E v a l u a t i o n By Veselina Yordanova Fortismere School
R esearch P rocess As a part of my Media Studies As level course, I was assigned to design a number of publications for a new music magazine. I began the project by researching several different existing music magazines in order to examine the layout, fonts and articles regularly seen in such type of magazines. Before I began working on my own magazine I critically analyzed and evaluated a variety of different music magazines and articles. I found this research process extremely beneficial as it enabled me to enrich my knowledge on the magazine industry and the features that make a music magazine an excellent selling product that appeals to it’s targeted demographic. The research process helped me consider different styles for my magazine and pointed me out in the right direction for the production and appearance of my own magazine, it’s aims and conventions. For more Information Refer to: Nirvana research
I n what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products ? During the production of my own music magazine I both used and developed the conventions and forms of a 'typical' music magazine. I felt it’s important for my magazine to reflect the normal image of music magazines. That’s why I have produced a front cover and contents page with layouts and mise-en scene similar to the usual productions. Through the use of a strong central image on the front cover I have conveyed a certain theme to my magazine; mirroring the typical rock way of life. I have challenged the convention and forms of existing music magazines by creating the double page spread in a more atypical way by using an interesting and unique layout for it. The double page spread offers the audience an unusual article that consists of manipulated images and background that have an enormous effect on the viewer because they are so interesting and engage the viewer by recreating the ‘context’ of the themes covered in the interview i.e. fire poi, music love, rock and emotions. Click to see the processes of production of the Front cover and Contents page
H ow does your media product represent particular social groups ? My music magazine definitely represents a particular social group (and this was one of it’s aims). I wanted my magazine to relate to the group of people who are missing real life essentials such as simplicity, music and true emotions. I wanted my magazine to help those people by presenting them with something new but desperately missing in the music magazine industry. I wanted my magazine to appeal to people who are real music lovers and are to buy the magazine not because of it’s glossy cover and expenses but because they are interested in reading about people who they can relate to, people who create music because they love it, people who they honestly admire and appreciate.
W hat kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why ? There are many different institutions that could distribute my music magazine for a variety of reason. I have chosen an institution that would ensure that my magazine can reach all the people who need it. According to it’s original website The Bauer Publishing Group “has grown from its humble beginnings as a printing house into a worldwide publishing empire comprising 282 magazines in 15 countries…and annual turnover of 1.79 billion Euro”. This information is enough for me to choose this institution because it is perfectly capable of realizing Nirvana and making it the international magazine bestseller. For more information about Bauer Publishing Group visit this website: www.bauer.co.uk
Nirvana will be distributed through off license shops, newsagents, book stores, music stores etc. Another characteristic that makes Nirvana unique is that copies of the magazines will be left in clubs or places where gigs and other concerts are held. The fact that nobody will be paying for the magazine is a bit disturbing because the Bauer Publisher would not agree to distribute copies for free. That’s why the magazine would have contract with the organization of the gig which states that the magazine would distribute for free( i.e. sponsor the event) if the groups performing or the managers agree to give a review of the concert in which they will describe the whole process they went through to put together the big event. I think that Bauer would not mind it then because the magazine is likely to sell more copies if they have such an in depth truthful review of the concert coming from people who had actually ‘created’ it.
W ho would be the audience for your media product ? Nirvana is targeted to people aged 20-25 but everyone who likes this kind of music is welcomed to read and enjoy the magazine. I have chosen this demographic because middle aged people would be more clear and consistent in their buying habits and behavior. This makes their age group a serious and reliable target audience. The target audiences consist of people who like ‘natural’ rock and classic music. This music is not changed using expensive technical equipments in the recording studio and the musicians are truly talented and don’t create music for free.
