Friday, 5 March 2010

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

My planning and preparation was an extremely important element in the production of my magazine because I researched what my magazine would need to be successful and laid out what I needed to accomplish carefully. Drafting was also important as it allowed me to set out how I was going to organize my production before hand. Organizing my time was also imporatant as it meant that I would not get overwhelmed with work and end up rushing certain parts, I managed to keep to my schedule and not hand in work overdue.

I was not previously experienced in photography however I feel I did an acceptable job as my shots were all clear, good quality and displayed the images the way I had first intended them to. I chose to shoot my photographs from upwards so as to give the subject a feeling of power and toughness which is a common characteristic of a lot of hip-hop/grime artists. The costume was just casual, urban style clothing with a hoody and cap etc, which is relatable to my target audience. I also had my model look quite casual with a slight bit of aggression which reflects the aggressive nature of grime music as well as the aggressive content of the article, which is also a common convention of hip-hop magazines. I made sure to shoot my pictures on a plain white background so that it looked professional.

The influence for my magazine came from a lot of other magazines such as hip-hop magazines like The Source and XXL, I also took influence from rock music magazines such as Kerrang! as it has a non-mainstream, "underground" style that I wanted to show in my magazine as Grime is a lesser-known non-mainstream genre and this sort of style would be appealing to my target audience who have a strong focus on things considered as "cool". I tried to make my layout exciting with the fonts and the way I organised the different parts of the page.

I had not had a lot of experience with photoshop and Quark Express before I created my magazine. I had created a student magazine front cover with a partner which was my only prior experience with photoshop. I found that this helped me adapt to the program and I became more proficient with it as I worked on my magazine.

My audience research gave me a great understanding of what things would appeal to my target audience for example when I asked a member of my target audience what he would like to see in a grime magazine he said that he would want it to be real and up to date with new music that is not just mainstream. I made sure to let this influence my final product. He also commented that he would like to see other subjects such as film and video games included in the magazine so I also included this. Before I modified any of my magazine I made sure to consider how the target audience would react to this change before I made it.

The biggest thing I have learnt from undertaking this project is that organization is key to creating a successful publication and that target audience must always be carefully studied and evaluated and must always be thought about carefully when producing a product.

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

The production of my media product was made a lot easier by the use of new computer based technologies such as photoshop and quark express. I was not before experienced with these programs however through my use of them I became a lot more proficient and feel I now have a good understanding of how they work. I used a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera to take my pictures which made my photographs look very professional as the quality was excellent, it was also a lot easier to get decent pictures as the large memory of the SD card meant that I could take many pictures and choose the best one. Photoshop is a great program for magazine production as it allows people who may not be experienced with magazine production to make their work look professional. Also Quark Express allows people to easily organise the page so that it resembles a professional publication.

Blogging is an excellent way to present my work because it is easy to access as it is not stored on one computer but on a website so I could work on my media even when not at home or at college, it also means that my teacher could keep track of how my work was coming along as I did it. Putting my work on a blog also meant that I could utilise resources such as youtube, embedding videos into my various peices of work and also allowed me to import my own saved pictures onto the blog, illustrating my points better than if I had just used text. The use of blogs also meant that it was easy for me to look back over my other pieces of work and keep a track of what I had done. The use of new technologies with the production of my media projects has helped me greatly to present my work in a clear and coherent way.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

How did you attract/address your audience?

I addressed my audience in a mostly informal way as this is the writing style that appeals to young people as formal styles are seen as boring and a formal style would not fit the subject matter of hip-hop music because hip-hop music uses lots of slang and has a straight to the point mentality. For example below are some sample lyrics taken from some of the featured artists songs.

"Still, I'm looking for the perfect view
The way I see it, that's right next to you
I know you've probably heard it before but still
I love it when you flex like that for real"
-Dizee Rascal's "Dance Wiv Me"

"big bar writer
calm, not hyper
grew up on dragonball-z
and street fighter
BMX rider
ga'll dem creeper
full time mic man
part time grinder
if u dnt like me i dont like u neiva"
-Chipmunk's "Who Are You?"

I did not use a lot of slang because wanted to keep it accesible to people who may not be as faimiliar with hip-hop culture as a lot of fans of hip-hop music are also fans of other styles of music such as pop and r&b. I also included some american hip-hop artists such as Lil' Wayne but kept the focus on British artists.

