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magazine evaluation Written by Tara Wilton

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Prior to designing my magazine, I thought it would be helpful to research existing magazines to look for the kind of layouts, colours and photographs that I would be interested in interpreting into my magazine. I looked at magazines such as NME and Kerrang!, but

my favourite was Q magazine. Q magazine has an extremely professional layout and also looks quite sophisticated, which I think draws in readers more as it makes them feel that this magazine is very experienced and reliable. From this research, I decided to

create my magazine similar to the style of Q, and throughout the designing process I kept referring back to the magazine to see where I could improve or to create new ideas. My front cover image is a close up shot of my model, Claudia. Q uses close up shots regularly as they often look straight into the camera, which makes the audience feel as if they are looking directly at the readers, drawing them in and making them want to find out more about the artist. I felt that this would be the most successful angle to use and it is very personal and could help to gain attention for the magazine and also the artist. My house colour scheme consist of green, black, white and grey. I used these colours as they are all quite prominent. Q magazine uses red, white, black and sometimes grey, so it became evident to me that I needed one bright colour, green, which would make the typography stand out, and the rest quite neutral colours that complimented the brighter colour. The colour scheme was very important to choose because it needed to attract my target audience successfully. Often throughout the Indie genre, the music followers like to feel relaxed and at ease, therefore the colour green seemed mandatory to use as it has connotations of tranquillity, nature and peace which would also help in luring in readers. My mast head ‘EMERGE’ however doesn’t follow the codes and conventions of the box logo

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that Q magazine has. I debated calling my magazine ‘E’ however it doesn’t quite have the effect that ‘Emerge’ would have on my readers. Therefore I chose to stretch it across the top of the page in a font that I downloaded called ‘A love of thunder’. The bold typography would help to capture the attention of my target audience, who would be further captivated by the colour green that it is written in. I stuck to my house colour scheme throughout the magazine as this gives it an extremely professional and sophisticated look. Q also uses a variety of different sell lines on the front cover of the magazine to attract readers that may not be interested in the main article, but would want to perhaps read about something that was advertised in the magazine. This is usually the case with all other magazines, therefore I felt it necessary to include them and follow the typical conventions of a magazine. Like Q magazine, I used various colours (that followed my house colour scheme) and multiple sizes of font to keep it interesting and make it more eye catching to the audience.

One sell line in particular was extremely important to make stand out as it introduced the main artist in that particular issue of the magazine. After researching other music magazines, it became evident that the main story sell line has to be slightly bigger than the rest of the sell lines, and often would be the second piece of text that the reader would look at following the mast head. I positioned the sell line about 3/4 of the way down the front cover and stretched it out to cover just over half the width of the page. This would ensure that the main article was recognised by the audience. For my contents page, I used a very similar layout to the contents page for Q magazine. I struggled to find a layout that I really liked, however the Q layout was spacious and looked professional, therefore I tried to adapt to this as much as I could. Like existing magazines for example Q, Kerrang!, NME, Top of the Pops, I used a variety of images and text on my contents page, which is more appealing to the reader and gives them a range of aspects to look at. I used typical sections, Features and Regu-

lars, to display to the reader the various elements included in the magazine. I also decided to use something which Q magazine features a lot, a band listing. This gives the audience an insight into some of the bands/artists compacted into the magazine, and they are also able to skip straight to looking at this to see if any of the artists/bands that they are interested in are covered in the issue. I also included a Social Networking section as I feel that my target audience in particular are prone to using Social Networking on a day to day basis, therefore they would be able to interact with my magazine using these platforms. It also creates a basis for a personal relationship with my magazine as they would be able to comment on posts and ask questions, which I feel is an important aspect for my magazine to have as it makes the audience feel that the magazine actually values their opinion and wants to hear what they have to say. I made sure to include numbers next to each different piece as this would allow my audience to quickly skip to the articles that they are most interested in reading. I ensured that I kept to my


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colour scheme in order to reflect the professional and sophisticated

cle text itself is directed very much towards my tar

look that the Q magazine contents page pursues.

get audience as it involves taboo language which is common

For the main article, I used a variety of page layouts to vary the length of text and the sizes of images which would keep my reader interested. Typically, I ensured that the introducing headline of the article echoed the mast head of my front cover, which emphasises the feature’s importance and captures the attention of the reader. I also stuck to the same font that I used on my contents page to keep the professional feel that I had begun to create for my magazine. The photos I chose for my contents page I consider to be the best ones out of all the photos that I took of my model, as they are eye catching and look professional. I opted to edit some of the photos with a greyscale effect as it just added more variety to the main article and would therefore further captivate my readers. The main arti-

within the specific age range that I have directed my magazine towards. By doing this, I think that it could allow my readers to feel more connected to the magazine because it caters to their lifestyle.

