Friday, 11 April 2014

Evaluation Question 7 - Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

My Prelim task focused on a school magazine; I used a stock photo background and a dark image that was not taken in the best of conditions. I used an outer glow on the image to make the model seem as if he was actually in the background and not just added on. I already had some knowledge of the programs I was going to use, although I did gain some knowledge throughout the production. I that my biggest downfall was my positioning; I struggled deciding where I would position each of the components of my design work, although this did improve throughout the production of my magazine.

My confidence has improved a lot when it comes to my design work, with the ability to pick colour schemes, to the ability to pick fonts. A big problem I had when making my magazine was deciding what fonts to use, I used references to other magazines and picked fonts that used the same spacing, although had a different style allowing me to have a reference and make progress.

Target Audience changed a lot through the development of my work; for my prelim my Audience revolved around school teenagers aged 15-19 of both genders, whilst my current age group revolves around males aged 16-24. The changes to my Target Audience caused my language to change when addressing my audience as well as the images I used and lighting alterations.Trying to find an appropriate target audience was rather easy as the magazines that my magazine was based around already have the same audience

Evaluation Question 6 - What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I am already rather familiar with the use of Photoshop, although I did learn some things on the way; one of the main things I learnt during the duration of my magazine creation was to make an image more vivid through the use of Layer Styles. By duplicating a layer twice and giving each of the duplicates a different property, for example 'Hard Light', this led to the alteration of my double page spread image, allowing for the colours to stand out a lot more clearly.

Relying on natural and synthetic light while taking photos is not one of my strong points, as I am not perfect with the format of taking pictures in a studio. I have never had a strong sense of being able to tell what lens or settings to use while taking a photograph outside, and within a studio the same problems apply; I tried to overlook these by creating the best lighting situation I could, giving me a lot of space to work on editing the photo in Photoshop.

For my double page spread, I did have a temptation to use a different program other than Photoshop, but decided in the end to stick with what I knew and create something that could easily be created in the program that I knew well.

Evaluation Question 5 - How did you attract/address your audience?

Evaluation Question 4 - Who would be the audience for your media product?

My Media Product is a music magazine based around Rock and Pop-Punk. If we look at similar magazines, namely Kerrang and Mojo we can see that they do not actually have a fixed Target Audience and instead opt for a more 'all around' approach working on the idea that there is something for every age and gender in the genre of Rock. Kerrang like to focus of Heavy Rock and Pop Punk, so you could say that the Heavy Rock aspect would attract the attention of older fans, and the Pop Punk would attract the attention of younger fans, although this is mainly down to stereotypes.

If I had to specify an age group, I would say that my magazine mainly focuses on those aged between 16-28, mainly because of the use of social networking throughout my magazine and how much it is intertwined with the interaction. A lot of my magazine focuses around socialising with the fan base through the use of social networking, something that some of the more older fans are not as familiar with, or do not see the point of. I would say that my magazine is aimed at both male and female for different reasons; the male aspect because of the music and the style, although possible towards females too because of the social networking interaction (It is a lot more common for a female to gain an 'obsession' with a magazine and start to socialise with the creators and add in their own input, which is easily done with the link my final piece has with this).

My model for my magazine was my 18 year old friend, Richard. He has the stereotypical appearance of a rock artist due to how his hair sits after styling it, appearing as if it has not been styled at all due to it's natural waviness. When taking my photos, I wanted to have his hair straighter because I wanted a more sophisticated look that challenged the stereotypes that rock magazines create.

Due to my model, I would come to a final conclusion that my target audience is in fact younger than 28 and more so between 16-21 mainly because of the way I have put forward some of the things I have said within my pages. My pages go for a very casual approach that is meant to be read lightly and as if an actual conversation is being had with an actual person. Because of this conclusion, it means I can make further analysis into my target audience by looking into my model himself, where he shops and what music he listens to.

