In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions for real media products? Conventions are instantly recognisable objects/features that automatically connect with subjects that they are likely to be associated with. In the magazine industry, the conventions are designed to help the audience to identify what it is and to make simple observations that will help to establish the genre of the magazine by particular colours and visual appearances. In a magazine, a convention that would be specifically expected would be features including the masthead, a photograph of an envied artist, bar-codes, selling lines and the chosen, organised layout.
My music magazine, “Vintage Hummingbird”, is an acoustic music magazine that specialises around fashion, new music artists, specific artist tour dates and upcoming festivals. When originally researching the typical music magazines and their general appearance, I pondered across various magazine brands and took techniques and conventions from the magazine company, “Conde Nast”, and intended to replicate the general layout of their front cover. On this specific copy of “Vogue”, conventions such as bold, sans serif fonts, one large, overpowering image and natural features including an ambient appearing setting, a few subtle colours and the facial expression and elegant body language that the model is proving are typical features that I felt would best suit my magazine design. Other magazine brands such as “Vanity fair”, “Glamour” and “GQ style” were magazines that I found most influential whilst taking notes from each magazine, ascertaining that I design a magazine that is targeted towards both genders. When deciding on a title for my magazine, it was important that the name connoted elegance as addition to implying the natural, easily understood name that proved what the magazine contents included without having to view any other part of the front cover. Using the word “vintage” automatically gave an authentic, fashion related theme to my magazine whilst the “hummingbird” implied the acoustic genre by the name of a well-known guitar. The two words put together gave a strong, dominating feel to the magazine whilst signifying freedom and gentility through the pun of a hummingbird that could also be associated with a bird flying free. By doing this, I want my audience to associate this feeling with the way that music makes them feel. On my front cover, I have included one large image that has been used to identify my magazine genre. For this feature, I followed the identified conventions of using one dominating image and filling my magazine cover with an eye-catching, appealing image that attempts to persuade both genders into reading the magazine in different ways. To further prove the purity of my acoustic based magazine, I used an image that showed ambient lighting shining on the models face, creating an atmospheric image that also
conventionally kept to a specific colour scheme. Despite conventionally following the feature of an admirable model, I went against these typical conventions by editing my image into black and white. By capturing the setting in natural surroundings, the beach, I feel that this effect added to the elegant, sophisticated theme. For the costume of my model, I kept to the mature appearance of the magazine and asked her to dress in black and white. Black and white are two colours mostly used to connotes a historic and anachronism impression, hinting the vintage theme. After I decided on â€œVintage Hummingbirdâ€? as my magazine title, it was important that I organised the placement of the masthead and the specific font that I was going to use. Due to my establishment of the themes and genre of my magazine, I knew that a simple, easily understood font was important in the sense of showing the specific social class that I intended to direct my magazine towards, middle class, and using a professional, sophisticated font would do so. As Conde Nast proves, all of their magazine fonts have been designed to show a simple yet effective appearance. For this feature, I followed the typical conventions which also enabled my magazine to be seen from afar as addition to close up. Having followed these conventions, I feel that my magazine would have a larger circulation due to the font not signifying a certain age group. Within my three final pages, I included a variety of written content including features on the front cover such as selling lines, cover lines, lead articles and main articles. Throughout these pieces of writing, I altered the written lengths to appropriate sizes, creating short, persuasive phrases, sayings and pull quotes on the front cover and long, detailed written content on the feature page. By doing this, I feel that I followed conventional methods by keeping the reader interested by short, interesting pieces of information on the front cover to then persuade them to open the magazine and read further. For the feature article, I tried my best to not include too much information, making it easier for younger audiences to read and understand. Using a simple language was another technique that I felt would help younger audiences of 18+ to understand. Despite aiming this information at the younger audience, I made sure that I didn't include any slang or offensive language that would be dismissed by elder generations. To confirm that my magazine suggests its acoustic genre visually, I included an acoustic brand within my masthead, used subtle, elegant and artistic backgrounds and stuck to sophisticated, vintage colour schemes.
On my contents page, I have included a conventional method of introducing the reader with “regulars” and “features” as two subheadings. As oppose to this, I also added an additional subheading of “gigs” to create differentiation between my magazine and conventional magazines. I feel that by doing this, I am adding to the likability of my contents page and the likelihood that the reader will gain an interest. Another conventional feature on magazines is using more than one image when listing the contents of the magazine. For this, I used two images that were of different style, one showing fashion and the other festivals. To remind the reader that my magazine was aimed at both genders, I accepted that an image that included a male and female was important. On conventional magazines, the layout of the information is usually listed in one of two columns. Although I used this layout, I wanted to show the theme of individuality and used four different fonts whilst putting the page numbers behind each of the sub-headings.
