Formal Evaluation Introduction - My project consists of a music magazine (Front cover, contents page and a two page spread.) I chose to do this project due to my love of music, journalism, and my interest in graphic design. I named my magazine “Base Unsigned” Which refers to they ‘indie’ and ‘unsigned acts’ genre’s, as well as generally being an appealing name. I created a magazine more aimed at new unsigned artists as I feel there’s a gap in the market for people who want to be right on the edge of new and upcoming music, the type of people who like to say “Oh I knew about them ages ago.” This is magazine is where they find out all they’re information.
Formal Evaluation Q1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? My magazine is based on the indie music genre, promoting new and exciting unsigned artists. I stuck to a string of fairly common conventions while creating my article, I followed a similar design to the likes of NME, or Q magazine, using vibrant colours and fonts, as well as the use of a fairly chatty and friendly journalistic style to give the article a more enjoyable appeal. I thought it was vital to use these elements as they almost break the ice with the consumer, by not being TOO outlandish and different, a customer can tell they’re going to enjoy the magazine, as it gives them what they want, in a simple and easily understandable way, without throwing them off with too much information. However my approach was slightly different, I chose to promote unsigned, raw, new talent that wouldn’t usually be showcased in a magazine, which is becoming a more and more popular medium to many consumers (e.g. orange unsigned etc). I think this approach was successful, especially when combined with interesting graphical design, and informal language. ( Feedback evidence: “Professional layout, easy to follow and interesting to read” “Use of colourful fonts and interesting taboo quotations encourage me to read the article” )
Formal Evaluation <ul><li>Front Cover </li></ul><ul><li>Title “Base Unsigned” gives a clear idea of what genre the magazine focus’s on. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of colour and font help the front page stand out. </li></ul><ul><li>The photograph is colourful and matches the style of the magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>Barcode makes front cover seem genuine. </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshopped artwork makes it seem professional. </li></ul><ul><li>Follows “busy” front page convention, giving readers lots to look at and plenty to be enticed by the front cover. </li></ul><ul><li>Contents Page </li></ul><ul><li>The contrast of white on dark colours makes font stand out more. </li></ul><ul><li>a common convention of a contents page is to make it simple and easy to understand, however I challenged this convention by making it as busy and alive as the rest of the magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of addition ‘spotlight tour dates’ helps to extend the use of the contents page, but also highlight the unsigned artists that this magazine focus’s on. </li></ul><ul><li>Recurring logo design makes the magazine seem more real and legitimate. </li></ul><ul><li>Article </li></ul><ul><li>The article I created follows a pink and blue colour pattern, I chose this as it matches the clothes the artist is wearing in the picture, but also because it gives it a more modern funky feel, and challenges the “girly pink” stereotype. </li></ul><ul><li>I chose to 2 simpler pictures on my article page, rather than cluttering it up, it has an appealing picture, but then lots of room for journalism. </li></ul><ul><li>I followed a typical magazine convention with my ‘pop quotes’, taking funny passages from the extract which would encourage the audience to read. </li></ul>
Formal Evaluation Q2: How does your media product represent particular social groups? I think my magazine represents a young male audience, from about 16-35years old. This is a very popular target audience, and a very profitable one as well. It represents this young male audience through use of outlandish colours, and colloquial taboo language, as well as an informal enjoyable style of writing. The images throughout show rock bands, stern looking male characters and indie looking girls in an attempt to relate to what they would find “cool”. The article, as well as focusing on the artists new album release also goes into detail about popular events such as “Leeds & Reading Festival” as well as more intimate details about day to day life, pop culture and more humorous events, which could prove to be more enjoyable for the audience. I think I have marketed base as quite a generally hip and trendy new thing that people would definitely be into, as its very essence of unsigned bands is a “cool” genre, because no one else has discovered it yet. ( Feedback evidence: “Professional layout, easy to follow and interesting to read” “Use of colourful fonts and interesting taboo quotations encourage me to read the article” )
