Saturday, 9 March 2013

Evaluation Seven

Evaluation Seven - Text Format:

Doing the preliminary task was a good starter for me rather that rushing straight into the real product even though I did complete a magazine in year 11 however doing this task helped refresh my mind on how to use Photoshop and other programmes.

In the school magazine I did not take many pictures due to not having enough time, and none of the pictures were taken in a studio or even a real location. Addtionally I took approximately 5 to 10 pictures which was was deemed as a bad idea as I was only able to pick from five images and they did not seem suitable for the cover. This experience made me aware that during the real production I was to take as many images as possible to allow a large variety of photos to choose from which I am able to use and adapt to the magazine.

Another element I found was to ensure I chose a suitable location which would either be easy to edit out or be apart of the photo as I took images in front of lots of objects so editing out the background was very difficult.

During my preliminary task I minimal planning and was making decisions as I go such as colour schemes, layout and design. This made me spend lots of time in the process as I had to keep experimenting different things which was time consuming and unnecessary. With the main task I was able to have clear guidelines and make efficient planning and research to see what would attract my audience. Planning was also crucial in terms of meeting the requirements in detail and efficiency. I excelled in planning and research in the main task which meant that my product was professional but effective as well.

Editing the images have also improved from my preliminary task, in the preliminary task I was able to use the layering tools and magic wand, but not to a professional standard. In the main task I was able to use lots of different techniques such as gradients, embossing text and many others to create a realistic and stylish look. In addition I was also able to edit the hue, saturation and darkness of the images to create a more stylised image. The preliminary task was also very limited in the variety of shots used in the contents pages which seems dull and repetitive so in my main task I ensures a multiple variances to make it more interesting and unusual.

Looking back at my preliminary task I believe I have made great progress from it to the full product. The front cover in the preliminary task looks fairly simple with the sell lines being everywhere around the page and it does not look like it has been planned well however we did not have any time to do so. Furthermore the colours are very dull and do not go well together and it is far from being a realistic front cover. I have made great progression from this to my music magazine as now the main picture is much clearer and realistic. The colours also go well together and the masthead is in white which is very unusual however it shows the unique side due to the magazine being a R&B magazine and R&B is all about being unique. Moreover the sell lines are in much better order and they have been made to suit the genre of my magazine and to catch the eye of the audience.

Additionally the contents page in the preliminary task also look very simplistic and not attractive at all. The numbers to show what page everything will be on are not in line with each-other which highlights the un-professional side to the magazine. This further adds to the point of the colours not going well together again and the lack of pictures that were used in the contents page which does not catch the audiences eye and it makes them skip the page instantly. However, for my music magazine I have added great images and a clear subscription box which adds the professional side to the magazine.

Evaluation Six

Evaluation Six - Text Format:

Technology is a fast growing trend. It helps us advance in taking images, editing images, and putting things together to get a good final product. Through this project I was able to see the advantages of technology and how it makes production much easier. In creation of my product I used a range of different technologies in order to product a professional looking, well thought-out magazine. I did a photoshoot, in which i used a Canon 55OD DSLR as it is a camera I have used before and I was most familiar with and able to comfortable use and experiment with in order to make my magazine look more professional with good, attractive pictures. As the camera is digital, it has many helpful factors as I was able to take many photos and also check over them, deleting those I did not feel content with. I was then able to transfer the photos from the camera to my computer instantly, which saves a lot of time.

For this shoot I used an 18-55mm 4.6 aperture lens which enabled detailed photos and it ensured my photos looked clear and professional. This also ensured I has a wide range of possible angles to access and I could capture each image in a variety of angles and sizes.
As I took all the photos and I was happy with the quality, I uploaded them to my computer. After having made a decision which photo's I wanted to use in my magazine, I began to edit them. In order to edit my photos I used Adobe Photoshop CS3. This software allowed me to edit, cut, change and even create images and graphics. I am very familiar with Photoshop as I have been using it for the past 2-3 years to complete Media coursework. The key feature of Photoshop that without would have made my magazine very unprofessional, is the feature of cutting out images from their background. There are a few ways in which you can do this, one way being Magic Wand Tool, allowing you to attach a line to the outline of your image and then cut it out. On the other hand, I found this cut my photos out in a rough and bumpy way and the hair of my model would look very unprofessional, so therefore I decided to use the Colour Range, which allows you to click on parts of the image which you wish to erase and then edit to perfect using Mask tool.