On my double page spread, I used typical conventions including separating my feature page in half, using one page for a large, dominating image and the other for my article that has been split into columns and paragraphs. By splitting my article into two columns, the text has created gutters in between the writing, presenting the reader with professional appearing writing that would usually be associated with newspapers. Another conventional technique that music magazines often show is a drop cap that begins a large piece of writing. As seen in Q magazine, the letter has been enlarged to such an extent that the bright red L draws the reader’s attention into reading the article. All of the following drop caps have been enlarged as addition to this. In my article, I began the written content with an enlarged “I” to show the reader the beginning of the text and then continued to do this on every paragraph. Lastly, when focusing on the house style of my magazine, I have included many features that all combine together to fill in a gap in the market by targeting a specific audience of young adults. By presenting my magazine as adventurous, young, elegant, professional and unique, I feel that my magazine caters for a variety of audiences that are interested in reading about festivals, tour dates, latest fashion and all the important, breathe taking gossip. By designing a magazine that can be explored in so many different ways means that the circulation will be a dramatic change from conventional magazines and is visually pleasing to the eye.
How does your media product represent particular social groups? Considering my magazine has been designed whilst acknowledging my intended target audience as being 18-28 year old male and females who are categorised under “indie” or “hipsters”, I have assumed, made stereotypical expectations and implied many cliché-ridden predictions. Throughout creating and designing all features including images, colour schemes, language used, the layout used and fonts within my magazine, I have used background knowledge, researched suggestions and used questionnaire conclusions to put together the best magazine that I believe will suit my target audience. When depicting my target audience, I feel that I have implied that the general reader has specific qualities which are stereotypically playing acoustic music, listening to acoustic music, keeping up with the latest fashion and going to all of the popular indie festivals including “V-festival”, “Latitude” and “Sundown”. Having acknowledged that my magazine is aimed towards middle class individuals, I would suggest that the typical reader will be living in a busy city that is situated near all of the local transport access points such as bus stops and train stations. Assuming that my audience are “fashion freaks”, living in the city would mean that they have access to all of the local, well-known shops such as “New look”, “Ark”, “Dorothy Perkins”, “Blue Inc” and “Topman”. By having a generous amount of money, the individuals will feel as if the listed shops will be selling their clothes for a reasonable price. By including fashion as a regular, I feel as if the audience will be persuaded to read the magazine. Due to the unique magazine, I feel as if my product will be a niche brand that is only read by various individuals. Having organised my magazine so that middle class people feel as if they have a professional, sophisticated magazine that they can buy monthly, I feel that another reason why my magazine would be in the niche market is due to the price being a lot higher than other magazines of the specific genre. When choosing which images I was going to use for my final pages, it was obvious that I wanted costume to prove the festival, vintage, hipster appearance and enable the audience to relate to the clothing. Contradicting my main theme of “hipster”, I captured images of elder generations dressed in flamboyant, unique, peculiar costumes that may be of interest to the younger generation. Having acknowledged that my target audience will be capable of understanding fluent English that includes technical terms, I feel that I have stereotyped my
audience as intelligent students due to the age of my audience and the fact that they are middle class. Within my images, I have made sure that all my models have big, expressive hair, happy, uplifting facial expressions and upright postures whilst keeping bright, illuminating ambient and motivated lighting, being captured as predominantly medium long shots. By doing this, I feel that I have produced replicas of my target audiences appearance and shown the genre and all of the themes through the pages. For my colour scheme, I have mostly kept to pastel, faded, calm colours that express’ tranquillity throughout the magazine. Due to my target audience having a love for acoustic music, festivals, relaxing and drinking, I have assumed that the majority of my audiences will find these colours appealing. To keep my audience interested, I felt that using a majority of different fonts shows the unique side to the magazine whilst signifying excitement, originality and happiness, relating to my target audience. As oppose to all of the listed features, I feel as if I haven’t included aspects such as harsh, illuminating colours and nauseating layouts, presenting the audience with lots of information. By doing this, I feel as if I have discarded these aspects to present my theme of elegance, power and spontaneous ways. