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Amy Callaghan's Media Evaluation


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Amy Callaghan's Media Evaluation

  2. 2. In what way does your media product use, <br />develop or challenge forms and conventions of media products?<br />I have designed a magazine cover, contents page and double page spread for an Indie music magazine. <br />I also only used two types of font to create a professional, consistent appearance in the same way that real magazines employ this idea. The fonts I used are “Franklin Gothic Heavy” and “Franklin Gothic Demi” because they both have a modern appearance from the lack of serif, and although simple they look sophisticated. The capitals convey a typically masculine appearance that would be expected of a magazine of this genre and would therefore appeal to a male audience yet not appear too masculine for a woman to want to read. They are also bold and easily seen from far away, therefore meaning that the cover is easy for people to read if passing in a shop.<br />In typical music magazine style, I have made my own magazine title and placed it in the top left corner of the cover, in-keeping with the conventions of magazines such as “NME” and “Q”. This is because the magazine is primarily targeting British readers because it is distributed in the UK, and UK citizens usually read from left to right so they are more likely to notice the title if it is situated to the left.<br />I have also conformed to the expected standards by placing a main photograph of a “music artist” in the centre of the cover, allowing it to become the main dominating image and feature of the cover that everything else is situated around. In typical Indie style, I have dressed the model in clothes that an Indie artist would be expected to wear, including a leather jacket, a vest with a cartoon-style pattern on the front and sunglasses as worn by some guitar artists. I made sure her facial expression was fairly neutral with the merest suggestion of a smile in order to convey a “ cool” appearance that would appeal to the audience. Nevertheless, I challenged conventions by altering the photograph on Photoshop to give it a cartoon-type look, as opposed to keeping the image the same as I took it, as is usually the norm on music magazines.<br />Indie music magazines tend to have a house style of only a few colours. In the case of “NME”, black, white, red and yellow have been used for all elements of text and even what the cover stars are wearing. This projects a more professional appearance to someone who may observe the magazine and provides consistency. Therefore, in my work I have only used five colours; green, red, white, black and yellow. Red is a typical colour that music magazines use. I used it to convey a sense of action and excitement, and red appeals to both males and females. Yellow is bright and portrays happiness, and the contrast against the black is eye-catching to a potential reader. Yellow also harmonises well with red. Also, the green ties in with the yellow whilst creating an effective contrast to the red. It connotes nature and the outdoors, therefore suggesting energy, something that young adults are usually associated with. Black and white when placed together always provide an effective contrast and connote sophistication and formality, which provides the magazine with a slightly serious note that makes it appear like a real music magazine that is serious and passionate about its subject. I dressed the model in black and white on purpose so as to fit the house style colours and the red, yellow and green on the guitar strap also create an effective match. <br />I placed a bar code accompanied by the price, date of issue and website in small print above, in similar style to “NME”.<br />Some magazines have a banner proclaiming competitions the magazine is holding in that particular issue. I used this idea in my own design.<br />Also, most music magazines have information regarding extra features in the magazine as opposed to the main story that is advertised via the centre image. I have attempted to replicate the style of music magazines such as “Q”, “NME” and “Kerrang!” by placing such information around the edges of the cover.<br />I also conformed to the usual rules of keeping all of the text aligned to the left on the left side and the right on the right side. I also left the same gap from the edge of the cover to the edge of the typography.<br />
  3. 3. For my contents page, I adopted the styles of “NME” and “Q” magazine by placing an image in the centre of the page and constructing columns of text around the image containing details of the features of the magazine. <br />As is the case with “Q” magazine, I have made the colours of the page numbers different to the colours of the feature titles so that the readers can clearly and immediately see which pages they need to turn to.<br />I have also placed the title of the magazine in the left hand corner again, in-keeping with the appearance of the cover and therefore providing the contents with a sophisticated edge. Also, as can be seen in the examples below, “Q” and “NME” both adopt this style. <br />I have challenged conventions by adding a page number and the magazine title in the bottom left corner when they are not typically featured on a contents page.