Formal Evaluation Q3: What kind of music institution might distribute your media product and why? I think many music distribution agencies would be interested in releasing my magazine, however I think the same people who release NME, or Q would be interested, as it follows a similar style but encourages a different audience to buy the product, and would go well being published with in a large conglomerate group such as “Time Warner” so they can appeal to both the mainstream and alternate unsigned indie genre. It could also be published by an experienced magazine publishing group such as “IPC Media” who publish many magazines such as “NME, Nuts, Hi-Fi” etc. Alternatively, perhaps this magazine could be picked up by a more independent magazine institution, in an almost united indie magazine and music front. ( Feedback evidence: “Product looks very genuine” “Professional layout, easy to follow” )
Q4: Who would be the audience for your media product? My audience would be males from age 17-25, and gig going teenagers of both genre. I feel my magazine targets this audience well through use of fonts colours and design, as well as an informal language used throughout, giving the magazine a fun theme. Also I feel the magazine is accessible to a wider audience, because it addresses a more vague genre “unsigned music” which could be anything from hip-hop to rock. (but obviously focusing on the latter.) and the magazine also addresses the personalities of the artist rather than just their music. Having researched target audiences (e.g. Project Phoenix) that teens and young adults buy magazines the most, which ensures the highest possible sales to the largest audience.
Q5: How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted my audience through use of colours, fonts, and graphical design, as well as pop arty pictures and bold titles. Also the use of taboo language, which is more common of this genre, especially expletives, appeals to more young and boisterous audience. The main image on the front cover, portrays the artist as quite a cool character, wearing funky colours in a fashionable way, which give the magazine a “thing to read” appeal. The colour scheme also represents the audience in a more modern way, combining modern colours which wouldn’t usually be associated with males. The contents page also features gig line ups which encourages people to buy the magazine to flick through and find out the newest and best gigs in their area ( Feedback evidence: “Big bold layouts and contrasting colours encourage me to carry on reading” “Crazy colours and informal postik note makes me want to read on”
Q6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I have learn a lot about technologies while doing my print design. I learn how to use both Adobe Photoshop and Indesign, how to edit, crop, draw, colour and clean up photos. As well as font editing and layout design in Indesign, while I was initially familiar with the programmes before the project, I grew more comfortable with them over the course. I also learn how to use “blogger” ( www. blogger .com ) and how to upload my project, as well as ideas, and research onto the internet so I could share it with my teachers. Finally I used the internet to do all my research ( www.google.com , www.wikipedia.com ) It helped me find pictures etc, which helped inspire my project.
Q7: Looking back on your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? On my preliminary task I felt that I didn’t really make the most of all the space on my front page, small fonts and a boring colour scheme made it less appealing to any audience. Another issues was the lack of interesting fonts which didn’t jump out at me, so generally the issue was that there wasn’t enough there, and that there was a lack information. Also the composition of the image and the lighting etc, didn’t have the same high key iconic image of a conventional magazine and It lacked decent editing. However I did learn how to use Photoshop more, and the importance of a genuine article by using fonts and things like barcodes. I feel I rectified this issue in my final full product by having a good contrast of colours and big bold exciting fonts. There was also more information that related to the genre, but also appealed to my audience, making my magazine seem more interesting and genuine.
Final Conclusion <ul><li>I feel my product is very genuine and believable product. It presents a good contrast of colourful design and intimate journalistic style. Its key strengths come from its need to not only recreate a genre, but expand on it, and challenge the ideals of indie music not being heard. </li></ul><ul><li>It also challenges a few of the conventions within the magazine genre, while many magazines rely on simplicity to entice its reader, I preferred to make my magazine as busy as possible, to make it seem really exciting, and where some people may see this business as weakness with my magazine, I think many of my target audience will have a fun time with the magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>I felt that my magazine benefited from a drafting process, it helped me to create a more defined and professional final print project, and my Audience Feedback also gave this impression, as most, if not all of the people interviewed found the magazine very professional and interesting, and the only real weakness which jumped out at me, was the slight layout error of the barcode being “too big” </li></ul>