OCR Media Studies – AS Level
Unit G321: Foundation Portfolio in Media
Name: Hannah D’Souza
Candidate Number: 6827
Center Name: St. Paul’s Catholic College
Center Number: 64770
Set Brief - Print
Music Magazine – Production
Preliminary Task, Log Book and
In what ways does your Media product use, develop or challenge
forms and conventions of real media products?
For this coursework, I was asked to create a magazine front cover, contents page and double page spread. The magazine I created
is called ‘Melody’, which lies in the Pop genre and is targeted to young girls ages 12-18. I used ‘Top of the Pops’ as my magazine of
inspiration as it is considered one of the top Pop magazines in the UK. To ensure that I wasn’t ‘reinventing the wheel’, I replicated a
lot of conventions from my magazine of inspiration. For example, the structure and layout of my front cover and contents page were
very similar to ‘Top of the Pops.’ This form of ‘repetition’ (Steve Neale) enabled my magazine to achieve a professional look and got
it up to a high quality standard. I also repeated the house style which included the colours, masthead, web-address, magazine logo
across the four pages to create brand identity and awareness of that magazine. Furthermore, I repeated the placement of the
stories on the front cover as you can see below. The masthead and the puff were also placed in the same place as my magazine of
However, I did include some examples of ‘difference’ within my magazine, where I didn’t replicate some of my magazine’s
conventions completely, to ensure I created some ‘difference’ between my magazine and my magazine of inspiration to promote the
magazine I created. For example, for my double page spread, I laid out the interview so that it was on both pages. This was
because, I would be able to add more detail in the conversation of the interview and keep the audience interested in reading more.
My magazine of inspiration on the other hand, had a whole side of the double page with the image of the artist, and I didn’t like this
layout, which is why I didn’t include this convention in the magazine I created.
The use of repetition and difference within the created magazine, ensures that the magazine would be original in its own way,
although including some traits that make it look professional to the audience. The use of ‘difference’ within my own magazine helped
me challenge the ‘norm’s’ of the magazines in the Pop genre and make my magazine look professional.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Through the four pages of my magazine, I have used conventions that would relate to the Pop
genre. According to socio-economic needs, my magazine would appeal to the ‘B’ and ‘E’
demographics, which would be creative media people, graphic designers and also unemployed
people like students. This would not effect my target audience as I’m focusing on teenage girls that
are in education.
In my opinion, my magazine would appeal to teenage girls the most as they would generally have
a lot of time on their hands and therefore want to read something that would interest them. In this
instance, teenagers usually look up to a lot of artists as their idols and have ‘celebrity guy crushes’
like Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran. This is because young teenage girls are stereotypically
associated with liking young female artists like Ellie Goulding and Selena Gomez especially in the
Pop genre as they feel they could connect with them due to the fact that they’re a similar age.
Therefore, my magazine would appeal to them. Therefore, they would want to read about their
favourite artists and learn more about them, which is why my magazine would appeal to them. It
could also be targeted to the male gender however, this could be anti-stereotypical, but the
conventions of my magazine are targeted to female.
The artist used in my magazine and is presented across the 4 pages is meant to be an aspiring
artist that has become famous and that is going to inspire young teenagers. The pictures portray
the artist as fun and energetic. This is due to the fact that teenagers are generally enthusiastic and
will be able to engage with the artist featured in the magazine. Furthermore, the majority of my
target audience will be within the age group of 12-24, this is because this is the stage where
people are still growing up into adults where the still like to mess about.
Furthermore, the ‘two step flow model theory’ (Katz and Lazarsfeld-1955) would work well with my
magazine as the Pop stars featured in famous music magazines as ‘Opinion leaders’ and the
audience would be the individuals in contact with the social leader. This theory is applied to my
magazine as people would look at the Pop star featured in my magazine and want aspire to be like
her through the main story of her road to fame.
What kind of media institution (Publisher)
might distribute your media product and why?
