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Music magazine evaluation


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Music magazine evaluation

  1. 1. Music Magazine Evaluation<br />By Matthew Hunter<br />
  2. 2. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?/How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />This is the main image or the dominating piece of iconography which is a very popular magazine code and convention used in the magazine industry. I included this picture to suggest that they are the most important band of the week or that there news is the best that the magazine has to offer. The glow around the image relates to the neon theme of my magazine and also the colour scheme for this issue. In this image it is identifiable that the hand is in front of the headline yet the rest of the picture is behind it and I done this so that it makes the hand stand out, almost appearing as if the hand is pointing at the readers which will attract their attention. This also suggests the amount of rigour that has been applied to the picture which suggest that the magazine cares about their audience. <br />In my magazine cover lines are an essential part as they show to the reader what the other featured stories are in the magazine. Most magazines will feature cover lines as it is an effective way to attract the audience. I applied my house style or themes to the cover lines too to make them authentic.<br />This barcode is a typical convention of any magazine but is also a legal requirement and couldn’t be marketed without one. Also with the barcode I have the dateline, issue number and price which are all necessities for any magazine. As well as this I have my magazine’s web address which is an example of intertextuality and it gives readers an alternative media to the magazine.<br />Freebies are an effective way to lure larger audiences and increase revenues. The fact that the freebie has been placed in a star border helps to grab the readers attention which increases readership to an opposing magazine without a freebie. The star border is an example of a graphic feature.<br />
  3. 3. There is a video on my blog showing the development of layers throughout my front page, contents page and double page spread. This can be found at :<br />My selling line here helps to attract the target audience as it discusses a piece of exclusive material which is included in the magazine. As the selling line has an exclamation mark suggesting how fresh the news is and readers feel that they need to buy the magazine so that they can find out first. Also at each side of the selling line I have placed two pictures of glowsticks which helps to relate to my target audience and the masthead. <br />This is the headline and helps to indicate to the audience that this is the main feature or article in the magazine. The colour of the lettering represents my house style and also relates to my niche market as it looks like a neon glowstick. The lettering would also be associated with brightness, energy and LED; the exact image which I’m trying to create with my niche market. The anchorage text below this shows the headline indicates that the text belongs to the headline. The anchorage text helps to tell the audience what the main article is about. I have gave the anchorage text a blue glow, the same colour as the rest of the blue on the page to relate to my colour scheme and house style.<br />My masthead and strap-line initially help to attract the audience and persuade them to buy the magazine. As I have found out, the masthead and strap-line alone can be a unique selling point of a magazine. My masthead is a pun of the words ‘Glow’ and ‘Moshpit’ which relates to the niche market which my magazine focuses on. The strap-line relates to the masthead but also represents the target audiences’ way of thinking and their personalities. The colour I chose for the outside of the masthead looks like the word is being lit up like a neon or led light, relating to the word ‘Glow’. The strap-line is purple which contrasts heavily against the green glow of the masthead which makes the strap-line stand out. Also the colour purple is a popular colour for neon or glowsticks (a piece of equipment that my target audience might own).<br />My menu strip effectively helps to advertise other features and/or articles in the magazine. Next to the menu strip there is a word saying ‘Plus’ which shows that these are additional articles featured. This helps to maintain the customers interests if they haven’t already been interested by the other conventions on the front cover. The colour of the word ‘plus’ ensures that I still have a prominent house style and the style of lettering also relates to LED lights and neon.<br />
  4. 4. Layout and Rule of Thirds<br />I have tried to apply the rule of thirds to my magazine as best as I could as this is typically what magazines try to do. The top third of the magazine is usually used to place the masthead , selling line and strap line and I have done this effectively. Generally the dominating picture on any music magazine has the heads of the artists in the top third and this has also been done in my magazine. In the middle third of the magazine I have included the headline for the dominating image and this is really popular convention as headlines mostly always sit on the middle third line. Usually the middle third contains a lot more than what is shown in mine but I think this is acceptable because the picture is the main focus of the top and middle third. However, the freebie has been included in the middle third too making the middle third look busier like most magazines. In the bottom left corner of the magazine the additional stories and barcode are almost inevitably featured here so this is why they have been placed here. The bottom third usually contains a menu strip of other stories and the secondary leads and this is what I aimed to do in my magazine, as can be seen.