What was the theme of your project and what attracted you to it?
The theme of my project was creating a campaign fixated on the cuisine in which York has to offer, more specifically
to younger audiences, and channeling that through a magazine filled with a great deal of information regarding that
topic. I feel familiar with the target audience which I had set for my product (18-24) and therefore I based my work
around what I personally and my peers would look for in a magazine designed for them specifically. I am aware of
the attraction to trendy and delicious brunch spots / cafes via social media and therefore, I knew that creating a
magazine which features information on places of that description would not only reach my target audience but
additionally benefit local businesses.
My social media feed is often filled with trendy recipes/brunch spots/restaurants, and I witness those posts reach
upwards of thousands of likes so I know that the market for finding ‘instagrammable’ brunchy locations is very
prominent to younger social media users. Therefore, not only did I produce a magazine but also a taster of a social
media page in which the brand I produced would likely have in order to reach out to its audience further.
What research did you undertake and how did it help
develop your project?
In terms of research for my project, I conducted a PowerPoint designated to cumulating information that will benefit
me when moving into the production phase of the project. I begun my research by developing an understanding of
my target audience (18-24) and what they might expect from a product of my description. I started by
researching the percentage in which the likeliness that my age band is likely to visit York and ways in which I could
boost the numbers. I did this by noting common interests of 18–24-year old's and expressing that York offers all
their potential needs such as brunching spots, photography locations, shopping etc. Therefore, I incorporated all
these elements and made them key factors of my magazine in order to branch out to my audience. Furthermore, I
went on to describe my experience as an older teen and having peers that fit into the demographic for my product
and explained how the growth of social media has influenced myself and others and the relevance that integrating
trendy ‘instagrammable’ locations in my trial would be.
In addition to highlighting the significance of using a social media platform as another product of my work, I went
on to do further research on pre-existing products. I started with looking at the VisitYork campaign which is an
information hub for tourists of York. I found myself inspired by the volume of information the VisitYork website
gives, for example if you search for ‘tours in York’ through the website search bar, you are supplied with an array of
different genres of tours which the city has to offer which led to me contemplating my options of design for my
own work. The second element of my existing product research was on the @york.independentlife Instagram page.
I found inspiration through the professionalism of the page and the way it is predominantly food based, which
ultimately led to my decision to create a food tour as I noticed how big the market is in ‘raved about’ restaurants in
the local area due to their large following (13.8k).
What research did you undertake and how did it help
develop your project?
The final aspect of my research for this project was a survey/questionnaire that I created personally so that I could
reach out to the demographic in which I am reaching and gather their opinions/results and apply that knowledge in
the production phase. I was given the opportunity to send my survey to university students at York St John
University and therefore acquired the responses I needed from the exact audience I am targeting. I asked relevant
questions such as “What is your favourite thing to do in York?”, “Where would you recommend to eat at in York?”
and “What are your hobbies/ like to do in your spare time?”. These are all key to understanding what will stand out
to my audience and I can therefore create a product based around their highest needs.
How did you develop and improve your ideas throughout the
By grasping a greater understanding of the kind of product I could produce through my research, I laid out my
main ideas for my project through a separate ‘Planning’ PowerPoint. This PowerPoint included key ideas through
mind maps, mood boards, and brief potential concepts for my project. I developed my ideas by looking at potential
approaches for my product such as different aesthetic concepts such as a high end/vogue-like magazine and
potential tour topics such as a photography tour. However, I decided to not follow through with these ideas as I felt
they did not reach the brief for the type of content that most of my target audience would want to participate in.
Developing a concept board also allowed me to visualize the aesthetic of my magazine and potential photography
techniques I could incorporate into my magazine. I took inspiration from the bright colours contrasting the dark
black and white and a graffiti-like font and interpreted it into my own work as a result.
Creating a PowerPoint which exhibited all my key ideas and plans for my project allowed me to produce my final
concepts for the project, however I believe I could have gone into further detail by expanding
the potential approaches for the tour and experimented more with photoshop so that I was
completely prepared for the real thing.
How did you feel about the project before you started?
At first, I was unsure of the type of content that a trial through York could be in a way that would attract young
adults. This is because from my own experiences of witnessing tourists in York participating in trials, they are often
predominantly aged 30+ or experiencing the trial as a family outing. Personally, I have not heard of many people
my age/ slightly older voluntarily participating in a city tour as it does not appear very often that young adults/older
teens visit a city for the haunted history (e.g. York Ghost Trial) or for something along those lines. Therefore, I knew
if I had to produce something specific to young adults, I had to do so by advertising the city in a more youthful
Once I had a key concept idea, I was prepared for the production and editing phase of the project as I already have
a few past experiences in working on a magazine model and so I felt familiar with the photoshop software that I
would be using. For example, back when I was doing my media GCSE in secondary school, I had produced a
magazine front cover as a key project which graded distinction and again in my first year of college, when
producing movie posters, I created a movie magazine front page. I had not yet worked on a double page spread
but I was excited to try experimenting with print media concepts.
