Daisy Woodward-Smith

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Critical Evaluation of Music Magazine Critical Evaluation of Music Magazine My music magazine, “for The Record” uses conventions of real music magazines by including on my front cover a masthead which is in large, bold and colourful so it will stand out and give the magazine a purpose. The magazine also uses a clear housestyle which is used throughout the magazine on the contents page and the double page spread. The colours that are continually repeated in my magazine are purple, red, black, grey and white. The main image on the front of the magazine of Zoe Laye fits in perfectly with the housestyle as it does on the double page spread. This is because her clothes are colour coordinated with the housestyle. The main cells on the magazine make it realistic as it is a magazine for young people and the text and colour fits into the housestyle really well. On my front cover and contents page I have used a lot of effects on the text and images for example, outer glower, inner glow and inner shadow. These effects have really helped the magazine to look fun and appealing especially to the younger audience as that is who the magazine is aimed for. On the front page, contents and the double page spread I have used a brush stroke which is quite arty this has given it a slightly different angle, making it stand out and making it a bit different to other magazines. I asked for feedback on the overall magazine product from friends and when I asked them if they would buy it this is what they said ‘I would buy it if I was a bit younger, I think the colours really work together’ and ‘I would buy it for sure, I really like the picture of Zoe on the double page and front page’. Another person said ‘I wouldn’t buy it as it’s not my sort of thing but I think it looks realistic and I like the patterns in the background’. I also asked for ways I could improve it and some people said that I could have had a view more images on the front page and on the contents page, while others said that the masthead font could be a bit more interesting. Representation can be applied to people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and so on. However in this case it means how identities are represented within text or in the way of production or reception. I decided to dress my artist in dressy casual clothes, I thought that dressing the artist in really dressy clothes would give the impression that the magazine is trying to be something it’s not and in dressing her more casually the readers could relate more to her style as the magazine is also about fashion. I chose just to have one photograph of the artist on my double page spread as I wanted to go for the more traditional approach and to strip the feature down. When deciding what questions to feature on the double page spread I decided that because the magazine is aimed at 12-16 year olds then I had to make it sound quite gossipy and general and so I made the interview quite chatty and informal asking questions about fame, boyfriends and celebrities, questions that people of that age group would be interested in. The headline informs the reader about her and what she is and the pull quotes also do this by informing the reader of what kind of things she mentions. These things give the impression to the reader that she is quite a real girl and has come from a normal background. This helps the readers relate to her and may give them inspiration for their future. She is a good representation of a normal girl, from an average family making it big. This is the kind of image that I went for when designing the double page spread, real and not too out there. I also asked for feedback about the representation of the overall magazine and double page spread. People came back with ‘The magazine represents the kind of music magazine for younger girls well. The contents that you have in the magazine people of that age can relate to and there is defiantly a good gap in the market for a magazine like this that represents the younger age group’ this is very positive point. While others said ‘The quotes on the double page could be a bit more gripping’ and ‘As it’s a magazine designed for younger girls the double page spread could have more pictures of Zoe to make it a bit more exciting’ though these are negative points I deliberately made sure that there was only one photo on the double page spread. The magazine publishers that would most likely publish my magazine would be top of the pops music magazine and SmashHits magazine. This is because both magazines are based for a very similar age range and the style, layout and content of the magazine is very similar to my magazine for The Record. Top of the pops magazine has inspired me the most; this is because I like the housestyle, layout, style, images and the fun of the magazine. I also like the age group that it’s based for, you can have a lot of fun with it. Top of the Pops magazine is monthly published. It features chart information, star gossip, fashion and beauty advice, quizzes, song lyrics and posters. It is an additional magazine for the TV show Top of the Pops. The magazine was launched in 1995 along with the show, which has now been cancelled however the magazine is still being published. The circulation figure of the Top of the Pops magazine from July to December 2008 was 125,558. Looking at the online magazines I would choose not to go down that route. This is because I think the whole point of a magazine is that you can hold it and flick through the shiny pages and take part in the quizzes and puzzles. Also the whole point of my magazine is because it is based for the younger age group it is quite interactive and it just wouldn’t have the same affect if my magazine was online and I’m sure it would attract a lot less readers if I were to do this. The typical type of person who would buy my magazine would have to be into Pop/RnB music. They would be quite girly and be into pink. Their interests would be fashion, gossip, boys, social networking sites, texting, make-up and celebrities. They would spend their money on clothes, make-up, hair products, shoes, sweets, jewellery and music. The TV programmes they would be into would be Hollyoaks, Eastenders, X Factor and Friends. The kinds of activities that they would enjoy would be shopping, partying, swimming, dancing and art. Their favourite shops would be New Look, H&M, Superdrug and River Island. The artists and groups that they would be into would be people such as Girls Aloud, Beyonce, Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, The Ting Tings, Katy Perry, Pink, Chris Brown and Kanye West. Though the person they would most admire would be Cheryl Cole. My overall unique selling point would be that there aren’t many magazines in the industry like mine apart from Top of the Pops magazine. The features that I have included in my magazine to attract people are that on the front cover there is an advertisement for free iTunes downloads, this will attract the readers especially as it is a younger audience people of that age often buy magazines with good freebies. Other features in my magazine which will sell the magazine is the information about all the bargain buys that can be brought, this is especially good with the current credit crunch, knowledge of where the best bargains would definitely attract audience. Finally the main lead article; the interview with Zoe Laye would help sell the magazine as it’s official and she has not yet been interviewed with any other music magazine. The audience would like my magazine because it’s fun, colourful, gossipy and as well as music has good fashion and celebrity articles. I got some family and friends of this age group to evaluate it on whether they would buy it and what they like about it. Most of them came back with similar positive feedback ‘the content in the magazine is really good, I would certainly buy it as I’m interested in music, fashion and celebrities’ another person said ‘the colours really work together, I really like the interview with Zoe Laye, the questions that are asked are interesting and the kind of thing I would want to know’. While another person said ‘the free iTunes song downloads would really attract me to buy the magazine and I really like the idea of the article about what people wore at the Brits’. These are all positive comments and prove that my magazine would definitely attract that age group. While completing this music magazine I learnt how to do effects on fonts, text and shapes giving them a better finished look. I used inner glow, outer glow, inner shadow and outer shadow. I also learnt how to import brushes off psbrushes.net, then free transform them and place them where I ant them. I used this for the flower and butterfly brushes on the front, contents and double page spread. I also learnt how to manipulate the photos I put onto the magazine especially the ones of Zoe. I dealt with the lighting and contrast; I also improve my lasso technique improving on the overall outline of the photos. I have made a lot of progress from the preliminary task to the music magazine. I felt I dealt better with completing the journal on time and putting more time into it by doing more research and drafting’s of my music magazine. I also felt that the audience research really helped me as I found out that from the people I questioned Pop/RnB music was most popular with people and that made me decide to do a magazine to cover these genres. I also found out that most people download their music from iTunes this is why I included some free iTunes music downloads in my music magazine. I also progressed a lot using Photoshop which I have explained above. I realised that the masthead is really important to the magazine as it plays a big part in attracting the readers to buy it. Therefore to fit in with the age group that I was aiming the magazine for, I made it colourful, big and bold and tried to come up with something catchy and original for the name. Overall looking at the feedback and my overall personal opinion I made a magazine that would sell and that people of that age group would read, although there is room to improve it. The main way I would do this is by including more images on the front of the magazine and on the contents page.
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Daisy Woodward-Smith