Friday, 20 March 2009


1. 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 for my magazine. The name of my magazine is “My CHOICE”. I was inspired to create this name by other magazines, such as NME and Smash Hits. Most magazine names are made up of only two or three syllables, so that it can be short, catchy and memorable. ‘My CHOICE’ is all of these things, and so would probably be remembered well by customers. The font of my masthead is “Adamgorry”. I chose this font because it was clear and easy to read by all users. The dots inside the words have connotations of fame, like spotlights. This emphasises how this magazine is theirs, and that they’re the star. Although this sounds quite immature, it would appeal to my target audience of girls aged between 10 and 15 years.
The strapline for my magazine is located above the mast head, in a bright red font. This attracts a lot of attention, and once read, would persuade users to purchase the magazine. The strapline for this magazine reads “The ONLY Pop Magazine Out at the Moment!” This makes users feel that this is the only pop magazine on the market, and so if they want a magazine of this music genre, this is the only one for them.
Another form and convention that I have used are coverlines, kickers and explanatory text. The main cover line reads “Alicia”, and is the name of the model is in the main image. The font I used for this was a decorative font, which looks extremely elegant and sophisticated. Also, because of the curves, it looks extremely feminine, which has connotations that the female artist being promoted aims at women and girls, rather than males. The font colour of this text is yellow, which stands out extremely well. It is also a very bright colour, which shows that ‘Alicia’ is a very upbeat and fun character. The explanatory text is located underneath this cover line, and describes what ‘Alicia’s role is in the music industry.
I have chosen to only use one kicker on my magazine, as I want the main focus of the audience to be on the main cover story, which is ‘Alicia’. I positioned this kicker, which is about the band “ONETO1”, in the left third. The font colour is black, which contrasts well with the white background, making it stand out well. The explanatory text tells readers that this is the band’s first interview, and by putting the word “EVER” in capitals, makes the readers realise this quicker. I feel that I could have, however, had another kicker underneath this one, to give readers more options to choose from to help them decide whether they want to purchase the magazine. This is because if readers are not interested in the main cover story or the story about “ONETO1”, they have nothing else on the page that would make them want to purchase it. Most standard magazine have about six kickers and coverlines, and I only have two, which is definitely not enough. Here, I have therefore challenged a standard convention of real media products.
I have also made clear on the front cover that there is a “HUGE poster inside!” This was a standard convention of 90s pop magazines, and during these times, readers would put these posters up all around their room. I emphasised ‘huge’ by putting it into capitals, so that users are aware that if they buy this magazine, the poster will be of an extremely large size.

On my contents page, I have used many standard conventions, to make it look professional for the readers. I have included the date and issue number, so that the audience are well informed. I have also included page numbers and given a description of what each page featured will have. This means that it is easier for users to decide wheat they want to read and easily locate it withint the magazine. I have developed the standard form of page number by making the numbers for images bigger. This is sometimes done in other magazines, yet they are not normally this big. I also changed the colour, which is not normally a standard convention.

Another standard form that I have included is the music magazine's website address in the bottom left corner. It is extremely common for the address to be located here, as it means that they are receiving much more advertising, increasing their audience.

Double Page Spread
My double page spread uses many forms and conventions of standard double page spreads. Firstly, there is the use of a slug in the top right corner of the second page. This slug reads “EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW”, and is written in capital letters. This attracts attention, and makes the user aware that this interview is exclusive to ‘My CHOICE’ magazine, which may make them want to read it more. Secondly, there is the use of a pull quote. Pull quotes are meant to make readers want to read the article. I positioned my pull quote in the bottom right corner, as this is where users look when they are about to turn the page. Hopefully, they will read this quite humorous quote, and be persuaded to read the rest of the article. Thirdly, I have taken a photo of ‘Alexa’, and positioned it on the right. This is because this image would attract much more attention, and so by placing it on the right page, users will see it first and would then want to read the article. The model in the photo is smiling, which has connotations that she is kind and friendly. The black and white make the image look extremely professional, which makes the magazine look much more sophisticated. Lastly, I have positioned the byline that reads “Images taken by MediaProductions”. By having this byline of my page, it means that my images are copyright, and no other companies can use them.