Additionally another feature of Adobe Photoshop I used often was the Adjustment Layer option for photos, which I used to edit my photos further. Sometimes  however, this was used to make my photos black and white, in order to highlight some of my skills in Photoshop and also make the photos stand out from the page more. 
 I also used it for saturation, contrast, highlighting, shadowing, hue, exposure and many other effects for photos. This was again, to ensure my photos were of the highest quality and also to highlight parts of the photo, such as my models make up which has connotations of a feisty female, making my magazine more appealing, drawing in the reader. 

Popular sites such as Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Gettyimages have all contributed to my knowledge of music magazines also, as they have: provided me with information on particular companies; inspired me on different angles and poses my models should experiment with during the photo shoot; helped me to conclude with a particular style for my magazine; informed me on what the register of my article should be and so on. Lastly, Blogger has obviously been a huge part of the creation of my magazine, allowing me to document every stage of the production process, showing the different stages and features I considered when making my magazine.

Evaluation Five

Evaluation Five - Text Format:

 I addressed my magazine to my target audience with the colour scheme. The colour scheme of white, purple and grey is commonly used in R&B magazines. My target audience will have previously read music magazines of the R&B genre, therefore will recognise the theme. It will appeal to them instantly as they will be aware of the content of the magazine before even opening it. I also ensured to use large, bold fonts for my sell lines, titles and masthead. This will help to aim my magazine at my target audience as it conotates power and success, my target audience will have a attraction to magazines of this sort therefore will be tempted to buy my magazine. 

 Another feature that hugely addresses my implied reader is my cover model. I chose to use a pretty young girl, dressed in clothes that will relate to R&B music such as a white simple unique dress, heels, and some jewllery. However the other model I used in my other magazine had more vicious clothes on such as a leather jacket and black jeans in order to highlight the contrast between the two models. This will grasp my target audience's attenton instantly as female readers will be able to personally identify with them. They will be able to relate to their fashion sense, make up, general body language. Male readers might feel attracted to my feature artist as her body language signifies a confident and dominating attitude. Males will feel this appealing to read about as generally feature artists discussed as feature artists on VIBE and NME are male. Therefore, my magazine will intrigue male readers. 

 Furthermore I studied many similar products in order to form the characteristics of my feature artist. I focused on how other music artists were portrayed in magazines such as NME and thought about why. I found that the majority of feature artists/cover models were represented in a rebellious but thrilling light. I decided I wanted to make my feature artists assertive and confident but also unique. I showed these characteristics by discussing their love life. Moreover, I also had to think about showing my character has a soft-side too. As my target audience would be interested in good things happening to good people also, I did this by mentioning my feature artist has an interest in helping people who are less fortunate. This will help the target audience to form a personal relationship with “Bora Fona” and “Jade McClune” as they will agree with what they do and aspire to be like them.

 Another contributing factor that further addresses my magazine to my target audience is my publisher. I chose to have IPC Media to publish my magazine. This will address my target audience as they will not have found a R&B genre magazine published by this company before, therefore will feel interested to explore the new magazine. It I were to have it published by another company, for example The national Magazine company, audiences would recognise there is already a R&B magazine published by that company, in this case VIBE. 

 Additionally I wanted my magazine to appeal to my target audience for the uses and gratifications theory of escapism. I feel I did this successfully by having multiple sections of my magazine mentioned on my contents page. There is a News section which would be essentially used to inform the reader on events happening in different music artists lives. However, I also have reviews, exclusives, features and plus section. These will ensure the reader has hours of entertainment in a number of different topics and articles. This will instantly appeal to my audience as they will see a huge selection of things to read and entertain themselves with. And be able to escape from their own lives and indulge in celebrity gossip.

