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Media Music Magazine Evaluation By Johanna Fryer
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?The genre of music for my music magazine is generally indie/rock, therefore I chose to look at Magazines such asMojo, Kerrang, NME, Rolling Stones and Q to inspire me and help me create my own magazine. These magazinesshow me typical codes and conventions for magazines of my chosen genre of music and inspires me to include theseconventions on my own magazine. Out of all these magazines, Q and NME were the ones that appealed to me most.
For my masthead I chose to do it in large, orange, capital font, as this seems eye catching and will be very clear for the readers to see. I placed it on the top, left of my page. My masthead is similar to NME due to the fact that I have used large, capitals as they have done and also because of the fact that NME is also placed on the top, left of the page. My masthead is also similar to Rolling Stones because I have used a drop shadow just as they have. The reason I have used a similar convention is because I think that it draws the readers in because it brings the masthead to stand out above everything else.My sell line is The Number 1 Music Magazine which is very similar to Qs sell line The UK’s biggest music magazine. I have used this asmy sell line because it will catch the readers eye because the readers will want to know that they are reading the best magazine. Ihave used the same font as my masthead and the rest of the font on my magazine, to keep a fluent house style and keep themagazine looking consistent. Even though Qs sell line is placed above the masthead, I decided to place mine directly underneath mymasthead. Like in NME their sell line is directly underneath the masthead, therefore I followed that convention. I chose to do this sothat the sell line is easy to see and will appeal to my target audience.
I laid out my main headline in a similar way to Q magazine, and also many other magazines too. The name of the artist is the biggest fonton the page apart from the masthead, this is so that it stands out and the reader’s will know that this it is the main article. Also underneaththe name of the artist is some text giving insight to the article, showing what it is about, this is just like what Q has done ‘Matt Bellamy isout of control’. For the main headline I chose to use orange font because this keeps the colour scheme consistent and it stands out againstthe dark background it is placed on, drawing the reader’s in. The main headline is placed in the centre of the front cover, just as Q andmany other magazines do, so that people know it is the main article. I also decided to put a black outline to my font, just so it adds extraboldness to attract the audience. I have placed my cover lines on both sides of my magazine, left side and right side. This follows the conventions of many magazines, especially Mojo, who has also placed cover lines on both sides of the front cover. This will attract the audience because they will see many different stories and information, which will draw them in because they will want to find out more meaning that they will have to read the magazine. I have used white and orange font so that it stands out from the white background but also keeping the colour scheme continuous. I have also used the same font (Futura) so that the house style is continuous, but used different styles of the font, so that each cover line stands out separately. This follows the conventions of other music magazines because they tend to do that too. Also if the magazine was displayed horizontally you wouldn’t be able to see the masthead but you would be able to read the cover lines and still continue to be attracted to it.
My skyline is similar to kerrang in the way that it is laid out. Kerrang’s skyline advertises the free 8 page pull out which is included in themagazine, which is very similar to mine by the fact that I have advertised the free ‘Impulsive Destiny and Purple Envy Posters’. As I foundfrom my ideal reader questionnaire , buyers of magazines generally like to have free things with their magazines. Free posters is generally atypical convention of music magazines because music listeners tend to like having posters of their favourite bands. At the side of theskyline, on the right of the front cover is two different images giving the reader’s an idea of what they would be able to receive in big butonly if they buy the magazine. This is very similar to Kerrang because they have also included preview images on their front cover. The textI have used is in the same font (Futura) as the rest of the font on the front cover so that the house style is continuous, however it is a lotsmaller than the title so that it does not distract reader’s away from the masthead. I have kept similar conventions as many music magazines by using a three quarter length shot of my model/artist. As I have seen on magazines such as Q and Kerrang, they have chosen to use full length/three quarter length shots. This is so that the audience will be able to see the body language as well as the facial expressions so that they can feel as if they are a part of the model/artist and feel connected with them. My artist is holding a bass guitar, which represents the genre of music I have chosen so that the audience will be drawn to it recognising the indie/rock music which is portrayed. This is similar to Q and Kerrang in the way that both of their artists are also holding a guitar. In the image my model is looking intensely at the audience making the magazine seem much more personal as this is a convention of many music magazines.