If you were to look at the music that Richard is most fond of, it would revolve around Rock and Metal, as well as some occasional Pop Punk. Some artists found within his music libraries would include Paramore, My Chemical Romance and Slipknot, three very different bands that cover all three genres mentioned. Richard is a fan of physical CDs, and has created a rather large collection of them within his bookshelf; his preference of physical CDs in comparison to digital MP3s comes down to his music choice, with the majority of his favourite bands having become popular before MP3s were as big as they are today. In order to buy his CDs, Richard would visit HMV as this would contain all the music he would want to find, as well as many other genres that might take his fancy.

In terms of clothes, Richard is always wearing Jeans, varying from simple Black jeans to bright vibrant Red jeans. The concept of wearing odd coloured jeans matches with my previous statements on how fans of Rock don't want to conform to the rules of society and want to stand out amongst the masses because of their individuality; for this reason also, Richard is found to be shopping online more so than he is found to be shopping outside due to the larger range of clothes that can be found on his favourite sites.

By shopping for his clothes online, it means he can get whatever he wants whenever he wants without having to worry that the store has run out of stock. Online retailers also contain a lot of exclusive clothes that he would not be able to find anywhere else; you could say that with some of the places he shops, he has slight aspects of being a hipster, although this is entirely down to personal view. Some commonly visited sites include: and

Evaluation Question 3 - What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

A media institution focuses on the publishing of a magazine. They don’t really make the magazine as such they just help sell it which is what a company wants because without publishing a magazine does not make profit, and without profit the magazine cannot be published, created a rather nice cycle.

For my magazine I had to decide a institution that I thought would be the most suitable for my genre. My first idea was to look into the institution that published Kerrang and Mojo, two of my inspirations for my final work. This research leaded to Bauer, a Uk institution responsible for many of the leading music magazines.

One thing that really led me towards this institution is the close link that it has with social networking. A lot of my magazine talks about social networking and how the editor reaches out to the community through these mediums in order to partake in-group discussion amongst the fans. This concept is not necessarily new, but it Is a very effective method amongst music magazines for attracting a strong fan base, which is why I included within my design.

I exampled the link with social networking on my contents page; at the base of the page I made sure to give reference to different websites. I included Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, three very popular websites amongst teenagers, and especially popular for Magazine creators as they give a very simple method of distributing information. There are many references within my contents that link to the community and twitter; an entire section of the contents revolves around talking to the community.

Bauer allow for subscriptions to be made online to each of the magazines that they produce, which would be a very useful feature to have, along with the ability to subscribe through a phone number. The price of magazines within this institution basically remain the same, which is why I would want to follow through with them, in order to create a magazine that fans of other magazine styles would not think feels out of place.

The money to begin the magazine process would need to be built over time by those who would wish to pitch the concept to the institution. For example, if I and a group of friends were serious about making this a real magazine, I would need to create an initial pool that would help build my magazine from the ground up, eventually making a profit that I can use to fund the magazine and hopefully keep part as a profit.

Evaluation Question 2 - How does your media product represent particular social groups?

My Magazine is mainly focused around Rock and Pop Punk, and I felt that Richard (My Model) represented this well. I found another artist of a similar genre and compared both them and my model to see the similarities and it can obviously be seen the aspects they share. Both have a similar haircut, except my model's hair is in fact straightened, although natural wavier. The long unstyled haircut is very popular amongst my genre as the form usually wants to go against what society wants; this can also be seen by looking at the clothes that my genre wears. The social group that relates to this is the young teenagers around 17 years old; the reason for this is because this is the generally the fan base that this music style produces amongst the masses. My Target Audience mostly relies around Males due to the nature of the music, although this genre can attract some Female audience.

My model is wearing smart clothes, which someone challenges the style of rock due to the reasons stated before; I decided the clothing my model would wear would be this because I felt it let him stand out amongst the other magazine models of whom are generally wearing their own casual clothing. Both my model and the artist I found are playing an instrument, although one is a bass and one is a guitar. The age of the two examples is not really the same, although we can say that they are definitely of the same ethnicity and possibly have the same height, hopefully making them quite similar. Both of the pictures have very similar expressions, connoting that they display the same mood while performing live.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Evaluation Question 1 - In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Before starting the creation of my magazine, I had to research into the existing formats of magazine designs to take away some ideas and concepts to create my own idea. The Genre that I decided I wanted to follow was Rock/ Pop Punk, so my main focus revolved around Mojo and Kerrang, with a rather cluttered style to represent the style of music present.

