Monday, 11 May 2009

In order to create a credible music magazine, research was essential; therefore the analysis of existing products and the production of questionnaires were undertaken. This helped me comprehend the basic necessities of a media article, and highlighted the needs of the target audience. This in turn led me to understand the overall concept of a music magazine.
The ideological conventions of a magazine are designed to make the product ergonomically sound; making the magazine easy on the eye, attractive to the potential customer and simple to digest. To meet these requirements a high standard must be maintained throughout; text must be strategically placed to stand out, give any vital information and compliment any adjoining images. Similarly the layout, and order the articles appear in must flow naturally and general authenticity must be sustained. Ultimately the finished product must reflect what the consumer expects from a typical music magazine, whilst creating an air of individuality; thus resulting in a niche product which reaches all aims and promises to be lucrative.
Taking into account the above objectives of a successful product, my front cover is centred on an attractive model. The tilt of the models head, direct eye contact with the audience and emphasis upon the slightly open lips creates an invitational pose, projecting an air of mystery, mischief and almost sensuality; the equivalent of soft selling. This is according to Marjorie Ferguson (1980) who defined each models pose into one of the four categories Chocolate box, this being a half or full-smile, lips together or slightly parted, teeth barely visible, full or three-quarter face to camera. This projects the mood of warmth and pleasing however the uniformity of features does not create any sense uniqueness or individuality. The second facial expression is Invitational this has emphasis on the eyes, the mouth is shut with only a hint on a smile the head is to one side or could be looking back on to the camera, this all projects the mood that the model is feeling mischief is and is surrounded by mystery because there is only a hit of contact rather that a sexual promise (this was what I used on my magazine). The third type of facial expression is the super smile this being a full face with a wide toothy grin, head thrust forward or chin thrown back, the projects the mood of aggression and craving attention demanding to be looked at this is the form of hard sell. The Fourth and final facial expression (romantic or sexual) is more of a general classification that includes male and female, with heavy lidded eyes, unsmiling and big heads the gives the feeling that they are available.
Due to this image of a successful woman who is sexually attractive, pretty and skinny being the main factor of the front cover, men would have a tendency to be attracted to her, and women would strive to be her. This belief would no doubt carry from person to person, and therefore implant the image that if you read this magazine you will be with or just like the woman on the front cover; a common ideology which coincides with Blumler and Katz’ theory upon ‘Uses and Gratifications’ (1974). This expands upon the notion of implanting an image, by suggesting the target audience whether consciously or subconsciously will connect to the picture and the life style it promotes. Therefore, using a model that is the same age as my target audience, urges the reader to see the product as personal identification.

This is furthered by the layout of the surrounding text, which complements the image by curving to the contours of the models body. These bold and catchy headlines hint at the article within and promise an exclusive insight into the life of the idolised celebrity. The wording used within these snippets also adds to the feeling of identity; using terminology such as “em . . . ok” and various other examples of colloquial language; a personal edge is achieved. This method is rarely adopted by current magazines, which usually prefer to take a formal stance; this therefore means a personal response is met when a customer reads the magazine. Although this technique contradicts the typical design of a magazine, this level of individuality could offer a wider genre of client, inviting interest not only from the targeted audience of young adults but music fans, or simply customers browsing the magazine section; this in turn incurs maximum saleability, thus raising the probability of regular subscribers.
As mentioned above magazines are aimed at a certain audience, in this case 18- 23 year old who like to follow trends in music, in particular rock. Based on this scheme, and my research as touched on earlier it was decided the magazine would be priced at £3.90, an attainable price for the majority of individuals within this category due to their disposable income, and out of reach to those who are younger; an ideal solution to prevent the young from gaining access to the references to sex and adult humour held within.