My model is wearing black ripped tights, shorts, a black cardigan with a orange and blue t shirt. The black clothing follows conventions of many music magazines of my genre such as NME, Q and Kerrang. Also because the music can be fairly dark and heavy the black will relate to the audience, who also may be fairly dark. Also the ripped tights convey the untidiness and rebellious side to the artist. This may draw the reader’s in and connect to them because generally people who listen to indie/rock like to express their rebellious side, and also may be fairly unorganised/untidy. My model is wearing orange on her t shirt, so that the colour follows the house style and colour scheme of the magazine which is black, white and orange. My model also has orangey kind of hair, which also fits the house style, so that the magazine is consistent and uncluttered, leading the artist to stand out on the page.Part of the image is covering some of the masthead. This follows the conventions of many differentmusic magazines who also has part of their masthead covered. As I found out from my questionnaireaudiences are most attracted to the image on a magazine, therefore I chose to place my image on themasthead so that it stands out and attracts the audience.
On my front cover I have followed the codes and conventions of most of the indie/rock magazines in the industry by adding a Plus box. Having a plus box means that the readers can see what other bands are included in the magazine, so then if they see one of their favourite bands then it will lead them to buy it. My Plus box is very similar to that of Mojo, NME and Q. I placed my Plus box in the bottom, right corner of my magazine, I did this so that it is one of the last things people will read and it will continuously draw them in. Also so that it doesn’t draw the reader’s away from what is most important on the page. This also follows the conventions of NME.I have placed my barcode at the bottom, left corner of my magazine. This is similar to NME howevermany other magazines of this genre place theirs on the right. The reason it is at the bottom is so thatattention is not drawn away from the most important text/image/news, yet is still noticeable so thatpeople know how much the magazine is. I noticed that most barcodes on music magazines have theissue number, price and web address, therefore I decided to follow these codes and conventions. Iincluded a web address so that people can keep up to date with the latest news and subscribe if theyare interested.
I have followed codes and conventions on my contents page by using the same layout design as NME. I chose to do this because NME was the magazine that appealed to me the most for my genre of music. I chose to call my contents page Unseen This Week. I chose to call it this because it uses the name of the magazine leading it to stick in the readers head, also it shows the readers that this is all the things that will be in the magazine. This is very similar to NME which is called Inside This Week.I have used a range of 8 different images, just like NME has. Images are a very popular and attractive thing on a magazine, and readerslike to have something visual in front of them to keep them entertained. The images range from mid shots to full shots, so that there is adifferent variety on the page. There is also a range of live shots and posed shots, to make the page come alive. Most of my images arecoloured, but two of them are black and white, I did this so that it brings a bit of excitement due to the fact that there is a range ofdifferent images to look at. Underneath each image I have included a quote and a sentence of information about what will be included in the article. This is similar to NME who have also done this. It is done so that the readers can have a glimpse of what is to come if they choose to read on. This follows the codes and conventions of many music magazine contents pages, who also include some text underneath the image to give an idea of what is included. I have used the same text as the text on my front cover, so that the house style is continuous throughout. Also the text is very clear and easy to read.
The page numbers of the article are placed in the right hand, bottom corner of my image, similarly to NME. They are in black font in a white box, so that it stands out and the readers can easily see it.I have placed the date of this magazine underneath the title in small, italic writing. Thisfollows the conventions of NME magazine. The reason the date is very small, is so that itdoesn’t draw attention away from the most important items on the page but because it isplaced directly underneath the title it is still noticeable.I have included a Plus box on my contents page, which is very similar to NME and followsthe conventions of music magazines in general, who also usually have a box telling youwhat other features will be included in the magazine. I have included a Plus box just so thatthe readers can be aware of what else is to come, also if there is a certain topic that theywant to find, which has not been mentioned within the images, then it is easy for them tonavigate directly to it.
