Thursday, 16 October 2008

Media Project

I have opened this blog because I am taking A level media and I am going to make a music magazine for my coursework, I thought that keeping a blog would be an easy way to keep track of all my work.

Here is my preliminary magazine front cover and contents page.

I used the same house styles for both the cover and the contents page to make the magazine seem more realistic. I used a close medium shot of a pretty model on the front cover to attract as many customers as possible. Males are attracted to her and females what to be her which is why it worked. Because the magazine is a school magazine i tried to use colours that were unisex and include articles on the cover which would be of interest to everyone.

When I was researching music magazines I found that most magazines had a predominantly male audience. I found a gap in the market to develop a controversial rock-pop magazine targeted towards females. I looked at both lifestyle and fashion magazines as well as music magazines to find out conventions to target my audience. I found that female magazines included fashion, personal details about celebrities as well as advice. I am going to merge both types of music magazines to create a top selling music magazine that women can relate to.

Magazine planning

Before i plan my magazine i designed a close ended questionnaire which i handed out to people who i believe is my target audience. The questionnaire includes questions that i can easily analyse. The results will help me choose colours and ideas that will be appealing to my target audience which will help me develop an appropriate magazine cover, contents and two page article.

Here is a copy of the questionnaire which i handed out to my target audience.


1. Do you buy music magazines? ( please circle )
Yes / No

2. What attracts you to a magazine? ( please circle )
Front model

Other ……………………………….................. ( please explain )

3. How much would you pay for a magazine?

Other ………………………………................... ( please explain )

4. What colours do you prefer to see on a cover ?
Dark colours - black, blue, reds
Lighter colours - pinks, light blues, yellows
A mix of all colours
Other ………………………………..................... ( please explain )

5. Do you prefer males or females on front covers ? ( please circle )
Males / Females

6. What do you like a music magazine to include?

Tour dates
Top 40 etc…

Other ………………………………........................ ( please explain)

7. In an ideal magazine what would you want it to look like and include?


8. What genre of music do you prefer ? ( please circle )

Other ………………………………................................................ ( please explain )

Add Image
I found that the majority people do buy music magazines and often the genre of the magazine and the articles included attract the buyer to the magazine.

Music magazine plans

For my music magazine I researched lots of magazine front covers of all genres of music and I found out that there wasn’t a very big range of different genres to look at. Lots of them were either pop or rock. I also discovered that women are less likely to buy music magazines because they do not include fashion and personal information about celebrities. So for my magazine I want to be unique and do a mix of both genres and make my target audience female. Celebrities such as Ashley Simpson and Avril Lavigne are very pretty but with a rock-glamour twist. I think this would make a really good magazine for people who like this mix. My target audience would be teenage girls from ages between and 16 - 25. Just because some girls prefer rock music doesn’t mean they can’t wear dresses and high heels too and by including fashion and lifestyle the magazine will be more appealing.

For my model I will use my friend Samantha Cusack. This type of music describes her personality perfectly which means she will be excellent for the cover. I want my magazine to look very realistic so I am going to take time on my models hair, makeup and outfit choices to make sure it looks professionally done. I want to do a few different outfits. For example for the front cover she will be wearing a dress and heels with heavy eye make up for a more rock feel and then for inside on the contents page and articles more natural photos in minimal makeup and natural hair. The article will also include some perosnal phots of her and her best friend aswell as some baby photos.

For my magazine name I want to call it an unusual name to keep in theme with the mixed genre of the magazine. Naughty and rebellious but still nice and pretty. "Flipside" will suggest a sense of uniqueness which will attract more buyers , as if my magazine will be different from any other out there. I think that the name is fun and quirky which will attract a good audience. I also want the front cover to be mostly dark background. My model has red hair so I want to emphasis that so it stands out which will attract eyes on the shelf of a store. If the background is dark the writing on will be girly and swirls but still easy to read and in a bright colors to stand out for example a deep red or pink.

I looked at Marjorie Ferguson’s ideas on categorizing facial expressions and invitational would be the best for my cover. I would have emphasis on the eyes to show a relationship with the model and the buyer. I also like the idea of a sense of mystery, which will make the reader subconsciously approach the magazine when they see it on a shelf. According to Naomi Wolf (1990) Sexy or erotic images are often used on the front cover of a magazine to sell the product to women. Women want to look like the models and models are men ideal partners. The model has to be attractive or well known to sell the magazine successfully.

I found these images off the Internet and think that they would be perfect for my magazine. The image on the left is very "rock and roll" with the leather jacket and over sized rings. She still looks beautiful with her long flowing her and minimal makeup. The picture on the right is also very pretty and girly with the big frilly dress in complimentary colours but the model is stood in a position with her leg to one side and a hand on her hip which shows a sense of attitude. Her tattoos on her ankle and arm show signs of a rebellious character.