From the research that was completed pre-production, my magazine of inspiration, ‘Top of the Pops’ was
published by ‘Immediate Media Co-operation’ that features chart music, quizzes, posters. ‘Immediate
Media Corp’ would want to publish my magazine as they would look at ‘Melody’ as a competitor with Top
of the Pops because they’re in the same genre of music.
I would also envisage that EMI may publish ‘Melody’ because as they are a production that is very
successful in terms of marketing their magazines and are extremely successful with their UK and US
headquarters with a thousand ‘Number 1’s’ in the last 85 years. They have also published over 1.3m
songs in the EMI publishing catalogue which include a variety of genres. They’ve also been ‘Billboard
Publisher of the Year’ for 12 years which signifies their importance. Therefore, if they were the producers
of ‘Melody’ my magazine would recieve the publicity it needs to further my magazine branding.
Additionally, ‘Bauer Media’ would be a suitable publisher for my magazine as they don’t publish a Pop
magazine yet. However, they do publish many famous music magazines like ‘Q’ Magazine and ‘Kerrang’
magazine. This would further my magazine brand to a wider audience due to the fact that fans of
‘Kerrang’ and ‘Q’ magazine would be exposed to another genre of music.
Who would be the audience for your media
product and why?
Hartley’s seven subjectivities
By looking at Hartley’s seven subjectivities, I can state that the audience for my media product is aimed at teenage girls aged 12-24,
which is why the colours and cover stories featured in it would appeal to the younger audience. For example, the colour ‘pink’ is
stereotypically portrayed as a feminine colour. Hence, my magazine features a lot of pink and purple colours. Furthermore, for class,
according to the socio economic needs, my magazine falls into the ‘B’ and ‘E’ category which clearly signifies how creative people and
media people like graphic designers would be interested in my the presentation of my magazine. Also, unemployed people like students
would be interested in my magazine due to their age, which is why my magazine is aimed at them.
Katz’ Uses & Gratifications theory
Katz’ Uses & Gratifications states that audiences are able to build a personal relationship with the editor of the magazine through the
editors letter. Therefore, due to this, they are able to form a relationship with the magazine as well. The audience are also able to learn
a lot about the artists featured in the magazine through the magazine as the magazine informs and educates the audience about the
artists. Below is a screen grab of the part of my editors letter where I feel the audience will be able to build a personal relationship with
the editor. Also, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are excellent ways for audience to learn more about the magazine.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs my magazine would appeal to social climbers as they would be interested in the latest
updates about their favourite artist. Furthermore, it would also appeal to explorers who want to know the newest Pop artist in society.
This is very relevant to my magazine as the main story of my magazine is an interview with a new Pop artist and so would appeal to
explorers. Survivors would also be interested in my magazine as, as fans of their favourite artists, would want to know their artists
welfare in the music industry and would therefore be interested in reading about their music lives. For example, the latest single coming
How did you attract/address your audience?
In order to attract the intended target audience of my magazine ‘Melody’, I decided to take an eye catching picture for my
front cover to attract the audiences attention. I did this due to the results gathered through the planning and research task
using survey monkey as 66.67% of people asked, said they would be attracted to a magazine because of the main image. I
also chose the name ‘Melody’ for the masthead of the magazine as it reflects the genre of music clearly and gives the
audience the idea of the Pop music it will feature. Additionally, I made sure the headline of my magazine was interesting and
appealing to the target audience. Hence, I decided to introduce a new artist to the Pop genre. I did this due to the feedback
received through the planning and research which stated that 50% of people asked said that the headline of the main story
featured would interest them in the magazine.
I also used an interesting puff for a One Direction competition to attract the audience as my magazine is aimed at teenage
girls and are stereotyped to being fans of boy bands like One Direction. Hence, the puff would appeal to them and attract t
hem to magazine making them want to buy it just to win tickets to see the boy band. Also, the use of the lexis ‘exclusive’ gives
importance to the main story and attracts the audience attention as well. Hence, interesting them in the magazine. The
featuring of the free posters at the bottom of the front cover also promote the magazine to a wider range of audience as
teenagers would be fascinated by this.
