How I challenged the norms and conventions of real media products
Existing products? <ul><li>First of all there is little evidence that can be found a real feminine music magazine out there for women or young teenagers to enjoy so my simple aim was to design one and attract the young teens attentions as I was seen to be willing to challenge to social norms into existing music magazines by creating this new genre and style of my own and I was not afraid to try and even fail in my attempts. I tried to research into existing magazines but this was a problem when there wasn’t a real feminine magazine out there already existing so I also had to look into girl glamour magazines and just simple pick out ways in the music magazines such as VIBE attract the audience’s attention which were for a younger and modern generation but in their case its more a tomboyish or guys mag as you can see with the whole hip hop theme going on. </li></ul>
So this is what I learnt from the norms and conventions of a typical music magazine...
overall appearance and starting with the title of the magazine itself. The title of the magazine is seen to be simple and short which is easily remembered and recognized. Special issues are quite common and exciting which promotes the magazine wider. Extra features that attract their potential target audience ( in this case video games are more for the guys) Includes some extra additional articles including various artists and topics such as partying, exposures and overall gossip seem to be the main basis of article written in music magazines along side tour dates... Typical barcode is seen to create a more realistic and professional look to show that it is in high demand and mass produced and sold on to various companies and newsagents ect.. A fun and attractive young image of a well known and inspired artists really creates an exiting atmosphere and attraction to its audience and also shows the main story behind the front cover. It gives the magazine energy and that extra lift and appealing look. Music related image in this case Janet Jackson. The overall colour theme for that issues magazine is shown through the front cover Effects s uch as embossing fonts, outlines and colours really create a more media based product that attracts the audience eye and gives it that edge. Creates a more 3D look .
Contents pages appear to be very simple in comparison to the front covers and double page spreads along with the rest of the magazine but they are just as important as they tell their readers exactly which page they would find the corresponding articles. Photography - In most cases the contents page also includes a famous artists that would be well recognized to advertise the magazine and the above articles. Again this is a unique way of creating this ‘L’ shape in the way the model has posed around the corner making a composition out of the contents page. Its fun and energetic. In this case this magazine seems more for a hip hop genre again seems for an older hip hop generation. Most music magazines do not always focus just on the music but also the lives of the artists, gossip, fashion and other such subjects within the music industry. In this case they have subdivided their contents list to features and fashion which I feel gives a really good divide and clearly organises its contents appropriately. You need to have that extra factor about your contents page that is different than other peoples which gives it that wow factor and also carries on the colour theme thought the magazines front cover, contents and double page spread. Underneath the subtitles additional information is present to give an insight into what the article is all about. Its all really simple but bold , makes a statement relative infomation is present.
There should also be some indication on how the reader must read your article and the flow of the page spread either by highlighting the titles and subtitles to make them stand out, in my previous research on my blog I have also shown a magazine that has used block arrows to show the connection of image to an article. Not every magazine decides to used the photography on just one side of their double page spread but in this case it is used as a kinda of poster looking feature. Additional subheadings may be relevant if there is sub articles present on the page which as usually located on the sides of the double page spread. There is a main article present that covers a large area of the double page spread. The article consists of writing alongside related images that will attract and sum up the overall article before the reader has had the chance to read it. In research the articles seem to show either an insight into celebrity lives of the musicians, their tours, gossip or an interview. In some way seeing as my aim was for young teenagers I would need a way to relate well to my target audience, this magazine has just done that by introducing their article all about the teenagers! It’s simple text but bold and easy to read . There is also additional features related to the titles such as NME loves... Which flows into the main title nicely and effectively creating this importance and reputation. The double page spread must engage with its audience through any device possible whether it through colours, devices such as photography, language within the article and text, subtitles, additional infomation available, all of these are valuable assets to the overall look and atmosphere that creates a good spread. It has to be interesting and show clearly your target audience.
So how did I adapt my own ideas and use these conventions in my own work?
What I aimed to achieve? <ul><li>I personally feel that it was a challenge to find any real existing music magazine out there that corresponds with what I was trying to achieve. There was no real sign of any existing real feminine music mags. Ok there are loads of unisex magazines out there but they all seemed to tom boyish to me or a bit dark and aggressive for my style of music so this is why I decided to look into making my own style and brand where young teenage girls can read about their celebrities popstar gossip and get an insight into not necessarily famous music artists but their favourite known artists that can relate to them at a more personal level such as unsigned bands and individuals that have a story of their own on how they achieve their popstar lives. </li></ul>
I followed the conventions of the typical music magazine where there is a main feature item which is shown through imagery as the main photography; here you can see it’s full of life, young and simple showing plain and neutral colours and clear to read other text. Text is also very simple so that my readers find it easy to read and understand. The language I have used shows it’s for a younger generation and more of a gossip vocabulary such as exposed, secrets, paparazzi which indicates a look into their favourite young celebrity’s lives. The use of a barcode , date and price was used to show that my magazine is popular in demand and also demonstrates that it can be found in such places like supermarkets and newsagents where most music magazines are commonly sold and bought. I create a colour theme that I planned to keep constant through my media project which seemed to be the stereotypical feminine colours pinks and creams but added this subtle pale blue in contrast to highlight the important main features of my magazine which makes it clear to my reader the main headline of my magazine which can also be seen in the image that I used of a single model posed in the centre of my magazine. I used different devices in my text to keep it away from looking like a poster and to flat and bland. I tended to use drop shadows and outlines on my text to give emphasis on the important features. Involvement of the reader by using the phrase ‘shh’ which keeps it between the reader and the publisher. Limited edition in a way makes the reader feel like this is an issue they cannot simply afford to miss out on as its promoting something new about this magazine that others do not have a hold of yet. The used of rhetorical questions also involve the reader about music artists lives and gossip and also including a tour about young teen rebels.
