In my media product, an alternative rock magazine, I have used many conventions of real media products. On my front cover I
have the title of my magazine in a masthead across the top, it is in a bold text and clearly stands out as the name of my
magazine against the rest of the cover. I have used this convention that many other music magazines have, so the audience
can identify with my magazine and also it can be seen easily. I have placed the image on top of the masthead too, which is a
convention used by many real media products, to show that the subject is the most important story on the cover and because
my audience will know what the title is without having to see the full masthead every time.
I have developed these conventions as I have used a drop shadow on my title, this differs slightly as most other mastheads are
a plain bold text with no shadows and no fancy outlines. I have developed this as I thought as I have used a more muted
colour, it needed something to make it stand out more from the rest of my cover and I think it has created a good effect for
my magazine cover and the style I am going for.
I have also challenged the ‘normal’ conventions of a media product, as in the category of rock magazines, the colour scheme is
generally bright and in your face, using bold colours such as red and yellow (as seen in the example above). I decided that I
wanted my magazine to appeal to a more niche market and therefore used more muted and natural colours. I think this was
an effective route to go down for the ideas that I wanted to portray, and the masthead does still stand out despite me using
these more neutral colours.
The splash image is a convention of a real media product in
terms of the technicalities and the pose that my model is
doing as it is a medium close up of one ‘famous singer’.
Real media products such as Q generally use the convention
of a medium close up if they are featuring one person on
the front cover so they take up more of the page and I have
adopted this strategy, not only as it fills the page and looks
effective, I feel as though the model has more of a
connection with the audience than if it was a full body shot.
Some media products do use more than one model on the
cover (shown in the image bottom right) however I
developed and challenged this as I decided that I wanted
my subject to have more of a connection with the reader.
I developed the eye line of my model, and I have him looking directly into the camera, not
away from or from an angle as I think this created more of a direct address than the other
two. I feel I have also challenged the norms of real media products in terms of the subjects
facial expression, as I had him create more of a relaxed atmosphere with a half smile and a
more inviting expression. I think this fits in well with the overall theme of my media
product as I have used softer colours and fonts, and in response, I also have my model
looking less aggressive and in your face.
I do think these conventions, developed and adapted, are more likely to convince and
persuade my readers to buy my magazine and want to read more about my model.
My cover stories are in an easy to read, clear, bold text, which is a typical convention of real media products, however I have
challenged the text norms slightly as I have used a serif font for the name of my singer, which almost looks like handwriting. I have
done this to almost include the reader more as it seems as if it is a more exclusive article. One of my cover stories includes a quote,
which is a common convention, to draw the reader in and make them want to read on, (an example being the right hand side image
at the bottom). It again includes the reader and gives the impression the artist is talking directly to the reader and the audience.
I have used a serif font for all of my
cover stories, compared to the san
serif font that is used mostly for the
titles as I think it fit better with the
style of my magazine and makes it
feel more inviting than block text.
I have placed the headings around
the splash image so I don’t draw
attention away from the image,
which is something that some other
magazines will do, however it is also
quite common for the main cover
story to overlap or be placed directly
on top of the splash image to show
that they are related, (shown in the
middle images). I decided against
doing this as I wanted the attention
to be on my photo and to read the
stories after. I feel like this is a more
effective way of involving the reader.
When deciding on my colour scheme, I used, developed and challenged conventions of real media products. I used the conventions
as most magazines use white, as a basic colour on a front cover, when the splash image has been taken in a studio, it is the most
common colour. I have done this, like many other magazines, so it doesn’t distract from the model on the splash image and it
doesn’t look too messy and draw the eye. It also means I can put text around the subject without it being lost in a busy background.
I have also developed the conventions
through colour scheme as in other real
media products, especially that of rock
magazines, the cover lines are generally
black or white, so they stand out and its
not too fussy. I have used a dark blue
colour, as I think this fits in better within
my magazine and it’s just a little bit
different. It still stands out but looks
effective with my colour scheme as a
I have challenged the norms of rock music
magazines as I have gone for a completely
different overall colour scheme. I have
chosen to use softer and more neutral
colours to appeal to a niche
market, rather than in your face bright
colours, such as red. I think this makes my
media product stand out from others and
looks effective in a different way to other
products in the same genre.
My contents page also uses conventions of real media products. I have placed the name of my product again at the top of the page so it is
easily identifiable and there is a running theme throughout my magazine. Many other music magazines do this and drop their name in
wherever they can so people are more likely to remember it and so I have used this typical convention. I have decided to place my
masthead on the left hand side of the banner at the top of the page, this will generally be the first thing that the reader will see and it
draws the eye.
I have also developed the convention that some magazines do, where the title of the page ‘contents’ is in a smaller, less bold text than the
logo. In the examples above you can see that NME do not do this, they have a text of the same size and just as bold, whereas Q has opted
for a smaller text. I chose to have my title smaller and in a serif font so it doesn’t distract from the logo. However, the title will still stand
out as it is right at the top of the page.
I haven’t used a banner for my masthead, which challenges the conventions of real media products, as the majority of other music
magazines do use a banner. I haven’t done this as I am still opting for the simplistic, softer look and I think a harsh bright banner wouldn’t
have made my contents page look better, just busier and it wasn’t the look I wanted for my magazine.
On my contents page I used one main image then a few smaller
images, I convention I have used from other real media products.