For my double page spread I looked at magazines such as NME, Q, Mojo and Kerrang. I chose to write in columns to follow the conventions of music magazines of my genre as most magazines do this. I chose to place my image as 3/4’s of the left side page. I noticed from my research that the main image on the double page spread is usually placed on the left, so I decided to follow this convention.The image I have used is a very personal, seductive kind of image. My artist isstaring directly in the reader’s eyes. The reader will see this and automaticallybe drawn in. My artist’s expressions are very sincere and show that she hasattitude, bringing the reader’s to want to read on, so that they can find outwhat she has got to say for herself. My artist is wearing the same clothing ason the front cover. This follows conventions of a lot of music magazinesbecause generally the artist on the front cover is wearing the same clothes ason the double page spread. In my image there is a bass guitar. Because this isand indie/Rock magazine, having an instrument there will automatically drawthe readers in because the bass guitar is a major part of that genre of music.I chose to do an interview for my double page spread because personally Ifeel, and what I have heard from other people is that people like to hear fromthe artists themselves. People like to hear what the artist has got to say. I feelthat an interview is a good way to draw the reader’s in because it is veryinformal and easy to read.
I decided to use a drop quote on my double page spread. This follows the codes and conventions because many music magazinedouble page spreads have a drop quote as we can see from NME’s drop quote above. My drop quote is placed directly in the centreof the page in orange writing which is different and bigger to the rest of the writing on the page. This will appeal to the readers anddraw them in because it stands out above all things on the page. I have used the same font continuously, to keep the house styleconsistent throughout. I have also used a bigger letter for the first letter of the article. The letter is placed in a box of a different colour so that it stands out. This follows the conventions of most double page spreads because most magazines also do this. The reason it is done is so that the readers can be drawn directly to the beginning of the article so that they can easily see where to start reading and it will cause them to want to read more. On the left of my article underneath my image I have placed a title and a sub heading. All double page spreads have a title and a sub heading and I feel that is necessary to have, therefore I decided to include it. I have used the same font (Futura) as the rest of my magazine but decided to do it in different styles to separate the heading from sub heading and to create an interesting style for the readers to look at.
How does your media product represent different social groups? The social group I have represented belong to the C1, C2, D and E social grades. The reason that I have decided to represent these social groups is because the people I have aimed my magazine at are on average, 18 year olds. Because the C1, C2, D and E groups are lower than middle class, then this suits my audience. Generally 18 year olds are at university or college and generally don’t have regular work or income of money, therefore meaning that they are lower working class. Even though my magazine does look fairly sophisticated, the content and the clothes the model is wearing contrasts with the sophisticated layout and looks and is fairly scruffy and unorganised. This will relate to my social grading groups, because they are of working class and would also be considered as scruffier and more unorganised of those who are upper class and professional. And because of the fact that my magazine is mainly aimed at late teens and young adults, who may not necessarily have much money then they will connect with my magazine. My target audience may relate to what the model is wearing, also due to the fact that it may be something similar to what they would wear also. The readers will want to feel as if they are connected with the artist, and the unprofessional clothing my artist is wearing, will really meet that challenge.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? I’ve decided that I am going to have IPC Media as my publishing company. I feel that there is a niche in the market for my magazine there because my magazine is an indie/Alternative music magazine mainly aimed at young women. IPC media only produce NME and although NME is a popular, huge selling magazine, I feel that mine will differ from NME in the way that I will aim it mostly at young women, whereas NME’s main target audience is men. Considering the fact that 2/3 of women buy magazines from IPC, means that there is more of a chance that women will want to buy my magazine with this distribution company rather then Bauer. Also the fact that there is only one main musichttp://www.ipcmedia.com magazine published by IPC means that there will be room for another one. My magazine will differ in the way that it will be very unique. It will introduce new bands, but also talk loads about all the popular indie/alternative bands and artists at the time. My magazine will stand out from the crowd.