<br />Both contents pages use bold text to outline the titles of the features, with a small description of the features underneath. I have used this idea within my own piece. <br />In the same way that the image in “NME” has a title to describe more about the feature, I have created a title to be placed underneath my image. In a similar style to “Q” magazine, I have placed the page number next to the title but on the left side instead of the right. <br />I expanded the idea of the arrows used in the contents page of “NME” to create arrows that have descriptions relating to certain features of the magazine. <br />I used the idea of two columns of information from “NME”, who have a “Band Index” on the left side of the page and the feature contents on the right side. Instead, I created a “Features” column for the left side which include stories particular for that issue which would not be present every week. This is so that readers can quickly see where all of the main stories are in the magazine without having to search. Down the right side I have created a “Regulars” column which lists all of the page numbers of the features that are present in the magazine every issue.<br />They also include small titles to describe the two types of article in the magazine. I have challenged the normal conventions of other such media products by tilting the box behind the title, whereas everything is perfectly straightened within the contents pages of real magazines. This was to further create an informal look and provide the page with some character.<br />In typical style of real magazines, I have retained the colours I used to create my cover so that the magazine will have a look of consistency and professionalism.<br />
  4. 4. I used these examples of double page spreads from “Q” and “Kerrang!” magazine to create my version. <br />I included a smaller image on the right page which links to the other image, as seen with “Q” magazine. Nevertheless, I made mine larger and included the celebrity quote on the image itself.<br />After researching the layout of magazines such as “Q”, “NME” and “Kerrang!”, I tried to apply the techniques they employ to my own work. For instance, “Q” usually have an introduction about what happened when the interviewer met the celebrity, so I included this in my own work.<br />I have also created a “Behind the Scenes” tag to add to the top left corner of the spread, as well as an “Access All Areas” tag for the left. This adds an authentic feel to the magazine and replicated the styles seen in “Q” and “NME”, magazines that usually have small titles to signify what feature is on each page. <br />In a similar style to “Kerrang!” magazine as shown here, I have enlarged an image and used it as the background for the entire first page. However, I challenged conformity by adding half of the article on top of the image so that they become one page, as opposed to using just the image to take up an entire page, as above.<br />“Q” also change the font of the questions to bold so that they stand out against the remainder of the text and so that question and answer can be distinguished more easily. In the example above, however, it is quotes rather than questions in bold to separate the text. <br />I also included a caption beneath the title in the style of “Kerrang!”.<br />I challenged conformity by placing celebrity quotes on top of the photographs but in positions that do not obscure the subject of the images, whereas in “Q”, frequent quotes have been placed in bold around the text of the article with a large quote underneath the image on the right side.<br />I also included the page number and magazine title in the left corner again, relating to the contents page but also conforming to the traditions of real magazines. However, I have not placed a page number on the other side, as is the case with “Q” magazine.<br />
  5. 5. How does your media product represent particular social groups?<br />In the creation of this magazine, I have attempted to represent a young adult audience who enjoy listening to Indie/Rock music. I have done this by using an image of a young girl who looks like the sort of person who would read the magazine, therefore indicating to prospective readers the type of magazine it is. I made the model look the part by dressing her in a leather jacket, an item of clothing typically associated with rock music. Also, I told her to wear a vest with a cartoon-style pattern on it, which is associated with art and imagery that young adults may find appealing because an injection of informality is added. Furthermore, I have made her wear Converse trainers, a typical item that young adults, specifically teenagers, wear. The jeans and trainers further convey a sense of informality which would appeal to the casual nature of the Indie listeners. I also photographed her holding a guitar so that the type of music the magazine covers is emphasised. The subject of the photograph has to epitomise everything that a reader would want to be, and by making her embody the stereotypical aspects of someone who listens to Indie/Rock music, I have achieved this because the model has an appearance of an “Indie” cover star.<br />I further represented a stereotypical Indie music listener by attempting to convey the “attitude” and the presence that such cover stars tend to exhume. I told her to appear “moody” so that an air of superiority and “coolness” may be apparent. This is so that the readers will feel as if this cover star is in some way more important or “cooler” than them, and will therefore further incline them to buy the magazine because so they feel as if they can in some way replicate or achieve the attitude that the model is displaying.<br />I have also attempted to represent this social group through the interview questions. For example, I have included a discussion of alcohol in the interview to further show that this age group are usually associated with drinking and parties and therefore the content of this article may appeal to them.<br />