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Front Cover
My front cover targets females of quite a younger age, probably from the years 10-16. The model on the front is a teenager of 18 years, and so she would appeal to this sort of age group. Her pout is extremely stereotypical and strongly represents girls of this age. The language used is extremely exclusive, and would probably appeal to everyone who likes the bands that are being promoted.

My contents page appeals to a large group of people. There is an image of a young teenager, to appeal to the age group of 13-16 years. There is a guitar to appeal to musicians in bands, and there are images of fake Michael Jackson in the top left corner, which would appeal to anyone interested in this type of music.

The colours used are red and yellow, both appealing to any gender. The fonts used also appeal to all readers, as it is a sans serif font and of a black font colour.

Double Page Spread
My double page spread appeals to young girls, but may also appeal to mothers as well. Not only does the pull quote mention how 'Alexa' is signing autographs for older women, but these mothers may also have children this age, and want to know what another woman's daughter is going through, compared to their own.

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
This magazine would probably be published by IPC media. This magazine publisher owns many different magazines, which includes music magazines. The three that they own are NME, Guitar and Uncut. These are all very differnt to my magazines, meaning that there is a place in the market for something new and exciting. Also, these music magazines they own range from £2.20-£4.30, meaning that my £2.00 would probably attract more attention and be quite popular (as it is the cheapest out or the magazines that IPC Media own).

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
The audience of this magazine are females from the ages of 10 to 17 years. This is clear by the use of females for the main cover image and double page spread, and the average age of them, which is 16 years. The font for the main cover line is extremely feminine, and woul dnot appeal to males.

5. How did you attract/address your audience?
Front Cover
My front cover attracts quite a lot of attention from users. This is mainly due to my magazine house colours of red and yellow. These colours are both extremely bright, and when put together, they contrast greatly, therefore attracting a lot of attention from passers by. What also attracts attention is the medium shot of 'Alicia', and her strong eye contact with the readers.

Attention is attracted to this contents page mainly by the colours. The red and yellow contrast well against the white background, which attracts attention. Also, the main image of "Alexa", because of the size of it, attracts a lot of attention from the audience.

Double Page Spread
What mainly attracts attention my double page spread is the image, heading and pull quote. The image is extremely high quality, and takes up most of the right page. This instantly attracts attention from the user. The heading is in a large size, and the font is extremely unique. This attracts attention as it is not a standard font that people will recognise, making them look twice. Lastly, the pull quote is also in a big font size. Yet the colours are also split in half. This is so that the words can be read easily, and contrast well against the background.

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
I have learnt many techniques whilst 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. Also, the clone tool was extremely helpful in deleting unwanted areas. For example, I used this tool to delete the 'Reading' words on Alicia's wristband, and the blemishes on Alexa's face to make her appear even more youthful than she is.

7. Looking back at your task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
I feel that the main thing I have learnt is that it is extremely useful to produce drafts. In my preliminary task, I did not create many drafts, and so my final product probably wasn't as good as it could have been. However, in this project, I made sure that I created at least two drafts of each document, so that it could be an extremely successful final product.

Final Double Page Spread

This is my final double page spread, which I feel is quite successful. I have used many standard forms and conventions to make my document look professional.

Firstly, there is the heading. I chose to use a font called 'Hand of Sean' from the website This font is similar to that of handwriting, which has connotations of young students. This reflects the artist that the double page spread is featuring, therefore making it look as if she has written the heading her self. Also, the words "Say hello to the new girl in town..." suggests that she is a new artist, which would appeal to those who always want to be kept up to date as to what is happening in the music industry.