<br />I researched about the different magazine conventions on different existing magazines such as Kerrang! And NME and I used the Kerrang! magazine the basis for my magazine. My research can be found on my blog at:<br /><br />These are both the secondary leads and indicate to the audience that these two stories are the second most important or most interesting stories that are featured in the magazine. The pictures with them help to give a little insight about the article or to highlight who the band is and relate to the event. Beneath the pictures there is text telling what the article is about and this is surrounded by a blue glow again relating to my house style and colour scheme. The words beneath the pictures have been placed in warning tape suggesting that the information is exclusive to the magazine.<br />
  5. 5. The contents logo helps to identify that this is the contents page and the audience know that this page will display the featured articles in the magazine. The text is square-like similar to LED and this relates to my target audience. Also my text is blue relating to my theme.<br />Here this advertises a double page poster and this is a freebie which will make the audience feel like the magazine cares about them by offering them an incentive. Also the blue glow is again displayed relating to my house style and the target audience.<br />This large picture in the middle of the page suggests that this story is one of the most important or exclusive articles featured in the magazine and the size of the image helps to show this. This is sometimes called a main feature. The image shows an indirect mode of address suggesting that she doesn’t care about others but also arouses curiosity to what she is looking at and makes the audience want to read on more. The picture is surrounded by a blue glow relating to my house style and the target audience. The number with the picture helps to show the audience what page the featured article is on.<br />These are other articles featured in the magazine and the pictures supporting help to give the readers a little insight of the article if the title doesn’t show this. My house style again has been applied and the photography has been carefully selected to represent the niche market I am that my magazine revolves around. These are also examples of feature shots.<br />This menu strip here helps to show to the readers the other articles that are included but don’t have picture, as there isn’t any more space. The word ‘PLUS’ is blue and stands out against the black background making the audience look towards it. This acts as a features section.<br />This is a special offer for this magazine only and this advertises about specially purchasing the magazine for a discount. This will immediately attract people as the title straight away entices them and as the title is quite large, the offer is easily noticed. Also the blue glow around the title relates to my house style. This also is an example of a graphic feature and it has a blue glow surrounding it relating to my target audience and my house style. This is also known as a subscriptions banner as is included in many magazines because it attracts audiences.<br />This is an editorial and is commonly a feature in music magazine’s from the editor talking about a current or past music experience he has had. The signature has been included to show that the editor has actually wrote this and checked it. Also I have included a picture of the front of the magazine. This helps the audience to relate the contents page to the front cover, for instance if the front cover was removed from the rest of the magazine.<br />
  6. 6. I used a Kerrang! contents page above as the basis for my magazine contents page. As Kerrang! is already a well established magazine I thought I would look at it thoroughly to get some design ideas for my contents page. In the Kerrang! magazine you can see that the editorial picture has been included in the top left corner and I have included mine in bottom left corner. The reason I have done this is because I want the audience to focus on the main feature and main featured articles as they will be more appealing to the audience. Similar to the Kerrang! cover I have placed my features in boxes or rectangles, and this helps to attract the audience but also to separate each different feature. Very similar to Kerrang! I have included my subscriptions banner in the same position. This is usually a very common place to put a subscriptions offer. As well as the subscriptions banner, the menu strips are very similar yet Kerrang! separates its menu strip into sections. As my magazine is a new, and fresh magazine, I have decided not do this opposing to a well established magazine such as Kerrang! as this mainly about gaining the interest of my target audience.<br />