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In conclusion, by using the codes and conventions of Q magazine I have been able to create a professional looking magazine that would be successful in captivating readers and drawing the audience’s attention to my magazine. I feel that the audience would feel comfortable reading my magazine because of the clear, organised layout and the eye catching colour scheme.

EVALUTION How does your media product represent particular social groups? By the use of costumes, props, language, pricing and social media, my magazine represents the particular social group that I have chosen to target my magazine towards. My target audience is females and males ages 16-24 in the E social bracket. These are the people that are still involved with education at sixth form, college or University, or have got part time jobs. These particular people are often associated with attending gigs, loving music and wanting to have fun, which is what the Indie genre is all about. In order to attract my target audience I ensured I used aspects that would draw them in to the magazine. For my photoshoot, my model was Claudia Dyer. I chose to keep this name for her as the main artist of my magazine as it is a unique name that I think people would be able to remember. She is of a Jamaican ethnicity which gives her tanned skin and big, curly hair. I used her hair to advantage as it is a unique element of her appearance and when used successfully could attract the audience’s attention. On the front cover, the main image displays Claudia looking directly into the camera with a captivating expression. This is likely to capture the attention of the audience and lure them in into wanting to find out more about her. Her dark red lipstick and her green eyes compliment the tone of her skin and make her features more prominent and ensures that she stands out to the reader. Her big, curly hair is down and projects an image of being free and wild, which is usually associated with the Indie genre that I have chosen to base my magazine on. Her flowery top connotes nature, peace and relaxation which are key aspects of the Indie genre, and the gold chain round her neck gives her a

bit of edge which is popular within the genre. For other images in the magazine, I ensured that Claudia had a range of outfits to wear to keep the magazine interesting and appealing to the audience. For some of the other photos she is wearing a denim jacket, a patterned kimono, a flowery bomber jacket, black boots and burgundy Dr Martens. All of these clothing pieces are those typically worn by artists/bands in the Indie genre, and also by the fans of the music. By dressing my model in this clothing, she is displaying to my target audience that she is just like them

and is very down to earth, which would made the readers idolise her and give her a fan base. I chose Claudia as my model as she isn’t shy to get stuck in with the photos, and she is extremely photogenic. For the post part of the magazine, her facial expressions are quite serious and dramatic, which gives the idea that she has a captivating personality, and the readers would be able to find her interesting and want to know more about her. I tried to avoid ‘silly’ facial expressions and poses because the main article

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EXCLUSIVE focuses on how much she loves music and wants to get a message across, and I felt that more serious images would complement that. This would capture the reader’s attention as they would want to find out why she is so serious about her music, which they could find in the main article. By including multiple props I was able to further vary the images of my magazine. I used props such as a microphone, a guitar and a stall which can all be associated with music. The microphone demonstrated Claudia’s singing ability, the guitar highlighted the artist’s talent to play the instrument, and the stall allowed a range of camera angles. Often, fans of the Indie genre are able to play instruments as it is a very popular item to use in that genre, therefore if my target audience could see Claudia’s ability to play the guitar, they could perhaps be more interested in her. As my magazine is targeted towards males and females, I decided not to make any of the images too explicit because her modesty would captivate both genders of my target audience. The male gender would be attracted to her unique features and her shyness, and the female gender would want to dress like her and be like her. Therefore, the positioning and poses in the photographs were very important. I ensured to use a variety of positions as this would make the images more attention-grabbing for example, lying down with the guitar – insinuating the love and passion she has for the instrument, sitting on the stall, standing up looking directly into the camera, standing up holding the microphone at various angles. All these positions I found worked extremely well. I have found that what has made my main article successful was the taboo language that I included in it. Typically, teenagers and young adults are more prone to using this kind of language freely, and wouldn’t be offput if the magazine was to use it. I feel that it allows the audience to feel as if it has a personal relationship with

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the magazine because of how similar the language used by both recipients is.

What kind of institution might distribute your media product and why?

closely with creating websites which gives my magazine a huge platform of having a successful online option.

