INTRODUCTION <ul><li>I designed a music/fashion magazine as my product </li></ul><ul><li>I worked individually </li></ul><ul><li>I created the front page, contents page and double page feature article of my music magazine </li></ul><ul><li>I took all the photos for the pages of my magazine: a studio shoot and location shoots of my main artist and photos for my content page. </li></ul><ul><li>I Wrote my own article for the double page spread on the featured artist in my magazine. </li></ul>
Results of my audience testing: QUESTION 1 : What does the title suggest to you? 2 of the people I asked said that the title suggested a change in music where 8 of the people answered a new type of music. This is the kind of response I wanted to gain from the title of my product, as I thought that the genre of music I hade based my magazine on was slightly new and fresh and quite young.
QUESTION 2 : What genre/type of music does the magazine focus on and how do you know this? 1 person answered that they thought my magazine was an alternative/rock genre of music and the rest answered Indie. This also a good response as the music genre of my magazine was basically these types of genres combined; there were elements of each of these music genres in my magazine
QUESTION 3 : what makes the pages look professional and what stops them from looking professional? Most of the people answered that the front cover looked very professional like an actually magazine you might buy. Some people answered that the layout was very complex and creative which made it look more professional and not just basic. They also said that the way some of the images had been edited made the magazine look more professional and stuck with the genre of the magazine really well. People also mentioned that there was consistency through the pages; using the same colour palette and fonts. People said that the magazine could have been more improved with the images of the artists, they said that on some of the images the artist just looked like a normal person but they had been edited well. People also said that the outfits could have been more interesting and less plain. 2 of the people mentioned that the contents page looked less professional as there was a lot of text.
QUESTION 4 : How genuine does the front cover seem? Everyone answered that the front cover looked the most genuine and looked like a magazine you might actually see in a shop and buy. One person also said that the front cover made it obvious what type of audience was being targeted by the layout, colours and image as well as the fonts.
QUESTION 5 : Does the contents page simply inform or does it also manage to interest you in reading the rest of the magazine? Most of the people said that the block of text in the middle didn’t just inform and your attention was drawn to vital parts that might interest people because they were different colours, fonts and sizes. 3 of the people said they liked how the main artist stood out with a large font and picture to dominate the page and your eye was immediately drawn to this story, the way it said ‘new girl on the block’ made it look like she was an important person and someone you would like to read more on.
QUESTION 6 : Does the article sound like a piece of journalism? If not what bits don’t sound right? Everyone said that the journalism was good and sounded like an actual interview. 8 of the people mentioned how there were swear words in the article which definitely made the artist seem genuine and fit in with the whole image of the artist that had been portrayed and also the genre of the magazine. Some people said that more ‘pushy’ questions could have been asked to make some of the answers more interesting and they could find out things they might not usually find out about an artist.
QUESTION 7 :Does the article layout make you want to read it? If not why not? Everyone said that they liked the layout. Most people said they liked how it was really complex and creative and not just basic blocks of colours and text. 2 of the people said the use of the masking tape and postet notes made the magazine look really creative and interesting. 1 Person said that the fact the contents page was really busy made it look like there was a lot of interesting things for them to read inside. However 2 of the people mentioned that the double page spread was a bit more plain compared to the front cover and contents page and didn’t look as interesting.