Even though Bauer media group is Europes largest privately owned publishing group, offers over 300 magazines in 15 different countries and also offers magazines online, on the TV and on the radio as well, I have still decided not to use it. The reason I have decided not to use Bauer media distribution is mainly based on the fact that I do not feel that there is a niche in the market for my magazine. The reason for this is because Bauer Media Company already has three really big selling music magazines within their company, Mojo, Kerrang and Q. Mojo, Kerrang and Q are all major selling music magazines and the fact that Bauer distribute all three of these will limit the range of people that will buy mine if I decide to use this Company. IPC Media only distribute one major music magazine, NME and I feel that there is room for my magazine there too. Bauer’s music magazines use many codes and conventions which are very similar to my magazine and I feel that the audience/reader’s will not be interested in my magazine because there is plenty in this company like it.http://www.bauermedia.co.uk
ADVERTISING AND DISTRIBUTION I would choose to distribute my magazine in shops such as Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsburys and newsagents. I would mainly focus on the major supermarkets though, because the major supermarkets are taking over the newsagents and are selling a wider variety of things, including magazines. I would also choose to distribute my magazine online, on a range of different websites. I would mainly focus on advertising on social networking sites like facebook and twitter because my audience is the age where they would all generally use these sites and therefore would easily find out about the magazine. Then I would go on to include the magazine web address in the advert so that they can easily navigate to the website www.unseenmag.com and my magazine would be distributed on the website and the audience can easily purchase it. I would also advertise my magazine on radio stations such as absolute, Kerrang and others that play my genre of music because these are the radio stations my target audience will listen to and therefore they will become familiarised with the magazine.
Who would be the audience for your media product? The target audience for my magazine is mainly 16 to 24 year olds. The gender is on average, 86% female and 14% male. My audience would be people who would be interested in my specific genre of music, Indie/Alternative/Rock. They would enjoy going to gigs and knowing all about the latest bands and also unseen, new bands. My reader profile, to the left is an idea of what my target audience will generally be interested in. My target audience would enjoy listening to music, playing music and buying music. They would enjoy photography and partying. They would also like to go on social networking sites such as twitter, facebook, tumblr, so that they in with the crowd and because they are at that certain age when they are interested in things like that. My target audience would be generally college/university students or people with part time jobs. On average, they will not have lots of money and will not have a committed career just yet, this leads to them eating lots of junk food and sleeping in a lot. As I can see from my ideal reader questionnaire, the reader’s generally aren’t willing to pay more than £3 for a magazine. This shows that they don’t have too much money, but considering they could have said less than that. Because the average said £2-£3 it shows that my target audience are committed music listeners and committed magazine buyers. My target audience feel that it is important to pay for quality products.
How did you attract/address your audience? Before creating my magazine, I made up an ideal reader questionnaire for my target audience, to find out what people were most attracted to on a magazine, and what appealed to them the most. My target audience are generally 16 to 24 year olds and on the basis, mostly females rather than men. I took this into consideration throughout the process of making my magazine, carefully thinking about everything my audience would be attracted to on the magazine.As I found from my results, when I asked what people are most attracted to on a magazine, i found that the majority of people saidthe photo’s. I took this into consideration and made sure that I had a very appealing, striking image on my front cover to draw thereaders in. The image is layered on top of the masthead so that it stands out above all things and attracts my intended audience.Because my genre of music is Indie/Rock/Alternative, i know that my audience also like this genre of music, therefore I made surethat my model wore something that would relate to the audience. My model is wearing fairly scruffy , ripped clothing to representthe music. I feel that my target would be attracted to this because it may also be similar to how they dress.