Madonna is making strong eye contact with the camera making a relationship with the buyer. It makes the consumer curious of whats going on inside the magazine making them buy it. I like the contrast between the dark clothing she is wearing and the bright red writing on the front making the text stand out and easy to read. The model also covers the title to show that the magazine is well known, and the regualr audience can recognise the main house style.

This classic rolling stones magazine has a model that has reveling clothing on to attract the buyers attention. This is a common connotation of magazines. Sex sells and magazine companies take advantage of this to sell as many magazines as possible. She covers the heading which doesn't matter because it is a well established magazine and the regular consumers already know what is says. This magazine also uses contrasting colours. The red title stands out from the light blue background and her light blue outfit. The cover also includes lots of captions which will make the audience interested. For example " the dirty girl fights back". Underneath that caption there is 5 stars showing the magazine is a good buy.

I like the idea of using to opposite colours. My model had red hair so i think that i am going to make the background on the cover dark so make her hair stand out as much as possible and then match the writing on the cover with her hair. I think that will attract people to look at the magazine when it is on a stand as it will be different from the rest of them.

The word "VIBE" on the front cover is very bold which attracts the readers attention. The model is looking directly into the camera which invites the audience to buy the magazine. The magazine only uses red,black and yellow colours to keep it simple and easy to read. The picture also looks troubled, which encourages the audience to buy the magazine and find out what is wrong. I like the idea of using an unusual photo on my magazine cover to invite the audience which will increase the sales of my magazine. I am also going to use a few select colours for my whole magazine to keep the same house style through out. "VIBE" is covered slightly buy the models head which shows that it is a well and is a common connotation of an established magazine. I am not going to use this idea for my own magazine as mine is a new magazine which is not established. Most magazines have a barcode, serial number and issue number on the cover on their magazine. I will have to follow this convention to make sure my magazine looks realistic.

Contents page have a full list of every page of the magazine along with the topic which is included on that page. They also include sneak previews of pictures which will be featured in the issue.
This example is simple and uncluttered so it is easy for the reader to find the page they want. I like the idea of keeping the colours the same throughout the entire magazine, this will give the magazine a more realistic feel. I also think it is important to keep the contents page simple to ensure the readers do not get confused. I think the contents page is important to keep the reader intrigued, so enough information has to be included within the contents page. Main titles and subtitles should be bigger to attract the readers eye so it is easier for them to read and manage the magazine.

These are my flat plans for my cover, contents page and double page artile. The plans include font sizes, colours, background colours and the entire layout of my magazine. It is important to keep the house style the same so the magazine looks realistic.

This is an example of the photos i took of my model for the front cover of my magazine. I wanted the background to be minimalistic so that her red hair stands out and attracts the eye of a buyer. It was important that she had eye contact with the camera to entice the reader into buying the magazine. It was also important that the model on the cover is well known and attractive. Everything has to be taken into consideration to attract the largest audience so the profit is acceptable. I broke conventions by using a model with red hair however i thought that is matched well with my pop-rock genere and made the magazieb more unique and stand out from the usual blonde models that are often found on the covers of most magazines.

I took a picture from the Internet to use in my magazine. I changed the pictures in the filmstrip and so I was able to use it in my magazine. I cut the old photos precisely on photo shop and added mine into it. I then changed all of the pictures into black and white. I wanted the filmstrip too look fun and natural so that the audience can see a more normal side to the celebrity they are reading about. I will put the filmstrip on the pages of my article.

My final product.

I had to make sure that the pages were the correct size and resolution. This ensures they are the correct size of a magazine.

I made sure all of my magazine had the same house style by using the same fonts and colours through the magazine but used different shades to make certain titles and words stand out. I think that overall my final product looks realistic and would be a top seller. I think that by doing research I have developed my skills and knowledge about the range of different music magazines and genres. By doing so my work has developed considerably from my preliminary work to my final product.

