In what ways does the media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of a real media product?
My production work consists of six pages, which are a front cover, a contents page, and an article consisting of two double-paged spreads. I worked with Rachel Talbot so together we produced twelve pieces of work, two front covers two contents pages, and two sets of a four-page spread but I produced an article and Rachel produced an interview. Together we came up with a house style that would be repeated which follows ‘Blender’ magazine conventions as each issue is similar but the colours used are different.
My front cover follows forms and conventions of real media products in many ways. There are common music magazine cover conventions; one main image, masthead, strapline, hooks for stories inside, limited number of fonts and colours, date, barcode, price, text justified down left and right and usually one picture that is usually taken between medium long and medium close up. To start with I have a medium close up of my model that is staring straight into the camera; this draws attention to my front cover and is common in magazine styles. My model is attractive which as Naomi Wolf (1991) says it will help gain more readers of both sexes as erotic images of models are used. Marjorie Ferguson (1980) identifies four different facial expression that occur in most magazines which are;
Chocolate box Half or full smile, lips together or slightly parted and teeth barely visible. Full or three-quarter face to camera. Projected mood is blandly pleasing, warm bath warmth, where uniformity of features in their smooth perfection is devoid of uniqueness or of individuality.
My model would come under the ‘Chocolate box’ facial expression. My models head goes over my magazine name ‘Upbeat’ but it is still easy to read. I decided to call my magazine ‘upbeat’ as it has connotations of r&b/pop style music and this is what type of genre my magazine is. Also in my questionnaire my participants preferred this to the other options.The mast head on my magazine is largely recognisable and so is my slogan this is a general principle in the style of magazines. Above the mast head I have a menu bar with a competition that is inside the magazine this encourages people to buy my magazine to take part in the competition. Looking at a range of different magazines I have noticed that there is frequent wins and give aways in magazines which will attract more readers if they like the prize or give aways. Like most magazines my text on my front cover is largely justified to both the right and left hand sides of the page, which makes it look neat and tidy. Along with many other magazine covers I have put the bar code, price and date together at one side so it doesn’t detract attention from the rest of the cover. I have hooks for stories on my front cover to help catch the attention of other readers. The stories are all based on my research on what my target audience would like to see in a magazine. I have written ‘plus’ and ‘and more’ to create the impression that the magazine is full with big names and gossip which my target audience will want to know about. I have also included lots of well-known bands and artists to attract their fans. My main story is a total different font to all the rest on my front page and it is also much larger to help it stand out from the rest as it is my main story. I have also put an effect on ‘Brooke Sawyer’, which is bevel and emboss and a drop shadow, to make it stand out even more. This is common in magazines as they like to draw attention to their main story.
My four page article follows many forms and conventions of a real magazine article. The colour scheme and fonts are again the same to keep my work consistent. I have my magazine name in the top corner to show where it is from and I have also written ‘exclusive’ to make it recognisable that you can only find this story in this magazine and to make readers feel they are getting something the can not get from anywhere else. I have a large quote from my article as my title ‘I hit rock bottom but now I am back!’ to attract the readers into reading the story as they will want to find out what happened. This is often the case in many magazines. I have used a much larger picture of my model with the background to fill most the page as this is a common convention to articles. On my photos I have put in small writing the clothes she is wearing. This isn’t common in music magazines but as she is the same age as our target audience they might be interested in the clothes she is wearing also. This goes against some conventions, but it makes my work original. My font is a simple font so it is easy to read and my text is justified to both sides of the column to make it look neat. On the left hand side I have a short paragraph to also explain what is in the article; this could attract readers who are just flicking through to read the full article. My text starts with a bigger sized orange ‘B’ which is very common in magazine articles so I decided to follow the trend.
My second page follows a similar style apart from I have smaller pictures and much more text which are in columns as this is a common convention in magazines. I have quotes form the text in a larger orange font and my columns wrap around them. This is commonly seen in magazine articles, these quotes can help to attract more readers as they act as hooks to get the reader into the story. I also have a quick check question box which will be in every issue and will be the same questions asked to every musician or band. This helps connect the magazines together.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My star in my music magazine is a young artist who girls that read our magazine could relate too. She has had a bad past but has managed to turn it around which could be an inspiration to the readers it shows that difficulties can be overcome. The story shows that life in the spotlight can be negative and it isn’t always a ‘dream life’. This can change the perception of the
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product?