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? When focusing on the distribution of my final music magazine, I feel that the magazine company that stands out most for publishing “Vintage Hummingbird” would be “Conde Nast”. Conde Nast publishes a vast amount of "lifestyle" magazines with sub-genres ranging from fashion, travel guides, house and garden and bridal wear magazines. Despite Conde Nast's range of brands, I noticed their lack of music related magazines, in particular, with acoustic genres. Baring this in mind, I felt that due to my middle class, sophisticated, fashion related magazine that is aimed for both males and females, Conde Nast would be an ideal company that would benefit from a magazine that caters for a generous amount of the public. As a consequence of my magazine suiting Conde Nast's expectations, I feel that there are advantages and disadvantages towards being published with a large, acclaimed company. Despite being a part of a illustrious brand, having your own self-publishing company, such as "Clash" magazine, can mean that the public will recognise the effort and large amount of funds that are put into the company, producing envied products. Being in another companies hands may mean that the advertisements that you wish to share can be combined with other, opposing products, advertising brands that are off target. In situations where a company is losing money, it may be the case that they need to lower their expectations and remove certain magazine brands that they believe are not working as well. By this, it may mean that the company that you are relying on can remove your product within a day. Having your own company will mean that you're in a stable situation and will not have to compromise, make group decisions and be told/asked to do specific jobs within the company without having a choice. As addition to this, when being part of a large company, it means that they will take the majority of the profit, leaving you with a little amount.
Other companies such as "iTunes" and "Spotify" are labels that I am familiar with and am certain with the fact that they lack advertisements about acoustic music. Despite both companies specialising around music, Spotify often publicises specific music artists, festivals, tour dates and other unrelated subjects as oppose to providing support to any other brand and promoting their products. Having gained this knowledge, I feel that Spotify is a company that mostly works alone. Having an advertisement that publicises a magazine that is targeted towards young adults, including fashion, festivals and indie music will genuinely be acknowledged by all of the people currently listening to music on Spotify, which is predominantly young adults.
As addition to this, radio stations such as "radio 1", "kiss" and "heart" are all companies who present their audience with all of the latest, acclaimed music, predominantly aimed at the younger generation, introducing music genres ranging from rock to indie. I feel like a radio station such as this would be the typical company who would most likely be associated with Vintage Hummingbird. After researching magazine companies that were cancelled due to unsuccessful publishing, I found a particular magazine "Cracked", editor "Sol Browsky", that shared it's last issue with America in 2007 after just three issues. After using conventional, mainstream techniques, copying a specific magazine "Mad" for guidance, I soon noticed how "Globe publishing" and "mega media" were two companies that I didn't feel would suit my magazine due to their lack of imagination and unique appearances. Who would be the audience for your media product? When focusing on the audience of "Vintage Hummingbird", it was clear from the start that people categorised under "hipsters" and "indie" were more likely to appreciate the intricate detail within the magazine, including insightful information, news and releases aimed for individuals demographically aged between 18-28 years old.
Having acknowledged that both genders are found within this sub-culture, my magazine's audience caters for everybody, including subjects such as named artists, "Mumford and Sons" that males will be interested in, whilst having interviews with distinguished celebrities/ fashion icons such as "Emily Zak" for women. Indie folks that will be the target audience for my magazine will predominantly be white British or American who
are middle class individuals. Due to their fair amount of money, they will tend to live in cities, near busy transport stations and popular shops such as "Dorothy Perkins", "Topshop", "Topman", "Next" and "New look". Due to their age, the predominant audience will have just left university and/or starting a new career. Enjoying TV shows such as "How I met your mother", "Big band theory", "F.R.I.E.N.D.S" and perhaps "QI", my audience will be interested in sit-coms, adventurous humour and factual shows. In relation to this, music such as "Biffy Clyro", "The Lumineers", "Mumford and sons" and "Of monsters of men" will be the typical music artists that they listen to on specific radio stations including "Radio 1" as the most popular.
