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Steve Dogble Music Magazine Evaluation

AS Media Studies
1. In what ways does your music magazine use, develop or
challenge forms and conventions of existing music
magazines?

As part of my AS I decided to create a Hip-Hop magazine. To do that I had


research other Hip-Hop magazines in order to make sure I captured all the
relevant conventions when trying to recreate my own magazine. When
researching magazines I found that the overall look looked subtle or had a
sort of urban look and feel to it. I tried to do a bit of both by using a
rugged/edgy background with red font mainly being used to pop out. I feel that
my background fits the persona of my artist and I feel through reading the
double page article you would also agree. I also noticed that Hip-Hop
magazines will usually have a close-up or mid-shot cover image of one artist,
in rare cases 2 maximum, with the anchorage text always relating to them.
With my magazine I took a mid-shot and of course had the anchorage text
relating to my artist. One other thing I noticed was facial expressions of the
artist. Its not often you see the artist smiling on the front cover, so I made
sure that my artist wasnt showing any expression but I didnt want to have the
artist showing a serious expression as I feel that it is slightly a stereotype of
rappers and that wouldnt make my magazine unique in comparison to other
Hip-Hop magazines.
My music magazine uses forms and conventions of an existing music
magazine through my use of a Title Block which is a design or logo which
represents the magazine. A benefit of this convention is that through having a
title block you distinguish yourself from other magazines and have a unique
representation of your magazine. In my magazine front cover I have chosen to
place the Title Block behind the central image in order to draw more attention
to my artist even though it might be more beneficial to promote the magazine.
By doing this I have tried to take a leaf out of other Hip-Hop magazines such
as Vibe and XXL so that it is more similar or alike to Hip-Hop magazine
although other genres may also use this convention.
My front cover also features puffs which provide the main areas to look out for
in the magazine. There are also promotional offers on the front cover which
adds to the appeal of the magazine to the audience because its gives you an
incentive to buy it. My anchorage text of course is the largest due to its
importance and the influence it has on a potential buyer or audience member.
With the contents page I noticed that most of Hip-Hop magazine use one
page for the contents page but due to peer feedback I received I felt it
necessary to challenge this convention and use a double page. This was
because I could express myself more and add more ideas to a bigger a
space. I also used it as using a double page prevented me from cramping
information and making it look to busy which I probably would of resulted to
doing if I had kept my single page layout for the contents. During my research
I only managed to find one example of a Hip-Hop magazine with a double
spread contents which was Source magazine so I used that as inspiration and
then added my own unique ideas to it. To make it more organised I thought it
be more useful to divide my contents into three sections across the two pages
along with an editors note to make it more professional and realistic. I also
added pictures that suit my magazine genre to give it a bit of liveliness as

Steve Dogble Music Magazine Evaluation


AS Media Studies
when making it I thought if I was looking at a contents page I would like to see
pictures associated with the contents.
With the double page feature article I did conform to the conventions of music
magazines as firstly I had a title for the article, a standfirst, included the use of
drop capitals, and also emphasised on quotes from the actual article. I wanted
to make sure that my article looked cool and appealing to my target audience
so I used large pictures of my artist as my background with writing on the left
hand side of them. I also used red font to indicate when questions were asked
in the interview and to also make them stand out. This colour is also used for
the quotes background to once again pop out and also to keep the consistent
colour of red going in my magazine.
2. How does your music magazine represent particular social
groups?

My main artist fits directly into a social group of black males ranging from 1324 from a lower or middle social class as the genre he performs (Hip-Hop) is
more relatable to people from those social classes because he addresses
issues or topic that would appeal to those people in his music. He also fits into
the secondary social group of black females ranging from 16-21 also from the
lower or middle social classes.
I have constructed their representation by for one the camera shot/angles I
have decided to use in the final pieces. Images of my main artist have mainly
been mid-shots and have showed him in different lights. It represents all types
or feelings of people from the social as I have used different expressions in
different areas of the magazine. For instance the front cover has a content
expression, the contents has a picture of the artist smiling, the first page of the
double page article has a sort of serious expression and the second page of
the double page article has a smile. When taking secondary images I always
had in mind how I could make it coincide with coming across as an image that
should be in a Hip-Hop magazine and also convey the meaning of the
magazine name Too Trill which basically means cool but in a very unique
way. For example there is a picture on the contents page in the left hand
corner which has been edited to enhance the effect it has on you as if it was
left untouched it probably wouldnt stand out as much it does and also the way
it has been edited makes it represent the social group more. In terms of
costumes I kept it very conservative as I did mention in my artist profile that
my artist likes simple clothes and colours. My main artist is wearing a hoodie
and a Nike cap on the front cover which is commonly worn by individuals from
the social group mentioned above so that was intentionally done to relate and
appeal to them. In the other pictures I feel as though I have represented my
social group through costumes because only urban clothing has been worn
and also the use of caps is evidently present which is an item of clothes worn
a lot by people from this social group even by females. Initially I took pictures
in a setting that probably wouldve represented my social group better
however it didnt fit my vision when trying to make the magazine. The setting
was in a council estate which was used again also to purposely show that my
artist is relatable to as people from this social group are known to live in
council flats and I have also mentioned in my artist profile my artist came from

Steve Dogble Music Magazine Evaluation


AS Media Studies
council estate. So this just exemplifies his background more through the use
of images. It was also used to give my artist a sort of edge as if he was
pictured somewhere else a bit more glamorous, it might not fit with being a
rapper. I used specific editing to alter the image used on my first page of the
article because it looked too plain and didnt represent my social group. I used
an app called Afterlight to edit the picture and then alter the size for my article
using Photoshop before putting it in Illustrator. I first turned the colour of the
image to black and white, then I increased the brightness and added
scratches. I think by doing this it shows the toughness of growing being a part
of that social group as if I had enhanced the picture using bright colours it
probably would give you the impression that there is a happy environment in
this social group.
3. Who would be the audience for your music magazine?

