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AS MEDIA Music magazine evaluation Amy Marks


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? • • •

I have used NME as my main influence when creating my magazine. My target audience is of a similar age of NME as well as magazines layout, style and indie genre are to of a likeness. After doing much planning and research I have conformed to typical conventions such as a masthead, cover lines, barcodes on my front cover, this was to ensure professionalism. My contents page doesn’t challenge other media products, I have used the page numbers, features, special offers and house colours. I conformed to house colours because I wanted to keep continuity and create a brand identity with the colours I chose. This is visible in NME’s products. In most double page spreads, many magazines use one A4 side for the photo, however I have used both pages and put text in front of it, so readers can see the whole image clearly, although I too have used a column format for the layout of the text. Along with drops caps and pull quotes, these effects make it look less amateur. However my magazine “Unsigned” is to promote unsigned and up and coming bands. There are very few magazines that already exist that do this, therefore I feel my idea is quite unique and there is a potential gap in the market, not only will it include the latest news of celebrities but also help publicise unknown bands, this challenges other magazines which do not do offer this. My magazine also challenges other magazines as I have included not only competitions, but also codes in order to download music for free. This gives my magazine a competitive advantage over others.


How does your media product represent particular social groups? • My target audience is of both sexes, (however I think a bigger proportion of boys will buy “unsigned”) ages 16-24. The general attitude towards teenagers and young adults is often negative, I want my magazine to change peoples perspectives and see the talent that this age group have and present them in a positive image. This will be shown by the evidence of the bands successes that are featured in my magazine, as well as their attitude and commitment to working hard in order to achieve this success. The house colours I have used are deep reds, blacks, whites and blues, these reflect the indie genre of “unsigned”. On my contents page I have included a feature of last months gigs, here I stereotype teenagers suggesting that their hobbies are going to gigs, or are interested in them. All the photos used are relaxed, chilled and creative, suggesting that the social group my magazine are representing have this kind of attitude. I want to attract enthusiastic youth who are wanting to broaded their music tastes,


What kind of media institutions might distribute your media product, why?

• My magazine is of a similar style and share the same conventions as NME, so International Publishing Company UK Ltd is the most likely institution to distribute my music magazine. They are a very popular and big publishing company, so I know my magazine would be oh a high quality and professional printing. However because my magazine is similar to NME I would face high competition from them, so I could also possibly get it published and distributed with The Bauer Media Group, who publish Q magazine. Bauer media group is also a very professional publishing company, operating in 15 countries world wide. • The kind of media institutions that are likely to distribute my magazine are shops like WHSmith, this is because my magazine has a specific target audience and is a niche market, therefore its not likely to be sold in massive stores like Tesco, but smaller chain stores like WHSmith because they sell a large variety of magazines.


Who would be the audience for your media product?

• The target audience for “unsigned” is 16-25 year olds of both genders; however I feel that it will be more likely to appeal to more boys than girls. I have chosen this age gap as most bands start to form at this age and they want to get their names out. Also at this age people have disposable income; no children or household bills etc. They should be interested in music either listening or being a musician themselves. I would expect them to have a creative side and be open minded. The people I am targeting should have a laid back approach and enjoy comedy films and programmes. At this age they are likely to have a part time job and some with full time jobs with access to money each month to pay for Unsigned. The boy band featured in “unsigned” represents my target audience.


How would you attract/ address your audience? • I will attract my target audience by creating a bold front cover; using a strong image that will stand out and take up most of the cover. Since my target audience is from 16-24 they will not be interested in lots of texts. I will make sure the text is bold and bright, as well as there being a consistent colour scheme throughout the whole of the magazine. This will then create brand recognition, so my audience can identify it easily • On the front cover I will use buzz words such as “free” and offer competitions and discounts to help attract my audience, since many may be students offering something free can entice them to part with their money. • On my double page spread I will use language that is easy to read for all people, the picture will take up most of the article and not include to much writing as that could potentially put people off. I will use an informal narrative to keep the reader interested. • The contents page will be minimalistic, and clear so that its easy for people to find the page they want, without causing confusion.


What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? •

• •

My knowledge and understanding of software's such as InDesign and Photoshop has improved since starting AS media studies. I hadn’t had much experience with Photoshop before my coursework, but had used InDesign in ICT before, however not to this standard. Photoshop was also very helpful in the post production of my magazine, I was able to edit photos to make them stand out, as well as erase backgrounds in order to make the picture look professional. I was able to sharpen pictures and adjust the colour using a variety of tool provided on the software's. I then used Adobe InDesign as it is a professional program used in print to create and produce magazines, newspapers, booklets, leaflets etc. I used InDesign after I had edited images on Photoshop, and then created the main products on this software, as it produced quality images and I was able to import text. I have found InDesign most useful, as I could create a unique layout that I could shape to my preference. It was easy to import and place pictures, and I could reserve spaces and add images and text at later points. Alternatively there are software's such as Microsoft Publisher, however I felt this was not as professional as the software's I had used and it had limited functions.


Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

• I have learnt and understand the conventions of a magazine, why certain aspects are important in order to satisfy and attract consumers. I also now appreciate the time and effort that must go into the production of a magazine. • From looking back on my preliminary task I now realise that I hadn’t included very many conventions of existing magazines. However comparing this to my final products I can see a dramatic change. • I realized that managing time was crucial in order for my work not to be rushed and organise a shooting schedule and arranging times to meet. Planning and research was essential, it gave me background knowledge of this industry and when it came to designing my work on InDesign having drafts prepared saved time and I could see how the layout could work. • I have now have a greater understanding of InDesign and Photoshop, I am now confident in using these software's.


Next time‌ • I am pleased with my final pieces, however I am much more confident on the software's and feel that my work will improve in the future. Although there are not many mainstream magazines for up and coming bands, I think so more research in this area may have helped and influenced my work. I think I could have managed my time a little better as well. I started the course late and it took me a while to get into the rhythm of things. Overall I really enjoyed the construction of the magazine, it brought out a creative side of me.


AS Evaluation