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Music Magazine Skills Development For our AS Coursework we had to create a music magazine. I made a step by step guide explaining how I made each main part of my magazine. My music magazine was influenced by the magazine Kerrang, and was intended to be original but still be a lot like Kerrang.

Front Cover for Music Magazine My music magazine has changed a lot from when I first started creating it, from this:

To This:

All of my changes to my magazine have been made from feedback through surveys, audience responses and noticing features in real media products such as Kerrang. Some changes however were made through experimenting, such as some of the brushes I used.


I started with a blue background, and put my main picture over the background.

I added my masthead and slogan, tilted them slightly and then put them behind the picture, raising the picture,

Because I wanted my skyline to stand out, I chose the colour green as it was different from the rest of the page and stood out.

I then added the text to the skyline, going for a grey colour with the red 10 on it as the festival had done their logo like that as it was the 10th anniversary of the festival. I then added my lead article, using the stroke to bold it and choosing blue because I intended that to be the house style, and also because it went with the band’s name, then being Turn the Tide and water is blue.

Using the cd I made, I then put it briefly on the page so I knew where I had to put my lead article.


Taking away the CD briefly, I then added a barcode and issue date and price, and added other articles for the magazine, like the SlamDunk Festival, the competition and the list of other artists in the magazine. I chose to do the list orange and yellow because the orange went with the masthead and I thought yellow was a good alternative colour. I also added the competition because PRS are a highly known brand and produce some of the best guitars, so I knew readers would want to enter it. This is what my magazine then looked like without the magazine After getting feedback from my teacher and students in the target audience, I decided to reconsider my magazine and see if I could improve on it, as it looked a bit amateur. I briefly got rid of my lead article, and changed the colour of the skyline so it fitted with the other colours on the cover, and changed the Slamdunk article to suit the other colours too. I used a gradient tool on the article, choosing the sky gradient as the house style is blue. After doing research by keeping up with the news in the music industry, I decided to use We are the In Crowd, who are an upcoming pop punk band, as another article, as there was too much empty space on the cover, choosing orange as it fitted with the masthead and other colours.

I then experimented with the lead article, trying to choose colours. I would have stayed with blue, but as they are a Pop Punk Band, they would be quite fun, so I chose Poplar Std as the font as it looked cartoon like, as chose black and white as white stands out on black.

After getting feedback that the lead article shouldn’t be so close to the model’s head, I decided to try and move the lead article around so it wasn’t as close to his neck. I moved it into the left third as that is what the readers see on the shelf and the article would catch their eye, and also because it gave the model more space. From feedback I also looked through the writing on my DPS and chose a pull quote from the conversation to use with the lead article.

After looking at my old cover, I decided my lead article needs a background, but a better one than the stroke. I then experimented with brushes, trying to find out that fitted until I found the perfect one. I then made the brush effect blue as I wanted my lead article to be blue in some way, relating to the band name and house style.


Deciding that improvements could still be made, I thought the background of the photo looked too plain, so again experimented with brushes to try and find one that looked good. I chose this brush, and although I had people say that they thought that my magazine was a trance magazine, I thought it still fitted as many pop punk bands use synths and it made the magazine look lighter.

Masthead and Slogan Design I couldn’t decide a name, and after research found that Kerrang Is meant to be the sound of a guitar power chord, so I wrote down all the names of things to do with guitars or music in general. As for the slogan, I didn’t need to try to decide which one; I knew I wanted it to be BRING THE NOISE! From there it was deciding which name fitted with the slogan. I had initially decided to call it Amplified, but it didn’t fit with the magazine image, so I eventually decided on Overdrive, which is a guitar effect. I had first decided to call my magazine Amplified, and experimented with ways to design the masthead and slogan. But it didn’t fit my image, so I changed my masthead.

I first started by making it in photoshop and deciding the right size.

Started experimenting with fonts, going through each one until I got to Bauhaus 93, which I thought looked good and quite rock music – like, so I stuck with it.


Experimenting with the blending options, I used a gradient stroke, and found this one, and thought it looked great. I chose not to make any other changes to it as I thought it looked good already.

It took a while to find a suitable slogan – I went through all sorts of designs, but none fitted with my magazine image and masthead. It was when I was looking at old documents that I saw a font that I could use, highlighted in red

This is the font I previously used, and looking at it, I realised it fitted the masthead perfectly. It was the same colour, and I didn’t think it needed any improvement, apart from losing the glow and increasing the stroke size.

This was my final design for my masthead and slogan.


CD Cover for Music Magazine I decided to create a Cd Cover for the front of my magazine. As we had already made Cd covers, I used the area and width from those to create the document size. I first created a square that fitted the document, changed the colour to blue, and added a gradient overlay and an inner glow.