The main inspiration for this rock theme was taken from Q magazine, therefore, Baver, the company that publishes Q could potentially produce my piece. It is a trusted company with experience in the marketplace. Thus meaning that my product could help them to increase their shares in the market place.
I have learnt many thing from the technology I used when making my magazine such as the use of a digital camera but mainly the work on the computer in photo shop, in this program I learnt how to –
· Manipulate images i.e. crop, rotate, flip, condense,
· Also in the manipulation of images I learnt to take away the background from an image so that I could just have the main focus of what I wanted in the frame instead of the background also.
· The use of a blog was also something that I had to learn, everything from uploading pictures on to it to filling in information about myself on it to give it a more personal feel to it.
· To insert a text box was also a skill I picked up while using Photoshop
Photoshop on the whole was a new experience because before doing this project I had never used Photoshop before, so even the simplest task of colouring the background was something I learned. Not only computer skills is what I have learned from doing this work but efficiency of time handling and neatness of work were all things I had to strive for to achieve.
Through the use of a feminine, skinny, sexually attractive, female model on the front, it not only attracts females and males of her age group but it represents them in a positive manner, as she is a role model for many females of her age group. From the fact that she is an attractive model on the petite side rather than a curvy person she conforms to other models that are shown in already publicised magazines. She is not promoted as a person that has overcome many obstacles to be where she is today although she does have ‘boyfriend trouble’ something that most people aged 18-30 can relate to this making her seem more real to the audience, as it helps the reader to relate to her as a person, instead of an Idolised celebrity. This also shows women succeeding in an industry that is dominated by the male population therefore it is a positive representation, and she comes from a normal working class background therefore she is just like anyone else who is reading this magazine.
Next I needed to add text that would hook a potential customer into reading my product, so to do this I analysed many magazines that are already on the market the magazine ‘Q’ was one that really caught my eye I liked the layout with the text justified at each side of the page and the use of the symbol ‘+’, so I adapted this layout and the use of symbols for my magazine front cover.
The next thing I had to think of was the story that related to the main model on the front, this writing had to stand out through being the biggest and brightest writing.
Also on the contents page I have included hooks for series, and more interactive based articles for example ‘Quiz’ the reason for me doing this is because through my research I found out that although this is not a normal convention of magazines it would be very well received by the public as this is what they want.
The difference I found when doing my main project compared to my preliminary work I had learnt all lot before beginning the major project, not only did I learn more about how to use the soft ware such as Photoshop and using a digital camera. I learned how to do research on specific topics and knowing how to act on these findings, a way of acting on these findings was directing my magazine to an exact audience of 18-30year old male and females that could compete in the market place because I have carefully studied conventions of popular (with the audience) styles and applied my new found knowledge to my final work.
Once the background was successfully deleted I then had to decide, how far to crop the image, so that it successfully fit the page but did not over whelm it. The background colour then had to be chosen, one that complimented the image, I chose gray.
Once the picture had been cropped and the colour background chosen, the picture was then ready to be used in this case on my front cover.
To develop the front cover I then had to think of a name for the magazine, and through the questionnaires I handed out ‘soul’ was the most popular and although this is not the initial name that springs to mind when naming a rock magazine, I thought that it could have more of a meaning to it. With most modern rock stars being portrayed in a bad light and associated with excessive drinking and drugs, I could then associate ‘soul’ with ‘good’ rock stars.

For example the picture on the front of the magazine was first taken on a digital camera on the 9Th of October , I then had to upload them on to the computer once I got back to school. This is the picture I chose before any manipulation could take place, the reason I chose this picture was because she is not only making eye contact with the audience to draw them in but I liked the way the lighting showed certain features off nicely. Also with the pose being slightly abnormal and against the conventions of other music magazines I thought it would help my magazine stand out against other magazines on the shelf.

I then cut this picture out in photoshop using the magic want tool to highlight the background to delete it, as I thought it inappropriate to use the original background as you can see the models shadow, thus is could detract from the from the model her self.
Once the name of my magazine had been chosen I then needed to figure out what sort of blending options would look good on the writing. I tried many options but then I decided upon having an outer glow in the same colour as the models top, this was to link the model to the other things in the background. Through the use of these bright colours it should draw the customers in.

The bar code was the next mandatory item that had to be on the front, unfortunately I was unable to make a bar code in Photoshop, and so I made my bar code in pain then transferred it over, and added the text that needed to accompany it. The text that needed to accompany it were things such as the data, price and the website of the magazine, this is because it is a convention of any magazine. Also the reason for the price being small and in the corner is because through the survey I found out that most people liked preferred it this was.

Once i compleated my magazine I showed it to a number of people of whom my magazine is aimed at to see if it were to be placed on the market place would it get a positive response and therefore sell many copies, their views were that my magazine was well aimed at that audience and that they said they would be willing to pay the price for what they would get. So from this i have concluded that my magazine would be a positive contribution to the market place of music magazines.

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