Critical Evaluation In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Front Cover: When I was doing my preliminary research, I studied the main codes and conventions, using my research I made sure that I used them in my music magazine. Using the codes and conventions that feature on professional magazines it gives my magazine a professional look to it. For my masthead, I chose a graffiti style text, downloaded front dafont.com, I called my magazine Beats2Bass, I chose this for my title as the two words both relate to music, on the first B I flipped it so that it was backwards, this was so it would reflect the other B, giving a Back2Back effect. Enhancing on the masthead, I used brushes that I had downloaded from psbrushes.net, to add a splash of red to the title. My cover overall is a conventional front cover, originally I was going to have it as a Poster Cover, to keep it simple but it looked to bare, and my audience said there wasn’t enough information or any free gifts to attract a buyer. After getting that feedback I added some main sells and a free CD. My main sells are situated on the right hand side, in keeping with the red and black theme, the text alternates in colour and is enhanced with use of a brush again. My colour palette that is featured throughout my whole magazine is red, black and white. I chose these colours because I wanted a simple theme with a dash of colour, which is the red. Red also has an underlying meaning of danger, warning and passion. Red is an eye catching colour, so I thought it would work well for my magazine. For my CD I designed the front cover of a CD, called The Mixtape, this is created by Beats2Bass, I used the same colour scheme as I have used throughout the magazine, making sure the magazine had the same house style, however I did add a grey background for the CD so that it would stand out against the white background of the main front cover. For my image, I have used a male artist, in keeping with the red, black and white theme the artist is pictured wearing a red t shirt. Using my sills on Photoshop, I removed the entire colour from the picture and then using the history brush brought back the red of the tshirt. This effect is really eye catching. The way SoundBoii is standing, he is looking to the bottom left and this is his trade mark. It works really well on the front page as it looks like he is looking directly at the CD, this was pointed out in my evaluation. My artist then has ‘SoundBoii’ written across him, another font from dafont.com, this is the name of the main article and the name of the person pictured on the front, I really like the way my magazine has turned out. I think it looks professional, eye catching and really fits in with the genre well.
Contents Page: For my contents page, I kept the same house style and colour palette. Using the typical features on a contents page, I made sure that I kept my contents page looking professional. For the title, once again I used a bold, graffiti style font, this is to make sure that the text fits in with the genre of the magazine. Once again I used brushes that I had downloaded to add a splash of colour to the title, these brushes are featured on all 4 pages. I struggled on the layout of the contents page, I think that I could improve on my contents page layout, but unfortunately I run out of time. I laid it out in 3 columns, first column is Hot Features, this section is all about the ‘must read’ stuff in the magazine, second column is Lets Listen, this section is all about music, ‘what’s hot and what’s not’. Then finally the last column is Lets Party, this section is all about where to go on a night out. Then at the bottom I have used three primary source photograph’s, one of my featured artist then the other two, are relating to the Party Pictures page, all three pictures have got a red border around them too. For the fonts used, I downloaded a font off dafont.com for the sections and the numbers, just to keep the graffiti style still running through this page, then for the other pieces of text I just used a plain font so that it is easily readable. The page and page number is written in black then what the page is about is written in red. This draws the eye to what’s on the page before you read the page number. Double Page Spread: For my double page spread, I wanted the layout to be half interview and half picture, I think a prominent picture of the artist is a real key to a good interview. On the left hand side of the double page spread I have written the interview, in keeping with the colour palette, I wrote the questions in red and then SoundBoii’s answers in black. I tried to keep the interview quite laid back, so that it is easier to read than an intense one. Instead of using three columns, which is the typical layout for a double page spread, I felt like the text was extremely squished together and looked to compact so that is why I put them in two columns instead of three. For the title, I used another graffiti font, enhanced by some red brushes. I think the title is quite eye catching and draws the reader in. The on the right hand side, is the picture of SoundBoii, this is a casual picture of him sitting on the floor, just relaxing. I chose this picture because it fits in with the casualness of the whole interview. On each of the pictures, SoundBoii is always looking to the bottom left, this is his trade mark. How does your media product represent particular social groups? The style of photographs that I have used are quite casual, I wanted a relaxed photograph that is really eye catching. Once I had edited my photograph I thought that it was really attentiongrabbing, which is what I wanted it to be. SoundBoii was dressed in a red Hugo boss tshirt and firetrap jeans. The red t shirt was chosen on purpose so that I could bring the colour back into the picture