1) In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? The genre of my magazine is a music magazine. The genre of music is indie/alternative/britpop. Large, bold title, makes the magazine recognisable and stand out, also helps establish the genre and type of magazine that it is. I think the fact that it is a bold black font portrays the genre as more alternative/indie, this can also be portrayed by the brown tape. It definitely doesn’t portray a girly pop magazine and probably not a rock magazine either. I used a larger font for the name of the main artist featured inside the magazine which is a very common convention on the front cover of magazines, they’re called ‘leading captions’. Makes it obvious what type of artist will be inside the magazine and makes the main feature of the magazine stand out to the audience. I used a variety of different fonts which is also a common convention on the front page of a magazine. Using a variety helps make the magazine look more appealing and authentic to the audience and stops the reader from getting bored. I included a barcode with issue number and price. This is what any real magazine would include. It helps make the magazine look more genuine. I have used a typical large photo that dominates the front page. This is also used on most magazines. It can help to make it clear to the audience what genre and type of magazine it is, as the particular artist on the front cover may belong to a certain genre. Another common convention is that the model on the cover is using direct address, which is used to make it look like the model is engaging with the reader and makes it more personal. Another convention of front cover shots is that they are medium/close-up shots, which I have used, The image is more in your face and stands out. The image of the person on the front cover also tends to be the main feautre inside the magazine. The pose/attitude of the model portrays a fun aspect to the magazine. This is important on front pages to help portray the ethos and genre of the magazine at first glance. The colours used, I think help to reflect the target audience. The use of pink makes it clear that the magazine is for a female audience
In my contents page I have included images with the page numbers with them. This is a typical magazine convention for music magazines. This makes my contents page look more authentic and genuine. It is also helpful for readers to quickly find a page that might interest them.They may see the photo of an artist that they particularly like and will immediately know want page to turn to. I have challenged the conventions of a typical contents page slightly with the image of my feature artist. Usually all the images are of similar size, whereas my image is predominantly larger and dominates the page more than anything else on my contents page. I did this, as it is clear who the main featured artist is in this certain issue. The layout of my contents page isn’t necessarily typical of a any music magazine; it is cluttered and isn’t as simple as other magazine pages. Usually, the layout is quite simple and organised and more clear. Most magazines tend to have a banner at the bottom of the page with useful information It is typical in the contents page of magazines to contain an editors note/letter. This makes the magazine more personal to the reader and this is a way for the magazine to engage with the reader creating a more comfortable and friendly sense. It also helps to quickly summarise what the weeks’ issue will be about.
I used a large font of a different colour which makes it clear what the article is about, which is a typical convention used in magzines. I have also included a description of what the article will be about , it helps to introduce the article. another typical convention in dopuble page spreads and articles is to have text grabs. The text grabs emphasizes key pieces of information in an article that will interest the reader and may make them more likely to read the article. However, the text grabs don’t stand out and aren’t as large as they are in typical magazines. I have tried to keep all 3 pages consistent by using the same colours used on my other pages, such as the pale pink and teal/turquoise colour. I have also kept the style consistent by using the tape and polaroids. This is important to make the pages look like they actually belong together. I As I have used columns for my article, which is a typical convention for magazine articles, however it can make the page look too organised and boxy as well as make the text look quite overwhelming. To break up the bulk of text I have used different colours. This is used in many magazines and I feel it is an effective way of making the article look more readable.
2)How does your media product represent particular social groups? In my magazine I have based my feature article on a female artist as my magazine is aimed at a female audience. I have also used an artist that looks about the same age as my target audience which is 16+, this makes it easier for the audience to relate to artists’ in my magazine. However I have also used a male artist on my contents page, as I wanted there to be a diverse range of artists’ and females can also read about male artists. I felt the costumes I used for my artist also suited my targeted social group. The genre of the music magazine is indie/alternative. I had researched into fashion for the indie genre and after seeing examples of type of dress I felt these were very suitable outfits. The colours used are also appropriate; the browns/blacks/creams/navy blues seem to be very ‘in’ after my research. I also found that patterns such as stripes were popular and also the style of pants used and denim shirts are also very popular. As I was also using a male artist within my contents, I thought I should also research into boys indie fashion. I found out that check shirts were one of the most appropriate styls for this type of dress and also the green/cream chino trousers. Using the correct style of dress was important so that my magazine attracts the right type of audience. The clothes and fashion were also important as my magazine is a hybrid of music and fashion, so it was important to pay as much attention to the fashion as well as music. In my blog research and planning I decided that I wanted my artist to have quite simple make-up. However I also wanted her to also seem trendy, I found out that rosey pale pink lipstick was popular and I also used minimal eye make-up. I also knew that the 3d geek glasses were popular and I thought using them might enhance the fun and care-free nature of my artist. I wanted my artist to come across as a fun and quite bubbly but not cheesy. I think this pose used manages to portray that but also helps her to portray the controversial and cool attitude I want my artist to have.
I have represented the artists’ in my magazine for a reason; they appeal to my targeted audience-especially the age and gender and also considering the interests that my audience would have. Question 2 on my audience feedback asked ‘ What type of genre/ type of music does the magazine focus on and how do you know this?’ Everyone answered that they thought it was Indie/ alternative/brit pop, which is definitely the genre of music I wanted to put across. People who answered said that they knew this for many reasons: the artists and bands that were mentioned on the front page and contents page, the artists’ appearance and costumes and also the layout. One person answered that the layout was quite chaotic and creative without being cheesy.
