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

There are many ways to help sell a magazine, the bold masthead, cover lines, the main image etc. These are called conventions of a magazine. Without all these conventions the magazine wouldn’t sell. The masthead is the most important convention; this is the title of the magazine. The masthead should be bold, eye catching and in a easy-to-read front. The name of the magazine should also help the sale of the magazine as it should interest the reader and suit the style of it.

I chose the name, ‘CULT’ for my magazine. I thought that this name would sound different, and suit the style of my magazine which is for indie, fashion music magazine. My target audience is teenagers so the sound and look of cult on the magazine gives it an edgy and trendy feel to it. It took a long time to find what colour to have to masthead. At first I made it black, but from my other products the colour black didn’t fit into the colour scheme and it made the front cover different. Then I thought about giving it a drop shadow or an outer glow. This made it look like it was from a comic, it looked cartoonish. Then I thought about making it a light purple as the colour scheme was light purple and dark. I thought that the light purple didn’t make it stand out; it just blended into the background. And this wasn’t going to attract people to buy it. So then I thought what about changing the colour of the masthead completely and having it a lime green colour. I thought this would make it stand out and add some edginess to it. This idea was terrible; it looked very cheap and made it look unprofessional. In the end I decided that I would make it dark purple, this made it stand out, still link to the colour scheme of the magazine. I wanted the style of font to be clear, bold but make it look different from other magazines. I found a front that looked edgy and quirky, but still kept it looking professional not childlike.

I used many different images for my three products. These varied as I needed different ones for my contents page. For the front cover of my magazine I used 2 female models, these were the highlight of my magazine, and the interview for my double page spread so I thought I needed to put them on the front of the magazine. I also used 2 different images on the double page spread and another different one on the contents page. The images were for a fashion shoot, I needed to focus on their clothes and style. The 4 strong images I used in my products. I wanted a mid-shot for my front cover, this is because I still wanted to show the reader what they are wearing, but not have a full length shot as it wouldn’t look right on the magazine and you wouldn’t of been able to see who they were. Their costumes they wore were of on-trend clothes. I didn’t use any props in these photos as I didn’t need to. You only needed to focus on their clothing. They were 16-17 years of age, but in the photos I made them look slightly older. The 2 photos I used for my double page spread were single ones of each of the girls. I chose this idea because as they were both having a separate interview, and I put each of them near their interview. On the contents page I used a close up shot, of just their faces. This is because it would catch more attention as you open the magazine, and you can easily recognise who they are.

Double Page Spread

Front Cover

Contents Page

I also took a photo of a famous band member for the double page spread of my magazine. This was showing links to the female models of the article. The prop he is using in the image is a guitar and a micro-phone on a stand. He is wearing on-trend, indie clothes. He is 20 years old in the photo.

Other different images I used were for the contents page. The main image of the contents page was at the top. This was of a band, to show it’s a music magazine. They were wearing casual, indie clothing. I used a brick wall as a background image to add edginess to the photos, as that’s the style of my magazine. Their ages are 16-17; in the photos they looked that age or slightly older. I used 2 other images of the same band at the bottom where it was saying what page the article of the band was on and other information about them.

I used another different photo of a female model, she is a solo artist showing her fashion styles, so I wanted to get a mid to full length shot of her. I didn’t use any props with her as you wanted to see what she was wearing. She wore casual clothes. She is 16-17 years old, but in the photo I wanted her to look about 20.

Also another different image of a male band to show new upcoming bands. I wanted them to stand beside each other, and the background of the image was quite plan, so the band members could stand out. They wore their usual clothing, indie punk style. This links to the style of my magazine.