but only on the tshirt, so that it would fit into the colour palette. The firetrap jeans were chosen as they were dark and in keeping with the style of the magazine. I gave the image of grime to SoundBoii, this is in keeping with what my target audience wanted in a magazine, there is no point in creating a magazine that won’t sell as it is not what the audience want. For my interview I kept quite a laid back Question and Answer style, I did this because you get to know the artist more, if it’s in a laid back interview. What kind of media institution might distribute your magazine and why? Personally, I think that I would publish my magazine online, this is because most of my target audience are in college or in full time work. Being of a young age there isn’t a lot of money spare to spend on magazines, so if my magazine was to be published online it would cut down costs for me to publish it but it would also be free for people to access, as everyone in my target audience nowadays has access to the internet, whether it’s at college, work, library or home. Then to reach my target audience and telling them about the magazine online launch, advertising on social networking sites, such as Bebo, Facebook, Myspace and so on would be a great way to attract attention. Also visiting local colleges and talking face to face with students would also be a good idea. I would launch my magazine online with issuu.com and then maybe consider publishing it and launching it in shops too. Who would be the audience for your Music Magazine? Reader profile: • Male or Female • Ages between 16 – 21 • Passion for Grime / Drum and Bass music • Spend a lot of time on the internet (good for internet launch) • Has some free time to read • Is up to date with fashion and music • Young, stylish, “in with it” type of person • Like’s expensive clothes • Enjoys music a lot • Maybe aspiring to be a DJ / rapper How did you attract/address your audience? I attracted my audience by creating a magazine that they wanted to appear in the market, this is a magazine that is not yet out in the market. I have appealed to my target audience by setting a reasonable price, if the magazine was to be launched in the shops, I have added a free CD, which you will get with the magazine, which is a really good Mixtape, featuring Bashy. I have kept the magazine, young and trendy, making sure that it is easy to read and features
things my target audience want to see, such as Competitions. People that have complete my survey are really impressed with my work and think it is really appealing, they wish it would get published! What have you learnt about using Photoshop CS3 and digital cameras during this project? I had quite a good knowledge of using Photoshop and cameras before this project commenced, however I still have improved greatly on my skills. Firstly with Photoshop, I have learnt how to import new fonts and brushes and then use them in my work, this really help, I had a wide range of choice which fitted in with my genre of music. Also on Photoshop I learnt about the history brush tool, this was one of the main things that was really useful for me, I used this technique quite a lot during this project, especially on SoundBoii’s pictures, the effect really set them off. I’ve learnt how to manipulate text and images, flipping them, changing the colour, size and adding effects such as shadows. I have also learnt about layers, how to order them and how useful they can be, the only problem is, when you have a lot of layers, and you’re trying to find one particular layer, it is really difficult! So towards the end I started to name my layers. My photography skills, I think have stayed the same. I knew exactly what I wanted SoundBoii to look like in the photograph and how I wanted him to stand and the way he came across, and my photographs are absolutely perfect and are what I imagined them to turn out like. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? I think I have excelled myself and my expectations too. I have completed all my work on time and kept to the deadlines. I’ve realised how important preliminary research is, to find out what your target audience want. There is no point in creating a magazine noone wants to read. It is also important to follow most of the conventional forms of a professional magazine, and how important the left third is. I am confident now, I know what I need to have on a magazine now, so next time we have a project like this I won’t be stuck. I have really enjoyed the challenge of designing a professional magazine, and I will definitely be taking Media at A2 level as this is the industry I want to go into. I am really proud of my work and myself, with what I have created.