Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Initial Research into Forms and Conventions

I have been researching into different types of music magazines to try to understand what aspects of the magazine appeals to specific audiences and how publishers use this to their advantage. Magazines such as Kerrang! appeal to an audience that likes to consider themselves inidivdual and against the mainstream whereas magazines such as such as Classic FM appeal to an audience that likes to consider themselves m0re sophisticated and upper class with a gentler and softer presentation style.

There are a number of mainstream rap/hip-hop music magazines however these all focus on american hip-hop whereas my magazine will focus only on "Grime" a british sub-genre of rap as there is a gap in the market.

XXL Worldwide is a magazine about American hip-hop music as well as culture. The name is a reference to hip-hop slang words such as "massive" and "phat" mean "good" or "cool". The fonts are mostly sans serif fonts with upper case letters, however a serif font is used for the headline "DEF JAM 25" this is to connote that the Def Jam label is prestigious. The people on the cover are all artists from the Def Jam label. The colour scheme is red and black with a white background, this helps the bold text stand out. The content is mostly about hip-hop music, with interviews, reviews of CDs and a retrospective of the Def Jam label. It also features articles on hip-hop culture for example there are articles on sneakers, video games and clothing. XXL uses mostly standard language however it throuws hip-hop slang in every now and again. Most of the pictures are of hip-hop artists and a lot of these shots are taken upwards to make them seem bigger and tougher to help portray the "gangsta" image. Serif fonts are used to connote the prestigious history of the Def Jam label.

The next magazine I will analyse is The Source. This magazine is also abou hip-hop music and culture. The front cover displays the "classy", "wealthy" side of hip-hop culture whereas the cover of XXL displays the tough, gang-like, tough image. The black and grey colour scheme connotes class and sophistication, as Snoop Dogg is one of the older and more respected hip-hop artists. The fonts used are simple and mostly white is used except for some straplines and the name of the cover article "SNOOP". Like XXL the source features lots of articles on products such as gadgets, clothing, video games etc. This fits in with the materialistic sensibilites of hip-hop culture and also the target audience for hip-hop is traditionally young men who are also the people that would be interested in things such as video games, gadgets and hip-hop style clothing. The style of the layout inside the magazine is minimalistic with white backgrounds and pictures in square boxes surrounded by text. Some serif fonts are used to connote class and sophistication.

"Vibe" magazine is more of a focussed hardcore rap magazine. It uses the stamp at the top of the cover "The Real Rap" to distinguish itself from other hip-hop magazines that include other things outside of rap such as R 'n' B and culture. The main image of the front cover is the rapper Eminem who has a serious, slightly aggressive expression and a tough pose with arms folded, which connotes the mascuiline, agressive side of rap music. The fonts used are bold, sans serif fonts with a red and black colour scheme which helps add to the hard image.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Main Task: Magazines

In this task we are going to create a music magazine based on a specific genre of music. Our deadlines are as follows:
  • Research and planning - 8th January 2010

  • Production - 12th February 2010

  • Evaluation - 5th March 2010

One magazine I have considered is Kerrang! Magazine

This magazine is aimed at 13-18 year olds as it features fairly mainstream rock bands. They will be slightly more male. It is seen as kind of "rebellious" so would appeall to post-modernists. It will mostly appeal to radicals. It is aimed at an audience who listens to non-mainsteam music. The fact that the band on the front cover is wearing suits in some ways pokes fun at upper class business type people because they are dressed in suits but have long hair and are covered in tattoos. Being a music magazine, the main contents are music news, concert and album reviews and interviews.

This magazine is aimed at an older audience aged about 40-60. They will be apirers and succeeders and probaby traditionalists. On the Jicnar scale I would expect them to be A or B. The magazine is quite expensive compared to the previous magazine which only costs £2.20, this magazine costs £4.25. This is because people who read this magzine will probably be wealthy and it includes a free CD so they will pay extra for this. This magazine is quite upmarket and for people who take classical music seriously and probably play it themselves. The contents of the magazine will include interviews, articles, reviews etc.

This magazine is aimed at a young audience aged about 16-25 and male. They will be radicals or underacheivers and post modernists or materialists. They will probably be still in education or C,D or possibly C2 on the Jicnar scale. This magazine will contain interviews, news, CD/DVD reviews and features. This magazine is for people who don't like most mainstream music and are seriously into hip-hop music.