I feel I succeeded in appealling to my target demographic as when I showed to some 15, 17 and 16 year olds they said that it looked appealling and was instantly recognisable as Grime magazine. They all agreed that it looked cool and authentic. The males found it more appealling than the female which is what I expected by the way I had organised the magazine. Everyone who read the magazine had a preferred reading except for one person had an oppositional reading to the part in which the AzA made negative comments towards Chipmunk. When I showed my mother she also had an opositional reading awell s an Aberrant reading as she did not fully understand the slang I had used, I expectd this as she is not my target demographic. The people in my target audience found the writing style and the visual aesthetic pleasurable. Overrall my target audience reacted positivley to my magazine and I was satified with the reactions.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

The audience for my magazine is 16-20 year old males. They will be casually dressed with Fred Perry, Bape and Nike clothing. With hoodies, jeans and tracksuit trousers and expensive trainers. They will be very concerned with keeping up with the latest fashions and music that is popular with teens. Most will be students at secondary school or college or if not they will be unemployed or D or E on the Jicnar scale (lowest grade workers, semi/unskilled manual workers). The psychographics of my audience is Underacheivers and Radicals. They're social values are Materialists. They will enjoy mostly grime and american hip-hop however they will also enjoy R&B and some pop artists. They will spend a lot of spare time on facebook and playing video games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. They will enjoy mostly action movies and comedies such as The Bourne Identity and Pineapple Express, they will also enjoy urban movies such as Kidulthood and 8 Mile as they will feel that they can relate. They will like to socialise, go out on the weekend drinking and partying, putting fun before work. They will have an open mind to things such as drugs.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Double page spread

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

My magazine would be distributed by a smaller distribution company such as MMC this will give it a feeling of being less mainstream. It will be sold in supermarkets as well as places that grime music fans are likely to shop such as music shops like HMV. I would have my magazine have a strong online presence as this is a key way of contacting the target audience. I would have GrimeNation have it's own website with regularly updating blogs as well as it's own Youtube channel that would update with video interviews with artists, behind the scenes videos, live performances and music videos. I would also have my magazine's own Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc. accounts so that fans could contact the writers and are reminded of the magazine when they update. This youtube channel is similar to what I imagined for GrimeNation:

Viral marketing would be a very important element to the marketing of my magazine. Many other magazines utilise the method of internet distribution such as the source:

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Before I created my magazine my target audience was 16-19 year old males from a middle class background and it has stayed relatively the same. They would have to have a small income to be able to afford the £2.75 price of the magazine. The fonts and layout of the magazine appeal to young men as it is seen as a non-mainstream, underground type magazine which is seen by many as "cool". The artist on the front cover is a young male teenager that the audience can relate to who is also representing male youth fashion with his casual style of hoody and t-shirt and earphones inside the magazine. This representation fits dominant ideology of young males with it's fashion however the content of the interview might not fit dominant ideology as it is quite oppositional to traditional stereotypes of young people.They will be students at high school or college, if not they may be unemployed or be D or E on the Jicnar scale (lowest grade workers, semi/unskilled manual workers) as they will be very young and new to the world of work after having recently finished with secondary school. The psychographics of my audience is Underacheivers and Radicals. They're social values are Materialists.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

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

The genre of my magazine is a Grime music magazine. Grime is a sub-genre of rap/hip-hop so my magazine will share some characteristics with this style of magazine such as The Source and XXL. However my magazine has also challenged a number of forms and conventions as other hip-hop magazines as Grime embraces different ideals and ideology than traditional American hip-hop. The Source focusses more on the glamourous side of hip-hop as shown in this picture of a Source cover:

Grime favours a more "underground" and "real" style. American audiences prefer to see the glamourous successful musician whereas British audiences prefer to see original artists that stay true to their "real" ideals and are not mainstream. The fonts I used represent the non-mainstream aesthetic as they are cracked, bold and dark in colour which reflects the urban nature of Grime music. The main font might remind the reader of a run-down part of a city such as London which is where much Grime music originates from. I also used a graffiti style font which is common in urban areas. Hip-hop artists are stereotypically give off an aggressive image which is often reflected in their music and grime is no different. You can this by this compilation of famous popular rappers:

Friday, 12 February 2010

Magazine Contents Page Finished

Magazine Front Cover Finished

Production Log 6

Here you can see the second page of my double page spread. I have broken up the large chunks of text with interesting quotes from the interview; I used different sizes for different parts of these quotes to emphasise certain parts. I kept the colour scheme to red and black and included text around the picture so that it did not seem empty.