H ow did you attract/address your audience ? The magazine clearly directs to its target audience through all of its features including the font, the layout, the pictures and the colours. The colours I have used create an effective contrast between dark/cold and fright/warm colours, which creates association with danger, risk and impulse. It’s interesting how these three words relate not only to the associations of colours but the associations of rock music as a whole. Another way in which Nirvana directs to its audience is its pictures and the ‘celebrities’ featured in the magazine. All the pictures are of people who look like typical rock stars so they will appeal to the audience. Furthermore, the actual sell lines on the front cover and the articles as a whole attract the specific target audience because they are about the musicians they like and are not too commercial and ‘teen’ like. The survey also indicated that the audience likes this type of information to be included in the new music magazine. Click on the figure to see survey results
W hat have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product ? Through the constructing process I have significantly developed my Photoshop and ICT skills. Photoshop is professional software that is used by most of the magazine editors in the current industry in order to correct their publication and make them of a higher quality. I have used this software so I too can produce a magazine which looks professional and of a high quality rather than amateurish. Before starting the course I did not have a basic understanding of Photoshop. The preliminary task trained me the basics of Photoshop such as adjustment and layer manipulation. However during the music magazine project I have learned more challenging things such as blending pictures together, filtering an image, blending options etc. The three publications I have created show more than excellence in using Photoshop. There is a significant progress in my work which can be easily seen when comparing the amateur school magazine front cover with the high quality, professional music magazine cover I have created.
T he Blo g Despite learning how to use Photoshop in a more professional manner, the project has also helped me gain a basic understanding of how HTML. By manipulating the HTML of my digital blog I have managed to create a blog which has well structured semantics for text and visual images. The blog looks very organized and presents the work I have done in an excellent and appropriate way. I have used the HTML knowledge I have gained from the preliminary task to change the template of my blog. I have chosen a template theme which relates to music as it looks interesting, passionate and magical. Its colours work exceptionally well in attracting the viewer and creating a patter that helps the viewer understand the text and make connection between different posts.
I C T The music magazine production has also given me valuable ICT skills such as installing different fonts into a PC and using Power Point and uploading it into www.slideshare.net . I have used the www.dafont.com to download more interesting and attractive fonts for my music magazine which I have installed into my Photoshop Software. I have used Power Point to create this presentation for my evaluation because it offered me the opportunity to use pictures and links with other websites and files. Power Point has helped me produce an evaluation which is not like an essay but shows the full use of media advantages such as links, pictures, and graphics. Now my presentation looks more professional, structured and formal. I have also used the internet to research past productions of music magazines and enrich my knowledge by looking at the work of others and the ideas they had developed.
L ooking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product ? Looking back at my preliminary task I have developed many new skills and have improved my work significantly. The preliminary task was of a great value for me because it was a practice before the real thing had actually begun. I think I did pretty well in the design of a school magazine. However there is a significant progress in my technical, creative and organization skills between the preliminary task and the music magazine project. I am now more independent and confident with the productions I have created because they look far more professional compared to the medium quality front cover I have produced for my school magazine. There is also a progress in my technical language because I have enriched my media magazine terminology as I have learnt that there is a different language used in magazines to attract and engage the audience. This emotive typical language is what keeps the audience interested in the magazine. This is what was missing in my school magazine but is progressively shown in the music magazine. Another area in which I show a major progress is the evaluation itself. In the preliminary task I did not pay attention to all the media methods I could have used to create an effective evaluation. Now my evaluation does not look like a school essay but looks professional and more reflective.
I am extremely satisfied with my final front cover, contents page and double page spread as they appear unique and realistic. I especially like the way I have positioned the pictures of the model within the guitar from the background template in the double page spread. This was very challenging and difficult to produce using Photoshop. Another aspect I am proud with is the colour scheme present in all the three publications. Such colour scheme not only catches the eye of the viewer but reflects the themes of music and passion. All the publications look professional and realistic which was my aim at the beginning of the course. If I had the opportunity to go back and do this again I would improve my work by benefiting from other media sources such as video and podcast. It would be a great idea to use video camera to record the evaluation as an interview. However I did not have enough time and equipments to do so due to problematic time management. I hope that the modern style, attractive features and up-to-date content present within Nirvana will appeal greatly to my demographic and all other people who are looking for something new and exiting. C onclusio n
I hope you have enjoyed my magazine and its production process as much as I have! Music is more than special