The general appearance of my targeted audience will appear as seen in the image above. With long, choppy hair, girls usually wear natural appearing make-up with bright red lipstick. Baggy clothing including t-shirts, shorts and skinny jeans are worn whilst they are stereotypically always skinny, healthy people who take care in their everyday appearance, keeping up with all the latest trends. Jewellery is a big part of their lives, wearing many bracelets on one arm, various rings and large, feathered earrings are a common feature that women usually go for. Specific symbols such as feathers, birds and owls are subjects that are usually seen on t-shirts, necklaces and rings. Similarly, men in this sub-culture are seen in baggy t-shirts, skinny jeans and Nike blazer shoes. Their hair styles are typically gelled at the front, creating a small quiff, whilst the back is light and fluffy. Bracelets and necklaces are also commonly found on men, wearing features such as dog tags, leather bands and chains. In terms of psychographics, these specific people are often outgoing, adventurous and willing to proceed their education until they find a satisfying career that is usually in areas such as media, film, textiles or fine art. Baring this in mind, I feel that my audience show that they are artistic people who focus around creativity, individuality and fashion design. A lot of indie people are Christians who care a lot about their community and the well-being of otherâ€™s around them. Other careers such as caring for the elderly or playground children are temporary jobs that these specific people will take the time to experience. Through audience research, I found that a lot of indie people wear pastel colours such as blues, greens and oranges. Black is a colour that I feel would go against the conventional colours and feel that you would never find an indie person in pure black clothing. Advertising's such as "Jack Daniels", "Spotify" and festivals such as "Latitude" are ways in which attract this particular audience. Whilst including pastel colours, conventional, appealing images, fashion articles and festival updates, this particular audience will be found subscribing and buying Vintage Hummingbird. How did you attract/ address your audience? When designing my music magazine, I visually analysed typical genre conventions and
attempted to collect them together to then include within my final pieces. To complete this, it was important that I understood my typical target audience, taking vital information such as their personalities, personal interests, favourite colours, language that they use and general appearance and then included features that relate to this on my magazine. When confirming that I had designed an appropriate magazine for my audience, I needed to confirm that I had used persuasive techniques to clarify that they will want to purchase my magazine. I used specific tactical information including the typical conventions such as a large, dominating masthead, an image that fills in the entire page; proving sophistication and elegance, specific colour schemes such as blues, greens and oranges and an artistic layout. Looking at this in detail, I feel that I used techniques such as this to enable my target audience to feel as much persuasion to pick up the magazine in the first place. On the front cover, the most domineering feature that I felt would be most eye catching towards my audience is my image, combined with the colour scheme and general appearance. All of my images throughout my magazine are strong, radiant and admirable images that have been used to relate to the age of my target audience, their stereotypical clothes style and what they would find most appealing to scrutinise. The fonts that I have used are bold, artistic, sans styles that show the vintage and outgoing side to the audience’s personalities. Along with this idea, I decided to use colours such as browns, blues, greens and oranges, matching vintage colour schemes and connoting the general theme of hipsters and their vintage clothes style. The language within my magazine is mostly formal with grammatically correct terminology, suiting my middle class audience. Within my article, I used rhetorical questions that are directly aimed at the reader to think about the question and automatically answer the question in their minds. By doing this, I feel that the audience is connecting to the story and having a say in their thoughts, making them feel powerful and included. Despite using formal language, I wanted to show how relaxed the magazine was by using easily understood, intriguing information that wouldn't be seen in a magazine such as "Vogue". I feel that aspects such as the images of acclaimed artists, tour dates and articles that can't be read anywhere else will keep the audience entertained. When focusing on the "point of sale", I feel that my target audience would buy this magazine knowing that they will be getting a gossip filled, fashion related, insightful magazine that will make them feel emotionally connected with artists and celebrities. What have you learnt about technology from the process of constructing this product? Throughout the construction of my three final pieces, I have gradually began to experiment with alternative programs as oppose to the norm and resorted to using largely popular, wellknown programs such as "Photoshop", “flipsnack”, "Survey Monkey", "Blogger" , “Slideshare”, “Issuu”, "Word" and "Publisher" that I have either never or hardly used before. At the beginning of the task, I found that using programs such as these, in particular, Photoshop, were confusing and complex, taking longer than expected to configure and then having to put all of my knowledge about the program together to then produce a final piece that was up to a standard that was needed. At the beginning of the task, I used these particular programs with a closed minded approach, using simple tools such as "crop", "lasso" and "gradient", producing ineffective features that didn't present the audience with what I had initially imagined. After acknowledging my faults, I began to experiment with
