Main Task Evaluation – ParodyLand Music Magazine

March 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm (AS Media, Foundation Portfolio, Main Task)

The assignment brief that I chose to do was the print. I had to use a Desk Top Publishing and image manipulation software to produce a front page of a new music magazine, which had to feature a contents page and double-page spread. I would need to include appropriately laid out text and masthead. To start I looked at different magazine covers, contents pages and double-page spreads of various music magazines. This is so I could get a general idea of what magazines usually include on their pages. I then assembled three creative ideas of three different genres of music magazine which were rock, R&B and comical music. I created three mock-ups using internet images which correspond with my creative ideas. After presenting my ideas, the comical music magazine was the favourite.

I saved a few images of various comedy and music magazine covers, contents pages and double-page spreads. I analysed what elements which I thought were good and which I thought were bad about them. The reason that I researched both comedy and music magazines was because I could not find any other comical music magazine and I had found a niche in magazines. Therefore I decided to look at both music and comedy magazines so that I can combine the two together. Whist analysing the magazine pages, I discovered the main conventions of magazine construction such as the masthead at the top of the page and the splash images in front of them. They usually have secondary stories along with images and captions. The contents pages I looked at were all different but they did have elements in common such as the mastheads and the use of images even though with the comedy magazine, the images didn’t really have anything to do with the content of that issue. The double-page spreads consisted mainly of interviews and images. This influenced me to construct my magazine with the same conventions.

The target audience for this magazine is simply anyone who enjoys comical music, whether it is parodies or just funny lyrics. It also targets those who want to get into the comical music business such as setting up gigs, the best food to eat whilst on tour/ playing a gig.

After having an idea of what kind of stories I want to include in my magazine, I selected a few that I could get original images to feature in the stories. In the end, my original images were the inside of a fridge, a fruit bowl, money and people posing as AliCat and LHK.

When I had my original images figured out, I started to look at various fonts within Photoshop that would best represent the magazine. After knowing what images I wanted and what kind of stories I was going to include, I started to make templates of my magazine pages to visually see all the elements come together.

When I was happy with my original images, I started to make mock-ups of my pages to see how they will roughly look following the template. I created a mock-up for each page of the music magazine. The front cover mock-up I created had two images, which were both original. The problems with this mock-up was that the splash image was slightly blurred and not very clear. For the final design, the only elements of the mock-up that I kept the same were the barcode, colour scheme, layout and the lure of a free CD, other than that I changed quite a lot from the mock-up. I changed the splash text simply because I thought that the font Marker Felt is a lot easier to read and I wanted to keep it to just one font rather than two like on the mock-up. I gave the splash text a white outline so it stands out a lot more on the page, plus the text is on the white jacket of my image. The text used on the ticker at the bottom has two different fonts. The first font is the same as the splash text to keep consistency and the second font I used because I think it best represents the character of AliCat with the curliness of the font makes it look like cat’s tails. I changed the secondary image on the front cover because it is a clean and crisp image compared to the mock-up which was slightly out of focus. The outline that I have used on this image is in white compared to the orange used in the mock-up, this is because I think that the use of white makes the image stand out better. I also increased the size of the ticker at the bottom just so the magazine is in better proportion and that I filled the empty space of the splash image up more efficiently. My contents mock-up I constructed consisted of six images which were all original. I decided to invert the colour just to make the magazine a little different. This can also be seen in the music magazine Kerrang. I decided to add an advert for an album at the bottom of the page as it is a music magazine. For the final design, This page is almost exactly the same as the mock-up however the only element that I have changed is in fact the font used in the box out and the captions. The font used for the box out and captions is the same as the splash text on my final front cover. The use of this font in my opinion is a lot clearer and easier to read compared to the mock-up. I used the same font for the masthead. The reason that I used the same fonts is to keep consistency within the magazine. My double-page spread mock-up I constructed had five images on it which were all original. I decided to use the same style as the front cover and have the orange text on the blue background. For the main body of the text I used the font arial because it is a very simple and easily read font. I also made sure the answers were in white because it just makes them stand out more on the page. I also gave the text a black shadow just to emphasise the text and make sure that it is readable. I also used the same text fonts that were used on the front cover just to keep it consistent. For the final design, the double-page spread is almost exactly the same as the mock-up. The only elements that were changed was the mastheads as I inverted the colours just like the contents page. The reason for this is simply including randomness within the magazine to go along with the theme of comical music. I also changed three images on this page because these are a lot clearer and work better with the page than those used in the mock-up. Other than these changes, everything else remained the same.

Whilst constructing the actual magazine I made various decisions on position of the images, the colours used, positioning of the text. I changed my original images on the mock-up for the final design because the previous image were slightly blurred and not very clear. I prefer this image because it follows traditional magazine conventions with the splash image positioned over the masthead. I decided to use blues, whites, blacks and oranges in my magazine because it symbolises the colours of a court jester. The reason that I wanted this is because it is a comedy music magazine and jesters were comical musicians to entertain the court. On the masthead, I used the font Blackmoor LET, this is because the letters look like they’re laughing. I used bold colours of blue and orange to add to the comedy theme. I also added this same theme to the other pages to keep to the house style of the magazine. For the contents page I decided to include several original images and captions to include as the content of the music magazine. Again I use the blue and orange theme however I inverted the colours to add to the randomness and comical elements of this music magazine.