What do you think about your project development and how did it
help you to refine your idea?
Throughout my production phase of this project, I did a lot of testing with different fonts and colours that I thought
would fit the brief of the concept I had in mind. In my planning in noted how I am aware of how prominent
y2k/90s aesthetic is in today’s younger culture and therefore I intended to interoperate indications of those
aesthetics in my work. After taking my research into account, consequently, I incorporated a typewriter-like font
(Nixie One) as the leading font throughout to ensure it obtained that nostalgic enhancement. Not only that, but I
added the use of bright blocks of color through photo editing and as the masthead for each page and made each
page, which I produced, have an individual colour to represent the different topics that are being covered. By
colorizing images and adding grainy film effects, the magazine is set to have an editorial aroma and seem more
engaging to the younger audience, whereas if I were producing content for women aged 50+, for example, I
would’ve kept the aesthetic clean-cut by making the fonts plain and the images posed and clear.
How did you feel when the project was completed and why?
I am proud of the outcome of my product as I enjoy producing magazines and testing with
different editorial aesthetics. Though, I am aware that I could’ve made the trial concept
slightly more interactive than words on paper despite the idea being social media based. The
idea was for students to get involved with the many tastes in which the city has to offer and
express their reviews through a social media page for the magazine. However, I did not
actively get real responses, instead I produced a mockup of what the page should’ve looked
like. I believe that had I been more active and operative in the production phase (e.g.,
building a real social media page over time and build a small following) I would’ve had more
content to put towards my social media element of the project and my magazine overall.
I have no regrets in terms of the work I have done as I am happy with the quality of work, it
is simply just the quantity in which I suppose I could’ve improved.
What were the good points about the project/task and what did you
learn from them?
• I learnt about the importance of composing visual mood boards/ concept boards. This is because compiling a
group of images together which fit the aesthetic requirements I have in mind give me the opportunity to ponder
at potential approaches I could take in the production phase of the project that I may have not thought about
before. For example, I had in mind that the magazine would have grungy undertones and after researching pre-
exiting products that fit that description, I was exposed to elements such as bold, bright colours which I would
have not usually associated with that description, but it evidently works well.
• I believe that after this project, I have a deeper understanding of different ways to cater to a certain
demographic. For instance, gathering in-depth research and studying the age group which I targeted meant that
I was able to build my product around the needs and standards of my audience which I succeeded in doing. For
example, I build every element of the magazine around the ideologies of a ‘trendy’ zine that will attract to a
younger audience from the colours, font, text, images and image filters, and concept.
• I have also learnt that an extremely efficient way of researching my audience on a personal level is by
conducting surveys based upon the first ideas of the project and sending them to the target audience first-hand.
The survey includes questions that will later help in the production phase so that I can create a product that will
attract to my audience.
What challenges did you face and how did you respond to them? Try
and think of at least 3...
• A challenge I faced during this project was producing the concept of the tour. This is because I struggled to
devise a tour that would interest a young audience and get as many people involved as possible due to the busy
schedule of students. I responded to this challenge by creating a survey so that I could engage with my
audience and get personal responses on the kind of things they enjoy doing in the city, which ultimately led to
me doing a food tour as “visiting restaurants” was the most common answer.
• Another challenge I faced was time. For example, due to the large amount of research for each individual
restaurant/ café in York along with writing up content for the magazine, it meant that my work schedule was
very research based. This led to me falling behind slightly however I have managed to catch up by working at
home and in my study sessions so that I have no missing work.
• The third challenge I faced was finding assistance with my practical element of my project due to the busy
schedules of my peers. Therefore, this meant that I completed this project completely by myself and had to
shoot a few photos included in the magazine with no help.
What were the negative points about the experience, and what
could you have done to improve them?
A negative point about the experience of this project was that I contributed a limited amount of my own
photography to the zine. This is because I lacked people who were willing to model for me. Additionally, as my
project was particularly food-based, I felt obliged to provide images of food from the locations featured throughout
the magazine which includes going out and trying the food. This results in spending a large amount of money on
food/meals out which was not in my budget despite the fact, I wish it was! However, I did manage to include a few
images that I snapped during the production process as well as prior, into my magazine. In order to avoid this
struggle in the future, I will ensure that my planning is finished within the schedule given and reach out to people,
prior to production, who will be willing to act as subjects for my photography in time for when I reach the
How would you rate the final piece? What elements do you think are
successful and why?