  7. 7. This introductory paragraph helps to provoke interest out of the reader and it will often determine whether a reader continues to read the article. This first letter of the article is bigger than the rest of the lettering and it descends two sentences. This is a highly popular convention to start off a magazine, not just specifically music ones. Also the colour relates to my house style and the target audience.<br />This is the title for the article and is placed here primarily to entice the audience to read the article. The bright use of colours makes the article eye-catching making the article noticeable. The text that is used is very statement-like and it represents the niche market I’m aiming my magazine at. Also the colours used are used throughout my magazine relating to neon glow.<br />This is known as a flash and helps to attract the audience. It contrasts heavily against the background and because it is warning tape it suggests that the article is raw and that only this magazine has this article featured. This could also be referred to as the section header.<br />The questions for my interview are blue and stand out against the background but also help to distinguish the questions from the responses. This colour also reflects my house style and <br />This is the sidebar and is a common convention used in music magazines. Often a featured bands discography will be placed here and this is what I have done. The sidebar headline helps to demonstrate this. The albums I created for this band were an attempt to represent feelings and attitudes from my niche market about their music. I think the imagery used again relates to the album title as well as conveying their niche market. The blue neon glow is again around the sidebar contrasting against the black background but also relating to my niche market.<br />This is a pull quote which has been inserted in between my two columns and this is usually a line which will be particularly interesting, shocking or comedic which will make the reader want to read on. Also the size of the text is bigger than the rest making it stand out more to grab your attention.<br />This large dominating image or the feature helps to frame the introductory paragraph and also it has different representations. One representation is that the picture relates to the title of the article; the band’s name and the picture helps to portray unity and strength. You could also say that my picture represents my target audience as this is the image that they create: that they stand strong and are proud of what they are. The colour of the photo is the same colour used throughout my magazine and this helps to relate to my target audience but also to a neon glow. this link shows my representation of my niche market.<br />This is the page number and this helps the audience find this article from looking at the contents page. It contrasts against the black background making it easier on the eyes for the audience.<br />
  8. 8. What kind of media institution would distribute your media product and why?<br />The institution that I would chose for my music magazine depends on a few different factors. My magazine is about a niche market and you would usually distribute my magazine with a smaller cottage industry but because my niche market isn’t that small. In other words my niche market has always existed to an extent and society will have had this awareness but my magazine brings forth this target audience and puts them in the limelight. It would seem appropriate that I choose IPC media as my chosen institution. <br /> IPC media have a huge diversity with their magazines spanning out from different genres. There are already existing music magazines such as Uncut and NME which may decrease the selling of my product yet I think it would be good to include my product as part of IPC Media as a subsidiary of NME. NME seems to have a more general appeal to the nation and covers various different genres whereas my magazine could appear as a ‘split-off’ from NME focusing more specifically on one genre. The international success of the company makes it easier for my music magazine to sell. People will immediately be attracted to this magazine based on the success of their other media products. This could allow possibility for other advertising of my magazine on television and radio, being referred to another area of the media. IPC media effectively advertises other products which they own using another one of their products. So for example NME could advertise my magazine in their magazine which could interest NME readers to give my magazine a try, and as the NME lives on such a high status, people will give other products a try.<br /> IPC media is owned by Time Inc. which is then owned by massive media conglomerate Time Warner and this will help to advertise my product. Time Warner is the world’s biggest conglomerate in terms of size and second largest in terms of revenue in the world and deals with loads of different types of media such as television, radio, internet and film. As they deal with different types of media my product could be advertised in different ways, on different types of media, known as intertextuality. Using IPC Media would widen the distribution of my product.<br /> The independent recently have just started to publish a ‘spin-off’ newspaper called ‘I’ and this in a sense will be like my magazine with NME. This will be a cheaper alternative to the actual paper and this is what I aim to do with my magazine, so that it focuses directly on my niche market. This link discusses the release of Indepent’s ‘Spin-off’:<br />Also the following link contains a video talking about the release of ‘I’, a ‘spin-off’ of The Independent<br />
  9. 9. Audience<br />My target audience is those that listen to music within two main genres: dance and rock. Some artists incorporate both genres into their compositions and this has lead to a following of people. It’s considered to be a niche market because of the size or following of people and although this market has relatively existed over the past decade or so, I think my magazine helps to glorify this group of people. Also my magazine is aimed to address this following to those unaware. Acts associated with the genre include The Prodigy, Hadouken and Hot Chip. People commonly assume in today’s society that people who listen to rock music wear really dark colours and have a negative attitude on life. However, my niche market contrasts this as they are associated with bright, vibrant colours and their fashion combines what is considered alternative and rock clothing. Often their intentions are just to appreciate every moment and plan each day as it comes. This niche market mostly belongs to the ‘Belonger’ psychographic profile.<br />