Evaluation Four

Evaluation Four - Text Format:

Who is the target audience for your magazine?

The target audience I have chosen for my magazine are teenagers and young adults between the ages of 16-30 as they will most likely have a wide interest in music and find top ten singles, news about their favourite artists and reading about new music artists very entertaining. Additionally they will also have a lot more time to read magazines as they may not be as busy as maybe older adults will be.

Moreover the ideal reader of my music magazine would be males and females as R&B music is targeted at both genders. They would most likely be living in a very busy town where they enjoy being around people and talking about music most of the time. In their spare time they would watch music channels such as MTV, VIVA, 4 Music, Smash hits etc. Their Sundays would consist of them reading my magazine and finding new things out about the music industry and their favourite artist. Furthermore the reason why I have picked this target audience is because it begins from a young age where teenagers start to get into music a lot more and they start owning their own money and working so they would be able to pay for the magazine, so therefore the magazine will be affordable. By the teenagers having a passion for music it would also encourage them to buy the magazine as they would be interested on all the upcoming news.

Anyone younger than the age of 16 would not have a strong passion for a specific music genre as most likely they don’t know most of the existing ones so therefore they are still trying to learn about the different types of music there is. I think men and women’s interest in a magazine can change depending on who the music artist is however I believe my magazine will have articles and gossip that will appeal to both genders. This is also the age where the young adults are maturing and start to become more independent.
The social class my magazine will mostly be aimed at is B, C1, C2 as the magazine will be written in simple English therefore the language will not be very complex to understand for the lower social category however they would also be more likely to buy the magazine and spend their money on it. Additionally they will have more time to read magazines as someone who is in the social category A would be top level management which suggests they will not have time to spend reading magazines and it is very likely that they will not have a wide interest in music magazines.

Demographically the target audience I have set for my magazine will be living in busy places such as Camden Town, either having a job or being in full time education, and in some occasions both. This signifies that the uses and gratifications theory will be escapism as the reader would want to find out new things and explore different worlds to what they are living now.The ideal target audience I have set for my magazine would most likely shop at Topshop, River Island, and Urban Outfitters. The reason for this is because they include a lot of clothing ranges including clothes that R&B artists wear. The females would really be into the jewellery as R&B female artists wear a lot of jewellery to make themselves look glamorous.

Moreover I believe other consumption habits that my target audience would have is buying music albums, posters and gig lists. They would also be interested in tour dates and one of the most important things they are very likely to buy is tickets to see their favourite artist perform live.

Evaluation Three

Evaluation Three - Text Format:

 There are a lot of institutions which I could think of for distributing my media product however I had to think which institution would be most appropriate to distribute my magazine. This includes thinking of the characteristics of my magazine and which institution would increase sales of my magazine. Conde Nast is a worldwide publishing company. In the U.S., it produces 18 consumer magazines, including Architectural Digest,Bon App├ętit,GQ,The New Yorker,Vanity Fair, and Vogue, as well as four business-to-business publications, 27 websites, and more than 50 apps for mobile and tablet devices. I felt already that as it is a company which distributes lifestyle magazines this would not be very useful due to my magazine being targeted at a very niche audience who like R&B music. 

 Bauer Media is a privately owned publishing group. Having done some research I found out that many of the media they distribute is mainstream and appeal to a mass audience. It is worldwide and offers 300 magazines in 15 different countries, their business is built on influential media brands with millions of personal relationships with engaged readers and listeners. This would not be ideal for my own magazine as it is aimed at a relatively small target audience so therefore my magazine would not gain interest from the distributor. Furthermore being published in 15 different countries would be a waste of time as my magazine is based in the UK and there would be no point publishing it worldwide.

 The national magazine company is the biggest magazine distributor and they are responsible for distributing All About Soap, Best, Company, Cosmopolitan, Country Living, ELLE, ELLE Decoration, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, Inside Soap, Prima, Red, Real People, Reveal and Zest. The group publishes three magazines, Men's Health, Runner’s World and Women’s Health through Hearst-Rodale UK. They work within the UK and have a generally balanced appeal to women and men which is something that would appeal to my magazine. However it does not have any other music magazines as they currently distribute a low 22 magazines in the UK. This could work as an advantage to my magazine as it is a niche market and would be better off with an independent distributor. Also being established in the UK would act as an advantage as my magazine is based and targeted at the younger generation of the UK. They would find interest in my magazine as it could generate a high market share as being one of the only music magazines NMC are distributing and its differentiation to the other magazines it would be a unique selling point. 