My large image relates to the splash image on my front cover and
also to the double page spread article. Other rock magazines use
this technique as it ties the magazine together and draws attention
to the important story. Many of the splash images on the contents
page have a quote that has most likely been pulled from the
article, to draw the reader in and make them want to read the full
story about the singer or band.
I have included a quote, however I have developed this convention
as I have placed the quote on the top of the image, not covering
the model but on the picture, to show that they are linked.
I have also included a page number on the image, but challenging
the conventions of real media products, only on my larger splash
image, I haven’t used page numbers for my smaller images as I
didn’t want the page to look too cluttered and messy.
My smaller images are a mixture of studio and on location images,
as I think this created a nice range and caters for all types of
people and their tastes. I have used images of males, but also of
females as my target audience is both men and women. The
images of the females attract men too, which fits into Laura
Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze, but will also attract women.
Fonts and Page Numbers
I have used classic conventions when deciding on my title font. For the word ‘contents’ I decided to use a serif
font, not too bold or in your face, but in a nice font that stands out but isn’t over the top. This is a convention
that other music magazines use, as it doesn’t take away attention from the masthead but still is a clear title
for the page. My font is also one I have used on my front cover and throughout my magazine so it is
easier to identify with and it gives a consistent feel.
I have developed these conventions through my page numbers
and text within the contents page. Many magazines will have the
page number in a bolder text on the left hand side, however I have
not used a bold font, but I have made the numbers larger than the
rest of the text. I have done this as I didn’t want any part to be to
bold and in your face, as that is not the overall style I am going
for, but I still wanted my page numbers to stand out so they are
easily seen and clear when finding a certain page. Also the font I
used was quite a san serif one considering it wasn’t a title or
heading. I wanted the text to be easy to read and not fancy at all.
Other media products do opt for a more fussy font, for
example, the contents page on the right, but I wanted to keep it
simple and clear, to fit with the theme of my magazine as a whole.
My layout for my contents page differs quite a bit from most real media products but I have used
some common conventions. I have used one larger image which is related to my splash image on my
front cover and also to my double page spread. This shows it is the most important story of the week
and draws attention to it, (seen in the top right image). I have then used smaller images from other
stories that I have mentioned in the text detailing what is on each page. These are smaller as they are
less important and significant that the main story and this is clear to see from my layout.
The layout of my contents page does in some ways
develop conventions of real media products. I have
chosen to have quite a formal layout, where all my
images are straight forward, not overlapping or slanted
and I think this gives a more sophisticated feel to my
page. Other magazines do use this convention,
however I feel that I have developed this and used an
even more structured and straightforward layout.
I have used two columns for my text, purely because I
think this was a more effective way to display my text
than one column, which challenges the ‘normal’
conventions as most other music magazines use only
one column and write in more detail about what is on
each page, an idea that I didn’t feel was necessary. I
have also included a subscription box on this page
which real media products don’t choose to and they
generally include this at the back. I did this to draw
attention to it and encourage people to subscribe.
On my double page spread, my headline is in a large font
and stands out from the rest of the page and the other
text. This is a convention of a real media product and is
done to differentiate from the rest of the page as well as
drawing the eye so you know what the whole article is
However, this is one of the only conventions that I have
used for my headline as it comes, from a real media
product, all other conventions I have adapted and
challenged. An example of this is the font, while many
media products use a san serif font for the title to stand
out and catch the eye easily, I have used a serif font, as I
wanted to create a feeling of consistency as it is a font I have used throughout my
media product and I think it fits well with the overall theme I am going for. I also
stuck with the same colour scheme for my text that I have used all the way
through, it adds a unique feel from other media products while still being dark and
bold enough to stand out.
Some media products do use a more imaginative way to display the
headline, (seen in the bottom left image) however I chose to stick with my original
font so my reader can identify with it and it is consistent throughout. It also fits
with the sophisticated feel I was going for and doesn’t look too in your face or
For the layout of my double page spread, I have challenged and developed most conventions of real media products rather than
using them. I developed the conventions with the number of columns I have used. My article is laid out in three columns, however
one of these is on the page with the image, which takes up only the space of one column itself. While most real media products use
three columns these are mostly on the same page which contrasts with my own media product which has the columns spread out. I
think this creates a more structured page and is more of a formal, sophisticated layout, following the style of my whole magazine.
I have challenged the ‘normal’ layout for a double page spread as most real media products dedicate a full page to the splash
image, a convention which I didn’t want to use, as my image wasn’t very wide, I didn’t see the need to use a full page and I could use
this space for my article. I think this looks most effective for my double page spread and continues the house style of my magazine
My splash image uses general conventions
of that of a real media product through the
fact it has been taken in a studio. I think
this looks more professional, which is the
style I was going for in my magazine.
I have developed the ideas used on a
double page spread of a music magazine as
I have decided to use a full body shot of my
model. Some media products do use this
convention however, this is generally used
when the splash image is of a band or a
group of people, and not as widely used
when there is only one model. I decided to
use a full body shot as it gives a bit of
variety within my magazine. As I have used
the same model, due to the story being
about this ‘singer’, on the front cover and
on my double page spread, I needed to
have some variety.
I have asked my model to take up a very
relaxed pose to make him look quite
natural, which contrasts with the unnatural
studio setting and looks effective.