different tools, studying what each one did and how I could include it within my magazine. After a few weeks of practicing, I designed three magazines from scratch, attempting to include aspects that I could use for the final piece. During this experiment, I gained interest in experimentation and didn't give up with improving specific features on my magazine that I didn't like until I was satisfied with the outcome. All of the other programs that I used, I found moderately simple to understand and used them to my advantage, producing thoroughly planned and organised pieces. Despite the fact that towards the end of the task, I began to grasp the idea of how to use Photoshop, for purposes such as using it at home, the program wasn't available due to being highly expensive. During the course of the task, I downloaded a trial for Photoshop, which gave me a total of 30 days to use it. "Blogger" was the website that I used to host my media magazines and enable editing, designing and publicising. Using blogger gave me an insightful idea of how to share my products and to become independent with taking care of my work and in my own time, learning to understand how everything works. When I uploaded my work, I often received feedback from the teacher as addition to the general public. I found that this method of blogging was simple, effective and useful. Despite the ease of the website and the fact that it is free, Blogger is a different program to show images, considering they only move in certain positions and only take JPEG copies. When I completed my written work on Word Document, it was tasks that meant I had to copy and paste the writing onto the blog, as oppose to uploading the document, which perhaps would be simpler. “Slideshare”, “Flipsnack” and “Issuu” were programs that I used to upload long information such as my evaluations onto, as addition to image files, such as my original images. Using both programs were a lot simpler than I had imagined and I was pleasantly surprised with how neat and tidy the programs appeared after embedding it onto my blog. I feel that due to the simplicity and general appearance of the presentations, I would use these program with other, similar tasks. "Survey Monkey" was another program that I was using for the first time. Having discovered all of the important tools, I uploaded my questionnaire to the site and shared it around to family members, college students and friends, gaining knowledge on the typical appearance of my magazine whilst getting feedback from all different age groups. Through this program, I learnt how simple it was to find the correct information that is needed for the construction of my magazine and felt that it was a great website that could be used for many purposes. Other facilities such as DSLR cameras, the internet and memory sticks have been devices that I often found useful when transferring work, researching appropriate information and taking my original and final images. In particular, a website "Dafont" was used to design my creative fonts.
Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product? Front cover
Having completed my final music magazine, I have placed together my preliminary tasks and my final pieces to prove my development through designing my final piece. Having created my preliminary tasks at the beginning of the task before I had ever used Photoshop, there are obvious signs of amateur methods, showing huge significance when helping me to depict what I have learnt throughout the task.
When learning to understand Photoshop after completing my preliminary task, I downloaded a trial for home purposes, enabling as much revision on the program to be done as possible. To further learn how to use Photoshop, I researched different techniques and watched YouTube videos, showing me what tools can be used effectively. Researching existing music magazines was a method in which helped to depict what the conventional
magazine appearance looked like and to then learn how to create that effect on Photoshop and alter it to resemble my indie, folk genre. When gaining feedback from my audience questionnaire, I learnt how appearances can alter dramatically, depending on genres and themes. I took all of the information from my feedback and thoroughly developed it all into an envied magazine that caters for who I intended. To gain further feedback, I asked my tutor to view my magazine in the eyes of a young student and help to develop it into a magazine that would look professional when sitting in a news agent, on the shelf. Specific guidance such as filling my magazine up with a dominating image and creating unity through the use of colours was given to me to use as a rough guide to follow. After I had completed this task, I asked family members what they thought of the magazine and how it can further be developed. When comparing my preliminary task to my final magazine, aspects such as the layout, fonts, language, the audience and written skills have all dramatically improved to the extent that they are visibly clear. When focusing on the layout of my magazine, my preliminary task proved lifelessness by the empty spaces, otherwise known as "white space". Due to my acknowledgement of this aspect, I made sure that my final piece was organised in a way that meant there was hardly any space left. The whole general layout of my magazine was a lot more formal and due to my target audience being young adults, I made it appeal to them personally by the design. Using images and band names that would be of interest to my target audience was important and so I went to a great extent to capture perfect images that relates to both my theme and the â€œindieâ€?, festival loving audience. When focusing on my images, I made the important images fill the page and with the smaller, less significant images, I put them in Polaroid frames creating an interesting, photography based, creative appearance that related to young adults and festivals. Linking all of my magazine pages in together was something I learnt was important having designed my preliminary task beforehand. Including the motif such as the sticky note torn paper was something that created unity between all of my pages and clearly showed the link. Creating more exciting, eye catching fonts was something I changed to enable the writing to be seen from afar and to make my magazine appear fun and visually appealing. The colour scheme is another aspect of my magazine that I wanted to appear fun and visually appealing and so included a lot less bright colours and focused on including pastel and calm colours that portrays the elder target audience.