It is extremely necessary that the company that distributes my magazine doesn’t already have a magazine that is similar to mine, because this would create competition within the company which could result in the failure of one of the competing music magazines. To avoid this, I would not choose for my magazine to be distributed by Bauer Media or IPC media as they already distributed very successful magazines including Kerrang!, NME and Q magazine, and as my magazine is very similar to Q I would prefer for it to be distributed by a different company. By assessing this information, I have decided that the company I would like to distribute my magazine would be Future PLC. It doesn’t currently have a magazine similar to mine as mine focuses more on the bands/artists, whereas the existing magazines distributed by Future PLC are based on playing instruments. Magazines that they distribute include Total Guitar, Rhythm and Guitarist. As instruments do play a vital role in the Indie Genre I think

that this would be a great company to distribute my magazine because it would emphasise the importance of instruments and would highlight how closely the artist and the instruments relate. The magazines distributed by Future PLC magazine also have a similar target audience to mine of males age 16-24. Therefore they would not have to take any risks by trying to appeal towards a different age range, my magazine would sit comfortably with all the other magazines that they distribute. Appealing to females as well would be slightly different for them but considering the popularity of the Indie genre I think that it would be a successful risk to take. Future PLC has also been named AOP & PPA Digital Publisher of the Year and BMA Media Company of the Year which highlights that it as an extremely successful publishing company. I feel that if my magazine was distributed by them that it would sell very well as the company has such a good reputation. They also work

I would like to distribute my magazine through advertisement via New Media and Social Media. I have created a twitter account for my magazine that would promote the release of it and build up an audience base. As my target audience are females and males ages 16-24, I feel that this is probably the best way of getting noticed with them as social networking is extremely popular among these people. As being part of this age range myself, I know that the amount of people with accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr are extraordinary, and this would gain huge publicity for my magazine. I would also use typical promotional methods e.g. billboards, the sides of buses, underground posters as transport is an important way of life for my target audience and these advertisements would not go unnoticed.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

The target audience of my magazine is 16-24 year olds. I have chosen this age range as I feel that they are the age that appreciates the genre of ‘Indie’ which is the focus of my magazine. This age normally fits into the DE psychographics as the majority of them are students at college/ sixth form/uni or they have part time jobs. These psychographics are not known for having plenty of disposable income, however the Indie genre does not require much money to as it encourages low budget aspects. For example, the music videos are often very low budget and are shot in areas in public places such as public parks, city streets, gigs etc. This would therefore suit my target audience as they would be satisfied with the small amount of money required to buy music and attend gigs. I have also priced my magazine at £2.50 as this is affordable for my target audience who are often quite cautious of the money they have to spend. For the value of the content featured in my magazine I think that this price is great. My magazine is not specifically

suited to either gender considering both genders are fans of my chosen genre, therefore my magazine will be targeted towards males and females. I also feel that this will broaden my readership as it allows me to have a wider audience base that could contribute to more sales of my magazine. The typical social class of my chosen genre would be urban middle class as this typical audience first appeared in the 1990s and became particularly prominent in 2010, being derived from earlier movements in the 1940s. This particular social class are able to afford the concerts, albums and other elements of music distributed by the artists in the Indie genre. The typical social habits of my target audience include going out, partying, having fun, listening to music – they are typical young adults. This all relates to the Indie genre as it strongly promotes having a good time, appreciating music and spending time with friends. My magazine would offer opportunities to support

this lifestyle including gig tickets, festival trips and meeting artists which would appeal to my target audience increasing sales and popularity of my magazine.

How did you attract/address your audience? It was extremely important for me to be able to attract my target audience because they are the people that would buy my magazine and make it successful. I tried to create appealing features on the front cover, the contents page and in the main article to ensure that my target audience remained interested throughout my magazine. On the front cover, I used a very eye catching photograph of Claudia, who is the main artist of this particular issue. I ensured that I captured a unique look, with her big, curly hair, red lips and green eyes drawing in the readers and making them want to find out more about her. The flowery top and the simple gold chain she is wearing illustrates the type of clothing that fans of the Indie genre would wear, and they therefore would be attracted to the magazine because they may feel like she is ‘one of them’. The clothes that she wears in the images throughout the magazine are clothes that typical fans of the Indie genre like. I researched all the main Indie clothing stores to find outfits that would work well and be successful.