The written content of my front cover was to show readers what’s going to be inside my magazine, and persuade them to buy it. These were called the cover-lines and the main cover line which was in the biggest sized font on the page. I had small amounts of text for them to read on the cover so it was easy to read quickly and also make it stand out. Most of the text was about my exclusive interviews and brand new gossip which should make the reader want to find out more. I the colour and type of font of the text the colour scheme of all the 3 products and also made them in an easy-to-read font. They stood out of the magazine and looked really effective. I used an outer glow and also some drop shadows to make them look bold, and catch people’s eyes. Other pieces of text on my front cover were my selling line, date line and price. Also a feature at the top of the magazine to catch people’s attention. The written content I used in my contents page was the information about each page. I made the colour of it simply black and the font style the same as everything else. The titles of each section of my magazine are in the font I used for my front cover, to keep the edginess of the magazine and link it together with all 3 products. I tried to make my contents page look interesting so readers would be interested to see what also is inside the issue of the magazine. On my double page spread the title was called, ‘Have the ONO girls stolen the spotlight from George’ I wanted the title to be a rhetorical question to make people want to read my article. ONO stands for George Craig’s band name, One Night Only. He is also mentioned in the title. George is supposed to be a boyfriend of one of the girls I am interviewing, they talk about their new clothes line which George is apparently jealous of. I made 2 separate interview with both of the girls, where they talk about their new clothes line and their boyfriends feelings towards there new idea. I thought that this idea would interest a lot of teenagers, especially females (which is my main target audience) As One Night Only is a famous boy band and the two girls are model, where the fashion side of my article comes in. So it links to my magazine type which is indie music and fashion magazine. I made the font style and colour of the interviews black and in a simple font (the same as the others) and I made the titles of the interviews in the colour scheme of the magazine and also the title of the article is in the colour scheme and the font style of the front cover. The music genre that I wanted my magazine to be was pop-indie style. I thought this was a good idea as more teenagers are into this type of music today and also that it interested me as that’s the type of music I listen to. My magazine suggests and conveys the music genre title as the tag line of the magazine is ‘Britain’s best indie and fashion magazine’. Also my article is about an indie band and the photos I have used are indie style, the clothes my models have worn and their attitude in the photos. The type of style font I have used and colours represent the indie style, and I hope this attracts my audience to tell them what type of genre music magazine it is. On my contents page I wanted to show my regulars, features and another section called exclusive interviews which was for a different band each week to be interviewed with CULT and have an exclusive photo shoot with us. I sectioned them out on the contents page clearly for reader to see. The features of the magazine were at the top for the readers to read first. This way I thought that they would be interested with my features and want to read the whole magazine. The layout of the contents page had 2 sides to it. The left side had the main image at the top of the band we interviewed. Below that are my regulars with the large title and the information of the pages below. Then below this was my exclusive feature which was the main cover line on the front cover. Then a picture of the models below the information of my double-page spread. On the right hand side of the contents page are my features at the top. I have the information of the pages and a photo of a male indie band which is shown on my front cover. Then below that is a title called CULT Fashion. This is the section of the magazine that is about fashion. I have the information about the fashion pages below the title and an image of an indie-pop star modelling her clothes. Then below this section is my Exclusive Interview section. The title of the band is below this and the information of the pages is written down. I have then put 2 different images of the band below this. On a double page spread in a magazine there are a lot of conventions used to make it work and help readers to understand it. On my double page spread I have made sure that I have used all the conventions and a good

layout for it to look effective and professional. Firstly I will start with my title of the article. I have used the style of font as the same of the front cover; this stood out on my double page spread and looked like the style of my magazine. I used 3 pull quotes in my article, this helped to break up text and also it stood out on the page. The reader would read my pull quotes which contain interesting information about my article so they would want to read it and find out what it’s about. I have a side bar at the right hand side of the second page. This is about gigs and festivals coming up. I did this because it would interest the reader and is also a part of advertising. Below that I have another side bar of information about the clothes line mentioned in my article. This is telling the reader when the store opens and the website. Again this is advertisement for the magazine. I have laid out my body text in newspaper style, with 3 columns each page. I have then put gutters each side of the columns to break them up and this makes the article look tidy. I have used 3 images in my article. 2 of them are of the models and the other one is of George Craig. The photos have captions to tell them about the image. My house style is edgy, contemporary and on-trend. I wanted to combine my overall theme as an indie magazine. I also wanted to include fashion into my magazine as I thought this was a gap in the market, a fashion and indie music magazine. I did intend to target teenage girls at the beginning, but after finishing my products I realised that it does attract males as well, as I have included gig dates, information about new bands and also male fashion exclusives! I thought that this might be a good outcome as it’s covering a wider part of my audience, which means more sales. I hope that this theme will appeal to most teenagers, as the indie music is getting more and more popular with teenagers.

