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

Through the research of other music magazines such as Kerrang and NME I have found media conventions and incorporated them into my own piece, for example, the design of only three or four colours. I used red, black and white to keep the magazine simple and so it does not overwhelm the reader. The use of large images to attract the reader’s attention is also commonly seen in magazines so I used this; hence the main image on the front cover and the image in my article. In my opinion the contents page should be informative and is used to give the reader clear precise information. I took this into consideration and made the ‘regulars’ and ‘features’ section stand out by highlighting that area. I kept a continuous house style by keeping the same font throughout and the previously mentioned colour scheme which is another media convention. A less widely used convention is the use of incentives so I included the ‘Prize give away’ section and made it a key feature on my front cover in the form of a masthead running across the top of the page which used capital letters, an exclamation mark and contrasting colours, white on red, to stand out and attract the readers immediate attention. The barcode, date and price need to be on the cover but I have situated it in the top right hand corner of the magazine so it does not detract the attention of the audience. I tended to follow media conventions so did not challenge any in a sense other than to use fewer images on my contents page than a regular music magazine such as this issue of Kerrang but instead I used more information. Also for my contents page I related information back to the front cover otherwise the text on the front cover would be useless. The continuity of the font style ‘Poplar STD’ and the three colours red, black and white, all keep a flowing house style and allows the magazine to link together and gives a sense of unison. It also allows the reader to easily recognise the magazine for future purchases.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

My magazine is aimed at ‘working class’ and tends toward the more late teenagers, mid twenties range, hence the use of my model. He is used to represent the target audience and represents the audience positively. The magazine is designed to be lenient in the sense that it isn’t a necessity to fit into the age category. The main target audience was anybody who has an interest in Indie music but primarily this includes people between the age 15-25. People with a disposable income are more likely to buy the magazine because they do not have to worry about cost issues. The use of red is to stand out from the black and white but it has connotations of love and romance, which is generally what Indie music, is defined by.

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

The Bauer Media Group, recently buying out eMap and gaining central control of several key music magazines such as Kerrang and Q, have published over 230 magazines and is the largest, privately owned publishing group in Europe so I believe Bauer Media will be more than adequate in producing and selling my magazine because of the vast amount of experience they have already gained. My music is aimed at a niche audience of Indie music fans and this will widen their readership.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

My target audience would be people who were interested in Indie music tending to be 15-25 year old men, however the magazine is designed for a unisex audience. People of this age tend to have more of an interest in Indie music and are able to spend their disposable income on going to concerts and monthly magazines but also have more free time rather than a middle aged person who has children and a permanent job for example.

How did you attract/address your audience?

The first thing the audience sees when viewing a magazine is the front cover. Due to this I used a large image to instantly grab the reader’s attention and draw them in. The image of a model similar to the audience’s age and the similar way they dress helps the audience to relate to the magazine and increases the chances of buying the magazine. This is exploiting Blumler and Katz theory of uses and gratifications because my audience will identify with the lifestyle my magazine promotes. The title is also used to grab the reader’s attention and “Vista” has connotations of a sunny, bright having positive connotations. The price is ideal because it is enough to compete with other magazines but cheap enough to attract the audience. Once the viewer has looked at the cover the next thing they will see is the masthead across the top of the page which gives the readers a chance to win prizes. The chances are that if the reader has picked up my magazine then they are fond of that style of music (Indie) and have prior knowledge to Vista Music. If this is the case then they will be attracted to the magazine and read on to find out more. The bright reds and bold font styles also attract the reader’s attention and so it is used throughout my magazine to keep the reader entertained and wanting to read on. Once they reach the contents page they will find what they are looking for off the front cover then the bright red will be used once again to attract the reader to something else which they may find interesting. Once my piece was finished I showed it to a group from my intended target audience and asked their opinion. Everybody agreed that with a disposable income they would all buy it. Jay Bradford said ‘It would easily catch my eye on the shelf amongst other magazines.’ ‘I love how it focuses on one genre of music. There aren’t that many specialist magazines on just Indie.’ claimed Rachel Smith.

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

Many practical skills, including skills used in Photoshop, have greatly improved. With little prior knowledge of Photoshop I was self taught and basically overcome the lack of knowledge by experimenting for example, how to successfully crop an image to remove the background and how to create effects on text. Now I believe I can successfully manipulate images, create effective text effects and produce a standard of work which is of high quality. Looking back at my preliminary work I am honestly disappointed with the work produced. Because I have developed much greater skills and knowledge during the course it makes my preliminary work look dismal.