For the main double page spread story, I wrote an interview of the artist to appeal to the audience, so that the audience can
learn more about the artist through it. The puff featured in my magazine helps promote it to a wider audience range as One
Direction are seen as a popular teenage brand and younger people would generally be interested in it. The cover stories
featured Pop artists like Selena Gomez that would interest the audience as well and would also further the magazine brand.
What have you learnt about technologies from
the process of constructing this product?
The denotation of the software used to construct the media product entitled ‘Melody’ was Adobe
Photoshop CS4 to make my magazine. Through my prelim task, and a lesson with the Academy Class
in London, I was familiar with the tools of Photoshop and the and how to use them effectively. For
example, I used the pen-tool for the interview on my double page spread to write around the texts. This
helped my magazine achieve a higher quality of production and gave it a more professional look. I also
used it for the drop capital at the beginning of my interview for a more professional look. Furthermore,
the use of the swatches pallet help me achieve house style for my magazine across all four pages as I
used the exact same colour for consistency. These helped my magazine look fit for purpose for the
specific target audience as well. I received this idea from my magazine of inspiration as most
professional magazine tend to use the pen tool for a better effect around the text.
I had to edit my pictures across all four pages and make sure they looked professional. For example, to
get rid of the background of an image I used the Quick Selection tool and the quick-mask tool tool and
then selected ‘inverse’ and removed the background. This was a quick easy method that helped me get
outstanding results across all four pages.
Additionally, I used different fonts taken from ‘www.dafont.com’ throughout my magazine. This is
because this website is of exceptional quality and has over hundreds of different types of fonts which
would appeal to the ‘Pop’ genre of my magazine. To make it look even more professional, I used
different fonts on each page of my magazine. For example, I used a font for the masthead that I kept
consistent throughout all pages and used a different font for the interview to show variation. Throughout
this coursework, I’ve learnt about different websites to help with my coursework like ‘www.dafont.com’
and ‘www.picmonkey.com’ to edit the pictures for my magazine across all four pages as the website
gives the pictures a professional, yet natural look.
Photography Planning – Front Cover
To ensure that the pictures featured in my magazine were up
to an exceptional standard of quality, I had to plan when,
where and how I wanted to take the pictures, keeping in mind
the results I obtained from the questionnaire and survey I sent
out for my magazine.
Through Facebook, I asked my friend Jessica to model for me
as she is the ‘typical teenage girl’ I needed to feature in my
magazine. Her bubbly personality, would work well with my
magazine aimed at teenage girls. In order to portray this
clearly, I had to ensure that the pictures I took would
demonstrate evidence of her personality.
Therefore, for the front cover, I asked her to bring out her
childish personality. I got her to pose like she’s having fun, like
jumping in the air, pulling a funny face, laughing and looking
‘cute’ and ‘young.’ In the end I decided to use the one of her
jumping as it really brought out the fun, young, teenager look I
was looking for.
I also asked her to dress ‘casually’ by wearing a black hoodie
and vans to show the audience the normal ‘scruffy’ teenager. I
focused most on the main image and cover story the most as
the questionnaire I carried out made it clear the those
conventions are what interests the audience most.
After taking the pictures, I emailed them to my school account
and inserted them into my magazine.
Photography Planning - Contents
For the contents page of my
magazine, used Facebook again to
communicate with the people I
wanted as my models. I decided to
meet up with them after school, or
went to their house to take the
As these pictures were going to be
posters and cover pictures for cover
stories, I asked them to dress like
the artist they were playing. For
example, I asked the girl playing
‘Selena Gomez’ to look ‘cute’ yet
classy, just like Selena Gomez is. I
also wanted to feature Selena
Gomez in my magazine as she is a
Disney star and teen artist and
therefore, is well known to a lot of
Photography Planning -
For the interview of my magazine, I met up with Jessica at her
house. I used texts, this time to plan when to meet up and what
I would need her to wear. This time I asked to pose in a more
relaxed and calm manner, to create magazine photo-shoot
effect for the double page.