How does your media product represent particular social groups? The social group I am representing are young teenagers/students. The stereotype of my magazine is indie. I have found a picture from a magazine of Lily Allen. I am going compare this image to one I have used in my media products and show you the similarities. Picture from real magazine

My image from my magazine

These images are very similar, including the posture, angle, shot type, clothing and stereotypes. First I’m going to start with talking about the shot type and angle of the images, the picture from the real magazine is a medium long shot. This shows the height of the models and cuts off the image off at knee level. Both images have been shot at an eye level angle and the posture of both of them is very similar. They are both leaning over and have their hands in the same position. The lighting of the images is also similar, the light isn’t very

strong. Looks like both of them are natural light sources; you can see it’s soft on their skin. Their clothing is kind of similar the style is indie, trendy style. Although they are wearing different types of clothing the style is still the same. Showing the same stereotype and social group. Their hair is the same colour and also the same style; this is showing that this means they are showing the same group of teenagers. The expressions on their faces are slightly different, on Lily Allen’s face she looks shocked, as she has her mouth open while still looking happy. The model of my magazine is smiling, so they are both happy. They are both looking at the camera, at eye level. The background of the images is the same, a white background. This makes them stand out. I have reinforced the stereotype of my audience by the style of my images, the type of clothes they are wearing, their expression on their faces and the shot angles and the posture of the models. All of these similarities have affected the type of audience I have focused on and attracting certain stereotypes. My magazine proconsumerist stances, as I have included fashion into my magazine, making readers want to buy things that relate to my magazine. For example clothes from certain retailers and also buying music related items. Like festival tickets or albums! Advertising does help readers buy certain products that have been advertised in different magazines. My magazine does use advertising, so therefore readers would want to buy things that are advertised in my magazines rather than things aren’t advertised in my magazine as they feel that they need to slot into the type of stereotype that my magazine is producing. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? Bauer is Europe’s biggest privately owned publishing group, offering over 300 magazines in 15 different countries also by radio, TV and online. The publisher I would suggest to publish my magazine would be Bauer; this is a major publisher which has its advantages and disadvantages of having my magazine published with them. The advantages of going with a big company compared to a self-publishing are that you will have a wide distribution of my magazine who deals with large retailers for example, WH smiths. So that means my magazine will sell more than going with a smaller company because if my magazine is sold in UK’s largest magazine retailer then more people would see my magazine. Another advantage with going with Bauer is that they will have more experience selling magazines and making them sells well. Whereas smaller company’s won’t have this experience. Although there are a lot of advantages going with a bigger, more experienced company but going with a big company such as Bauer might affect my ‘editorial independence’ as the company might want you to pay as much attention to your advertisements as you do to your audience, this might make you feel as if it’s not in your control anymore. Like this isn’t your magazine, they have taken over it to maximise your profits. I suggest using Bauer to publish my magazine as a noticed there was nothing like my magazine that they publish. Bauer publishers Kerrang and my music, fashion magazine has different types of music. Kerrang is heavy metal, rock whereas Cult is indie, soft rock. Bauer also publishers Grazia fashion mag, where my magazine also has fashion in it, but Grazia doesn’t have music in it. So I thought there was a gap in the market, and my magazine is perfect to be published by Bauer as there is nothing like it that they are already publishing. Reflecting on the need for synergy my magazine this that there might be an online version of my magazine If I go with Bauer, might even had a radio station. I would probably like my magazine to be a radio station rather than having a online version, only because I reckon radio stations are more popular. Other magazines get involved in award ceremonies, depending on the genre of my music. I think the genre the music of my magazine relates to a lot of music awards so it would be involved with them.

Who would be the audience for your media product? Stereotypically my magazine would attract readers like the students in this photo on the left. Magazines that these people would probably buy are NME or BlackBook.

I have based most of my ideas on BlackBook and NME, the music and as BlackBook is just a fashion magazine I wanted to merge both magazines into one. I’ve targeted mainly female students/teenagers. But I have also incorporated some male fashion pages and the music is mostly unisex. The typical readers that buy Cult would listen to indie, folk, soft rock music. For example; The Maccabees, they are a folk/indie British band and Darwin Deez an indie solo artist.