The decisions that I made for the finished product had an impact on my audience as they reacted to the music magazine being comical. They appreciated the humour element of my magazine. This magazine enables the audience to realise it is a comedy music magazine because the name ‘ParodyLand’ implies fun and comical songs as this is what people associate with the word parody. The splash image portrays humour with the facial expressions expressed on the face. The lure of the magazine also portrays the music side of the magazine as it say a free CD for every reader. The contents, continues to portray the comical music with the images and captions all being related to something in music such as backstage on tours and upcoming events.  In addition the use of the album advert makes the page seem realistic as adverts are often seen within any magazine and music magazines tend to advertise various albums.

The lighting in some of the images such as the splash image are bright and vibrant implying that the genre is light-hearted comedy music. In other images such as one in the double-page spread, the lighting is darker than the rest of the images which represents dark humour as the pose within this image is quite intimidating looking up and leaning into the camera. This means that the various lighting on the images used show a combination of humours and showing that the magazine is general comedy music and not set to just one set type of humour i.e. parodies, dark humour, etc.

In the Mise-en-scene of the magazine, we see neutral colours which again suggest that the magazine is general comedy is not for just one type of humour.

Comparing my music magazine to other existing music magazines it is easy to see that they are very similar and follow the same conventions, for example the positioning of the masthead is at the top of the page and the splash image is in front of the masthead, this can be seen in all music magazines for example Kerrang and Q. In addition the pugs are located on the barcode where other music magazines have theirs for example Q and NME. The tags are generally located near the top of the page which is where I have positioned the free CD for every reader. I used a box-out at the bottom of the page which is where box-outs are put like Q. My contents page and double-page spread follow convention of music magazine as they include both images and text. The contents pages generally have images with captions and/ or page numbers with the rest of the content boxed out somewhere else on the page. The double-page spreads are usually interviews or reviews. My magazine is able to fit in with the wider context of media institutions and audiences by finding a niche in the market for comedy music and comedy music is a genre which has many fans worldwide. I have attracted my audience through using traditional magazine conventions along with a lure of the free CD. This will encourage readers because you get some people buying magazines for the free items they offer.

I have received feedback on my magazine front cover, contents page and double-page spread through a focus group. The overall judgement of my magazine is that it is a good idea and unique. My personal analysis of my pages in order to improve my magazine include, having a different colour scheme for the magazine so that it alternates in different issues to go along with the randomness and comedy of the magazine. To include more text on the magazine front cover. To include more stories in the ticker on the front cover. To add more to the contents page regarding songs and albums. To space out the magazine content in the box more. This is because my magazine will follow magazine conventions a lot better if I make these changes next time.

The good points illustrated from this group include; liking the overall layout of the pages because it is very clear and professional looking. The name and content of the magazine being unique and interesting to read. The magazine is very realistic and looks like it could be sold in a shop. Something that is new to the market and would attract a lot of readers. How the images used are capturing and interesting and how the audience likes the creativity of the magazine. The images used are funny and draw attention so it makes the audience read the heading to find out the relevance. These quotes from the group show that the audience receives the product rather well and like the uniqueness of the magazine as well as the fact that it is something new and interesting.

Overall, my magazine follows the same conventions as other existing music magazines, although I have developed some so that they are positioned slightly differently than the conventions and forms of existing music magazines. For example I only have two stories on the front cover. The social groups that are represented in my magazine are between the ages of 10 and 14 as the two artists I have included in my magazine are quite young, female with a middle class background. The target audience for this magazine is anyone who like comedy music because it includes both comical and musical elements such as backstage at comedy awards and upcoming music events, which is very different to who the magazine is representing. As this is a music magazine, any media institution that is involved in the publishing of magazines, such as BBC, may possibly be very interested in distributing my product because I have been able to identify a niche within the market and looking at Youtube comedy songs by Tim Minchin for example we see that one of his songs, Inflatable You has over 1,000,000 views which shows that there is an audience out their for this type of music.  I attracted the audience with interesting stories as well as a lure with a free CD within the magazine. I also included various images to accompany the comical theme of the music magazine. Whilst using Photoshop to create the magazine cover, contents page and double-page spread, I leant how to get the splash image in front of the masthead. I learnt various aspects such as how to create certain effects on shapes so I was able to create effective album adverts. I was also able to create a comical feel to the project through the use of  images and the colour scheme as it represents a court jester. Other technologies I used was my blog in order to pitch my creative ideas to the group to get feedback on which will be the best to pursue in. I also used my blog to upload my mock-ups and final designs as well as show my research and planning.

Looking back at the Preliminary task, I feel I have been able to learn a lot more about Photoshop to give me a better product for the this task. I have also learnt how to research a lot more into depth and the extent of thinking that is involved when it comes to taking original images. The main thing I have learnt is to critically evaluate your work so you are able to identify what you could have done to improve your product because this is very helpful when you do something similar in the future. It also allows you to expand your skills when it comes to evaluating your own work.


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