Evaluation: Magazine Construction By Abbie-Gayle McIntosh Media Studies
Q1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? -Which conventions did I follow and why?
Front Cover In order to complete the design of my front cover, I used a number of conventions including: a mid-shot image, cover lines, date, price , barcode, masthead, colour scheme and a unique selling point. I chose to include a wide array of conventions to enable my magazine to be on the same level as a modern, popular magazine such as ‘OK!’, ‘Heat’ and ‘Closer’. My original cover design was of a pop magazine, it was bright and in your face but I wasn’t satisfied. I then went on to complete more research into alternative music and found that I needed a new colour scheme and to slightly tweak my ideas for the magazine to work better together. My Masthead is bold and Central as its one of the main features of the magazine, a bold masthead also caught the attention of the readers. I placed a black coloured box behind the masthead in order for the white font of the text to stand out against the basic white background of the magazine. I also used a mid-shot image in the centre of my magazine to make the magazine feel full and busy to catch the readers attention. I opted for a basic colour scheme and decided to go for the simple black and white effect but I have brought in hints of three distinct colours; red, orange and yellow. This tied in well with the magazine as I included a unique selling point and referred to the magazine being voted last years ‘Hottest’ music magazineand these colours are a representation of flames and fire.
This is a Jpeg of the front cover for my music magazine ‘Struck’. This simply reinforces some of the devices I have used to create an appealing music magazine.
Contents Page When designing and producing my contents page, I used a number of different conventions compared to my front cover. These conventions include: columns, images, captions, colour scheme, editor’s letter and text boxes. The conventions I chose to include on my contents page are different to what I chose to include on my font cover as they have different purpose that need to be achieved. The front cover advertises the magazine itself where as the contents page informs the consumer of what they can read about. Due to the fact I changed the original design of my front cover, my contents page followed on from there. I found it easier designing an alternative music magazine then a pop music magazine as I liked the design I had produced. My colour scheme runs through all three pieces of my magazine to show that its one magazine that is able to sell as the consumer becomes familiar with their work. I have included a number of different sized images in the bottom right hand corner of the page to attract the consumer to that particular area on the page. Placing the images together allows room for other things such as an editors letter. In my editors letter, I thanked the readers for buying this magazine which appears to be popular within most magazines. I placed a black coloured box at the top of the page in order to keep the running theme throughout each of the sections within the magazine. Similarly to the front cover I changed the font colour to white after the text had been placed on top of the coloured box. I placed the text in columns to show the structure and layout of the rest of the magazine. Placing the texts in columns makes it easier to read and follow as it has all been organised in a set pattern.
This is a Jpeg of the contents page for my music magazine ‘Struck’. This clearly shows many of the devices I have used to make the magazine seem realistic and too attract an audience.
Double Page Spread When creating my double page spread, I used a different set of conventions compared to my front cover and contents page. These conventions include: main image, varied font, columns, page numbers. These conventions have to fulfil a completely different purpose compared to the other two pages. The double page spread is designed to tell the consumer their weekly gossip or information. They often hold exclusive stories in order to persuade the consumer to choose their magazine over other magazines. My design followed on from the rests of my themes with the black and white colour scheme to show how its one continual magazine. I kept with the same theme for my title,with the white font in the black coloured box. My title of the piece is bold as it has been designed to attract the reader and make them intrigued to find out more about that particular feature. I used a long-shot image on the left hand side of the double page spread to advertise who the article was about in order to intrigue the audience to want to read it. I wrote the article in columns in order to make it easier for the consumer to read, as this is the way in which other texts is written. I used varied font throughout the article to be make different parts stand out and draw the reader in to make them want to read more. The title of the piece is in a different font to the rest as it is one of the main features on the double page spread. I also included page numbers due to the fact that in real magazines they include page numbers to link the articles to the contents page.
This is a Jpeg of the double page spread for my music magazine ‘Struck’. This section shows the effectiveness of the devices I have used to make the magazine seem realistic and too attractive towards the consumer.
Q2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?-Which social group?
Which Social Groups? In order to design my magazine for a particular group of people, I had to review a selection of different areas within society. I took into consideration a number of different factors including gender, social status, ageandinterests. I found that it was easier to aim my magazine at females as I could relate to the interests of other teen girls and young adults. This therefore fuelled my wanting to design a pop magazine but found that an Alternative music magazine came more naturally to me. I also opted for the teenage age range as that is the category that I fall into and could design the magazine around the type of magazine I would like to buy from a newsstand. I carried out a survey and found that people would rather buy a weekly magazine at £1-£2 oppose to spending more money on a monthly magazine. I then realised that my magazine was going to be aimed at students who are more than likely unemployed. ‘Struck’ magazine would only appeal to those who are interested in alternative music otherwise they wouldn’t like the style of magazine I have designed. I attempted to show the target audience I aimed my magazine at through four main features on my double page spread, those four features being: Image, colour, features and the article. I used an image of a female as girls find it easier to relate to them as we often share similar interests with female icons. However, I went for everyday colours with the use of black and white, but made the magazine more girly with the use of the three colours (red, orange and yellow). I used features such as advertisements for new outfits and upcoming tour dates that I thought teenage girls could link too. Having a female model, made my article easier to link to the audience as I could talk about the gossip and information which fuels a teenage girls life.
