Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Analysis of contents page
When first glancing at this page I didn’t think that there was allot of information on it, however once I started reading it I realised that all the information I needed to know was on these pages, so I decided that I wanted this look for my content page as I did not want to over load the reader with lots of information when they first opened the magazine, I wanted for it to be gradual.
Another thing I liked was that the numbers of the pages stand out away from the information so that it is easy to find the page you want; I liked this idea so I adapted it for my magazine.

Analysis of article
When first reading this article I realised that I did not like the formality of it so I decided that when I wrote my article up I would use more colloquial language to make the reader feel more at ease and it is against normal magazine conventions so I could appeal to a niche market.
I liked the way there was not allot of colour on the page except for the pictures, I thought that this then meant that the pictures were the main focus of the article which was a good thing, as if anybody is flicking through the magazine and this picture jumps out at them they might then be inclined to read the full article or even the full magazine, just to find out the information about this person in the picture.

Analysis of articles
After reading this article it was what inspired me to do a short question and answer page, although I though the title of the page was too simplistic, that is why I changed it to ‘curiosity pays’, and I felt that with the two strong primary colours that the page had almost too much going on so this is the reason why I chose more neutral colours of grey and black so that they would not over take the picture, I wanted the celebrity to be the main focus of the article not the text colour choices.
The website address being displayed in the bottom right hand corner I thought was not only a failure convention displayed in many magazines but also a good way of promotion, so I adapted this for my magazine.
On the second page of this article it is just a picture of the celebrity in question, I thought this was a good lay out as when the audience reads the answers they know who to associate them with, so I was going to do this but I felt that I had taken too many good photos that I did not want to use only one so I placed four on the page.

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.

Final double page article

Final content page

Final front cover


Although this model was only being shown on my contents page I still had to pick the best picture that would good on my contents page. This first picture was not used because the prop, being the glasses were meant to add texture to the picture, in reality they distract the viewer from the main focus of the picture being the model himself. Not only that but rather than him eye contact engaging the audience he looks shocked.

Initially when first viewing this picture I through it was a good composition, then I realised that not only does the background detract from the model, however the background could have been removed, I still thought that there were too many colours in the shot as the model is wearing several colours, thus equalling detraction from the main focus.

This picture could not be used because it was too out of focus, that no distinguishable features of the model could be seen this meaning that is was unusable because the audience could not only engage with the model, it would also look unprofessional to use.

Further analysis of photos not used
The reason for this photo not being used in the final production of my magazine was because, the camera is zoomed in too close that his face is filling the full of the shot and this would be a good shot if it was a more grunge magazine that I was making, however it does not fit into my genre. Plus with only one eye being captured in the photo the audience cannot connect with him and create a connection.

This photo was not used because the model not only looks distracted thus meaning not kind of contact between the model and the potential customer can be formed, but also the model is not in focus causing it to look unprofessional if I had of used it.

Again the reason for me not choosing to display this picture in my final article is because it supports the more grunge look that I was wanting to steer clear of, although the model is engaging the audience I do not think that it is in a welcoming manner, therefore the person viewing this if it was on the front cover would not be inclined to buy it.
Analysis of picture not chosen

This picture was not used in the creation of my magazine; the reason for this is because she is not looking at the camera, this meaning she is not engaging the audience. Also the background id quite dark thus detracts from the model that should be the main focus of the composition. Plus she is not entirely in focus this meaning it would look unprofessional if used. Although she is in a suitable pose, so if the lighting was better and she was in focus this could have been a shot that I could have used in my magazine.

This second photo was not used because again she is not in focus, and with her shadow on the wall behind it detracts from the model. However, the model is looking at the camera engaging the audience, and the pose is appropriate for a music magazine as the musical instrument is on show.

This is a good open pose as she is looking at the camera, however the way the light falls across her face; it makes her facial expression unable to read. Nevertheless, this would have been a good shot as the pose is good and the camera angle is appropriate, plus the background adds texture but does not detract from the model her self.

This picture was not used in the magazine even though I personally thought it was a good photo because the block colour shown behind detracts from the model, plus she is not looking at the camera thus meaning she is not engaging the audience. Although the poses she is in does make it a good photo a lighter background would compliment and enhance rather than the harsh colours shown. Perhaps the model wearing a more neutral colour would also be best suited as there is allot of texture being added through the natural background, and it would help her blend in with the nature of the shoot.

Pictures for the front cover
On the 9th of October 2009, I took a total of 532 photos for the front cover and the internal for the pages; these were taken in a number of locations. Throughout this time the models wore a range of different clothing all of which were different colours to create variation. Once we found the perfect pose I took a took a variety of shots of her/him in that position, in different items of clothing that had a wide range of colour to make sure we got the perfect look.
The locations for this shoot were both inside, with a plain backdrop, following the normal conventions of music magazines. Also I took photos in an outdoor environment to create a natural earthy feel, challenging and deviating from the normal conventions of most music magazines.

Examples of photos taken, but not used for a variety of reasons are shown on the following pages with explanations of why they were not suitable to be used.

A flat plan of what my magazine will look like
This is a rough hand drawn design of what my final magazine cover will hopefully look like; based on the major research complied, it meets the majority of customer requirements. This design will obviously be edited and improved throughout the actual creation. However, even though this is just the basic design I can still refer back to it if and when needed, although this design can also change if and when needed.

From the completed questionnaires I can tell that the age range that this type of music magazine most attracts is generally males 18 – 30 years old, this was quite an anticipated result as magazines within with in this category contain many of the things young music lovers are interested in, such as interviews with well-known artists or singers, free C.Ds and concert dates. The most popular magazine that is already on the market being ‘other’ does not help me with my research, although the second most popular is Q, which contains many of music magazine conventions. Though the questionnaire I also found out that the majority of people buy magazines one to two times a month, on average buying their last magazine one or two weeks ago, this then gives a general indication of their disposable income.
The thing that most attracted people to the magazine came out as mixed results, with 33% of the readers saying that the interviews with well-known celebrities, where as 19% say that Articles on well-known celebrities would attract them to pick up the issue. Many stated that a sexually attractive model on the front cover often appeals to them and prompts them to pick up the magazine.
One of the questions asked tackled the improvement of magazines currently on the market; the out come on the whole was varied however the majority felt that there was not much in the way of improvement that I could put in place in my magazine.
The figures regarding purchasing a magazine because of an advertisement resulted in some people believing that features on their favourite celebrities would make them buy it, others stated that magazines often get their attention, especially if the price of the magazine is in small writing, so they are attracted to the front cover before they know the price. Relating this to my magazine I think I intend to make the front cover eye catching, but the pricing small so that if it is expensive to some it should mot put them off as they will already be interested in buying it.
Out of 100 people surveyed within my targeted gender and age range, the name ‘Soul’ came out on top with 48%. Next followed the name ’Vibes’ with 22%, in third place came ‘Feel’ with 16% of the vote, then in second last place with only 9% of the vote was ‘Wave’ and finally in last place with only 5% of the vote was evocative. I feel like these results indicate that the readers are after the image of a lively, young at heart, upbeat magazine.
Regarding features within the music magazine Articles, Interviews And reviews along with fashion pictures cam out on top, whilst advertisements, problem pages and concert dates generally came out on the bottom. This information will greatly help me whilst creating my product, as a satisfied target audience, is a top priority to ensure continued growth and expansion.
Finally on the front cover I found out that exclusive interviews, or a well-known model initially attracts the customer’s attention, this is important, as the cover of a magazine is what makes the first impact on a potential customer of whether to buy the magazine or not.