Secondly, there is the image, positioned on the right page. I decided to place this image here for quite a few reasons. One of those is because this page is normally looked at first when readers are flicking through a magazine. By placing a strong close up image on this page, it is much more likely to attract their attention and make them want to read the article. Secondly, I decided to place this image here so that it takes up the entire page because this was extremely typical in 90s pop magazines. Readers would often want to tear the page out and stick the poster on the wall, and if I had made my image any smaller, users would not have been able to have done this.
I made many decisions when photographing this particular model. Firstly, I made her look into the camera. This was because users would be more attracted to it, because she is making eye contact with the reader, but also because she looks extremely youthful and innocent, which is what her image is. Another decision that I made was to make her hair 'windswept' slightly. I did this because it has connotations again of innocence and even makes her look slightly angelic, which is what she is meant to be seen as for her to appeal to her audience of young children and their family. I decided to make the image black and white, because I feel that it attract much more attention. If the entire magazine is in full colour, this feature will stand out and make people stop to read it. I also used text wrapping to make the image stand out well on the page.

Thirdly, I included 'paparazzi' style photos. This was so that they gave readers an idea of the lifestyle that she is living. I decided to not use flash when taking these photos, and set the mode on my camera to 'continuous shooting' so that they would be blurred and have a slightly blurred trail. This was so that they looked as natural as possible.

Lastly, I positioned the pull quote in the bottom right corner. This is because this corner is where they look when they are about to turn the page, meaning that if they had flicked past this article, they would read this humorous pull quote and be drawn back to the article and maybe this time read it.

I have also included other standard forms to make my double page spread professional. This includes page numbers, a slug (located int he top right corner), text and the company website.

Second Photoshoot and Final Contents Page

Second Photoshoot for Final Table of Contents

This is my final contents page, which I feel is quite successful.
  • I have kept to my house colours of red and yellow, and chosen to use a white background to make them contrast well and attract the readers attention better. I have also used a sans serif font so that all text is easy to read. The features are clearly listed with the page numbers positioned next to them. This makes it clear for the user to follow and understand.
  • I have included three graphics to make the page appear much more visually interesting and exciting. Without graphics, the page would not attract a lot of attention, and because of the age of my target audience, they are likely to get easily distracted if there are no images.
  • Positioned at the top is the issue number and date. This means that the user can be kept well informed and up to date.
  • Cover stories are highlighted by the phrase "___COVER STORY". This is a unique way to inform the user of the features that are on the cover, meaning that it will attract attention more quickly, and readers are more likely to look at those pages.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Final Front Cover

Final Front Cover
This is my final front cover.

The aspect of this cover that I have changed from my first draft is the main image. I have moved it down slightly, as it was covering more that 50% of the masthead, which would not normally happen. This is because with more than 50% covered, people will find it difficult to read. It will also mean that it is less memorable, and so therefore the user will not recognise it if they saw it on the shelf. This is not good for my company, as it means that our sales could decrease.

I feel that this front cover is quite successful. I have used two main house colours, those being yellow and red. These colours are known in the media industry for working well together to attract attention. They are highly contrasting, which make them extremely eye catching. Music magazines, such as NME, and even gobal food companies such as McDonald's use it for their logos. I have used these colours for my magazine so that it would stand out extremely well on the shelf in a newsagents, for example, and make people want to purchase it.

Secondly, I have included all necessary information to make the document professional. This includes the bar code, price, issue number etc. This gives it a much more realistic feel to it as well.

Thirdly, I have a used an image that is of a high quality, which makes my front cover clear and professional looking. I have also kept the amount of different fonts to about four, so that the reader isn't too overwhelmed.

If I were to approach this task in the future, I would probably have included more coverlines. If the reader was not particularly interested in the main cover story, then there is nothing much else on the page to persuade the user to purchase the magazine. If I included more cover lines about different features within the magazine, there would be more options for the customer to choose from, increasing the chance of a sale.

Double Page Spread

This is the first draft of my double page spread (DPS). I decided to do my double page spread on a 14 year old teenager, who is about to become a famous singer. I chose to focus on this topic as I felt that the story was extremely unique, and would make people want to read it.

