In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Lucy Davis
How does your media product represent particular social groups? As my media product focuses on a more niche music genre its readership is also quite specific. Due to the attitudes, identities and representations my magazine conveys my target audience can be specified to fit into a particular social group. This social group is predominantly made up of middle class students or career women who identify with “the independent woman”. Lucy Davis
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Before I began to construct my own media product I completed research of existing products such as Q magazine and NME in order to gain an understanding of how existing magazines effectively capture target audiences. These magazines were supported by particular distributors. Q magazine’s distributor is: NME’s distributor is: <ul><li>As “Uncharted” would be placed in a similar market to NME (a magazine which also features non-chart artists) I would chose the institution IPC Media to distribute my magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>An institution like this would benefit my magazine in that: </li></ul><ul><li>It will already have established clients and contacts in a similar music magazine genre to </li></ul><ul><li>“ Uncharted” (as it distributes NME). </li></ul><ul><li>-It will have an idea on marketing strategies and other ways of capturing younger audiences (16-24 yrs old) </li></ul><ul><li>-The distributor is an established institution therefore has the power of a large, already successful company </li></ul><ul><li>meaning my magazine will benefit from its ability to effectively promote, maximise sales and attract </li></ul><ul><li>readership. </li></ul>
Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>The audience I have targeted my product at are 19-25 year olds, who are primarily females. As the genre of my magazine (independent music) moves away from mainstream commerciality it tends to attract a more borderline niche market. As the overall style of my product shows my magazine in particular focuses on a more sophisticated and feminine kind of “indie”. This means the typical consumer of my product is a certain type of female – one that has a slightly more mature and focused interest in music and the type that are independent in terms of career and lifestyle. I believe my product aims to be slightly more refined than the typical “glossy” girls’ magazine therefore it is more likely to attract a more mature, less conformist female. Looking at my target audience as fitting into a demographic it is likely to have the following features: </li></ul><ul><li>Young adults (19-25 years old) </li></ul><ul><li>Female </li></ul><ul><li>Predominantly British, although may be born in Britain with ethnic background </li></ul><ul><li>Middle class </li></ul><ul><li>Generally unmarried, yet probably not single </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to be successful in terms of career (most likely went to/ or are at university) </li></ul><ul><li>As well as applying this knowledge of my target audience to my product, I also carried out audience research in order to understand their preferences. The results from my audience research influenced how I went about constructing my product as it enabled me to tailor the design for my specified audience, as explained below: </li></ul><ul><li>- Preferred existing masthead = NME - therefore I chose a dense, heavily coloured typeface for Uncharted’s masthead </li></ul><ul><li>- Preference in artist = new female band/artist – for this reason I focused on a female newcomer </li></ul><ul><li>Preferred organisation of contents page = via written text rather than pictures, and categorised – hence I listed coverlines into categories </li></ul><ul><li>with relating page number. </li></ul><ul><li>Most appealing feature in article = image - based on this knowledge I chose to centre my double page spread around a dominant image </li></ul><ul><li>Position of image = separated from text – therefore I concentrated focus on the image further by dividing it from written text </li></ul><ul><li>Preference in style of article = interview – hence question and answer format to article </li></ul>
How did you attract/ address your audience? <ul><li>I have designed my media product around my target audience to ensure the overall product is suitable and successful at attracting the correct readership. I was also aware during the process of constructing my product that it must effectively create an immediate impression upon their first look. I achieved both of these aims by means of typeface, layout, language (through coverlines) and images. </li></ul><ul><li>Front cover </li></ul><ul><li>Typeface is distinctive and individual to reach out to independent music fans (i.e. readership) </li></ul><ul><li>Image depicts a very feminine artist to relate to female audience </li></ul><ul><li>Main coverline focuses on a new act which identifies with the interest of the audience as indie fans tend to be </li></ul><ul><li>open-minded to “newcomers” </li></ul><ul><li>Layout of front cover isn’t flooded with coverlines as its niche target audience has a more dedicated interest in </li></ul><ul><li>their music genre and therefore don’t need flooding with features </li></ul><ul><li>- Overall design is fairly simplistic and image is subtle to reach out to a more mature audience </li></ul><ul><li>Contents Page </li></ul><ul><li>Coverlines are less “fame” fuelled for example Going Underground: brand new indie club opens its doors purposely doesn’t refer </li></ul><ul><li>to a famous artist to focus purely on the music itself – this addresses Uncharted’s serious audience. </li></ul><ul><li>Layout is organised and logical to appeal to older, more intellectual audience </li></ul><ul><li>Coverlines focus on a range of artists to cater for indie music fans’ varied tastes </li></ul><ul><li>Image connotes sophisticated femininty to identify with audience whilst also creating continuity from front cover image to </li></ul><ul><li>maintain the audience’s attraction </li></ul><ul><li>Double Page Spread </li></ul><ul><li>Text is more dense and in depth to cater for readership with a serious, more dedicated interest in music and </li></ul><ul><li>artists </li></ul><ul><li>Image is very striking as it dominates the spread this immediately attracts the audience’s eye </li></ul><ul><li>Sophisticated typeface is used to illustrate the artist’s image giving her individuality which attracts a niche audience </li></ul><ul><li>Artist’s persona is expressed through words such as “humble” “genuine” and “down to earth” this backs away from mainstream </li></ul><ul><li>celebrity culture to attract a more niche audience </li></ul>
What have you learnt about technologies during the process of constructing this product? During the process of constructing my media product I have used the assistance of digital photograph software, desktop publishing programmes and internet blogging. Of these the one I learned most about, and probably the most technical of the programmes, was digital photography (on Photoshop). The majority of images featured in my magazine pages are main images therefore I manipulated them in detail in order to achieve an effective final product. Through use of Photoshop I developed many technical skills, such as: cropping, manipulating brightness saturation and contrast, cutting out an element of an image, eliminating red eye and removing blemishes. Below is an example of an image I have improved via manipulation: Before After I have sharpened, extended height of background, increased brightness and contrast, replaced eye colour, cropped and flipped this image in order to create and more striking and fitting image for my media product.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Before I set out on my actual media product I completed a preliminary task (on left) which enabled me to experiment my ideas on magazine design, gain practice at using computer software and also to detect improvements that could then be made to my plan for my final media product. I believe that upon comparing my preliminary task with my final media product it is clear to see I have learnt about and improved on many aspects of design and construction of a magazine. Following this initial task I observed both unsuccessful and successful features, some of which I changed completely. For example, the main image on the front cover of my preliminary piece features a background as part of the image. However I decided this distracted the eye from the subject and generally looked unprofessional therefore on my final piece I cut the main image away from its background and used a neutral fill in its place. On the other hand, I maintained some successful features such as the contents page’s layout that followed the principle of thirds. I decided to replicate this left-hand-third column in my final product as I believed it successfully created an organised and appealing layout that would attract my target audience whilst also balancing the weight of the main image I chose to use on my final contents page. Finally, I also adapted unsuccessful features that I thought needed improvement. For instance, I kept the idea of integrating a coverline into a stamp format but with developments to the original such as adding shadows, layers, a fill and softer tones - which together created a more professional looking stamp that worked effectively with the rest of the design.