 IPC media are amazingly well known as it creates very successful and well known magazines such as NME. IPC media is a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the UK with a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year which highlights its popularity which portrays that by having my magazine published by IPC media it may become even more popular and it could possibly generate more sales. I felt being a more mainstream distributor with the three core audience focus IPC would not be an ideal distributer for my magazine Broken Records. Having my audience aimed at a younger generation I believe that my magazine would not appeal to IPC media’s core audience, on the other hand it could be seen as an advantage as my magazine would be more unique so therefore the competition level would be low. Additionally I believe that IPC Media would be a good distributor for my magazine. However due to the similar product they already distribute which is NME I believe IPC would not be the best choice so therefore I would go for The national magazine company.

Evaluation Two

Evaluation Two - Text Format:

My magazine is representing a certain social group where people favourite the music genre of R&B. Within this the social group, through research these are mainly 16-25 year olds whom are in education who have a creative flair in their personality and talents such as music, photography, dance. Also the research I did shows that they are heavily influenced by the music and have a high interest of going to social events which include raves, gigs, parties, concerts and festival. 

After closely studying my similar product research magazines, such as NME and Kerrang, I came to the conclusion that my target audience would have an interest in musical artists with characteristics such as being rebellious and unpredictable. For example, music artists I found my target audience to enjoy reading about were people like Kanye West, Amy Winehouse and Rolling Stones. This is because of their rebellious take on life, leading to extreme circumstances and a generally exciting life. These characters would be shown in magazines such as NME smoking and drinking – highlighting their ‘don’t care’ attitudes.

They are a tight community of people and they are influenced by fashion that is unique, comfortable yet sexy and stylish. Their attitude is carefree and quite flamboyant. To appeal to them I would have to tailor my magazine to suit their likes. To represent the social group I had to cast my models appropriately ensuring they fit my social group themselves. I decided to use people that are from the social group and to exaggerate on parts of them to appeal to my audience. I also had to ensure that I did not confuse my audience with other music genres such as indie so therefore I used chains and printed t shirts which resemble RnB and tried not to use pretty floral dresses or denim which represent  the indie genre. 

I began my article with '"This planet is not big enough for both of us" which represents the selfishness in the R&B genre and the way all artists want to be the best and beat the rest. This will attract the targeted social group due to them being unique and loving competition. My cover models facial expressions are generally cheeky and fierce, as she will look very feisty and angry however on my second magazine which I created she is more of the "down to earth chick"  slightly smile whilst gazing into the camera. This is effective as it will grasp the reader’s attention as they will be drawn to look at the page. This also creates a mysterious appearance for my feature artist, helping to sell the article further as the target audience will feel curious about her and want to read on. Her body language is dominant and confident.

Moreover, finalising my representation of the social group throughout my magazine I made the tone of it suitable. In the front cover and contents page I had made reference to lots of different artists that are not particularly mainstream but are known to them. This allows the audience to realise that the magazine is tailored to their likes. Also I have also made lots of referencing to different events and awards that only people within the social group would have heard of. In the articles I had made two different tones to each one, for the male artists I had made it very serious but realistic, as I wanted the audience to relate to him, show his battle in the industry, as many of my target audience are also hopefuls in the industry so it would create a personal atmosphere with the reader. The female article however is written in a friendly and happy tone, it is a more general interview and it is for the readers who are reading for enjoyment and curiosity.

Evaluation One

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

Throughout the project my main point of making the magazine was to make it look as real as a magazine which is being sold on the shelves at every shop. I wanted simplicity but with also an urban style which has a side of uniqueness to it. I decided to develop the convention of having both a busy and simplistic magazine by making the front cover busy and other parts of the magazine simple and stylish.

