I started by researching music magazines. I
analysed Terrorizer magazine, Rocksound
magazine and Kerrang magazine. I chose these
magazine because they range from a upmarket
rock music magazine (Kerrang) to a niche market
rock magazine (Terrorizer). I elected to analyse
three music magazines. I had three very different
styles to look at. This was helpful because i was
able to gain a sound understading of the
conventions my own magazine would have to
follow. (see blog). I made a list of conventions while
reading through the magazines of things that I
would like to put into my music magazine.
• In order to make sure i was creating a product my target
audience would purchase i used survey monkey to ﬁnd out
what my target audience wanted. i used this as opposed to
a questionnaire as it meant i could get opinion from a
greater number of people to inﬂuence my design.
• The top three answers to the question ‘what attracts you
to purchase a magazine’ where the band on the cover, free
posters and other attachments and a free CD. I couldn’t
use a famous band on my front cover so i decided to make
a band up. I wanted to make it work towards my target
audience. I also added free posters and a free CD onto my
front cover because this is personally what attracts me to
magazine and I also wanted to work with my data.
• The question ‘what sections of a music magazine
to you most enjoy’ was an interesting question.
the top three answers where posters, interviews
and recommended songs and bands. As I was
already plugging the free posters on the front
cover I looked at the other answers. From he start
of this project I have wanted to make a gig review
because I have many band pictures at my
disposal. Even though gig reviews aren’t the
highest voted item they did get 44% of votes. I
also though it would test my photoshop ability an
media knowledge if I tried this.
• Kerrang was the highest read music magazine in
my survey. I took this on board and tried to style
my magazine in a similar way. I was working with
a Kerrang magazine in front of me to delicately
give it a slight Kerrang feel. For example, the
page numbers look the same as they are in
Kerrang, the editors section looks slightly similar
and the subscription box was inspiration of
Kerrang magazine. These are small things but
because the audience like the way kerrang is I
though I had to incorporate it slightly.
• £2.50-£3.50 was the highest answer
on ‘how much would you be willing to
spend on a music magazine’. This
price is very fair and is actually more
expensive than Kerrang. I set my price
at £2.50 which is more expensive as
Kerrang but because it is extremely
popular it can afford to do this.
• ‘How often do you purchase music
magazines’ was another question. The
top answer was monthly with weekly
not fair behind it. I personally wanted
to make my magazine a weekly to try
and rival Kerrang as there aren't many
weekly music magazines.
Conventions I found
The three colour rule – using three
complimentary colours on the front cover to
make it easy on the eye. The colours used
usually signify something about the
magazine. For example : red – anger, blood
or passion. As my magazine is a Heavy Metal
magazine I wanted to use red, black and
white. As red signiﬁes anger, blood or
passion. Black signiﬁes mystery, gothic and is
seen a as scary colour. White compliments
white and I wanted it to be my neutral colour.
Conventions I found (which I learned through my
preliminary task and the ﬁnal product research)
Main image – All of my magazines had
one large image ﬁlling the front page. I
think this simpliﬁes the front cover and
tells the reader who is going to be in
the issue. I replicated this in my front
page. I also used mode of address to
set the tone for the magazine. I did
this through the use of lighting. Facial
expression and body language.
Conventions I found
Puffs and teasers - teasers are used
extensively and are the most important
part of the headline. Whereas the puff
gives additional information. On my
magazine I used more teasers than puffs
because I wanted my readers to
understand my stories at a glance and
puffs can sometimes confuse the eye. I
also think the over use of puffs makes
the front page look like a cluttered
woman's lifestyle magazine.
Conventions I found
Large noticeable masthead – all of the
magazines I was research had eye
catching mastheads so I wanted to
have a good masthead on my
magazine. I felt like my masthead also
reﬂected connotations of the content
and genre of my music magazine.
How my ﬁnal product relates to
my ﬂat plans.
I expected my product to change through out production
which is good because I feel I have progressed and shown a
better understand of the composition of the pages.
I do feel that my ﬂat plan for my front page is very similar to
the ﬁnal front page. I had a speciﬁc idea of how I wanted it to
look and it is how I wanted it to be. I made a few tweaks with
the cover stories and I wanted to spread things out and put
things onto my contents page. The colour scheme is also
similar to my ﬂan plan.
my contents page is completely different from my ﬂat plan as I
felt my ﬂat plan didn’t look professional. It left no room for
additional information like the editor’s section or subscription
plug which is what I have on my contents page now. If I
followed my ﬂat plan the photographs would have been more
important that the writing which isn't the focus of a contents
How my ﬁnal product relates to
my ﬂat plans.