Production Log 5

Here you can see the first page of my double page spread. I have chosen to use a large picture of Aaron filling the page and putting a large quote on top of it. The varying sizes of the different parts of the quotes make it more exciting and I have also included a humourous caption at the top of the page of a twisted box which makes also adds to the exciting feeling of the page.

Production Log 4

Here you can see my finished contents page. I decided to present my contents page as 2 columns with descriptions of each article and some pictures to accompany them. I used similar fonts to the ones I had already used to keep the theme of it being "underground" and "not mainstream".

Production Log 3

Here you can see my finished front cover. I have neatened up the presentation at the bottom, I have added a black box running along the bottom side. I have also added some more straplines at the bottom right which helps the cover look more full.

Production Log 2

Here you can see I have added a picture and modified the colour and size of the text. The flourescant green stands out well against the red background and is also a colour often associated with grime music. I have added straplines to the side also using the same colour scheme. I have added the subtitle "THE KING RETURNS" underneath the main headline "AZA" to give some clue as to the content of the article (rapper AzA's return to the music scene). I have added a list of other contents below as well as a box containing the issue number, month and price of the magazine.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Production Log 1

This is a screen shot of my magazine cover in production:

I have stuck fairly closley to my plan however I have changed some of the fonts such as the "Dizee Rascal" font. The puff is below the title which is similar to hip-hop magazine The Source.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Audience Research

I showed my moodboard and a recent issue of american hip-hop magazine "The Source" and asked him a series of questions to help understand what a member of my target audience would expect and hope for from a new Grime music magazine. The person I interviewed is also a fan of american hip-hop music. The questions I asked him were:

1. Which elements shown in my moodboard do you feel are most important for the production of a Grime/urban music magazine, and what pictures interest you most?
2. Does this magazine appeal to you?
3. What things do you like, and which things don't you like?
4. Is the price acceptable?

These were his answers:

1. "I'm most interested to hear about the artists I hadn't heard of because I didn't recognise some of them and I really like to hear new and original music. I also was interested by the picture of Kidulthood because I really like that film and I would like to hear about new similar movies. The flag and picture of the streets are important too as they represent culture which really interesting."
2. "Yes but it seems some parts are more catered to an american audience so I'm not really interested in those parts."
3. "I like the parts about the music but the other stuff about art and politics and stuff doesn't really interest me. I like the fact that it talks about stuff like games and stuff too, though."
4. " £3.75 is a bit too expensive but it's probably because it's imported from America."

More Audience Research

I showed my sketches to a member of my target audience and asked him the following questions:

1. Does this magazine appeal to you?
2. Would you purchase this magazine and why?
3. How much would you pay?
4. What would you want it to include?
5. What changes would you make; what are the things you didn't like?
6. Do you like the layout, fonts, colours etc?
7. What do you think of the magazine in general so far?

1. Yes
2. Yes because it's eye-catching and unique; there aren't any other magazine that deal only with urban music from the UK.
3. £2.50 - £3.00
4. Interviews with well-known artists, reviews and information about new and unkown artists.
5. I would add some more pictures to the front cover to make it more exciting, like above the Dizzee Rascal story could be a small picture of Dizee Rascal.
6. Yes they suit the style of the magazine especially the logo which captures the underground feel of grime and r'n'b and stuff like that.
7. I like it and I'd like to see the finished product to know how it turns out.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Time Plan

16th Jan - Take photographs for cover and double page spread
18th Jan - Edit pictures and begin cover
22th Jan - Finish cover
23th Jan - Collect other pictures needed
25th Jan - Begin contents page
1st Feb - Finish contents page
2nd Feb - Write article for double page spread
3/4th Feb - Begin putting together double page spread
11th Feb - Finish double page spread
12th Feb - Check all work and tweak any errors

Initial Planning

I named my magazine "Grime Nation" as grime is a genre specific to England and a large part of Grime culture is closely linked with British culture. I used the bold, thick sans serif font because it reflects the heavy, bassy and loud style of the music. I used a font with cracks in it as this is a popular font used by grime artists and connotes the magazine being "underground". I will use the same orange colour which will contrast with the other dark colours. The sketch of the artists face is only to give a vague idea of the final prduct as in my final draft it will be an extreme close up from a high angle, with part of the artist's face hidden by his cap. The tagline underneath the headline "WILEY" says "the new face of grime" which worls well with the extreme close up of his face. The will only be a small part of the background visible so it will be a dark grey colour. I will use white and red for the text around the main sell as they will stand out well on the grey background the text will only slightly overlap on the artist's face.