The Maccabees Darwin Deez They would also shop in Topshop/Topman, vintage clothing shops and Schuh. They would try and look individual and different to other people. Also be interested in music festivals, so in the summer Cult would have an issue on music festivals which would attract the social group. These people would buy my magazine because I would include bands they like, advertisements for clothing shops and music shops, also feature information on the new trends and fashion, include their interests which would be festivals, gigs etc. The sort of products that would be advertised in Cult would be certain shops, and clothes, certain types of food snacks and drinks, particular electronic devices and bands that interest my social group for my magazine. This photo of a girl and a boy are stereotypically indie. I assume they are at some music event from their expressions on their faces and the atmosphere in the background. They are wearing typical indie styled clothes, checked shirt, big glasses and a cigarette in the girl’s mouth. Their hair is also shows you what type of person they are and what ‘label’ they belong to. These are the type of people I would expect to buy my magazine.

How did you attract/address your audience? Different magazines attract different types of people, depending on the genre of the magazine to the style of the masthead. This is why magazine attracts to my suited target audience, I made sure that I done some research before I made my products, so the right target audience was attracted to my magazine. On all of the products they are eye catching and interesting, the colours I used for them related to my audience and the information inside my magazine attracts to them as well. Someone would want to buy my magazine as it’s new, looks edgy, attractive and it relates to them. By the bands in my magazine, to the fashion and the style of my masthead.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Throughout this project I have learnt a lot of technologies and process, somewhere better than others and easier but they all helped me finish and present all my coursework. The different programs I used were, Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Flickr, Blogger, Survey Monkey, Online free charts. All of these had their advantages and disadvantages and I will now talk about them; Photoshop was one on the main programs I used throughout this project, mainly to make my three products. Advantages on using Photoshop were that it had more of a variety of fonts, tools and it was very precise and adaptable to my work. The disadvantages to using it that I didn’t have much experience in working it at first, so I had to learn as I was going on. This slowed me down and also it was complicated as it was very different to other programs you had to be extra careful on what you were doing. I did learn so much on Photoshop, to change the brightness, and contrast on an image. Change my font in much greater detail, given it an outer glow etc. Also laying out my work, it was different from other programs such as Microsoft word.

Flickr was another main website I used in my project; I used it to post all my analysis of my example front cover and double page spread and also my preliminary task work. Flickr had many advantages and disadvantages to it, advantages on using Flickr were that it was simple and easy to use. I was handy how you could post tags on your work. Although the bad side was that

sometimes it didn’t upload your photo, or it didn’t upload to you blogger either and this wasted time.

Blogger was also another website I used to put all my work on. It was very good on lying out and sorting out my media coursework. You could change the style of your blog and different layouts to it, to make it look better and more attractive. Disadvantages of using Blogger is that you are limited in what you can change, also I found it quite complicated at the start. But soon I got the hang of it and it made my work look organised.

Looking back at your preliminary task (the college magazine task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product? From my preliminary task to my main task I have learnt a lot over Photoshop, and my skills and knowledge has improved. I used many Photoshop devices that helped me improve my work, 4 Photoshop techniques I used was the spot removing tool. This cleared up all imperfections on my photo, and made it look clearer. Another technique I used was the clone stamp tool, I used this to remove images or writing on clothing of my model and replaced it with the same colour of their clothing. The quick selection tool I used was to highlight a image on one of my photos, for example to cut out a model. This was handy for my double page spread. Also another tool I used was the gradient tool; I used this to add coloured effects to my contents page. It made the colour gradually darker. My magazine had to appeal to my audience by fonts, type of featured article, and layout concepts. These on my preliminary products weren’t that good I made them better on my final products, making them look more in detail and I think I have shown the skills I have learnt. My fonts I have used and the layout of my products look more professional. When I researched existing magazines it helped me improve on my products, I got a lot of ideas and made them look professional and modern. I also needed to ask for feedback on my products, people said that I could of used different tools on Photoshop to make them fonts look more eye-catching or my layout of my front cover look more appealing and easier to read. Also in my preliminary tasks I didn’t use very good use of language on the front cover and needed to improve on my article draft. For my final pieces the research on other magazines helped me think of ideas for catchy words and phrases that would appeal to my target audience and look more effective. These would stand out on my front cover and my article would sound realistic and well written.

Media Evaluation  

Evaluation of my media AS coursework