I took the idea from the vibe contents page about creating a piece in the corner like a model creating this ‘L’ shape . I really felt that I needed to create more of a music atmosphere with my magazine designs so I placed a guitar along side my young teen model. This is fun and energetic and really shows my target audience perfectly. I really wanted to continue with my natural theme so I create my own design of vines and floral patterns to go in the background. I loved the way that I made it look like the floral patter is coming off the page by creating this pink repetition of the pattern as its shadow underneath. It feels like the guitar is playing the music and the floral pattern is almost like music flowing out of the guitar. In my research it was noticed that the music magazines tend to used corresponding page numbers with the subheadings to show their audience which page that particular article is written on. I used simple font in order for my audience to be able to read the titles clearly. Colours are clear and bold which attracts my younger target audience. Another interesting device that I found in my research was the way that they gave a quick summery of the overall article to entice their potential audience into reading their articles. I used this idea in my own work by typing a quick overall idea of what the article may hold. Again I have involved my readers by asking questions in my subheadings. Main title is vital just showing that it is my contents page and introduced my contents to my audience.
It was important for me to see a magazine that connects to its audience on their level through either the articles or keeping the reader involved by asking questions . I tried to keep my double page spread flowing and by making it so that my article and main image along with title spreads itself over both pages it creates this strong link. I also felt that from my research some key points were that magazines tended to relate images along side sub articles which I have clearly demonstrated down either side of my double page. I have used this kind of block arrow to show the relationship between the images, article and the statements and subheadings. One of the main problems that I found when creating my double page spread was that it was extremely difficult to get my text to go in perfect columns so I had to keep retyping it until it fitted perfectly. I liked the idea from one of my glamour magazine research compositions the way text followed the outline of their images so I took this onboard and worked around the way my text would not correctly line up so I decided to try the idea of making my text fit around my model and it seemed to work rather nicely. Photography - ok well keeping along my idea of natural and subtlety I decided not to get my models through my magazine to pose as such but more of less try and relax and have fun . You can see here that they all seemed to be wearing their ordinary clothing that best described their own individual personalities and just had fun with it. You can see Becky here is lying down as she was most comfortable this way so I worked with it. There is not fake set up in my images just a plain white background was cropped in to make the model the main focus in all my compositions. They had bright colours on, comfortable clothing and a real fun and energetic facial expression that resembled my target audience nicely. They seemed to all be female as well which creates this natural looking appeal and role model for my young teen readers.
Target audience? <ul><li>It is plain and simple who my target audience is and how exactly I have tried to address them as I have repeatedly said that I tried to aim it at firstly a younger target audience and for females who would like a change to the typical rock and guyish magazines that are available for them. I tried to attract my target audience buy looking at already female magazines ( non I could find in the music business) in make-up and glamour how they seem to attract the attention and what females tend to be interested in and found that ‘hot gossip’ was a simple and effective way of attracting their attention and celebrities and images . I tried to use all these ideas through all 3 designs by using short and snappy headlines that sum up the images or articles such as ‘just shut up! ’ they really want to know what it’s all about and the gossip they feel that they are then part of the gossip and thus part of my magazine themselves and this was my idea of keep asking questions to keep my audience involved; these are some of the simple techniques that I picked out from my research into mostly double page spreads where they asked rhetorical questions to involve their readers and to keep the ‘ball going’. You can see my target audience through the language, style of the font, colour themes and floral patterns that are constant throughout all three media compositions. </li></ul>
<ul><li>My magazine is directed towards the younger generation of females such as teenagers or young adults that really love their gossip and music . You can tell this by my floral design in both the contents and double page spread along with my simple colour theme of pinks, creams and black which complemented each other really well. </li></ul><ul><li>Looking back at my first designs that I completed at the start of my course such as my school magazine cover I feel that I have become more comfortable in challenging the whole norms of media products in the way it seems very gender biased in my eyes as there really isn’t alot out there for females. </li></ul>
Problems? <ul><li>I know that my looking at my front cover it tends to look more like a normal everyday females magazine but I tried to use as much research evidence as possible and conventions of a typical music magazine. I included band names and a simple photograph of my main star. From some helpful and critical comment such as it doesn’t look much like a music magazine I came to argue my case that there isn’t an available totally feminine music magazine already available out there so this is why it seems different.. There isn’t one like my kind and its new so it cannot be judged against other of this kind of genre but if you look closely I have still used the normal conventions of any other music magazine . I was not afraid to experiment with my design and challenge the normal conventions with my ideas and originality. With most music magazines you can not necessarily tell straight away that it is a music magazine unless you know the artist on the front cover which in my case you would not necessarily know that ‘young teen rebels’ is a band and that they are storming the UK’ and the name such as ’Taylor, Murf and Alisha ect’ are names of young pop stars unless you know who exactly they are. This is one of my main problems in the way that showing this was difficult. Maybe in future I could have perhaps added a free gift like a CD or poster or written a genre such as ‘INDIE’ somewhere on my magazine cover to give a clearer indication of a music magazine. </li></ul>