  10. 10. Addressing my audience<br />Use of colours: when designing my pages for my music magazine I had to consider the colours so that my magazine would be aesthetically pleasing and eye-catching for the customers but also so that the colours represent my target audience. My house style consists heavily of the colour blue and this is added as an effect making the pictures have an ‘outer glow’. This colour also relates to a popular colour used in glow-sticks. Glow-sticks are often associated with my target audience and the genre of dance, therefore using a glow-stick colour addresses my audience. This also looks like neon or lasers which are commonly used at gigs of The Prodigy. I thought using black as my background colour was a strong decision too as almost any colour contrasts well against it making each convention stand out to the audience.<br />On my blog there is a link of my readership profile which shows the facts about my niche market:<br />
  11. 11. Addressing my audience<br />In my double page spread I often used language which was similar to what language my niche market use/how my niche market speak. For example, I often included expletive material in my magazine article so that my magazine seems more informal which resultantly makes the readers feel more comfortable with the magazine. Readers may be able to relate to the magazine as it is using the same language that they use making reading for the viewers easier. However, my article is about an interview with an artist and is directly quoting what the artist has said. Without the expletives being included readers may not be able to fully understand artists or may be given a false or misleading impression of the artist if I wasn’t to include the expletives.<br />
  12. 12. Addressing my audience<br />Modes of address/Facial expressions: I have used both modes of address in my magazine and I have done this for particular effect. On the front page on the main dominating image, the artist on the right of the page is looking and pointing directly at the reader making the audience feel wanted and it implies that the artists have something to tell the readers which entices them, persuading them to purchase the magazine. Also the facial expression suggests that the artist wants to look like he’s having fun and enjoying his music career. However opposing to this, on my contents page, the main feature shot has an indirect mode of address and arouses our curiosity of whom the artist is looking at. Her facial expression suggests that she is in a state of euphoria and is ‘lost in the music’. Often people can feel euphoric when listening to dance music as they can sometimes enter a trance so this image directly addresses my target audience.<br />
  13. 13. Addressing my audience<br />My pull quote effectively helps to address my target audience as it draws the attention to the most interesting part of my article but also adds a little bit of humour to my magazine. On slide 9 I mentioned how my niche market like to appreciate the moment and plan each day as it comes and humour helps to adhere to this and create a positive image on their way of living. The pull quote also contains an expletive which relates to how my audience talk and communicate amongst themselves. <br />
  14. 14. PHOTOSHOP - Technologies<br />I put an outer glow on to most layers so that they applied to my target audience/niche market bit it also applies to a product related to my target audience: a glow-stick. The colour is a typical colour for this product and it represents the bright and lively nature of my target audience.<br />I used the magic wand many times to effectively cut so they the pictures looked exactly how I wanted them to look. The magic wand helps to erase parts of an image. This usually works by deleting areas of the same colour until you are left with your desired cut out. This is often a good technique to use if you don’t want the background of your photo included on your pages. I used this technique on nearly every photo.<br />
  15. 15. PHOTOSHOP - Technologies<br />Photoshop allows you to change the hue, saturation, colour, exposure, contrast etc and I made the main dominating image look more appealing by increasing the brightness which resultantly makes the picture stand out more, so it catches the audiences eyes.<br />Also in Photoshop I often duplicate layers if the same sort of style or technique was to be used on another element of my magazine. Some elements in my magazine needed to have exact replicates to show consistency in my design so this option made my magazine look more aesthetically pleasing and accurate. <br />
  16. 16. PHOTOSHOP - Technologies<br />Another technique which was very successful in attracting my target audience is that the hand of my dominating image (front page) is in front of the headline but the rest of the image is behind the headline. I did this by drawing round the hand with the lasso tool then making it a new layer by selecting ‘layer via cut’. Then after this to make the hand appear on top of the headline I would simply move the layer above the headline layer so it appears over the top. The effect this has is that it looks like the artist is pointing directly at the reader which in turn makes them feel wanted and could make them want to buy the magazine.<br />This is an example of the lasso tool selecting an area to be cut<br />
  17. 17. Printing - Technologies<br />For my product to be marketed on the shelves across the nation I would have to consider the according printing method to adhere with the demands. At first I would have my magazine to be batch produced for my first pilot magazine to see how the audience responds to it. If it turns out that my audience are in demand of my magazine, I would then have my magazine mass produced, so that it could be in most newsagents and retailers. <br />