My audience for my magazine would be young males aged 13-24 in education


from the UK Tribes Category of Trackie as they would be around people like
them and can exchange opinions on music. These males would be music
fanatics and always up to date with latest music and news. This audience
commonly would be active users of social media to keep up with the latest
trends and communicate with a network of friends. My secondary audience
can also be females aged 16-21.
4. How did you attract/address your target audience?

I have attracted my target audience through the use of


promotion/advertisement of competitions. For instance I have stated on the
front cover that they could win free tickets to see Krept and Konan live in
concert. I chose them because they are a popular underground rap duo who
have risen from the social group the majority of my target audience is from.
I have also attracted my target audience through the use of giving away
freebies. In this case I have stated on my front cover that there is a free
download of artist Timmy Bs latest single available. A lot of people from target
audience appreciate free things and usually you get more people where
things are free or cheaper. Therefore I have used this as a tactic to attract my
target audience.
On my contents page I have attracted my target audience through the use of
images because they are all of people from my target audience so they will
identify my magazine as one they can relate to and enjoy. I have also
attracted my target audience through my editors note as that gives a general
overview of the magazine so from there they will know the magazine is
targeted at them. Lastly as I mentioned people from target audience would be
active social media users, I included the social media information for Too Trill
on the right hand side as well as the website on the left hand side.
On my double page article the stand first is direct which appeals to my target
audience as they wouldnt be interested if the stand first beat around the bush
as they could be doing something else.
5. What kind of media institution might distribute your music
magazine and why?

Steve Dogble Music Magazine Evaluation


AS Media Studies
If a media institution was to distribute my music magazine it would have to be
out of either Bauer or Development Hell. This is simply because both
institutions produce niche magazines and mine is evidently a niche magazine
as it only caters to the part of the market that like the Hip-Hop genre. Bauer
could distribute my music magazine as my magazine is target at males and
the majority of Bauers niche magazines are targeted at males. Development
Hell could also distribute it because they are currently publishing the markets
leading international dance music magazine which means they are already
established in the music magazine area. However in terms of distributing
online and via mobile phones Time Inc UK because they create content for
multiple platforms such as print, online, mobile and tablets.
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process
of constructing your music magazine? Comment on the
following with specific examples of tools used.

To create my music magazine I have used a variety of different technologies


in order to bring different aspects to the music magazine and give my
magazine a more professional look rather than it looking quite amateur. I used
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Pixlr and Afterlight. I also used
equipment in the form of a Nikon Camera DSLR to ensure my images were of
the highest quality possible. Photoshop was vital in the completion of my front
cover as a lot of the tools available there made it easy to make and bring my
vision to life. It allowed me to merge pictures such as importing a background
and then using the magic wand on another image to delete the background
and add it to the other background. Basic tools also came into context such as
the shape tool I used to create rectangles to use as backgrounds for the puffs
on my music magazine.
Whilst constructing my music magazine I was advised to use Adobe Illustrator
to create the contents page and double page and this was difficult to use at
first as this was my first encounter with the program. However after fiddling
around with the program I found it more and more easier. For example when
using the Text tool I was unaware but soon learnt that you could make
columns by adjusting the Area Type options. I also learnt how to make a drop
cap which involves typing a letter, enlarging it, placing a text wrap on it and
then positioning it where you want.
Pixlr was extremely vital in the creation as it had additional options for editing
that Photoshop did not provide. This was also my first time using Pixlr and I
found it has various filters and a lot of different fonts which was the main
reason I used it as the fonts on Photoshop didnt satisfy me. I used the font
Soft Sugar to create my title block and also for some of my puffs and
duplicated the layer on Photoshop to give the text a different colour
background.
I had prior experience when using Afterlight which is an iPhone photo editing
app which I used to edit the image used on the first page of the article using
filters and by adding a light touch of a light leak.

Steve Dogble Music Magazine Evaluation


AS Media Studies
7. What do you feel you have learnt in the progression from
creating the school magazine (preliminary task), to
creating your final music magazine?

From the preliminary task it is very evident that I have learnt a variety of skills
in order to improve the quality of my music magazine. Its obvious now that I
have learnt that the codes and conventions of a magazine as in the
preliminary task there is hardly any but now you see all codes and
conventions are present. I hardly used any structure and I wasnt mindful of
how it looked overall as for example in the preliminary task the barcode
blends in with the main image. However now I have added puffs to the
magazine to make it look more professional and have more of a magazine
layout. Along with puffs Ive added promotional offers as well. My contents
page is now more detailed and is spread across two pages to ensure more
information is given. In the preliminary task I have given limited information
and detail. My contents page is also busier than my Preliminary which has
shown my knowledge has grown as I now know I have to make the magazine
more appealing to my audience. Previously I only used one font colour and
three images and overall it looked very boring. Learning all these skills help
me to create a better music magazine and convey my ideas more effectively.