for the main image. The pun ‘a new leaf’ plays on the name of the artist and also suggests Ivy Jones is re-inventing herself. The use of puns is a common convention in music magazines aimed at a younger audience such as NME (e.g. ‘Peace at last’) because it implies the magazine’s informal and witty house style. I have challenged the codes and conventions of cover lines about female artists as they usually contain an emotive of personal quotation, such as Florence ‘I feel so alone’. I challenged this convention as the artist Ivy Jones is supposed to challenge the media’s expectations of a female artist. Including a personal or emotive quotation in the main cover line would suggest Ivy Jones’ interview wouldn’t be entirely music focused; I wanted to imply the article will be about Ivy’s music journey as GBM is very music focused. Q magazine cover lines for female solo artists Pun in NME’s cover line
  8. 8. Contents Page Layout The layout of my contents page follows the conventions of Q magazine and NME with a structural columned appearance. The featured artist’s image takes up a large section of the page and maintains a direct mode of address through I contact with the camera. The informative text is kept to the conventional left column so that it can be read easily and mimics the style of a newspaper, reinforcing GBM’s brand identity of being a respected publication. The colour scheme of mainly white with red and black fits the conventions of a music magazine so that the layout appears timeless. Enlarged page numbers are used to anchor the images and highlight the main areas of interest for the target audience. The image of Ivy Jones playing the harp is rather striking and challenges the conventions of a structured contents page. This makes the page more interesting without distracting the audience too much from the information.
  9. 9. Contents Page Cross-media platforms The hashtag by the main image is a subtle way of increasing interactivity between GBM and its readers. Hashtags are increasingly being used across multiple media platforms with no context or mention of any social networking institutions as a way of pointing out or advertising a certain discussion point. This feature is less common in music magazines so by including a hashtag I have followed a zeitgeist media convention that isn’t as prominent in the music press yet. A section of the contents page advertising the GBM brand on other platforms was added to cater to: 1. A younger target audience (as typically young adults will be more likely to use social networking and keep track of music blogs or e-zines) 2. The increasing demand for music magazines having an online presence. It is now an expectation of a music magazine to have a website because the role of the institution has changed so that music magazines are viewed as a brand in its own right. Increasing GBM’s presence across media platforms makes the brand as a whole more powerful and influential. Instead of just advertising subscriptions to print editions on the contents page like NME, I have used the contents page to advertise GBM on various media platforms
  10. 10. Double Page Spread Layout The colour scheme of the DPS is unconventional, as highbrow music magazine interviews are usually against a white background. The background is a light turquoise to tie in with the decorative title typography and the illustrative ivy to create an artistic and slightly antique aesthetic. Similarly to Q’s layout, here is very little presence of the brand on the DPS. This was deliberate as I wanted the layout of the pages to represent the image of the artist rather than the magazine’s brand identity. In some aspects, the layout of the GBM double page spread fits the conventions of music magazines that focus on interviews. Like Q and Mojo, the Double Page spread has the left a4 page taken up by one high quality studio shot image of the artist. The large amount of plain text makes the DPS look more highbrow than interviews of artists in Kerrang! And NME which have busier page layouts.
  11. 11. Double Page Spread Image and headings Titles in Mojo interviews are more informative The subtitle challenges the codes and conventions of a music magazine interview because it is relatively brief and acts as an enticement. Listing the interview topics ‘music molecules and misogyny’ sparks interest because they are seemingly random and unconnected which will intrigue the audience to read the interview. I kept the titles vague to reinforce the artist’s mysterious image yet I used sophisticated vocabulary to present both the artist and the magazine as well-informed. The main image fits the conventions for an interview image as it is used to connect with the reader. The artist is positioned to look more relaxed than the cover image and resting her head on her hands makes her look less formal. This is a common feature in Q (see above) as they have a reputation for publishing frank and personal interviews.

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