I then created a new layer and experimented with many different brushes I had downloaded from psbrushes.net to find out which brush looked the best. I then decided on this brush, choosing black instead of white because the black looked better.

I then copy and pasted my band logo onto the cd cover, and added my magazine logo as well, as the cd is endorsed by the magazine.

Then using the font Bauhaus 93 I created the other layers that state that there are tracks from the band and similar tracks from other bands. I used a red colour and a stroke for the “23 exclusive tracks� and for the other text I used white with a stroke.

However, when I put it on my final music magazine front cover, I thought the red writing stood out too much and didn’t fit with the other colours on the page, so I changed the colour to orange so it fitted with the colours. This cover is also the CD for the band, shown on the right. So my magazine could use the design I added the magazine name and extra text.


Band Name Design I created my band name whilst I was creating the CD Cover. I started by choosing names, as I have a list of band names for my actual band and decided to use one, and I wasn’t sure whether to call my band Broke Since Yesterday or Turn The Tide. I went for Turn the Tide, and started experimenting with fonts, until I chose Poplar Std. I used the same font in the rest of my magazine, creating a font house style. I made it blue, as intended because water is blue and gave it a white stroke.

The rest of my logo was from experimenting with brushes, trying to see which one looked best. I chose these ones, and feedback from others told me it was the right choice.

Contents Page I started with the contents title. I was going to put CONTENTS but I didn’t think it fitted with the title of the masthead. Therefore I wrote ‘INSIDE THIS WEEK’ and gave it the gradient effect like I did to the masthead, to keep it consistent. I added the magazine title is the corner in small rather than big as I thought it looked better, and most magazines have the masthead on their contents.


I was originally going to follow my flat plans and have my editor’s note in the bottom corner like Kerrang, but after getting advice I placed it in the top. I planned to have the same layout as Kerrang in terms of contents list, but I changed the layout so the list was on the left rather than right.

I then added my competition at the bottom. I chose purple as it was a colour that would stand out against the white background, and I chose to have the competition as one of All Time Low’s guitars as from watching music videos and live concerts, I know that they use PRS Guitars often. I went to a shop and took a photo of a PRS guitar, then edited out the background. Unfortunately I had to use the rubber as the magic eraser didn’t work on all of the background. I added a glow to cover up a few editing mistakes. I then made the text yellow as yellow and purple are colours that complement each other. Even though Kerrang tend to be different and have a different artist from the one on the cover on their contents page, I thought it’d be easier to stick with the same band. I chose a picture of two of the guys in the band and placed it below the editor’s note, putting a line between the two. I then created the number flash shape on Powerpoint, and transferred it to Photoshop, colouring it blue to stick with the band colour, and added the page number.

I then added a subscribe section like Kerrang have, so I created a couple of mock up magazines that could be issues of OVERDRIVE, and displayed them in the section, adding text to describe how to subscribe, including small print.


I then added a background to my contents title, using a brush to create the effect, the adding a black box behind it to darken the brush.

Once I had finished, I checked to see if there were any more improvements I could make. I thought the background looked a bit plain, so I experimented with brushes to see if any would work. I saw this brush and thought it would work as it would like they were coming out of the picture and quite comic like, and it worked. I coloured it blue to stick with the band house style.

Double Page Spread

I first started with deciding where to place my picture. As the right side was just a straight edge as that’s where the picture ended, I at first placed it on the right at the bottom, with the entire picture fitting in the page.

However, after realising that with the picture there I couldn’t fit my text around it, I decided to move the picture. After feedback and looking at Kerrang Magazines, I also increased the picture size, as most DPS pictures stretch over both pages.


I felt that more than one picture should be added to the DPS, so I added another photo from the photoshoot to my DPS, and added a little comment like Kerrang do for their pictures that would make readers laugh. By placing my photo there, I can now place my text around it.

I wrote my magazine in a Kerrang style, describing everything in the scene and as I’m the frontman, I was able to write it as if I saying it in an interview. After feedback, I made my drop caps bigger.

I decided to add a band album cover to the DPS as I thought it would promote the band more. This is the band cover, and the CD Cover design for my magazine was copied from this as the band is the main feature.

I added the magazine logo and page number to the bottom of the pages, like Kerrang have. Also now I had written my article, I was able to come up with an opening paragraph.


I added a pull quote because most Double Page Spreads have one, and chose the colour yellow as a stroke so it would stand out.

However, when looking at my DPS to find out what I could improve, I didn’t think the colour of the pull quote looked right. I decided to use a brush as a background, and then found out blue and orange are colours that complement each other, so I coloured it orange.

Skills Development  
Skills Development  

skills development for my magazine

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