  6. 6. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?<br />IPC Media is one of the leading magazine publishers in the UK that distribute various types of magazine. They separate their magazines into three divisions, each targeting a specific, core audience. “IPC Inspire” is the men’s division which focuses on leisure magazines such as “Country Life” and “Rugby World” as well as lifestyle brands such as “Nuts” and “NME”. <br />Considering that I have used the appearance of “NME” as a model for my own work, I would place my magazine in the “ICP Inspire” division if ICP were to publish it. However, I think I have made my magazine appeal to both men and women who listen to Indie music by using a girl on the front cover as opposed to the stereotypical male dominated image that is more common. Therefore, I do not think that ICP would necessarily be a suitable publisher for my magazine because their targeted markets are too specific.<br />IPC Magazines is part of the group Time Inc., which is the magazine publishing division of Time Warner. This is the second largest entertainment conglomerate in the world. If IPC Media did publish my magazine, the artists featured in the magazine would be those signed to the record labels owned by Time Warner, such as artists signed to the Warner Brothers label, because they are part of the same multinational conglomerate so permission to use artists would be gained more easily.<br />The upmarket women’s division is called “ICP Southbank” that focuses on luxury and fashion, with magazines such as “Marie Claire” and “InStyle” as part of the portfolio.<br />“IPC Connect” is the mass market women’s division that comprises of women’s weekly magazines such as “Now” and “Chat” as well as TV Entertainment brands like “TVTimes” and “What’s on TV”. <br />Another prominent media distributor in the UK is Bauer Media, a company that distributes magazines aimed at many different types of audiences. It distributes magazines such as “Q” and “Kerrang!” It also seems to cater to a more diverse range of audiences as opposed to just working in three specific divisions in the way that IPC does and would therefore perhaps offer a better platform for my magazine, which I believe could appeal to both a male and female audience. Since there is emphasis with this company on “spanning a wide range of interests” I think my magazine would be right because it is aimed toward every possible audience. Moreover, it offers something different and specific to people who enjoy listening to Indie music and therefore would like to read about their favourite representatives of this genre. <br />
  7. 7. Large supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda may wish to distribute this magazine because they offer a diverse range of not only music magazines but many other magazines as well. There are so many different types of music magazine that tend to aim primarily toward a male audience, therefore, my magazine would have a greater selling potential because for a change, I am targeting a female audience who enjoy Indie music as well as a male audience, therefore, the selling potential for this magazine could be more that a magazine aimed toward a primarily male audience because the market is broader.<br />Also, shops such as WHSmith that distribute many types of magazine might want to distribute the product because it ties in well with the shop’s varied range of music magazines that are sold there whilst offering a unique audience for a type of musical genre that is usually considered more masculine.<br />Having said that, it could be argued that my magazine could also be distributed by smaller establishments because of its potential for mass appeal. It would provide an alternative to the usual Indie/Rock bestsellers, whilst providing an option for the female Indie listeners. My magazine fills a large gap in the market because there has not yet been a music magazine of this kind that appeals to both men and women, therefore, newsagents would benefit from the potentially large amount of interest and profit it could generate.<br />