My ﬂat plan for my double page has
change the most. On my ﬂat plan it is two
separate pages but on my product its an
A3 page. This is stereotypical for music
magazines to have their gig reviews
across a double spread uninterrupted by
the staples/spine. I have one main image
covering the A3 document and my text in
two columns which is how I wanted it to
be set out on my ﬂat plan.
Where I got my ideas from
I read music magazines weekly and have
done for a long time. I also did a course
on magazines in GCSE media so I had a
brief understanding of magazine front
covers. And ﬁnally, I take photography
which helped with my composition, use of
the studio, balance of colours, attention to
detail and overall look of my magazine.
I've always wanted to experiment with
upward lighting towards the face. I think it
ﬁts quite well with the magazine.
• Rosie: Front cover: its different and
would stand out on a magazine shelf. i
like it. the top if his head is a bit dark.
• Contents: I love it. its inviting to read
and stands out but also very clear.
maybe introduce another colour.
• Double page: I like it it is very clear and
simple. but half way through the page
is where his neck is.
• Katherine : Front page: I really like the
quote at the top (strap line). I think its
really quirky and witty. I like the idea of
a free CD. Maybe blending the
masthead into the main image.
• Contents: I think it suites the genre. It’s
a little busy in some parts.
• Double page: It’s professional looking I
like the little extra touches. The font
could be a little difficult to read.
• Dan:Front Page: It makes a good ﬁrst
impression with the colours. Though, his
hands look quite bright.
• Contents page: really good balance of
colour. I like the different sections. Although
the posters look pushed in.
• Double page: I like the attention to detail
with the page numbers. I think there should
be a picture of a drummer, but it may look
• Josh:Front Page: I like the pose of the
model. Maybe the masthead is slightly big.
• Contents page: I like the metal
background looks different but still
professional. Maybe slightly too much
• double page: Nice photographs used. Real
good article. The center of the page is a
little bit too close to his face.
• Some of the feedback I agree with. For example, the top
of my models head on the front page being too dark
and his hands being too bright. I liked the contrast but
if I did it again I would change to so it wasn't so drastic.
The fold on my double page spread is close to his face
and if I would publishing this for real I would put this as
the central page to lose as little detail as possible.
• Merging my masthead into my main image would look
good but if I was publishing and distributing my
magazine every week you would need the same
masthead which would be difficult if you had to edit it
all the time.
• It was also stated that my contents page was a bit busy
which I agree with because of the different sections it
can make it confusing on the eye.
• Another comment was made on the posters on the
contents page I agree that they look pushed in because I
was running out of space. As I didn't follow my ﬂat plan I
had nothing to work form. If I did this again Iwould make
sure I had a good ﬂat plan to work from to ensure
enough space was available for everything I wanted. My
double page was stated to have a font colour which was
difficult to read. I agree with this so if I did this again I
would maybe section it into boxes, although I haven't
seen any examples on this in gig reviews.
Evaluating Feedback (constructive criticism I disagree
• I was told that adding another colour to my
contents page my break it up a bit, but I wanted
to keep to the three colour rule and I wanted
my front cover and contents page to ﬂow.
– Another comment said that I should add a picture
of a drummer. The photo shoot I did for the blue
knives the pictures of the drummer didn’t come out
well because he was strangely far back on the stage
and they were dark. I didn't want the magazine to
look unprofessional so i didn't put them in. Also, I
think it would have cluttered the double page and
made it too busy.
Evaluating Feedback (constructive
criticism I disagree with)
• It was said that my masthead was too
big. I want my masthead to be big so it
is noticeable and would stand out on a
– A criticism of my contents page was that it
contained too much black. I though I
struck a good balance of colours but it
think I should of tried to make the
information less busy.
How do I feel the overall process
Editing – I wanted to change my image slightly. I
wanted to get the best out of the image but using
curves, levels and brightness/contrast. I have over
150+ images to choose from for my main image
photograph because I experimented with different
shots, angles, facial expressions and props.
I had one large soft box to the right of him and
one light below him, up-lighting his face.
I used a guitar in the shoot which I used in various
ways because I didn’t want a generic picture of
someone holding a guitar. So I got him to look
aggressive and look like he was going to hit the
guitar on the ground. Anger is a stereotype of
heavy metal so I though I would ﬁt well.