3)What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? The institution I decided would be best for the distribution of my magazine was IPC media. IPC Media produces over 85 iconic media brands, with print brands alone reaching almost two thirds of UK women and 44% of UK men – almost 27 million UK adults – while online brands collectively reach 20 million users every month. Brands that I were particularly interested in were NME and LOOK. Look is fashion magazine mainly, with the type of content that I think is also relevant to my own product. NME is mainly a music magazine and contains exactly the type of music genre and artists that are relevant to my magazine. I also feel that these two magazines reach out and target the same type of age group and social groups that I Intended to aim my own magazine at.
4) Who would be the audience for your media product? <ul><li>I will discuss the intended audience of my music magazine using GRASS. (Gender, race, age and socio-economic status.) </li></ul><ul><li>The targeted gender for my magazine will be female; my magazine uses mainly feminine colours and contains information on fashion and music that I feel would only really interest a female audience. As well as this, the main artist that appears on my front cover and in my double page spread is a female artist who I have intended to appeal to a female audience. </li></ul><ul><li>There isn’t really a targeted a race for my magazine. My product could really appeal to any race it depends on what type of music and fashion they are into and whether my magazine would even interest them. As my magazine contains international bands as well as just British artists, my magazine could also appeal to not just a British audience. </li></ul><ul><li>The age range intended for my product is 16-25. The reason for this is that I feel that people in this age range are more likely to be interested in the genre of music, as it is quite a new and fresh genre that I don’t feel would appeal as much to an older audience. I think also the fashion element of this magazine is something that would tend to interest teens and young adults more. </li></ul><ul><li>My magazine will be aimed at group D in the socio economic status. This is the lower working class, as most of the readers will probably be students at college or university with small part-time jobs or just have started their working career. </li></ul><ul><li>I think the audience I have chosen to target is very appropriate and beneficial for my magazine; at the moment music and fashion is something that I feel is definitely targeted at my type of audience. Especially with the genre of the music, which is indie/alternative which seems to be extremely popular amongst the younger audiences, and all of the people that answered my questionnaire answered that it managed to interest them and wanted to read it. </li></ul>
5) How did you attract/address your audience? When producing my music magazine I had to consider all the aspects of the product and how and if they would attract/address the chosen target audience. The first aspect I thought about was my choice of title. The genre of music for magazine was indieof music; /alternative/britpop, this genre of music isn’t exactly soft or poppy, it is more softer rock, so therefore I didn’t want my title to give the front cover a cheesy/pop look and not a hardcore rock look, I wanted to get it just in between. I used black, which contrasts with the other colours on my front cover and makes the title stand out to the audience, I also did this by using quite a plain bold font in caps letters. I used the name ‘REVOLUTION’ as it definitely represents the genre; indie/alternative music is a genre that has recently become very popular especially with a younger audience and can suggest that the magazine is brand new, fresh and modern. The first question in my questionnaire was ‘What does the title suggest to you’ .All of the people who took part in my audience feedback answered along the lines that the title suggested a change in music or a magazine containing new and popular music. The image on the front cover definitely targets my chosen audience. The fact that my artist is female targets gender for my magazine. My artist is doing playful and fun pose which I think would target the younger audience, this pose also portrays the magazine as quite casual and informal. I have dressed the artist to suit the genre of the music as well as the latest fashions that I had researched. This was important as the audience of my magazine would be interested in the fashion and also the music. Her top is a dark blue, which contrasts with the other colours on my front page; this was important as the other colours are soft pastel colours, which do help appeal to a female audience, but I also want to appeal to an audience that would would be interested in the genre of music which isn’t really feminine or girly so I think the dark colour of the title and also the artists’ outfit create a nice balance between the fact that the magazine is aimed at female but also people that are interested in the type of music my magazine focuses on.
The storylines on my front cover also had to be considered in order to appeal and attract my desired audience. This first storyline suggests a brand new artist that has maybe become increasingly popular among the music community. The name of my artist is also quite a fun name . This storyline definitely suggests the fact that the magazine features pieces on fashion and not just music. The fact that it it uses ‘top 10 trends’ could definitely attract a young female audience, as it implies that the magazine knows the best trends at the moment and will help the audience to ‘fit in’ and have the latest look, this is definitely something that would appeal to a young audience that pay more attention to their look, appearance and ‘fitting in’ more than an older audience probably would, The storylines on my front cover also had to be considered in order to appeal and attra First of all, this storyline features a very popular band that fits in with my chosen music genre. The storyline is bold and black and immediately stands out; people who see this storyline who like this type of music may be interested in what is inside the magazine. Also, the word ‘UNCUT’ suggests that there is no holding back in the content of the magazine, it is quite out there and gives information that might seem inappropriate in other magazines. The artists’ featured on my front cover definitely fit in with the chosen music genre of my magazine. People who see these artists’ on the cover of a magazine who may be interested in artist’s on the cover will probably want to read more on the artists’ inside.