As well as practical skills I have also learned the conventions used in magazines i.e. the use of only 3 or 4 colours to provide clarity. I have also developed knowledge of the way which music magazines are produced and use techniques to attract the reader’s attention i.e. the use large images and bright, contrasting colours. From my research I have learnt the convention of genuine magazines that compete in the marketplace and my final product reflects this far more than my preliminary task.


I will use these results (the choice highlighted with an orange dot is the most popular) and take them into consideration when planning and creating my magazine. I will create an Indie style music magazine which is produced monthly at a cost of £3.00. It will contain interviews, articles, reviews, guides and competitions as these are most popular. My magazine will also rival Kerrang! as it is most popular.

Plan - Article

Plan - Contents Page

Plan - Cover

Double page spread article analysis

As a media convention throughout magazines, large images are used to attract the readers attention. In a double page spread article this is also used. Both articles have clear images of the relevant person which are not obstructed by text. This gives the reader a quick understanding on what and who the article is about. The next thing the reader should be attracted to is the title. In both cases the title is clear and stands out. This is important as to give the reader more information about the story. It acts as an enticement for the reader to read on.

The text is clearly set out into columns and is a media convention and is seen to break up the text so the audience does not find reading it monotonous or tedious. In the second of the articles the text is split up from the background image with a block of colour which links in with the story and image. This is used so the reader can read the text more easily.

I will be persevering to use these features in my article including the simple, broken up layout of text and the use of a large image.

Contents page analysis

The style of this contents page varies from the other, more conventional contents pages. The large, main (and only) image is and set aside from the text which gives a clear appearance. This is also reinforced by the space in between text. The image is in black and white which has connotations of high class which follows from the use of gold in the title, gold obviously showing wealth and "luxury". In a conventional contents page there would be a lot more images than just one however only one has been used to create a sense of clarity.

The colour's are continuous using just gold, red, black and white. This means that it is not overwhelming for the reader and the use of the main title, in gold which is only used once, means it stands out greatly contrasting with the white background.

As with the Kerrang! capital letters are used to attract the audiences attention even more. The audience is a specific target audience mainly focusing on young females who have interests in fashion. The word 'Department' is used to categorise information instead of the word 'Contents'. 'Department' has connotations of a clothing/fashion shop which suggests that the magazine is about fashion. This is reinforced by the 'classy' look of the main image and the use of a female model attracts the female audience. The use of 'Premiere Issue' continues the extravagance of the piece and is instead of using, Issue no.1 for example. The word 'Premiere' has connotations of an advanced screening of a film in which celebrities are invited to and there is mass media attention so 'Premiere' is used in this context as to make the reader feel they are reading something which has links with celebrities.

Contents page analysis

As contents pages are brief introductions to what is in the magazine the intention is to grab the readers attention and give them an insight in what the magazine contains. This is done successfully by the use of large images and bright colours i.e the yellow in "contents". The large image must also be of somebody who the reader can relate to, normally the most famous or key person in the magazine.

The colour scheme runs continuous throughout the page using black as a background then a bright yellow fr contrast to stand out. The font style is kept the same and should run throughout the magazine. The use of capitals has connotations of shouting so they are used as another way of getting the readers attention.

The Editors note in the top left hand corner is a magazine convention and is no exception here. It is used to give a bias opinion from the editor on what he thinks of the issue and gives a brief description of whats in it. However, this is small and placed in an area which is least likely to be viewed so the use of the image once again gets the readers attention.


Front cover analysis

The colour scheme used is continuous on the front cover, the orange, black, red and white are all bright colours which attract the reader. The font style is also kept the same on the magazine to make the magazine look tidy and spaced out.

The main image of "The Killers" is used to attract readers who are generally interested in that type of music. The way the lead singers head covers a bit of the title is a magazine convention, along with the the image being placed in the centre.

The repetition of the "free gift" is used to attract the reader to buying this magazine over the competitors. The CD covers most of the main image to attract the reader even more.

The bar code is situated in the bottom corner so it does not detract the readers attention from the main articles and image.


Front cover analysis

The colour scheme used is continuous throughout the cover and the use of the colours: yellow, pink and white are used to attract attention. The font style is also kept the same and bold capital letters are used in conjunction with the bright colours to attract attention.

The images on the left hand side are all aligned and are used to give the reader an insight of what they are buying. The main image covers most of the title block which is a convention used in many magazines and is obviously a well known person to advertise the magazine.

The bar code and price are situated in the corner so they are out of the way but are still visible and is needed to be visible but does not detract attention from the main image.


My magazine contents page.

My Magazine cover for my preliminary work.