The colour scheme of my magazine is very sophisticated, yet the orange adds a bit of brightness. Because my target audience is mostly female, I feel that the orange represents the girly side of people as orange can be considered a fairly bright, bubbly colour, which would represent the bright, bubbly character of the person reading it. The brightness will attract the audience. I have also used genre specific language, which will highly attract my audience because they will feel that they are part of something personal and different, part of something that other people may not understand. For example the band names are genre specific, so if you are not interested in this genre of music, you will have no idea about any of these bands. The readers will want to feel different from the rest of the world.I found out from my questionnaire that my target audience on average like to have a free gift with the magazine. Therefore I decided toinclude a skyline and 2 images which advertise the ‘free Purple Envy and Impulsive Destiny posters’. This will automatically attract myaudience because they will notice the word ‘free’ and want to buy it for the gift. And because my target audience are fairly young andmay not have much money, they will appreciate and enjoy something they can get for free.Also from my questionnaire I found out that most of my target audience would prefer to go to a gig and see live music rather than go to aclub. So therefore i decided to include a competition to win tickets to reading or Leeds festival. My target audience would be attracted tothis because they love to listen to live music, and also because these festivals can be fairly expensive, they would love to be able to go forfree.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? I have used Photoshop CS5 to create my final magazine. I found that using Photoshop was much more professional and enabled me to create an appealing, attractive, effective front cover, contents page and double page spread. I learnt how to use the layers feature to hide parts of an image that were unnecessary, or even an entire layer. Because a program like Microsoft Publisher would have made the images difficult to work with as the photos could easily pixelate and therefore would be unable to use and wouldn’t look professional. I learnt that Photoshop was very good with keeping the quality of photos the same once they have been uploaded from a digital camera and resized. I learnt that using the shift key while resizing an image was very helpful because it allowed the image to be resized without it being distorted.I used the ‘fx’ tool on Photoshop, for the text throughout my magazine. This is so I can use different effects so that it standsout against the background and so it is clearer to read. I learnt to use effects such as drop shadow, bevel and emboss andstroke on the text and some images to make them look noticeable and attractive on my magazine.
I learnt how to use the layering tool and the magneticlasso tool so that I could place the top part of the guitarover my masthead to bring the photo to stand out on thepage. Photoshop also enabled me to edit the contrastand brightness of my image, so that it looks moreprofessional and doesn’t look as dull as it did in theoriginal image. Editing the brightness and contrast alsomade the background white whereas in the originalimage it was more grey. This fitted extremely well withmy house style and colour scheme of my magazine,which is white, black and orange, therefore meaning thatI didn’t have to cut out my image and could use it as it is.I also used the airbrush tool and zoom feature, so that Iwas able to make my models skin clearer. I did this sothat she looks more professional and also all magazinesand models in the media world are airbrushed so thatthey meet the expectations of the world’s view ofperfect skin.
I used Publisher for my prelim task and first drafts. I found that Publisher was so much easierto use than Photoshop but all of it’s features are fairly basic and simple. Therefore I usedPhotoshop for my final product because it looks much more professional and it has betterqualities. I only used Publisher for my first drafts because it didn’t matter if they didn’t look asprofessional and I found it quicker to use, whereas it took me a while to learn how to usePhotoshop as I had never used it before. Slideshare was new to me and I found it very convenient and simple to use. It is a good website to use to easily upload PowerPoints and word documents to blogging websites. It can be quite difficult to upload word documents straight on to my blog, so using slideshare helped me a lot. I used blogger to upload all of my planning and final products. I had never used blogger before and I found it fairly easy to use but I did have some trouble uploading certain word documents, as it was fairly confusing, that’s why I decided to use slideshare. Also I found that it was very difficult to move things around in a different order. However I did learn how to use blogger fairly quick and it was very simple to access. I decided to use Zoomerang, an online questionnaire processor, to create my Ideal reader questionnaire. I found this very easy to use and very convenient, as you could copy the link to my questionnaire so that people can easily navigate to it and complete it. Also I found that it was very simple to analyse results, as the website analysed them for you.
