Friday, 8 April 2011

Foundation Portfolio Evaluation


1. In what ways does my magazine use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of existing music magazines?

My magazine was inspired by VIBE, XXL and NME. I used the layout of NME’s contents page on my own magazine, this layout of contents is unique and this is why I followed the layout. Although, my contents challenges those of NME because mine did not have all images around the page which made mine a lot different to the NME’s which has images indicating which article is which. For my front cover, I followed the layout of XXL. My ideas were helped by the front cover of XXL as my front cover resembles those of XXL’s. My front cover challenges XXL’s in a sense that my front cover does not focus all on the main artist which has the main image on the front cover. I have placed other artists on the sides of my front cover in quite a noticeable font and this shows the target audience that the magazine is not just about one artist. Only on a few issues of XXL show artists on the side of the cover and although they do not always have that added part to their covers, I still got the idea from their cover which helped to create my front cover. Another attraction to my magazine is the mast head which I made very clear to see what it reads, I placed it in the top left hand corner which makes it very easy to see. I used a bright blue on my mast head because blue expresses amazement and this will connote that my magazine has amazing articles inside. My main article inside the magazine has a shade of orange which blends out to white; the text is black so it stands out strongly against the orange and white. This makes it a lot easier for the reader to see what the text is reading.

2. How does my magazine represent particular social groups?

My music magazine genre is Hip Hop. This magazine will mainly represent the social group of ‘young black male teens’ who are from an ‘Urban’ society. More likely to be from a working class background. This magazine represents them in terms of the way they dress, their personality and their attitude towards different situations. The majority of black teens we see now are heavily influenced by commercial rappers or rappers they have been following from younger ages. Although, not all rappers would fall under the working class background. For example, Kanye West is from a middle class background and didn’t live the same lifestyle that artists such as T.I would have lived. Even though he was raised in a lone parent family, his mother was a professor at a highly rated college in the states. The class background varies because Kanye West gives out an image where he is almost downgrading himself to fit in with the working class community that listen to Hip Hop. Then again his dress sense is different to other Hip Hop artists. My magazine is easy for this social group to relate to. It represents how they can measure success and make their way to the top. My main article is about an artist who I made myself, but he is representing the success of rappers like Lil Wayne and Jay Z. To see these big successes from a favourite artist of any teen is a big confidence boost to become just like their idol.

3. Who would be the audience for my magazine?

The music represented within the magazine is the genre of Hip Hop. Therefore, my target audience would be the fans of Hip Hop. This magazine is for any Hip Hop fan, male and female readers are strongly targeted. I base this on the content inside the magazine with commercial rappers who are well known on the world stage of music. My magazine will attract the same group as XXL and VIBE, this is because the ideas for my photos were helped by these two magazines and most of the poses, lighting and areas for the pictures are similar to the ones you would find in XXL and VIBE. You would find the same language used in my magazine which, I would say, is aimed towards a young generation of black teens. This brings me onto my price for my magazine which would also attract this group because it’s not too expensive and its not too cheap which would put a bad impression on them. The price is £2.49, this is a reasonable price for young teens because they are likely to ask parents to buy it for them and the parents will buy it for them. The colours place on the front cover of the magazine are colours that will attract teens from the around the age of 15-19 years of age. I have used bright colours such as green, blue and red so that they stand out and make the important text on the side of the front cover noticeable. The features on the side of the front cover are artists that will attract teenagers and the fact that they are glowing with a bright colour represents that there is something special or breaking news on their music careers or personal life.

4. What kind of institution might distribute my magazine?

The two magazines which are similar to mine are XXL and VIBE. These two magazines are published by two different companies, Harris Publications for XXL and InterMedia Partners for VIBE. Therefore these two companies are most suitable to publish and distribute the magazines to shops. Harris Publications would probably be best suited to publish my magazine because they publish monthly and that is how often I would like my magazine to be published. As for which shops would distribute the magazine, shops such HMV would be suited to sell the magazine along with other shops which specialise in selling music. These shops would definitely be best for the magazine to be sold in because only the music audience would be in the shops to view the magazine. This is also where the niche audience will most likely shop for anything that is music related. Also, as the internet is a huge part of a teenager’s life, there would be the option to order the magazine online from websites like HMV. This could be more convenient and the price is likely to be cheaper.

5. How will I attract/address the audience for my music magazine?

I created a questionnaire and handed it to people who fitted the stereotype niche audience of my magazine. On the questionnaire I got responses with people saying they would like free gifts. For example, I got responses for free posters within the magazine and that is why there are free posters in the magazine. With the questionnaire results I was able to see what my target audience liked about magazines and what would attract them to a magazine. A lot of free gifts are the main attraction to magazines of any genre to any target audience and my magazine being a Hip Hop based magazine it is likely that it will attract my target audience as Hip Hop is the genre of music that is listened to the most by males aged around 16-26. I also found out that my target audience like to shop at River Island, H&M and Selfridges. These are the shops that would sell the clothing that Hip Hop artists would wear on an everyday basis. Hip Hop artists have a big influence on young black male teens. Advertising is another way to attract readers which is why I have placed advertisements in the magazine. These adverts are aimed for my target audience, you will find that the adverts represent the teen generation. Adverts advertising clothes which teens would be seen wearing in today’s world.

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

The systems I use at home and the ones I use in school are different. So to use Microsoft Publisher for the first time to create pages for my magazine was something I learnt along the way. Using Publisher was a bit difficult at first, however it was very easy to adapt to which helped. I also learnt to use a tool called Picnik which allowed me to brighten my pictures and add text to any pictures which I uploaded. I also picked up the skill to use photoshop to edit my pictures and crop them from any background that I didn’t want to use, although I stuck with most of my backgrounds, this allowed me to learn how to change the size of my pictures and crop them to use on the appropriate background needed. For example, my contents page and front page. Being able to take my own pictures and use a digital camera myself was another technique I learnt. The systems I used were very easy to adapt to which allowed me to create my magazine, although they were new to me at first I became better at using them throughout the whole unit.

7. Looking back at my preliminary task of designing the front cover of a school magazine, what do I feel I have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Creating a school magazine for the preliminary task was a very good way to prepare myself and to understand the work that I would have to be doing for the full task. The school magazine which I created required me to use all my own images of the school, students, teachers and departments. I had taken a look at other school magazines so I could get some ideas on what a school magazine requires. This then helped me understand the importance of conventions and how they should be used in magazines. I also used this to see what conventions could be challenged in my own magazine. The main article in the magazine had to be about a big event happening within the school, depending on which year group I targeted in the magazine. In this case I targeted the whole school and made the main article about International evening which is a big event within the school and usually takes place in the summer term. Taking pictures of the school and teachers prepared me for taking the pictures I needed for my music magazine task. I learnt how to make the main articles in my contents and front cover stand out which would attract the target audience. By doing all this in the preliminary, it prepared me and taught me how to layout my music magazine and the process of making a magazine. Both preliminary and final tasks were successful in representing their genres and all the conventions were followed which allowed me to complete my magazines to a high standard.

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