My chosen house colour scheme was targeted towards both genders, as I feel that green is a colour liked by both males and females. It also connotes peace and tranquillity which are important aspects in the Indie genre. Along with the black, white and grey colours I have also used, feel that I have given my magazine a professional, chic look which will appeal to my target audience as they will see the magazine as being sophisticated and experienced. Being part of the age range that my magazine is targeted towards (16-24) I am aware that big chunks of text are not particularly attractive, and tend to result in boredom. Therefore, on my contents page and in my main article I have used a variety of images, of a range of different sizes and effects, to keep the audience interested and make sure that they have many different things to look

at on the page. On my contents page, I think I have spaced the text out well and balanced the amount of text and images to create a professional look. I believe that this would attract my target audience because they would appreciate the spacious layout and find it easy to follow where all the features that they are interested in are situated within the magazine. For my main article, I have used a different layout for each page to make the magazine exciting and to maintain the attention of the reader. I also made sure that I incorporated New Social Media into my magazine as I know that it is very popular with my target audience. It also allows the reader to create a personal relationship with the magazine as they are able to get in touch and feel more connected.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product? As I took Media for my GCSE’s, I am very familiar with the programme Photoshop, which we previously used to create a film magazine. Therefore, I found using Photoshop to edit the images quite easy, as I had done it plenty of times before. However I learnt a few more things about how to create different kinds of effects on the images, which allowed me to put a few of my images into black and white. Photoshop also allowed me to brighten any images that I felt were too dark, and enabled me to play with the colouring. It also offers a variety of tools that help to make the image look better, including the Patch Tool, which enables you to get rid of any marks/blemishes that would make the image look more professional. Also with the actions tool, you are able to see everything you have done at different stages and you can decide if you want them to show or not. I found that Photoshop was very useful in allowing me to edit my photos in order to make them look as professional as possible. The main programme we used to create our magazines was InDesign. I had used InDesign briefly in my GCSE’s as my teacher thought it would be a good idea to use it to do my contents page. But I wasn’t very familiar with it so I have learnt a lot since beginning our magazines on there. A great element of InDesign is that it allows you to have columns to see the right width and length that your text/images should be. By staying inside these columns I have found that it has been easier to keep my magazine looking as professional as possible. Another useful element is paragraph styles, which allows you to use a certain text size, font and colour whenever you need it. I found this extremely useful when I was creating my contents page as I wanted a Heading, a

contents heading and a contents subheading, which would each be slightly different. Instead of having to alter the text each time, I could just click on the paragraph styles and apply to each bit of text whatever style I wanted to use! I found that using InDesign sped up the process of making my magazine, and allowed me to spend more time on choosing the right images, writing my main article and coming up with ideas for features to include on my con-

tents page. The camera I used to take the images for my magazine was a Canon SLR. This professional camera allowed me to take high quality images of my model which gave a really sophisticated feel. I used a white screen backdrop as it makes the model in the image stand out, and is also easy to edit on Photoshop.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product? Looking back to the start of September when we made out Preliminary task it is evident that I have learnt a lot in the past few months! We created the Preliminary task using Photoshop just to get used to the programme, however we created our magazines using InDesign which was a much more professional programme to use. Compared to Photoshop, InDesign offers a wider range of tools and elements that helped me to make my magazine more professional, whereas if we would have created the magazine on Photoshop, there is a limited amount you can do compared to InDesign. InDesign also dramatically speeds up the process as its main purpose is actually creating magazines. In regards to images, I felt that the pictures I took for my magazine were much better than the pictures I took for my

Preliminary task. The white screen we used in the photoshoot helps to establish the professional feel that I was trying to capture in the making of my magazine. Looking back to the front cover of my Preliminary magazine it is evident how much more professional my actual magazine looks. The photos are of a better quality, the sell lines have a nicer layout and overall it looks like more time and effort has been put into it. Also, the preliminary front cover looks very basic, and not at all professional. Furthermore, the images are dull and uninspiring and are unlikely to attract the attention of a reader. However, I ensured that my final front cover had an extremely eye catching image that would make readers want to pick up the magazine and find out more. I also ensured that the image catered to what my target audience would be able to

relate to and what they would like to see on a front cover. The contents page for my Preliminary task was also quite dull, and in my opinion, I would not find it appealing if I was to see it in a professional magazine. The lack of features means that the magazine does not have much to offer, and that therefore limits the amount of people that would want to read the magazine. Constrastingly, I have made sure that on my final magazine contents page, that there is a wide variety of features that appeal to a broader audience, therefore allowing more copies of my magazine to be sold.