I used a digital camera when taking the images for my magazine. I used a CANON which isvery professional and specialises in professional photography. Because of the highresolution, high zoom and high megapixels, it means that the images will be good qualityand won’t pixelate when I enlarge them, which is a very important quality to have whenmaking a magazine. Because my target audience ranges on average from 16 to 24 year olds it means that they are highly interested in social networking sites and will use them a lot of the time. I decided to upload a link for my questionnaire on to these three sites so that, people could easily fill out the questionnaire online. I found that uploading the questionnaire to these social networking sites will attract my intended audience because they all generally use them. I used the internet to search for brands of media products that were already available, so that I could easily get ideas. I used search engines such as Google, to look for images and information to inspire me. I find the internet very easy to use and very easy to navigate around. Looking for old media products, such as NME magazine to get ideas, also saved me from having to buy the magazines in the shop because on the internet they are free. I also found a barcode generator website so that I could create my own barcode and add it to my magazine. I found this very helpful.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?I feel that I have progressed and learnt a lot from my prelim task and first drafts up to my final product. I did my prelim tasks onPublisher and even though this was easier to use, I don’t think it looks professional enough for a final magazine. After doing myfinal magazine on Photoshop, I can see that it looks much more professional and sophisticated. I have learnt that certainfeatures are very important for magazines to be appealing and professional. After doing lots of research, I feel that I have learnthow to maintain and keep certain features continuous throughout the magazine.I feel that my Negus school magazine front cover was too plain and boring and I also don’t feel that the colour scheme workedtoo well. I learnt that even if the colours are bright, they may not necessarily work well together. I had to make sure I focussedon what worked well together, without it looking too cheap.I also learnt that it is very important to use a professional camera to create a successful, professional magazine, as it looksmuch better quality and so that it looks as good as all the other magazines in the industry. For my prelim task, I just used anormal digital camera and also didn’t edit the images and I feel that they look too unprofessional.
I made some drafts of my magazine before creating the real thing, so that I could look at what needed to be changed, so thatI followed conventions of real music magazines. I wanted to try things out and see if they worked, so that they were suitableand appealing for my target audience.I made the first two drafts on publisher. My first draft is just text and boxes, showing the basic layout of my magazine, so thatit will become easier to know where to put things when I come to make my real magazine. For my second draft I used blueand orange text. I found that the blue and orange looked too tacky, messy and really clashed. I learnt that for my magazine tolook professional and sophisticated, it’s best just to use on bright colour, along with black and white. This follows theconventions of most music magazines who also do the same thing.Also the writing wasn’t aligned on Publisher, and the main headline was diagonal. I noticed that on most music magazines,the writing is aligned and the text is usually straight, giving a more professional look. Therefore I learnt that I should followthese conventions and aligned my writing and make the headline straight and more bold, so that it stands out. This is what Idid on my final product.Also the image on my second draft was very dark and not bright enough to attract my audience. Therefore on my finalproduct, I decided to layer my image above the masthead and also change the contrast and brightness of the image to bringit to stand out a lot more. As i noticed on all other music magazines and magazines in general, the image is a very importantaspect of the front cover and it is very important that it stands out.
I feel that my magazine is successful and has turned out better than I thought it would, considering I had never used Photoshopbefore, I also feel that I have learnt many things throughout the process of making this magazine. There are also many things Icould do to improve my magazine, for example on my front cover, I think that I should maybe make the main headline slightlybigger and maybe adjust it, so that it is clearer to read.I think f I was to improve my contents page, I should maybe add a subscription box, so that it persuades people to subscribe to mymagazine. Also it follows the conventions of most magazines, yet I didn’t include it on mine. Also maybe I could include aneditor’s note, because magazines sometimes include this too and it is an informal way of including the reader’s in the magazine.I feel that my double page spread is professional enough and suits my genre of music, but if I was to improve I would move thebass guitar to be with the artist or closer to the artist because I think that it looks a bit isolated and distance from the actualartist.