I wanted there to be a friendly tone to the magazine and make it more personal to the reader. I think an editors note is a good way to do this. At the end it says ‘ enjoy and happy new year’ which I think is definetely creating a warm and friendly tone to the magazine by using direct address to the reader. The fact that it mentions that it is a new year and you can expect the ‘latest’ fashion trends make it seem quite exclusive , like this is the first place to gain all the best and newest fashion and music trends. I used a really large and quite chaotic font to contrast with the rest of the contents page to make this stand out and make it obvious that this artist is big and someone to look out for and hopefully encourage people to read about her. I also highlighted ‘next big thing’ in bold, which just emphasises the fact this is an artist that is being talked about. I have highlighted the word ‘Tweets’ in bold, this way people who may like this artist may automatically be drawn to this story and want to read more. ‘keep your eye out for’ suggests that these are artists that are going to be big in the next year, the use of direct address is directly telling the reader that they NEED to know about these artists.
As I was aware that big blocks of text in a plain layout could put the reader off. So to make the page look less organised and boxy I fit my text around the image and I felt this looked alot more professional and reader friendly. I wanted to get across the personality of the artist but didn’t want to fill the pages with lots and lots of images and not information about the reader. So I thought a more interesting and creative way of presenting my images was to put them inside this photo strip. I think this made the page look less like just photos and text and added a bit more character and creativity to the page. For the title of my article, I thought about how I wanted my artist to be portrayed and also how I would grab the readers attention. Firstly, I knew I wanted my artist to come across as quite controversial and down to earth, so I think using the words ‘tells us how it is’ suggests that there is no holding back in the article and every little detail is exposed. I also used the the quite sketchy font as I think it looked raw and gritty and could reflect the content in the article. I think the use of the paper and masking tape layered behind also enhanced this effect as well as making the title more interesting and creative. As well as this I wanted to keep the consistency of the other pages and used similar fonts and colours to that of the contents page and front cover
I used text grabs in my article, which would draw the readers eye to parts that they may think will be interesting and would make them want to read the whole article. One I used was ‘Ijust hate Lilly Allen’ I think this definitely portrays my artist as controversial, and controversial information is usually what readers would find most interesting. Also the fact that Lilly Allen is a well known artist and also known as controversial, makes it appear as if the article contains really juicy gossip and information that readers might not find anywhere else, therefore encouraging them to read the whole piece. I have also extracted a piece from the article, that I feel also helps build up the image of my artist as controversial because of the use of informal language and the swear words. I think this also helps fit in with the music genre of the magazine. I think a few ideologies’ of celebrities are backed up in my piece. The fact that they can be a bit off the rails and controversial, which I think audiences respond really well to, they like to see the more interesting and probably more shocking information, I think this is what people would prefer to read rather than a nice and predictable article. Also I think I have represented my artist as not just obsessed with money and fame, I have extracted some parts of my article which show my artist has grateful for her success and someone who loves their music. Also in the article there is a part where the artist mentions that they shop in charity shops; this is really different and isn;t what you’d usually expect from a successful artist, which will probably shock the reader but also put them on the same level as the artist and make the artist seem more down to earth and familiar.