I would rate the final product of my FutureYork food trial ‘good’. This is because I am very proud of the quality of
the magazine as it is easy to read, and I used efficient editing techniques in order to capture the aesthetic I had in
mind for my brand. I believe that it sells the concept of my tour well to my audience. My only fault is that I hoped
to have produced more social media content and potentially been bolder with the layout of the pages to ensure it
appeared more edgy and artistic. I know I am capable however I was time-conscious and needed to ensure that I
produced enough magazine pages that would sell the tour well to my audience. I am pleased that I included factors
such as deals in the city, study spots and nightlife articles. This is because since most of my audience are students,
wanted to make the magazine student-based so that I could advertise the city well for people who would
potentially like to study in York in order to increase the younger demographic.
I believe that I was successful in creating a taster to what my magazine brand would be like as I included key
aspects of a magazine such as quotes, facts and columns. In addition to this, I really like the use of incorporating
bold colours on each page as it allows the magazine to stand out and I believe it is fitting for the target audience
How did your design appeal to your target audience?
I appealed to my target audience by retaining a common theme throughout the
magazine. In this instance, I was inspired by 90s typography along with bold
colours in order to contrast the black and white text and images. My research
shows that these characteristics appeal to teens and young adults in society
today and therefore I incorporated hints on the 90s/y2k aesthetic throughout my
Additionally, as previously mentioned, I conducted research by designing a
questionnaire/survey so that I could receive feedback on the kind of content that
students would expect from a product like I had planned. This led to results
which revealed that a food-based tour would appeal most to my audiences and
so that was the route I led with.
The content within the magazine is easy to read by having incorporated youthful
language (e.g., slang) in a trendy font so that the magazine remains consistently
engaging to my audience.
In what ways was the overall project a success?
I believe that my project was a success as I produced a magazine that will appeal to the target audience of 18–24-
year-olds. I succeeded in my work sustaining a consistent aesthetic by editing my images with a grainy filter and
incorporating colourful elements throughout by then going on to apply the same/similar filters to each image that I
included into the magazine as I went along. I ensured that the language was engaging to my audience and
explained the overall purpose of food the tour well. The importance of appealing to the ages of students who are
commonly looking for student-friendly locations and deals remained in my mind throughout the production of my
work and therefore, I included deals throughout the magazine so that I could offer help along with the food tour
information. As the overall aim of the tour was to increase number of young visitors to the City of York, I believe
that my magazine acts as a good advertisement of the city so that older teens and young adults will view York as
an attractive location which not only thrives with history but is now an up-and-coming trendy spot for young
What meaning and messages did you want to convey and were you
I wanted to convey the message that York is a student-friendly location and is uprising as a city of many cuisines
that are rated highly my restaurant professionals as well as locals. I believe that I succeeded in doing so as I
advertised the many popular restaurants/cafes within York through the food tour page and the rest of the zine. In
addition to this, I incorporated nightlife and great study spots which I believe are key to student life. Not only that
but I made sure that throughout the magazine that it was known that there are many deals on food and events
within the city as money saving is crucial for students/ those with a part time job as most young adults do. I
envision my magazine to be a digital resource for people who aren’t local to the city but are curious of the lifestyle
of York and what it has to offer for tourists to read. Or perhaps, a magazine that could be placed within social
areas/ common rooms at the two existing universities in York so that the freshers students feel welcomed and
familiar with the city just by flipping through a few pages.
What feedback did you get from your peers and viewings?
“The magazine is very visually attractive, and the images complement the text well, It makes York look appealing
and the amount of text in the restaurant reviews is perfect - bite-sized but informative.
I really liked the clever way study spots were incorporated - this showed a good understanding of the potential
audience as York is such a student-city. Students would really appreciate the discounts section you include.
I also liked the use of First-person in your text - you could have used more of it i.e., one of MY favourites...I always
like to...I found this place...When I visited the atmosphere was peaceful, but I know it can get really busy - so get
here early! That sort of thing. It added to the open and honest friendly tone I think you were going for. We respond
better to that personal touch.
The written passages in the articles are, if anything, rather text-heavy. The text seems a little cramped - perhaps
the volume of text could be reduced, or spread across a couple more pages, with sub-headings. That would allow
me to leave it and come back to it, rather than feeling I had to read the entire text in one sitting. Certainly, line
spacing needed increasing just a little. Subheadings would have given some idea of what the text was about, and
allow me to skim read to the bits I was specifically interested in.
The cramped text would potentially make those bits inaccessible for those with certain conditions - e.g. dyslexia.
There’s one image that has text just overlapping it. I found that distracting and the different coloured background
made it awkward to read.”
What feedback did you get from your peers and viewings?