• I used Mistral font because I liked the
way it looked in capital letters. I also use
Stencil on my contents page because it
stands out well. It also signiﬁes the
army which is stereotypically seen as a
angry profession. I also used Trebuchet
Ms for my normal font because it is non
de-script and easy to read. I also used
red,white and black for my colours
because they were my main colours and
I wanted to follow this.
• Using macs wasn’t much of a problem
for me as I have used them before
starting this project.
• I had a problem with using the blog site
Blogger. It was difficult to keep on top of
blogging we could only blog at a home
computer because of the ﬁlter system
applied to the internet at the college.
• Using cameras and studio lighting is also
something I have used previous to this
How did your magazine
• I feel my magazine represents rock
music as an angry genre of music. i
also think my magazine wouldn’t cover
such a broad amount of sub-genre
bands that Kerrang does. I think that
most of the bands featured in Kerrang
aren’t really rock bands but because of
this I might not have such a broad
readership that Kerrang does.
How do you feel your Preliminary
task represents college life
• I think it makes college life look slightly
glamourous because of the main image
of people in prom wear. I also think it
makes college look fun because of all
the new developments around the
college. The debate on hair colour
would also make the reader feel the
right to free speech around the college
so they would feel more comfortable.
• I found this difficult and stressful. my
photo shoot was difficult to arrange as
there was restrictive time to do photo
shoot because of illness of my
photography teacher. my model was also
in a year below me and i didn't want to
take him out of his lessons, so I had to
arrange the photo shoot for during the
easter holiday when the photography
facilities where open.
• Blogging was something I hadn’t done until
this project. I was dubious about this idea
at ﬁrst because I like writing on paper but I
came round to the idea. I found it difficult
at ﬁrst to arrange my time for blogging as I
could do it at college because it was ﬁltered
and unable to view. I then gave up just 1-2
hours of my time very other evening to get
it done, which wasn’t too stressful because I
could see it getting done.
• It was very stressful towards the end of
the production because it felt like a big
rush. I was worried I wouldn’t get it all
produced and blogged in time but I
have sorted that now and arranged my
time according to priority.
What have you learnt?
• Alot of the skills I used in the production of my
magazine I had before I started this course. I.e
• Though, I have learnt about colour balancing on each
page to make sure not one colour swamps the whole
page. I have also learnt about spacing. I found it difficult
to range thinks in a way which will ﬁt and look good.
Professional music magazines look effortless in they way
they are spaced which I was trying to grasp but I don't
think it achieved it completely. If I did this again I would
make better ﬂat plans to work from as it would have
been easier to play around with the spacing on a ﬂat
Who would publish my magazine?
• I found a selection of three magazine publishers
which would hopefully publish my magazine. I have
select them because they publish some of the well
known, fast selling and proﬁtable magazines.
– 1. I ﬁrstly looked at the publishers for Kerrang who are
called Bauer London Lifestyle Limited. As i went through
their brands list they also publish Empire, Mojo and Q,
which are all major magazines with a big name for
themselves. I like the sound of this publisher because of
the famous brands. making my music magazine into a
famous could possibly happen to my magazine though
this publisher, but there will be competition from my
publisher alone without thinking about the bigger market.
Who would publish my magazine?
• 2. I found IPC Media who publish NME
magazine which is one of the best selling
music magazine on the market. This is
the only music magazine that IPC sell. I
see this as a bad thing because of the
intense competition from NME. though,
people may want to read The Smoke if it
is connect to NME in some way because
you could advertise in the magazine.
Who would publish my magazine?
• 3. I looked at the publishers for rock sound.
This is a little company called Sonic Publishing
which sells small niche magazines. The music
magazines they sell are Rocksound and a
music online magazine called Rock Louder. It
may be difficult to publish a magazine which
such a small company because of possibly
funding problems. Though, on the other hand
my magazine could take off with the company
and selling like Rocksound or hopefully better.
Decision on publishing and why?
• I think I would go with Bauer London
Lifestyle Limited because of the large
amount of music magazines they
publish would hopefully set my
magazine in good stead for proﬁt and
Evaluate Preliminary progress
• I believe it have improved since the
production of my preliminary task.
This is evident through my use of
photoshop brushes, balancing my use
of space and colour which I struggled
with on the college magazine.
Things I would change if I did it
• I would of spent more time doing ﬂat
plans instead of rushing them because
I wanted to get my product started. I
would have also spaced things better
so they don't looked so squashed in in