6)What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? <ul><li>Throughout the process, I have learnt alot of different techniques to produce the best product I can. I have used a variety of different technologies which I think have definitely helped to create my product as without them, I don’t think I would have been able to achieve as much of a high quality. </li></ul><ul><li>BLOG- firstly I created a blog which was really helpful in recording all of my planning, research, thoughts, ideas and the general development of my magazine. To do this I used a website called www.blogger.com During the development of my product I could add new posts containing anything I thought would help produce the best product possible. The blog was really successful as I could access it from anywhere that had internet access and I could easily refer back to anything on my blog that might help with the designing of my magazine. </li></ul><ul><li>INDESIGN – this was the programme where I basically put my magazine together. I think this was probably the best programme possible for me to use and was able to create the design and layout of my pages really easily. At first I found it quite a hard programme to get to grips with but I quickly got used to it and found that it helped me to create a really professional and high-quality product. I could do everything I wanted to do using the programme, I could resize images, layer images, there was a wide range of different fonts, I could input text really easily and create really professional and creative effects with shapes and images on my pages. </li></ul><ul><li>PHOTOSHOP- i felt photoshop was extremely helpful in creating the professional look of my images in the magazine. Photoshop was really good at editing and enhancing my photographs, I think that without photoshop I wouldn’t have been able to create the same effects and the same look that I wanted in my pages. Once taking my photographs and uploading them into photoshop I could basically create really interesting and eye catching images. For instance, I was able to adjust the brightness/contrast, colours and saturation of my photos which made them look of a much higher quality. For my image on the front cover I could also use photoshop to cut around my subject and create a blank background, this took a while and you had to be very careful but in the end gave really professional results. I think this programme was really successful and I used it to it’s full potential. </li></ul><ul><li>- DIGITAL CAMERA- To capture the photographs for my magazine I used a digital camera. This worked really well at capturing my subject at various different angles, heights and I was able to zoom in and out. Therefore I could have a collection of varying photos that could work well on the front page, contents page and double page spread. I could also adjust the brightness on the camera, this was a really good feature as when I took photos outside for my location shoot I could lower the brightness and make my photos more clear. I could also upload my photos really easily onto the computer and then easily copy them into my own folder where I could sort them out and choose which ones I wanted to use. The camera was definitely successful and an extremely vital part in creating my finished product. </li></ul>
7)Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I feel I have definitely learnt and progressed a massive amount from my preliminary task to my finished product. My prelim magazine definitely didn’t look proffessional; it looked quite plain and amateur and didn’t look like a genuine magazine you might see in a shop- even though I had used all the same programmes I used in my final product. First of all I think I definitely improved using Indesign, I had created much more interesting layouts and had managed the space on my pages much more effectively. One thing I noticed, was that on my prelim, I had placed my image so that it was appearing out the side of the page, whereas on my final product it was in the middle. I realise now that this made my prelim magazine look so much less professional due to the layout, and this is why all the headlines on the front cover seemed to be oddly placed and didn’t really look as effective. I also learnt that front cover images are very important. On my prelim magazine, the subject was in medium shot and her body was facing to the side, this wasn’t effective and didn’t make the magazine look eye catching or appealing. On my final magazine the subject was in a close up shot with her whole body facing forwards and using direct address, I think this is a much more effective way of catching the readers attention and engaging with them. I learnt that my storylines on the front cover must also stand out to the reader, these are what may encourage them to buy the magazine and read what’s inside. I used different font styles and sizes on my front cover so that everything didn’t look the same and boring and that different storylines would stand out. I also used contrasting colours to the background and image behind so that the text didn’t blend in and stood out to the reader. The final product definitely shows an improvement from when I first began. I think the layout is the most improved and looks much more professional than that of my prelim magazine. I feel I had developed my skills more in Indesign and photoshop, which definitely helped me to improve. I had had more time to get to grasps with each programme and explore all the potential things I could do with each programme.
Conclusion To conclude the evaluation of my magazine, I would say I am really happy with my final product. I think it definitely appeals to my target audience with the use of text, colours, layout and images. I think the colours used and the images definitely appeal to the female audience I wanted. The text and language is suitable for the age of my audience as well as the music genre of indie/alternative as it is quite informal. I think I have also managed to keep balance between the fact that this magazine is music/fashion magazine for females but also with a music genre of inide/alternative, as I was afraid that it may come across as too girly or pop genre, but I think I managed to steer away from this with the chaotic layouts and the bold, raw and edgy fonts. I am also pleased with the photos I took, I think the way I directed the model and also styled the model suited the target audience extremely well, they gave off a fun and positive energy which appeals to the teen audience but also had a cool edge sticking with the music genre of rock/alternative. The only weakness I found with my product was the double page spread mainly. As this was the last page I had to produce, I had less time to work on it and it was slightly more rushed that the other pages. I don’t think it’s bad but I think a few more extra details and tweeks to the page could have made it look a lot more professional. I also think the layout of this page wasn’t as successful as the other pages and could have been made to look alot more eye catching and as creative and busy as the other pages. However, despite these points, I am really happy with my finished magazine and have learnt an awful lot of helpful techniques through using new programmes that I have really enjoyed using.