I agree that I successfully created a student-friendly magazine by including deals and ‘study spots’ as my main goal
was to allow my product to be a safe resort for students to feel included in the lifestyle/nature of York. In addition
to this, I agree that allowing the context of my text to be more predominantly first-person will allow the content to
seem more relatable for the reader, especially for a younger audience. In addition to this, I agree that the pages of
the zine are rather “text-heavy” and could therefore appear quite overwhelming for the reader. This is a trait. That I
will try to avoid in future projects of mine, and I will include other elements onto the page instead of larger
amounts of text and large images. I believe that the simplicity of the large text does not stand out as an exciting,
fun-to-read quality which is what I want to endure for my audience.
What would you do differently in the future and why?
In the future, I would ensure that my planning is more thorough. For example, I would
ensure that I include more developed ideas and concepts into my planning as I believe that
this is an area in which I lacked. This would’ve allowed me to test which design concepts
would work best for my brand, I admit that by not doing this to the full capacity that I
could have, I leapt into production without considering pre-existing design concepts that I
envisioned my product to replicate.
Another thing that I would choose to do differently is work in time with my schedule which
I had planned. I am aware that I could’ve made my schedule more detailed so that I had a
deeper understanding of my timeframe for research, to planning, to production. I worked
outside of my schedule slightly and therefore fell behind which led to additional pressure
to meet the project deadline.
What knowledge have you gained that would help you in the future
to improve your project? Also, what knowledge from academic
literature and professionals has helped and why?
I have gained knowledge that will help me in future projects such as the significance of thoroughly researching my
target audience. This is especially key when producing magazines as I am therefore able to cater the topics of the
print work to my audience so that they feel engaged and feel the need to read on. An example of this in my own
work is after carrying research on my audience through a survey, I applied the results of the interests of the
younger demographic into my writing and surrounded my magazine with elements that were featured through my
researching. Another key part of knowledge that I have gained is the format in which the typography in magazines
is laid out on the pages. For example, I had to go back and alter the layout of the text a few times as I believed
that it did not appear as I envisioned a typical magazine page should look. I did this by separating the text into
columns and editing the paragraphs to fit into the text box shape, typically how magazine text does. However, on
the Nightlife page for example, the text takes up a large majority of the page due to the fact that I did a lot of
writing since I gathered a lot of information on the matter and therefore, I had to leave it as it was.
This section will identify what you would do differently in the future and
identify ways you could develop.
If you were making a similar project in the future, what would you do
If I were making a similar project in the future, I would research more digital and graphic effects which I am able to
apply on Photoshop so that the quality of my work is increased. Additionally, I would ensure that the quality of
work is equal throughout all the magazine pages to guarantee that there is a professional flow overall. This is
because I found myself prioritizing certain pages whilst producing the zine and therefore some lacked in creativity
and design whilst others succeeded. I would research by taking a closer look at double page spreads of pre-
existing magazines or potentially fanzines as I often find that they are more artistic and have a scrappier, urban
vibe which I admire. Not only that, but I would also investigate YouTube tutorials which offer support for those
wanting to develop skills in media design so that I can become more familiar with the Photoshop software so that I
can be more prepared to produce professional-looking content. Then, I would apply techniques that I had noted
from my research to my work, and I believe then I would have more credit to give for my thought process behind
the overall design.
How could you develop your skills for future projects? Please identify
the appropriate resources and courses. For example, webpages,
tutorials, books, short courses and qualifications.
In order to develop my skills for future projects, I will research skills in digital design so that I am able to produce
more professional materials that will overall contribute to my portfolio in order to allow me to potentially work
professionally in media in the future. I also intend on looking into studying PR and advertising so that I can develop
skills in social media management and media representation and so I believe focusing on creating content of that
context in future projects again so that I can prepare myself.
I can take my own independent time at home as an opportunity to study the many editing elements in which
applications like Photoshop and PremierPro have to offer that I have not yet discovered or had the opportunity to
apply to my work. I will do this my looking at YouTube video tutorials by media professionals or blogs which offer
the same support.
A few notable courses that I have applied for at university that will progress my media skills further are Design for
Digital Media, Promotional Media: PR, Advertising and Branding, Digital Media Culture and Technology,
Contemporary Media Cultures and Graphic and Media Design. As it appears, most of the courses are of the same
nature e.g., they are focused on the design of the media industry and as an artistic person, I am excited to produce
work that allows me to express my artistic talent.
What personal attributes could you develop to ensure you are
working at a professional level?
I believe that in order to ensure I am working at a professional I could study magazines/journalism in more depth
and create my own brand through testing editing techniques that become recognizable. I will expand my
knowledge on editing magazines so that I can gain experience for future projects that may apply. As I personally
appreciate the 90s aesthetic, I intend on doing further research on the topic so that I can produce professional
content inspired by that aesthetic. I will do this by studying media products from that time and applying the
aesthetic qualities into my own work correctly. Additionally, I will expand my research and planning skills so that the
outcome of my overall project design is much improved.
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