  18. 18. Digital Camera - Technologies<br />The digital camera was used for taking the pictures during this task and I learnt how to take a successful photo. During this process, I learnt about the rule of thirds which most photographers are aware of and I tried to apply this to my photographs. Whilst taking these pictures I had to consider lighting and positioning of props and the featured artists to ensure that my pictures were the best possible.<br />I also used the video camera option which was on the digital camera. I used this option to show the development of layers on all of the pages in my magazine. I simply held the camera in my hand as I made each layer visible showing the gradual progression of my magazine. A link for this video is:<br />
  19. 19. Intertextuality - Technologies<br />One way that I could use technology is by creating a page on a social network giant such as Facebook which millions use every day. This page would be public and would give all the details about the page and would increase the amount of people whom see adverts for the magazine. This page will be able to keep people up to date with the latest issues and features of the magazine. Also with a page being on Facebook, people can recommend the page to another person, possibly introducing it someone who is unaware of the magazine.<br />YouTube is another factor that I could consider if I wanted to widen the appeal of my magazine. YouTube is the biggest video streaming website in the world and I could utilise this website in some different ways. On YouTube I could include weekly podcasts about the magazine or the articles which are featured in the magazine and this could increase the readership of my magazine. One thing that YouTube effectively does is that it recommends similar video links down the side of the video which someone is watching. Therefore a person could discover my magazine by looking at something by at the NME magazine, IPC media or the Time Warner conglomerate.<br />
  20. 20. Intertextuality - Technologies<br />As included on my barcode on my front cover, I could have a supporting website of my magazine which covers some of the features and discussion points which are in the magazine. The helps to decide whether the audience will want to go and buy that week’s issue without wasting their time by going in to a retailers and then deciding that they don’t want to buy it. Also, an advantage of having a supporting website is that viewers could purchase a copy of the magazine over the internet for it to be delivered by post. This means that people don’t actually have to leave their house to purchase a copy of the latest issue. Often, you can subscribe annually via websites which allows you to get discount and ensures that you get the latest copy first, typically a day before they arrive in stores.<br />Presumably when someone has signed up to my magazine’s corresponding website, they may have to enter personal details to sign up to the website. These details will usually be their customers addresses and their phone numbers. Some people may be able to be updated about recent issues of my magazine by text or they could be informed about the dispatch of their magazine.<br />My product could also be advertised on the radio through NME. If there is an advert about NME, the radio could mention that my magazine is a ‘spin-off’ or subsidiary of NME and that it is available in most magazines. As it is being advertised alongside NME, readers of that magazine may be tempted to give my magazine a try.<br />
  21. 21. Progression from college magazine to music magazine<br />One of the main differences between my college magazine and music magazine is the conventions. In the college magazine I hardly considered the conventions at all and they were infrequently used. Also I didn’t consider the positioning of each convention. In my music magazine however, I had a look at some flat plans and played around with the positioning of the conventions. This can be found on my blog at:<br />
  22. 22. Progression from college magazine to music magazine<br />The use of colours was one thing I certainly took notice of when making my music magazine because I had to maintain the interest of my niche market. When doing the preliminary task of the college magazine I didn’t have to particularly focus on a certain group so I could have used any colours as the magazine was rather general. My audience likes bright, eye-catching colours therefore I had to put emphasis on this through my design to ensure maximum appeal. <br />
  23. 23. Progression from college magazine to music magazine<br />Camera techniques were also something which I had vastly improved my skills with during the production of my magazine. For the final version I first had to consider the lighting. Lighting is essential in getting a well executed photo and for my shoot I decided to have the artists fully lit, with soft lights. Pictures can then be manipulated in Photoshop. Well lit subjects are usually the easiest pictures to edit. This is so that you can see clearly the artists’ facial expressions and body language which is essential to attract the target audience. I also had to take on board the positioning of the artists to ensure that they appeal and adhere to my target audience. Another thing which I considered when shooting was the rule of thirds which devises how a picture should be shot, this hugely affects the positioning of the artists but helps to take a beautiful constructed photo. I didn’t consider either of these aspects when I took the photos for my college magazine.<br />