  8. 8. Who would be the audience for your media product?<br />The audience for my product would be young adults of around twenty who enjoy listening to Indie/Rock music and therefore may be interested in reading about it. I have attempted to show the age group of the magazine by using a model for the main image that is young and would therefore attract an audience of young adults.<br />I have also aimed to attract people who are interested in learning more about the lives of the pop stars who’s music they listen to. Also, the use of the exclamation mark is meant to portray a sense of excitement and fun to show that this particular feature and therefore aspects of the magazine are not meant to be taken seriously but are there purely for reader entertainment.<br />It is meant to appeal to the sort of audience who do not take life too seriously and who want to enjoy themselves, therefore, I have attempted to convey a sense of intrigue and excitement by inviting the audience to buy the magazine to find out more, for instance, when I describe the interview as “Exclusive” it is to sound as if this information is brand new and will therefore not be found anywhere else but my magazine. Also, when I say “What Really Happened...” I am implying that all will be revealed and the mysteries about the tour will be solved but only in this magazine from the italics used on “Really”. This sense of excitement is meant to convey a sense of decadence that is typically associated with acts of the Indie/Rock genre and will therefore appeal to people who are interested in the lifestyle of the artists. It also portrays the idea of having a carefree time, something that people may be seeking by listening to this type of music, and may therefore find attractive about this magazine.<br />By using a female on the front of the cover, I am also appealing to a female audience as well as a male one. Women may be deterred from buying the magazine if there is a male band or singer on the front, especially with the block capital letters present on a lot of the cover that could be seen as masculine. If a female saw this cover had a woman on the front, she may be more inclined to pick it up because it shows that the magazine appreciates female influences in a notoriously male dominated musical genre. Although I have used a female model, I have made her look like a musical artist as opposed to the stereotypical “glamour model” look that some magazines typically aimed toward men seem to strive for if a female model is used. This image makes the artist appear credible because it has been done in a way that does not invite unpleasant, “sleazy” attention. <br />Specifically, I have targeted people who have an interest in music, especially music from the Indie genre, who will therefore take advantage of the competitions for tickets and musical instruments.<br />There are other features that I have included, such as “100 Greatest Albums of the Decade” for an audience who love listening to various types of music, perhaps not just Indie/Rock. This therefore broadens the appeal of the magazine.<br />In a similar way of “Q” magazine, I used some formal language to create a narrative style in order to engage the reader, such as “anticipatory”. It could be argued that this sort of language is too formal an d therefore inappropriate for an audience of young adults, however, it creates a feel of professionalism and it makes the interview sound even more interesting and exciting. It also highlights that this magazine is serious about the music it is representing.<br />To also emphasise the age I am aiming towards, throughout the interview I have used questions relating to partying and drinking, which is what young adults are interested in and usually do a lot of. Therefore, they may appreciate being brought stories about the “wildest” parties and antics that their favourite celebrities got up to. Also, the language that the subject being interviewed uses is informal, such as “wrecked”, further indicating that this magazine is aimed at a young adult audience who would not respond as well to celebrities who spoke formally.<br />
  9. 9. How did you attract/address your audience?<br />Firstly, the large headline “Zone” in bold block capitals is meant to be almost shouting out to the reader because it would stand out on a shop shelf. Furthermore, the name is short and simple and therefore easy for the audience to remember. “Zone” relates to different areas of music, for instance, as an expression such as “getting into the zone” to play music or listen to music, but also to be in the right place to find all of the details about music you could ever want to know, which is the idea of this magazine.<br />I have used the word “Extra” which has positive connotations, indicating that to buy this magazine would mean that the consumer would be receiving more in this magazine than they would in the usual purchase. <br />Different coloured text makes the cover appear interesting and varied to look at but it also highlights the different features of the magazine as well as important sections that require more of the reader’s attention, such as “REALLY” in red and italics.<br />I have used an exclamation mark on the text as if the magazine itself is calling out to the reader to look at it and pay attention.<br />I wrote the word “WIN!” in large, block capitals in yellow against a black background. This was in order to make the word stand out, but also “win” implies that the reader can get something back from the magazine as opposed to just reading it. It implies unique opportunity, and the reader will be intrigued by this.<br />“Exclusive” also implies that the reader will get something from this magazine that has never before been seen, therefore providing them with another incentive to buy.<br />