I feel that this double page spread is quite successful:
  • The main image on the right looks extremely professional, which makes my magazine look quite sophisticated. I used strong lighting to highlight 'Alexa's' face, and dressed her in darker clothing so that there was great contrast in tones and she would stand out much better on the page. I asked the model to smile, as this would appeal to the right target audience, and would give the impression that she is friendly and innocent. To emphasise this innocence, I also created a 'windswept' effect to make her look almost angelic!
  • The heading is written in a font that looks very much like handwriting. This reflects how young Alexa is, and makes it look much more personal to her.
  • I have positioned the pull quote in the bottom right corner. This is so that if users were quickly flicking through the magazine, they would look at this corner before turning the page. If they read this quite amusing quote, they may be pulled back and want to read the actual article. Also, I changed the colours of this pull quote, so that all text could be clearly read by the user, making my magazine user-friendly.
  • I used text wrapping, so that more attention is drawn to the image on the right. This is because it is the image on the right which will mainly draw the user's attention, and I need readers to be quickly attracted to this to make them want to read the article.
  • I have included the magazine's website address in the bottom left corner. This is more advertising for the company, and users who may not have known that they had a website will be able to realise here and 'My Choice's' audience may increase.
  • The slug is located in the top right corner of the second page, and it read "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW". This makes the user realise that this story is only exclusive to the 'My Choice' magazine, and they are more likely to purchase this magazine as it is the only magazine that offers this story.
However, some aspects of it need to be changed. Firstly, some of the text is not aligned properly, making it look unprofessional (for example the word 'privacy' in the third paragraph). Secondly, there does not need to be a byline reading "Images taken by MediaProductions". I added this to make my document professional, yet because there is not a company called "MediaProductions", it would not be necessary for me to place this on my double page spread.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Mock up for Double Page Spread

Mock up for Double Page Spread
This is the mock up for my double page spread on 'Alexa'.

I have taken into account many standard conventions of double page spreads, to make mine as professional as possible. This includes the use of a slug, pull quote and drop cap. It also includes the use of text wrapping. I have chosen to make the text wrap around the image, so that it attracts a lot of attention. This is because users will only probably be interested in this article to read about how young this new star is, and the only way they will realise how young she is is by seeing her in this photograph. That is why I have used text wrapping, enlarged the image to a whole A4 side and placed it on the right, as this is the page readers look at first.
One thing that I will change about this mock-up is the position of the pull quote. I feel that I should position this on the bottom right page, as this is the place readers look to turn the page. If they have just skimmed over this article, the pull quote will grab their attention and may even persuade them to look back the article.

Photoshoot for Double Page Spread

First Draft Contents Page

First Draft Contents Page
This is the first draft of my contents page for my magazine.

  • The contents page is laid out well. This means that it is extremely east to read and follow, which make the magazine much more user friendly.
  • Everything is well aligned. This makes the document look extremely professional.
  • I have been consistent with the use of colours and font styles, meaning that users can instantly recognise that this is my magazine by just looking at this page.
  • The type of language that I have used will appeal to my target audience. It is quite informal and talks to them directly, for example, "New band DAZZLE offer you the chance to see them backstage!"
How I feel it could be improved:
  • I feel that the main focus of this contents is the guitar, yet this story was not even on the front cover. That is why I feel that this main focus of the page should be on a main feature within the magazine. Also, my magazine focuses more on artists, whereas by having both images of instruments may give the wrong impression and make readers feel that it is more of a magazine about instruments.
  • I have not listed the stories about the instruments in my list of features. This may leave the viewers feeling as if they are not well informed, which makes the document unprofessional.
  • The word 'features' looks far too plain and uninteresting, which would not appeal to my younger target audience. I need to either change the font, or add an effect to it such as a shadow or bevel, to make it attract more attention and look more visually interesting.

Mock Up of Contents Page

Contents Mock Up
This is the mock up for my contents page.

How am I being consistent?
  • Colours: My company's house colours are red and yellow, and to achieve a consistent style, I have used them in my table of contents as well. The background for this page will be a pale yellow, and the page numbers will be in red. Red contrasts well with the yellow, making them stand out and making it easier for the readers to understand easily.
  • Font: I have used Arial for most of the text, as this is a sans serif font and easy to read by my whole target audience. I will also use the same font as my masthead for the contents heading, so that users can recognise my magazine's style.
Photoshoot for Contents Page