Front Cover

When creating my magazine I tried to adhere to the typical features shown in music magazines of the genre R&B. I used my similar product research and also my key concepts presentation to gather information on other magazines, particularly NME and Vibe. After closely studying these magazines, I gathered enough knowledge on the design of R&B magazines to create my own that maintains to appear professional and appealing to the target audience of the ages 16-34.

Furthermore I wanted to make my magazine stand out from others on the shelf, I felt I could achieve this by creating a bold and elaborate Masthead. I created the Masthead to look battered and rough; I did this by using a font that looks as if it has been cracked and it represents power and uniqueness. This is because displays my magazine to be risky and dangerous, indicating the content will also follow that theme therefore will be an interesting read. This is the type of magazine that will appeal to my target audience as they will enjoy reading about rebellious characters and engaging in exciting stories. However, I used the colour black to reflect the sophistication of the magazine.

I used a close up of my model which really zooms into her face and it highlights her feistyness due to the make-up she is wearing. This is typically a conventional shot for a front cover as they are typically close-ups or medium shots and I felt this was appropriate to grab the reader’s attention as she is making eye contact and her body language is suggestive appealing to the audience. The way my model is dressed and her body language also appeals to the uses of gratifications of personal identity as my model is quite mysterious and engages the audience to find out more and to aspire and admire.

With the different sell lines I used a drop shadow this is to make them stand out and imply that the sell lines are important as it looks like they are news headliners which draws the attention from my readers. The fonts I used correspond to each other as they are all bold and have the reoccurring colour scheme I have.This makes it look professional and invites the target audience to pick it up and read the magazine.

Some of the other conventions I followed for the front page was the use of a barcode, this signifies to the person reading that it is for sale and I also included a price, however I also included a European price, as research I have made shows that R&B music genre is popular in the EU and I fell that it would be necessary to publish to the EU as it has become mainstream.

Moreover, conventionally I also included a website, to follow the new technological trends, the date of issue and I also included a small strapline along these saying,’ The best new magazine for gossip’ this is to create a sense that the magazine is very exclusive and unique and promoting it this way will differentiate from my competitors.

Contents Page

My contents page is my favourite page in my magazine. This is due to the way the page has been layed out and it looks very professional. The images I have taken are from concerts and gigs and also nightclubs. This made my contents page follow the conventions of real music magazines. I wanted my contents page to have more of a visual take on the contents page to allow my readers to identify favourite artists and producers and turn to the page straight away. The images I used show a variety in my magazine and are representations of the different articles, this tells the audience that I have a diversity within my magazine. I also wanted the look to resemble a collage, this is because I felt my target audience would appreciate the acknowledgement that photography is a big interest so having a collage makes it very appealing and makes the magazine seem very suited to them.

I have further put a C underneath the title 'Contents' which highlights that where ever there is a C it means that the story is on the cover. I used the appropriate highlights for the different types of the articles and colonised them to make it easier for the reader to read and use. I also used the contrasting colours to make the fonts stand out and be aesthetically appealing. The page numbers are in a bold and often highlighted in boxes which emphasises the page number.

Double Page Spreads

My double paged spreads continue to use the theme of white, grey and purple, reflecting the mood as exciting, dangerous and inspiring, forcing the reader to feel more involved in my interview with my feature artist ‘Bora Fona and Jade McClune’. On my first double page spread I have produced a introduction page, which includes a very massive picture of the artist featured in my article and their favourite quote, allowing the audience to glance over information and decide whether my magazine, or in this case article, will appeal to them. For the single feature double page spreads they both follow some of the new conventions music magazines have, for both I included on how to keep up with the artists on social networking sites. This is appealing to the audience as they are able to satisfy their social needs and it relates to their own social networking sites. It was important for me to include them as technology is such a growing trend in the generation which my audience profile are based in. For both I also included lots of pull quotes to give a rough idea of the personality and the tone of the magazine Also I included a bold introduction in large font to allow the reader to have a taster of the article and it would be their own choice to follow on reading or not. This is important because I always want my audience to feel as if they have control and not to pressurise them.