The style that is exceptionally popular when it comes to this genre, more so in Kerrang is to have a rather large logo at the top, with a rendered image of a music artist that is made to cover some, and sometimes all, of the magazine name. It is very common for the layers to overlap, with other layers being on top of the magazine title other than the rendered image, to give a sense of depth. There is often a headline, which more often than not is the name of the artist, with a subtitle following afterwards that usually related to the story in which the artist is in.
Kerrang is particularly fond of red headers and footers, as seen in the example magazine I have shown; white text on red is very clear and easy to see in terms of contrast, so Kerrang like to use this style in order to make certain that the user can see what is included within the issue. The background is kept rather simple so that attention is not drawn away from the main image on the page; this technique is one that a lot of other magazines tend to take after too
When designing my final magazine, I waned to take some of the best ideas from the magazines I researched into, and add some of my own ideas to create a new product. My front cover conveyed the red header, whilst varying with the black footer; I thought that giving this contrast of Red above and Black below would allow for a much more graphically pleasing look, and am happy with the final result. Some variations of the Kerrang front cover use rotated objects to add into the cover image giving it a 'messy' type of style which is something that I used for my front cover; text is very common for this style, as used for my cover for the header and the sub header. My contents is rather similar to that of Kerrang with positioning, I followed the concept of using a black box header with yellow text on the inside, one of the strongest contrasts of colours to help keep a very bold and easily seen style of header. My Front Cover follows the 'F' Pattern.
A style that I decided to input was to add subtitles into the titles underneath each header; I used this to give more details into some of the page titles and make the page seem more filled than it would without them. For the subtitles I used a dark grey in order to make sure that the reader knows what they are meant to focus on first and what they are supposed to focus on next. When it came to the 'Album Reviews' and 'Interviews' I used a simple list in a font 4px bigger than the rest of the font, without any subtitles so that it stuck out amongst the rest of the page. There were other sections of the contents that I mixed together elements of Subtitled titles and Non-Subtitled titles to give a sense of contrast.

I wanted my contents to appear as if there was a lot going on, which there was. My contents is just about filled with information and references to what is within the magazine, with little space. I tried to keep a rather thick gap on the left of my page in comparison to the right, because of how the page would appear in a real magazine. This contents has been made to appear as if it is going to be on the right page as apposed to the left, with the space acting as a way to help not cut out any information with the page folds. The space also allowed for more contrast as it made the page generally look a lot more professional.
My double page spread was a hybrid of an interview and a story on the artist I chose. I rendered out the person in the picture I used for my page and changed the background to be a gradient of a Light Grey, and a slightly Darker Grey; the way this was done is very apparent, and easy to notice with the white text being placed upon a darker background and the black text placed onto a light background. I used a mix of white text and red text for the header because I felt this worked as a nice contrast, and kept the body of the text black, as this is a very common style used within Kerrang and Mojo. I tried to keep the background light while keeping the body of the text darker to create a nice contrast; my original idea was to have a black background with red and white text but I found this to be too difficult as I could not render out my models hair to suit the black background (Mainly due to my method of rendering, which including layer masks that I couldn't seem to make comply with the colour black). I kept with the colour Red in my double page spread for my subtitle because when I tried experimenting with the different colours, this matched a lot better than some other variations, that included different shades of black amongst other colours such as yellow.

The image I used on my Double Page Spread was of my model looking a lot more casual than he did during the photos that were contained amongst the rest of the pages. I felt that this connoted a much more laid back atmosphere and allowed the reader to look at the page and feel as if he was the kind of guy that would be respectable to talk to, which is what I wanted to achieve. He is still sporting his suit, although this time he is not wearing the outer coat causing his arms to appear white from the lack of black covered; this shows well in the final piece as it allowed me to display skills of rendering with similar colours as the background is a similar shade to the parts I had to render. White is a much harder colour to render out of an image, as the intensity of the colour can vary extensively, so I had to take a lot of care when cutting out the background of this image, as well as any of the other images that had him with the same style.