1. In what way does your media product use, develop
or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I chose to use a very simple font (Masterplan) for the title that is big, bold and easy to
read- this would make it stand out off the shelf for the reader. This is a convention
that successful magazines use, e.g.. ‘KERRANG’ and ‘NME’, which is decided to use
it. I chose the name ‘UNPLUGGED’ because it sounds like jargon specific to the
world of music, thus having a degree of appropriateness. Also, it also implies a
level of closeness with the reader- ‘unplugged’- there’s a relationship with the
reader to know them well enough to unplug the amp, guitar, etc.
A barcode on the front cover of a magazine is another typical convention
that I’ve used, as they’re necessary for the magazine to be sold.
Furthermore, I’ve followed the convention of placing the barcode in the
bottom right of the front cover, as a lot of magazines do this- I have a
couple of examples here to demonstrate this.
I’ve used the convention of advertising the main article on the
front cover, and doing so in a way that makes it stand out.
I’ve used Arial in bold
italic, then I used a stroke
on the text to make it
further stand out from the
Kerrang have used a very large font, that takes up almost a quarter of the
page. The text is in a contrasting colour to the background, which makes
it stand out further. It’s been put on a slight tilt, which just makes it
stand out that little bit more.
This is another convention I’ve followed- the magazine has
recognised that they have a dedicated audience, so it doesn’t matter
if the model on the front cover is in front of the title of the magazine,
as they’ll likely know it. It more often happens with more successful
Date and Issue number
This is a convention that nearly all
magazines follow, as it informs the reader of
when the magazine was released, and what
issue no. It is- if the reader is a close
follower of the magazine, it gives them a
reference to use if they want to order a
Hear you can see on the NME contents page the
date that it was issued.
I’ve used sub-headings within the contents page, to
divide up the contents of the magazine into different
sections, ‘News’, ‘Radar’, ‘Live!’ and ‘Features’. This
makes it clearer to the reader what is what within the
magazine. This is a convention that all magazines use,
e.g. NME below.
Text overlaying main article image
I have included text on top of the main image for my
article, and its in a bold font (Impact) and in a
contrasting colour to the background colour of the
image it make it stand out further
This is a technique that nearly all magazines use, e.g..
the copy of NME below. However, they often use
this for the title of the article. I, however, clearly
I’ve included captions with the images in the article for my magazine. I’ve done
this because the captions explain to the reader what is happening in the picture,
just in case they don’t understand the context of it. Again, all magazines use
this convention, as demonstrated with the NME double page spread.
How Conventions are Challenged
Firstly, I’ve used a black and white image
for my front cover, which is very rarely
seen in magazines. This is because it’s
very risky, but I feel that it works in
my case. Also, I’ve used a female
model- there are far more male
models used on magazines than
Not including small pictures on the front page
A lot of the time, magazines incorporate smaller pictures onto the front cover, to
advertise what’s inside the magazine- however I haven’t. In choosing not to, it
looks a lot simpler and cleaner, and not as cluttered as some of the other
There are small pictures
down the side of the page,
where they won't take the
attention away from the
main picture, to tell the
reader what’s going to be
inside the magazine.
The main picture for the main article in the magazine.
The main image for the
main article is the only
picture on the page- there’s
a bit more text on the page
than the NME front cover,
but it doesn’t look like
there’s too much.
2. How does your media product
represent particular social groups?
I’ve represented a female teenaged
audience within the magazine. I've done
this by using a model that is within the age
range of the target audience, and by
featuring musical acts such as Pixie Lott-
the genre of my magazine is pop, and this is
the type of singer the readership would
want to read about, being a similar age
to her (Pixie Lott is 19 years old). Also, she’s
very attractive and white, and possibly
middle-class – all of these factors result in a
more specified image of female girls.
3. What Kind of Media Institution might
distribute your media product and why?
My magazine is similar in certain ways to NME, and the company that produces NME magazine has been IPC
Media since 1963, so perhaps they could be the company that would distribute my magazine. The fact that
they produce over 80 magazines suggests that they could successfully do the same with mine. Also, IPC
media are part of Tine Warner, which is an example of horizontal integration, as the act on the front of the
magazine could be signed up by Warner Music group, or her music could be played on Warner’s radio
channels, or she could be shown on their TV channels.
