1. In what ways does your music magazine use, develop or challenge forms
and conventions of existing music magazines?
Forms and Conventions:
My music magazine does not challenge the forms and conventions of other existing music magazines. Due to the fact that my
magazine is new I chose to follow the form and conventions of existing magazines so that my target audience would be aware of how
to navigate my magazine. For my front cover I have included graphic features, puffs, buzzwords, a title block, a slogan and a central
image. My contents page consists of a range of images which anchor the articles within my magazine – showing the reader what to
look forward to with this month’s issue. I also ensured that my article used the codes and conventions of other existing magazines by
including images of the main artist for the feature article, drop capitals and pull quotes. These factors are easily identified in popular
music magazines such as the magazines I have been studying the last couple of months.
To make my magazine comparable to other rock music magazine, I completed research on magazines that corresponded with the
genre of my own magazine ‘Unplugged’. I researched magazines such as Kerrang!, Q Magazine, Rolling Stones, Rock Sound and
Alternative Press which gave me a deeper insight in how a magazine should be presented to its readers. The results I received
assisted me in creating my title block and the layout of my magazine. The title block is the most important feature on a front cover
magazine as the title block reflects the genre and style of the magazine to its buyer as well as attracting customers. When I was
creating my magazine I took my chosen style and genre into consideration. I created a black title block with a red drop shadow. The
title block was created to make it look like shattering glass which connotes the loud rock music shattering the title. Another feature
that attracts the target audience is the anchorage text alongside the main image. I made the anchorage text stand out and noticeable
to the reader by using white writing and a black background, making it standout against the red back ground of the magazine. The
buyer is attracted by the news, the articles and the artist that would be seen within the magazine therefore making them want to
purchase the item for that particular feature. The layout of the magazine assists the chance of purchase because if the layout is neat
and professional the buyer would find it easier to scan on the stand as they look for what the magazine would include for this month’s
issue. I also made sure to include buzz words such as ‘WIN!’ and ‘FREE’ which attracts the reader as they would like to find out how
they could win a prize and what gifts are being given away for free. I also used graphic features; which is used in magazine covers to
make a certain message standout, images, and the four colour schemes. This scheme is used to keep to a certain ritual so that the
reader would think of the magazine when a colour is mentioned; making it easier for the buyer to locate the aspect they are looking
My contents page has been divided into two separate pages. On one side a single image takes the space while on the opposite side
a number of secondary images take place alongside the different sections within my magazine. The single image is the image of the
featured artist in my article who is also the main selling point of the magazine’s first issue. I included a number of sections to make
sure my contents page has an organised structure, which aids the reader when navigating and locating their preferred pages. The
organised structure also gives my magazine a more professional appearance. I looked to my research on ‘Kerrang!’ magazine when I
came to the selection of the sections I wanted to include in my magazine. I chose to include: News, Interviews, Gig Guide, Features,
Posters and Win. I chose similar sections as well as creating my own to show that my magazine is similar to other magazines but I
have developed the sections. Under the sections I also provided the buyer with the name of the artist that would be seen in the
magazine. I did not give the reader a summary of what is to come up for the artist to create a mystery making them want to find out
more. Each section’s title is written in a bold font to separate the title from the articles. As well as that the numbers for each page is
written in a bold yellow font. I chose to use different colours for the numbers to guide the reader through the contents page easier. I
have used a consistent house style across the cover and contents page to represent the genre and the overall style of the magazine
as well as that it shows the audience that the two separate pages belong to the same magazine. I also included an editor’s note to
introduce the new magazine to the buyers and inform them what this magazine is about.
The results I received in my research of articles in magazine assisted me in the creation and development of my own article. I found
that the layout of a music magazine varied between two types of layouts – the layout of the article could be either a Q&A or one that
includes pull quotes. One of the articles I conducted research on is the article on My Chemical Romance in ‘Kerrang!’ magazine. This
article used the ‘pull quote’ layout with a much larger amount of images compared to text; whereas the article ‘Kerrang!’ had on
Davey Havok had the Q&A layout with a minimal amount of images and more text. I chose to arrange my article using a Q&A format.
I found that with my target audience this would be more effective. This is because the layout reflects the audience as well as the artist
therefore this layout was the best option. As well as that I chose Q&A as it allows the reader to connect with the artist on a more
personal level making them feel as though they know the artist as a friend rather than a celebrity. I placed a full page image on one
side and placed my article on the opposite side. I chose to use language that the target audience would be familiar with to show that
my artists are the same as everyone reading the article. I also began my article with a stand first as an introduction to the article as
well as a drop capital at the start of my article. I made sure to keep the layout of my article neat and simple with the use of columns.
The organised structure brings forth the idea of the magazine’s professionalism.
2. How does your music magazine represent particular social groups?
Social Group Representation:
The social group for my music magazine ranges between 15 to 21 year old students of both genders. Regarding my target
audience’s best interest I have chosen colours and images that fall under my genre. Through my research I recovered that some rock
artists has been through stages of drug and alcohol abuse, which follows the huge stereotype that rock artists are bad influences on
their fans. Therefore in my magazine I decided to challenge the stereotype and make my artists look respectable, mature and very
inspiring. I conveyed this message through the imagery of my artists, as they are dressed very mature and slightly sophisticated, for
example one of the artists in the group is wearing a black and white pencil skirt whilst at the same time wearing a guns and roses
shirt which represents both rock and sophistication. This is also publicised in my article – the artist’s talks about their personalities
and their hobbies, which informs the reader that they are not what the stereotype says as my artists enjoy reading in their spare time
as well as the fact that they are very punctual. My magazine also represents determination and individuality that the artists have.