I will use a similar font for the word "Contents" but slightly thinner, the rest of the fonts will be a standard sans serif font such as Arial. The background in the text box will black with white text. To the left of this will be boxes which contain pictures relating to the stories in the magazine with page numbers and the what the story is so the reader can quickly skip to this part.

My double page spread will be the cover story about rapper "Wiley" featured on the front page. The large picture will take up the whole front page and overlap onto the second page. Like the image on the front cover it will be a close up taken from a high angle with part of the model's face covered by his cap. The model will be smoking so as to give an atmosphere of relaxation, so that it seems like a very personal and revealing interview. At the bottom end of the first page will be a quote from the interview that says something quite unexpected so that the reader is compelled to read the rest of the article to hear the interviewee expand on this. The model will be shown to look wealthy in the way that he dresses and his body language. The font for the headline will be serif to connote the artist's success, beneath this an introduction to the article, e.g. a summarry of The artist's career so far. Below this will be 3 columns of text which are the main text of the article, equal in size.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Summarry of research into existing magazines

My research has made me realise that American hip-hop magazines tend to focus more on the wealthy side of hip-hop and appeal to materialists, both in the style (fonts, layouts etc.) and in the content (lists of best new products; video games, gadgets, clothes). My magazine will be unique as I will take a different approach, seeing as my magazine is based mostly on "Grime" my magazine will have a more raw urban style and will seem like it is an "underground" magazine. The magazines I have studied have used slang language to appeal to their audience so I will do the same in my magazine however I will use more slang specific to grime music and british culture. I have learned that for my magazine to be engaging to my audience I will have to include articles on other things than music such as movies and clothing specific to my audience. I will also make my magazine cheaper about £2.50-£3.00 so it will be easier to afford to my audience who may have a low income or no income at all.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Audience Profile

My main target audience are 15-22 year old males. The genre of music in my magazine is Grime which as a lesser known genre that is mostly listened to by youth and young adults. They dress casually wearing Nike and Fred Perry clothing with jeans or tracksuit trousers and will have short hair. They will be quite concerned with keeping up with the latest fashions and keen to show of they're new Nike trainers. Most of them will be students at high school or college, if not they may be unemployed or be D or E on the Jicnar scale (lowest grade workers, semi/unskilled manual workers) as they will be very young and new to the world of work. The psychographics of my audience is Underacheivers and Radicals. They're social values are Materialists. They will enjoy mostly grime and american hip-hop however they will also enjoy R&B and some pop artists. They will spend a lot of spare time on facebook and playing video games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. They will enjoy mostly action movies and comedies such as The Bourne Identity and Pineapple Express, they will also enjoy urban movies such as Kidulthood and 8 Mile as they will feel that they can relate. They will like to socialise, go out on the weekend drinking and partying, putting fun before work. They will have an open mind to things such as drugs.

The video below displays the girtty, urban style of grime music. It glamourises crime and danger in a way similar to a thriller film.

Grime Moodboard

Monday, 4 January 2010

Institution/Publisher research

The publishers of a magazine are the people that make the magazine available to the public for example making sure that it is available to purchase at stores. They also control marketing and advertising of the magazine.The concentration of media ownership is very apparent in the magazine industry as many magazines are owned by the same publisher for example IPC Media own a vast range of magazines ranging from the "indie" rock magazine "NME" to women's magazine such as "Look" and men's magazines such as "Nuts". The fact that NME is owned by a massive coorperation shows that it probably does not have the integrity it claims to as it designed to appeal to a large audience and it's key function is to make money. The NME is the same formula used for every other music magazine, but disguised to seem original, independant and exciting. Organising the company in this way ensures that IPC Media has all areas of msinstream media covered. Independant publishers distribute there magazines on a much smaller scale but appeal to their non-mainstream audiences by selling their magazines in "cooler" places such as music shops, independant book shops etc.

The publisher of XXL Magazine is Harris Publications, a smaller publisher that publishes only a few other magazines that could appeal to the same target audience of young men, an automative mmagazine, basketball magazine etc. Harris Publications strategy is to appeal to a specific target audience and be the leader in that market.

I would have my magazine be published by an independant magazine publisher and sell it in shops such as HMV and Face the music so that the music fans will see it as something real and cool.