The type of institution that could distribute mu magazine would be the likes of WHSmith. They sell a large
variety of magazines in store, and even offer subscriptions for more established magazines on their
website . There are quite a lot of pop magazines, such as Clash, which is why I think they’d be a good
retailer for my media product.
4. What would be the audience for your media product?
I think the target audience for my magazine would definitely be teenagers, and maybe
teenaged girls to be a bit more specific- the model featured on the front cover of a
magazine is often an indication as to who the target audience for the magazine will be.
This is because the model is used to draw the audience in so they have to be the
appropriate one for the targeted audience.
The fact that every
person on the front
cover is a young
man is a strong hint
that the readership
will be teenagers
and young men.
Double page spread subject
Take That, the group that I decided to base my double page spread on, have a very
female-based fan base (although that’s not to say that all the fans are female!). By
choosing to do my double page spread on Take That, I’ve indicated that I’m aiming
for my magazine’s target readership to be young, teenaged girls.
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
I used a very clear and consistent colour scheme- black, white and green (the
colour used for the backgrounds on the slides). Some magazines use up to
five colours with their colour scheme, which makes the magazine look very
busy, almost confused in some cases. I used fewer colours to prevent this
This copy of NME
uses red, white,
black, yellow and
green for its colour
scheme. It looks a
bit vulgar in my
My magazine front
cover is much more
like this copy of
Clash,- only three
colours are used,
black, white and an
Tone of voice used in article
I’ve used an informal tone of voice within the Editor’s article. I’ve done this by including dialect,
e.g.. is down right fab!’- in Standard English that would be along the lines of ‘absolutely
fabulous!’. Also, use the word ‘hey’, which isn’t so much of a word as a vocal effect, which
you find in speech- this article is attempting to create the illusion of a conversation between
myself, as the writer, and the reader.
Also, direct-address is used with a rhetorical question in the first line. All of this makes the piece
much more interesting as appose to a very formal piece of writing.
6. What have you learnt about technologies
from the process of constructing this product?
Before the preliminary task, I hadn’t used Photoshop before, so I’ve leant a lot as
I’ve produced my coursework. I feel that my Photoshop skills have improved
greatly, and I feel much more confident using it.
In the process of producing my media product, I’ve learnt just how important
Photoshop is for creating a magazine. Was able to experiment with different
effects- effects like bevels and strokes really added to the visual effect of my
magazine. Also, the black and white effect on the picture of my model on the front
cover really sets my magazine apart from most.
For example, I had never used any of the adjustments in Photoshop, such as
exposure or black & white, before doing my coursework. Below you can see a
‘before and after’ as it were, where I’ve used the adjustments exposure and black
& white on an image.
Also, I had never used tools like the magic wand tool, which I used with the below
example to get rid of the background- by having a white background in the image,
it makes the subject of the image stand out more.
The icon for the
magic wand tool
on the toolbar
I used a SLR camera to take the pictures of the model that are on the front cover and
By using a SLR camera rather than a digital camera, I got a much higher quality picture, especially
with the mid-close up.
I used a digital camera for the pictures of the concert on the contents page and double page
I don’t own a SLR camera, which is why I took the pictures using a digital camera, but because
they’re taken from a distance and the light isn’t fantastic, the difference in quality if a SLR was
used wouldn’t be huge (unlike the mid-close up of the model).
7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel
you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I learnt to have a minimal amount of text on the front
cover, advertising what was inside the magazine- if I put
too much on, then I could make it look boring and the
magazine wouldn’t look appealing.
I learnt to use a simple bold text for the title of the
magazine, to make it stand out. The one I used for
my prelim didn’t stand out enough.
I had a
I learnt just how important the model on the front
cover is- I used all sorts of effects on the image on the
front cover of my prelim, whereas I kept it very simple
with my coursework- less is more, to an extent.
I used captions on the images on the images on the contents
page- I learnt from this mistake when it came to the coursework,
because theses images are only introductory ones for the articles
to come- captions are used on the images in the articles.
A contents page obviously needs a visual
element to it, but in my prelim the page was
dominated by the images, and the images
looked squashed onto the page. I applied a more
professional look to my coursework page.
Having a clear colour scheme adds to the
magazine’s appeal, in my coursework I’ve chosen
to use black/white/green. my prelim used al lot
of different colours, and it almost looked
confused for this reason.