  10. 10. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?<br />From constructing this product, I have learnt that technology can be extremely useful and therefore clever for manipulating something to appear exactly how you want it to. Various looks can be created to convey actual emotion just from the specific typography, colour scheme and images employed. <br />I also developed my knowledge of Microsoft Publisher by learning how to place images and text boxes in various orders to create an overall image.<br />I have expanded my Photoshop skills during the process of the development of my work. I learnt how to manipulate text in paragraph forms more effectively and easily as opposed to using separate lines of text when a paragraph was required.<br />BEFORE<br />AFTER<br />I have also learnt about what a blog entails and how to successfully create one.<br />Different technologies can aid one another to ensure the creation of a final product. For instance, I used Microsoft Powerpoint to store images that I would use for my blog.<br />Technology can also be unpredictable. My memory stick with all of my media work stored on it had some problems throughout the development process so that I could not access or save work at certain times, however, all of these problems were eventually sorted and I was able to continue with my work.<br />I also learnt how to improve on imperfections in photographs using Photoshop. I used the airbrush tool to delete stray hairs from the model’s forehead that had escaped from her fringe, as well as a blemish on the face. I also used this tool on the model’s hand to delete something she had written there in ink. The red eye tool proved effective in deleting the red eye from the image. <br />
  11. 11. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? <br />I have learnt how much difference lighting, angle and type of shot can make to the appearance of an image and how the slightest detail can convey different meanings or messages to an audience. For example, in my preliminary task I did not think as much about the angles or types of shot I used for the main cover image. I took more care in ensuring the shots were perfect for the image I was trying to depict for my magazine whilst carrying out the real task. I made sure the lighting was perfect, with it coming from the left of the image and fading out to the right, so that the Photoshop effect I added would create an interesting effect with lots of colours.<br />The appearance of the text is also crucial to the overall image of the final product. If the text appears too plain or even too “fancy”, the right message will not be conveyed to the audience and the feel of the magazine is compromised.<br />I have also learnt small techniques to improve the overall appearance of my work and make it appear more professional. For instance, I now know that placing the price at this side above the bar code makes the magazine look less sophisticated. That is why, for my real design, I placed a small price label just above the actual bar code itself in small writing after following the design of the magazines I researched. I also placed the price underneath the title so that it can clearly be seen to the reader.<br />I also learnt how important the clothes that the subject wears are as well as the colours of the clothes because they have to match the colours of the house style of the magazine in order to maintain a look of consistency and professionalism. During my preliminary task, I did not put much thought into what clothes the subject was wearing so they did not match the house style I chose for that cover. However, while creating the real product I took great care in ensuring the colours that the model was wearing matched the colours of the house style.<br />
  12. 12. I have learnt how to manipulate text more to create a contents that resembles an actual contents page rather than just a mere list of features for a magazine. <br />My contents page also appears more detailed and therefore more realistic compared to the preliminary task. I have spaced out the writing more which would make it seem less tedious to read and find which page number the reader is looking for, and the page has been separated into colourful columns and boxes, providing it with more character.<br />The background is primarily white, giving the contents an ordinary, boring and lifeless appearance. In my real piece, I have used the colours of my house style to create an interesting looking page that would make the reader want to continue reading. Although the purpose of the preliminary contents was to achieve a simple yet sophisticated look, I have still created a simple page yet it looks more detailed and therefore richer than the preliminary piece. <br />I have inserted arrows and tilted titles to again add another dimension to the page, making it appear subtly more interesting than the preliminary piece.<br />I have paid more attention to layout of contents pages and the smallest details such as the placement of images, text and the types of images that are acceptable for use and how these can differ from the images used on a front cover. For example, on my contents page for my real product the model is looking down whilst playing the guitar, which would be unacceptable for the cover. It is essential for the model to be looking directly into the camera for the cover shot so that the face is not hidden in any way, and so that the person making figurative eye contact, coupled with the surrounding text, can establish a relationship with the reader and will therefore make them want to buy the magazine.<br />