Q3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Media Institutions There are a variety of media institutions who would potentially buy and go on to distribute the magazine I have designed. Some of these institutions include: newsstands, gigs, schools, websitesandwebzines. There are a number of shops that would buy my magazine such as places like music stores (HMV), corner shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets etc. Which means my magazine could be aimed at a wider target audience and appeal to more consumers world wide. Shops like the ones above would buy the magazine depending on what there general audience/consumer is like. If they have diverse consumers then they are more likely to be able to sell the magazine resulting in a bigger profit at the end of the financial year. Places that hold gigs might distribute the magazine for free as a one off in order to attract an audience to start buying the product. This allows for a large fan base as there are many gigs that take place all the time up and down the country. This may intrigue its audiences into wanting to subscribe to this in particular magazine. It is very rare for schools to consume magazines as they don’t feel reading a magazine would be beneficial for the students to be reading literature books. However there may be some performing arts colleges who buy the magazine to distribute it as it may encourage the pupils to be diverse and express their uniqueness and individuality. Websites and webzines are another way to distribute magazines as they can appeal to a wide audience who may struggle getting to the shops to purchase the magazine of their choice. This allows for the population to buy the magazine as they have been given many different options of purchasing the product.
Audience Who was your target audience and how did you reach that decision ? My original target audience was teenagers aged 15-18 who were interested In pop music. I was going to go for bright colours such as pinks and purples and make the magazine fun and girly. I had loads of ideas on what I wanted to achieve and how I would achieve them but it hadn’t worked out the way I planned it too. Did your audience change throughout the process? If so, why? My audience then rapidly began to change. This was because when I come to designing the final products for my magazine I struggled to give the pop music feel as well as making it look professional. I then carried out some additional research and based my magazine around an alternative music magazine, which seem to come together very quickly. Did you find it easy/difficult to aim towards this target audience? As stated, I did struggle in the beginning when attempting to aim my magazine at my initial target audience but I found a vast improvement on the level of quality of my magazine when my design ideas changed. Is your choice also based on personal influence? I don’t feel that the choices I have made are down to a personal influence but the fact that I found it difficult to design a pop music magazine to a professional level of quality. I am very fond of pop music hence fourth being my reason to design my magazine around it, however it seemed that an alternative music magazine seem to come more naturally to me. I listen to a range of different music which is why I believe I didn’t find creating an alternative music magazine too hard.
Attraction off of the Audience There were a number of different factors that affected the audience including: Images, colour scheme, features, manipulations, style, article, promotions, price and genre. Each of these factors are significant when attracting the target audience towards the magazine. • The image is key when attempting to attract the target audience as it is the main feature which should stand out against the rest of the magazine cover. The image is what draws the attention of the consumer. This is why the image I have used takes up most of the space on the front cover of the magazine. • Once their attention has been caught, the consumer often turns to the masthead finding out the title of the magazine. This allows them to think about any gossip they may have heard about the magazine, i.e. whether the magazine is worth while or not. This is why I have made my masthead bold because it allows it too stand out. • Once the consumer has considered whether or not to buy the magazine they then turn to the barcode. This allows them to find the price of the magazine. I included a price tag as all magazine have a price tag which Is usually found on the front of the product. This is just one of few significant points that all magazines should include. • After making the final decision on whether the magazine is affordable or not, the consumer then takes all other aspects of the magazine into consideration. I have attempted to include as many of the different areas as possible to better my chances at selling this particular magazine. This means that a magazine without each of the individual sections wouldn’t work as its all the insignificant parts that come together to make the final piece. Which then attracts the consumer to the magazine, no detail should be left out
Q6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
Technology Which software did you use? I used a handful of different software's in order to complete my magazine. Some of these software’s include: adobe photoshop, indesign and illustrator. I used each of these for different things in order to complete the final product of my magazine. What did the software enable you to do? The software enable me to design a front cover, contents page and a double page spread for a music magazine. Each of the different software used were for different reasons. The majority of my work was completed on adobe photoshop as it’s the software I enjoyed using the most. I completed my front cover and contents page using photoshop where as I used indesign to complete my double page spread as they have different functions which are required for different reasons. Why was it necessary to manipulate images? I had to manipulate images in order to make them look like a professional photo shoot. This allowed for the authentic look of my magazine. This boosted the level of quality of my work as it instantly made my magazine look more professional. What else did you manipulate? The only other thing I really manipulated was the font. I changed the font size, colour, shape and style making it more appropriate for the magazine I designed. This allowed for differentiating fonts to be used throughout the 3 individual pieces of work.
Q7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Improvements I feel that I have progressed massively since designing my preliminary task as in the beginning of the course I was unsure on how to use the different software’s and what a magazine should look like. I feel that my skills have drastically improved as have my skills when planning and designing a professional magazine. What are differences between your preliminary task and your coursework construction? There are many differences between my preliminary task and my final piece. One of the main changes being the fact that my final piece looks far more professional then my preliminary task. I have become more able on the software used in order to create a high quality piece of work.