This would enable the page to look professional and exactly
like a pop magazine. The main focus of the double page is to
interest the audience in the article, therefore I made sure the
pictures didn’t stand out more than the interview, although
making sure it did capture the audience’s attention and keep
them interested by having attractive images to go with the
Analysing my Front Cover
Web address: Right at the
top to attract audience
attention and promote the
Strapline: Used to help
sell the magazine.
Masthead: In bold across
the page to promote the
Cover stories: Include star appeal
(Richard Dyer) of well known
artists to the audience.
Quiz: Used to engage the
Some of the images of examples of
posters that the magazine will
Social networking links
promote the magazine to
a wider audience.
Barcode, date and issue
number makes the
‘Bauer media’ are the
publishers of this
magazine and therefore,
their logo is inserted here.
Subheading: Gives the
audience a bit more
information about the
Name of celebrity featured in big, to attract
the audience and show star appeal (Richard
importance of the
Other cover stories to
Price with the logo of the
Puff: to keep the audience
interested and promote the
Analysing my Contents Page
Social networking links
and web address to
promote the magazine to
a wider audience.
Image of front cover- To
add some variation to the
contents by inserting
arrows to the specific
‘Inside your mag’ this
shows repition (Steve
Neale) from my magazine
The headings are also repeated
from my magazine of inspiration
and are categorised according to
The page numbers are in different
colours to add some variation to the
contents. The brief of the story is
also in a different colour for the
Images of posters at the
bottom to interest the
audience with the page
number they’re on/
Web address at the bottom to show
consistency and promote the magazine.
Smaller image of the puff that was also
portrayed on the front cover to keep the
audience ‘hooked’ or interested in the
Editors letter to create a ‘Personal
relationship’ (Katz) with the target
Editors picture to work with
the editors letter and to give
the audience an idea of what
the editor looks like.
‘Contents’ in big, bold letters to
attract the audience and inform
them of where they can find what
they’re looking for.
Smaller replica of the masthead to
demonstrate consistency within the
magazine and promote it.
Analysing my Double Page spread Interview
and promote the
The ‘exclusive’ shows
the importance of the
article and attracts
Web address: To promote the
magazine brand and give the
audience a chance to look for
Standfirst: With a drop
capital to show beginning
of the introduction and
Caption: For the
picture to give
about the image.
Quote: I used this to appeal
to the audience as it’s an
important part of the article. I
also used the pen-tool to
insert it between the texts.
Editors details: To
build a relationship
with the audience
Images: To interest
the audience and
grab their attention
Interview: Name of
interviewee in pink and
question in blue to keep
consistency in colour
and add some variation.
Name of artist in bold to
grabbing as it’s a
big bold quote
Looking back at your Preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt
in the progression from it to the full product?
I feel that having completed both production pieces, of the preliminary task and learning about the demands of this production, I’ve learnt
what the expectations of the targeted audience’s are and when they look at a magazine. For example, the front cover for my final version
looks more conventional because it has more features compared to my prelim task. I made sure it looked attractive and that there weren’t
any blank spaces, to give the audience a variety of articles and pictures to look through and keep them interested in the magazine. I also
made sure the final version of my magazine pages had a consistent house-style throughout. This is evident in my magazine masthead and
web-address. Furthermore, the use of Adobe Photoshop CS4, helped my get my pictures to a higher standard. For example, the use of the
pen tool around the text of my interview. This helped me get my interview to a professional level.
In the prelim task, my use of Adobe Photoshop wasn’t to a very high standard due to the fact that I didn’t how to use most of the tools. For
example, ‘Quick mask tool’ for my images. However, my music magazine was much better and professional as I learnt how to use the
same tool more effectively and to a better standard. I also felt my time management improved throughout the whole course, especially
during my prelim task compared with the final music magazine. This was mainly because I felt much more comfortable using Photoshop
and learnt shortcuts to use my time effectively.
Overall I feel my magazine is conventional and appeals to its target audience. This is proven through the audience feedback I gathered
from people of those ages. However, the negative aspects within the front cover of my prelim task is the fact that there’s a lot of white
space. Although, I did make sure to cover up all blank areas in the final version of my magazine. I am proud of the progress made from the
prelim task to my final version and look forward to completing a similar task in the future.