Representing my artists in this way gives my readers the courage to also be different and determined to do well in what they aspire to
be without falling under any stereotype set by others.
3. Who would be the audience for your music magazine?
Unplugged would appeal to both male and female’s between the ages 15 and 21 who are students and have a paid job with no
particular ethnic background.
Education: attends University.
Work: part time.
Occupation/hobbies: skating, biking, reading, loves music, plays guitar and is artistic.
Values & Beliefs: Very open minded, individual and believes that you should live your day as it comes by.
Education: attends College
Work: twice a week
Occupation/hobbies: shopping, music, going to concerts loves reading, writing and sketching
Values & Beliefs: Family and friends are very important and that you should feel comfortable with who you are and not try to
change for other people.
4. How did you attract/address your target audience?
To attract this target audience I have used a graphical circle and arrow feature which includes buzz words such as ‘WIN!’ and ‘FREE’
which also implies freebies. This is another method used by magazine companies to increase the chances of purchase. This lure’s
the reader in closer tempting them to purchase the magazine as they too would like the chance to win prizes or receive free gifts. I
chose to use the graphic features as they are very attention grabbing as they stand out boldly from the other features on the front
cover of the magazine. To make the my magazine more enticing I highlighted my buzz words in yellow and outlined them in black to
make them stand out much more compared to the other texts, which my final feedback from my target audience also pointed out. I
also used direct mode of address to attract the audience. This creates a relationship between the reader and the artist making them
want to purchase the magazine. I also used colours such as yellow, red, black and white which appeal to both genders.
5. What kind of media institution might distribute your music magazine and
From the distribution research I conducted prior to the creation of my magazine I have decided that Bauer would be the best choice
to distribute my magazine. I think this because it is one of the largest publishing companies in Europe as well as that they offer over
300 magazines with a wide range of genre’s to a number of countries; whether online, on the radio, on TV or on a mobile app. These
distribution choices are also an advantage to my magazine as I target an audience that is very socially connected. They also publish
the magazines Kerrang, Q and Planet Rock which are similar genre’s to my own magazine. This means my magazine would fit in
very well among the other magazine companies that use Bauer as a promotion company.
While assembling my own music magazine I have learnt that the construction of magazines is not as an easy challenge as it looks to
be – there is a lot of research and communication involved and without them the magazine would not fall into place. As well as that
technology is essential. During the production of my magazine I have used a huge variety of digital technologies in order to conduct
research and create my magazine. For example I used the website survey monkey to conduct research on how my magazine should
be formed. On this survey I asked my audience questions such as ‘how often do you read magazine’ – which aided me when I was
thinking about how often my magazine should release a new issue. Another way I used technology to aid me in creating my
magazine was when I created a poll on my blog. The poll was created in order to help me chose a title block for my magazine. I
posted potential title blocks on my blog and asked peers and teachers to vote on the title block that most fit in with my genre, with this
I found that title block 2 was the best fit as it had up to 75% of the votes. With the construction of my magazine I used technologies
such as a Digital SLR Nikon Camera which I used to take the images I needed for my front cover, contents page and article. The
advantage of using this type of camera is that I could easily review my images without having to develop them first as well as that it is
easier to upload them on to the computer for further editing. I also used Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign to form each page of
my magazine as well as to create the graphics and titles needed. The tool I found very helpful was the layer tool, this tool allowed me
to work on each section of my magazine thoroughly allowing me to easily get rid of features that I later found unnecessary to the
magazine as well as to see the different effects each feature could have on the magazine by simply hiding the feature and revealing it
after. In Adobe Photoshop I used tools such as the cropping tool, the eraser, adjusting the contrast, drop shadows, duplication,
cloning and many others. Adobe InDesign allowed me to structure my article allowing it to look professional and organised by using
columns. Another way in which I used technology to my advantage was when I created a blog where all my work is then uploaded in
an orderly fashion of time of creation, which I found very helpful. The blog allowed me to post images, videos and texts at any time
with the ability to also edit my work overtime. Using the blog taught me how to use the site efficiently as I learnt how to create a poll,
upload videos of my focus group responses as well as how to create a link to ‘The teacher’s blog’. Overall I have learnt a lot about
technology from the process of constructing my own magazine.
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing
your music magazine?
Progression from Preliminary Task to Final Music Magazine:
Going back to my preliminary task I can see masses of improvement in the way in which the structure and layout has been
constructed. On one hand my preliminary task front cover has a very small title block, an image of a student staring at a computer
with the articles lined on the left hand side covering the face of the student on the front cover of the magazine challenging the direct
mode of address which most magazines go for, while my contents page has a number of free spaces and a small amount of images.
On the other hand the final edit of my front cover has a huge title block, an organised structure that also follows the house colour
scheme with graphics, buzz words, puffs and images, and on my contents page I have a number of secondary images, colour, page
numbers, issue date and a main article image. I think the research helped me extensively as I now understand the conventions of a
magazine and how to make a magazine look appealing to a target audience. In my opinion my magazine after my research is far
better and looks more professional compared to my magazine pre-research.
7. What do you feel you have learnt in the progression from creating the school
magazine (preliminary task), to creating your music magazine?