Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Evaluation for Preliminary Task Draft

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Front Cover
My front cover uses many forms and conventions of real media products. Firstly, I have included a masthead. This masthead is eye-catching, short and precise, which are all features of what a masthead for a school magazine should be. I have also positioned a strap line below this, which reads “YOUR monthly newsletter”. This is persuasive and would attract readers, which is what a strap line is meant to do. It is extremely direct to the reader, making them feel as if it is aimed specifically to them. Secondly, there is the use of kickers and explanatory text, which promotes the features within the magazine. However, I should have probably included more, as most standard magazines have about six kickers, and I only included three. Here, I have therefore challenged a standard convention of real media products. Thirdly, I have erased the background of my main cover image. Most magazines normally have a plain coloured background, to make them look a lot more professional. That is why I chose to delete my background as well. Fourth, I have included a button on my magazine cover. This is quite conventional on real magazines, and they are used to promote special features and articles within the magazine. My button advertises a competition that can be found within. Lastly, the mode of address is extremely informal and exclusive to students and parents. This, I fee, is the right mode of address for a school magazine, as it is aimed directly at students and, because of their age, it would have to be informal for it to appeal to them well.
My cover also develops normal conventions of magazines, for example, with the fonts. Normally, a standard magazine would use about three different fonts on their front cover. I decided to use four, as I feel that this makes the front cover more visually interesting and appealing to readers.
My magazine cover, I feel, challenges the forms and conventions of real media products in one way; I have chosen not to include a bar code or price number. I have not included these because this is a school newsletter, and students would not have to purchase it. Instead, it would be given out by hand, which is why there is no need for a bar code or price.

My contents page uses many standard conventions and forms as other real contents pages. I have included images, page numbers and information about the different features within. It is also laid out in a well structured way, making it easy for the reader to understand.
However, I have challenged many conventions of real contents pages. Firstly, I have chosen to place images with just the page number next to them, without any text about the feature. This looks quite modern and a fresh way of laying out the page. This means that it would appeal to my target audience of younger students. Secondly, I have chosen not to include a section for the editor. Seeing as this is a newsletter for the entire school, I felt that there was no need for a section about just the editor, as the magazine would have probably been created by a group of students. Thirdly, I have chosen to add different shapes onto the background, instead of having just a plain background. I felt that a white background was extremely plain and uninteresting, and did not appeal to the readers. Adding the green shapes behind the text made the contents far more eye catching. Choosing the colour green also matches my colour scheme, allowing me to have a consistent style throughout.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Front Cover
My front cover represents a large and varied group of people. Firstly, there is the model on the front. Because the lower school of St Marylebone is an all girls school, I decided to use a female model to appeal to them. Secondly, the cover lines are very inclusive to students, and appeal greatly the students within the school. For example, cover lines such as “World Culture Day” and “Finding the new term hard?” appeals to every student in the school.

My contents page appeals to the lower school and the sixth form, as it includes images of both males and females. They are also participating in different activities such as sport and music, therefore my magazine appeals to everyone. The cover story is also inviting parents and external people to come to the Christmas fair, therefore appealing to people who are outside of the school community.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
This magazine would be distributed at school, as it is extremely inclusive to students and school life. The fact that I have not included a bar code shows that my newsletter would probably be distributed by hand and would be a free magazine, as there is not a price on my cover.

What would be the audience for your media product?
The audience for my magazine would be students at St Marylebone School. This is clear because the language is extremely inclusive to the school community. It is also clear that the students are quite young, as the mode of address is very informal and conversational, which you would not expect on an adult upper-class magazine. My magazine targets girls as well, due to the female model on the front.

How did you attract/address your audience?
Front Cover
My front cover targets young students from St Marylebone in many ways. Firstly, there are the colours that I have used. The dark green appeals to people from the school as this is on of the school’s house colours. Secondly, there is the model that I used. She is young herself and is holding a notepad. This appeals to students as it shows that she is hard working. Thirdly, there are the cover lines. These all promote different activities that are happening within the school community, therefore appealing to students who would like to take part.

Contents page
My contents page also appeals to students. Not only have I used green for the background again, I have also used images of students taking part in different activities. These activities would appeal to students as they are available to everyone in the school community. Thirdly, the shapes in the background resemble stars. Stars are quite young and feminine shapes, which would appeal to the lower school of St Marylebone.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
I have learnt many techniques whiles constructing this magazine. The technique that I felt most useful was the magnetic lasso tool on Adobe Photoshop. This tool allowed me to highlight sections of images and delete the background, which came in extremely handy for my front cover when I needed to delete the background of my photo.

Monday, 1 December 2008


Contents Page
This is my final contents page, which I feel was quite successful. However, I did make a few adjustments from my original draft:
  • I chose to make it landscape instead of portrait. This, I felt, allowed me to be more creative, making my page much more visually interesting for the reader.
  • I decided to change the colour of the page numbers to red. This stood out a lot better than if I were to use the dark green.
  • I added green shapes in the background. I felt that the white background was far too plain and unappealing to the reader. The green makes it that bit more interesting.

(Please click to enlarge)

I used this contents page for inspiration, specifically how the photos were laid out. Some were rotated with the page number placed in a bigger size on top of the image. I felt that this was an interesting way of positioning the images and numbers, which is why I chose to place my images in a similar style to this.
However, I did not like the white background, which is why I added some interesting shapes to mine to make it more visually interesting and appeal to my target audience.