I think that ‘musicmags’ would be a good company to distribute my magazine as even though it specialises in instrument magazines my magazine would bring a new genre to its company and target a total different type of audience. The company’s products will be really aimed and older men who take interest in instruments; therefore my magazine will attract young females and create a whole new target audience for the company.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
I have aimed it at fifteen – twenty-five year olds as in our questionnaire this was the most popular age range. Our magazine genre is R&B but we have a sub genre, which is pop as this was close second favourite.
I have priced my magazine at £2.50 which I believe to be a reasonable price. This is cheaper than most music magazines but not by a lot. I think it should do well at this price as it appears to be full with gossip and information that readers will want to know so at a lower price more people will buy it. I targeted 15-20 year olds which will be largely female. They would most likely be upper working class or lower middle class who are reasonably well off. Most likely they will be living of parents’ money or have jobs so they will have enough disposable income to buy magazines, go to music concerts etc.
How did you attract/ address your audience?
I attracted my audience by finding out what they were looking for in a magazine first by giving out a questionnaire then producing my magazine accordingly. I have used people in my magazine who are roughly the same age as my target audience, but they are famous which will help attract readers who can compare them self to them and aspire to be like them, for example my cover girl has over come problems which can be seen as inspirational. The photo of my model can come into Marjorie Ferguson (1980) facial expression recognition as my model will come under the ‘chocolate box’ expression. I used a sexually attractive woman on the front as Naomi Wolf (1991) recognised the ‘Beauty Myth’ which is that by using a sexually attractive woman to sell products to women is successful as they want to look like the models. I am exploiting the Bulmler and Katz' theory of uses and gratifications as throughout my magazine I have put in photographs of people who are roughly around the age of my target audience. This gives a sense of identity; the readers can compare them selves to the people in the magazine and aspire to be like them. The readers can also relate to the stories in my magazine as the promblems could reflect on their lives in some ways. This is very common in magazines.
I also put in hooks for stories of bands and artists, as people will buy the magazine to read about their favourite bands and artists. I have also used language that will suit my reader’s idiolect. ‘OMG’ which stands for ‘oh my god’ would only be recognised by younger people like my target audience. This helps the audience relate to the media product. The older generation are much likely not to understand words like that.
By putting what my models are wearing this is heading towards a lifestyle kind of magazine. This is because most women aged 15+ seem to be less interested in magazines for hobbies such as music, and more interested in lifestyle. Another magazine that is doing this is ‘Q’ magazine and it is also working well for them.
After my magazine pages were complete i decided to hand them out out to 20 people that fit into my target audience. This is so i could see if my magazine would be capable to compete with existing music magazines. I recieved comments of almost all participents here are some examples of them;
'I think your magazine will be able to compete with other magazines as it looks full with good information that people my age would want to know'
'Your magazine looks different from other magazines which is a good thing because as it is different it wont be like any other repeated music magazine that have the same things in every issue'
'It looks really good, I love the bright colour contrasting on the simple black grey and white. It is very eye catching i think it will easily be able to compete with existing products.'
'The pages are great how you know what magazine they come from as it keeps the same house style, for example the fonts and colours are the same, this makes it look neat and tidy.'
'I really enjoyed reading the story. It is more lifestyle instead of being a boring story about how good a gig was. I like stories where you get to know more about the person.'
What have you learned about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
I firstly have learned a lot of skills on using Adobe photoshop, for example this picture of my model on the front cover. I changed her eyes and lip colours on Adobe Photoshop to make them stand out and draw the readers into my magazine. I have also learned how to make text stand out so that it draws attention to it by using drop shadows, strokes, bevel and emboss. Evidence of this is on the front cover of my magazine I put ‘Brooke Sawyer’ in a bevel and emboss to make it stand out from the rest of the text. I have also learnt how to pick from different photographs I have taken; evidence of this is in picking pictures for my work.
I would like to use this picture it looks very homely. But i think it will be hard to use as her head goes right to the end of the photo and so does her legs.
I was also able to use a camera to a high standard whilst taking my photos and also made sure that the lighting was correct so I gained successful pictures
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the full product?
Looking back at my preliminary work I have learned an awful lot in producing a magazine. This is mainly because I had much more time to produce it. Giving me time to research into what my target audience want in a new magazine. I also analysed existing products as my work had to match those standards as it was going to be competing with them. I have also learned a lot of image manipulating skills throughout my practical work. I have been able to make my layout skills more professional to make sure it will be able to compete with existing products.
Overall I am pleased with my product and believe that is has been created with a lot of thought and effort to make it eligible to compete with existing music magazines.