Media Evaluation

When planning my media product which was a music magazine cover, contents page and double page article, to ensure my final product was realistic I carried out lots of research so I could base my work on other real media products. I looked through music magazines to discover key conventions, such as a large title. In some cases where the magazine was successful, the model on the front cover covered the title because it is so well known the style of the magazine in itself stands out on a shelf to a regular consumer. The celebrity or model on the front cover was also often making eye contact with the camera to create a sense of curiosity within the buyer so ensure a sale. The headlines and captions which were featured on the cover were also main articles and captions which would interest a person in a shop to buy the magazine to read on. I found conventions which carried on through out the magazine. Only a few colors and fonts were used which give the magazine a more organized feel which is easier to read and to keep a clear house style. To construct my product I did follow a few of these conventions such as a large title, basic color schemes and a pretty model which was making eye contact with the camera.
However, I also contradicted some conventions. As I did my research I found that not many music magazines had a female target audience. The magazines which were for women only had certain genres. For example “Smash Hits" has a female target audience but only includes a lot of pop and R&B music which is for a younger audience. I found a gap in the market to establish a new magazine so I contradicted conventions by making a rock and roll magazine which was targeted at women. I included some details within the article of my magazine which would interest a female such as personal advice and private conversations. Magazines that have a female audience often use stereotypical female colours such as pink and white, I wanted to contridict this by using a deep purple, which still looks feminine but it is not as steriotypical. My magazine included a small interview with the artist who was featured on the magazine cover were she talked about personal information, makeup tips and her private life with her boyfriend. These types of questions are commonly found within magazines which are targeted at a female audience. The article which was featured in the magazine also tells the story of Sammy’s life, who is the female recording artist on the cover of the magazine. It explains how she accomplished so much without her parents help and managed to become so successful with determination and hard work. This shows how you can turn a bad upbringing and a bad situation into a successful career with a bit of effort. It has a good moral which is good for younger teenagers to read and believe they can do the same. Celebrity culture is very common within young girls which is why it is important to make sure you send out a good message to the readers. This shows that every social group is able to relate to her, which makes her a likeable character and as more people want to know her, more magazines are sold. This is also a gratification of buying a music magazine, people buy it to find out new information about their favorite star and also magazines are used as a social focus. Groups of friends or co-workers have something new to talk about if they all buy and read the same magazine. A success magazine is a one were the buyer can use the magazine to find a use or gratification from it ; in this i am exploiting Blumler and Katz theory of uses and gratification (1974) in order to sell more magazines. My magazine includes lots of features which people can relate to and talk about, also helpful information about personal advice and useful advice about fashion and clothes etc.
The american feminist Niomi Wolf (1991) has said that sexual attractive pictures of women are used to sell products to females because woman have been conditioned to want to be like those models. The admire their beauty and their perfect figures therefore they are more likely to be the magazine, I followed this convention by using a sexually attractive female on the cover on my magazine to attract a female audience.

I think that Bauer would be an excellent publisher for my magazine. The company has lots of ecperience and knowledge and has recently bought Emap which publishs musci magazines such as Q and Mojo. Because my magazine is aimed at 13-25 year old woman it would allow them to expand into a niche market because music magazines at that target audience tend to be aimed at men and boys.

My target audience is primarily females of a younger age, around 13-25. The magazine has information about concerts and cd’s which the older section of the target audience would be able to afford. It also includes personal information about celebrities which all females ages enjoy reading about. I made my magazine an affordable choice to ensure everyone who wanted to buy the magazine was able to. Younger children who are given money from their parents, from school teenagers who receive EMA to more mature adults who earn money and have a disposable income. I priced the magazine at £2.50 which is a reasonable price as it is a monthly magazine. If it had of been issued weekly the price would have to be lower and more affordable.
To ensure I attracted my target audience I designed and handed out a questionnaire to people in my target audience to find out the correct ideas and context they would like to see within a new magazine. I thought that this would be a very reliable way of getting a lot of detailed information about the views and opinions of my target audience which would result in a more successful selling magazine. By analyzing the results of the questionnaire I was able to design product which was appropriate. I made sure my model was conventionally attractive. This means that females arte attracted to buy the magazine as they want to be more like her, and males buy it because they are sexually attracted to her. I kept the colors darker and simpler to appeal to the genre of the magazine which is more rock and roll than pop. I think that it makes the magazine look more realistic as well, instead of a range of bubble gum colors. As the model on the cover has red hair I broke another convention, as most models are blonde or brunette. I was able to take advantage of this situation. As the colors on the magazine or darker her hair stands out on a shelf which attracts a buyer’s eye. Her red hair also gives the magazine a more unique look as she is not the typical "pretty, blonde girl next door” I also included articles and features in my contents page and on my cover in response to my audience survey to ensure the target audience was happy with the final product.

When i finsiehd my final product i showed members of my target audience my magazine to find out their opinions. Jodi Zoric said " The cover was really realistic and she could imagine a top celebrity to be n the cover in a real shop". Sarah Mcgill also said " yeah i thought it was an actual magazine, i love the layout of colour scheme".

I have developed my skills on photoshop and in digital photography. I have learned how to minipulate images to a professional level. For example my photpstip which i used in my article. Airbrushing is an important part of production so i found out how to get rid of blemishes on the model to make her skin look perfect. I developed a housestyle as it is a common convention of magazines. I have also learned how to incoporate text and images for my desktop publishing in a professional manner. I also leanred how to present my work on a blog.

Looking back and my preliminary task I realized that my product did not look very realistic. After I studied conventions from the magazines and understood how to appeal to a target audience. I realized my final product had to compete in a very difficult existing market. To ensure my magazine would be able to sell and create a reasonable profit to carry on selling I had to make drastic changes to my final product compared to my preliminary work to ensure it could compete against the realistic competition it would face in department stores, newsagents and shops. I also developed my practical skills on photo shop. For example image manipulation, how to create text that is bold and noticeable and to be able to relate to a target audience. Air Brushing is an essential part of the production process when developing a magazine. On the main cover photo I adjusted the levels and contrasts to brighten her hair and lighten her face to make it stand out as much as possible. I also removed some small blemishes from the models face to show perfect skin.

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