By Jenny Hayes

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
A selling line was included, and because one of my main influences for this magazine was Kerrang! I used the same layout technique of layering it above the main-heading. I did a lot of research when it came to Japan and a common feature that they have is the image of a cartoon red sun emanating rays from the centre. Using Photoshop, and using the shape control, I managed to create my own background and used it to incorporate it with the Japanese style and conform to the J-Pop genre of this magazine very well.
For the feature article photo and secondary lead, I used the effect of outer shadow to make it stand out and look more ‘real’ on the page as if they were alive on the cover. I chose the effect personally, because I believed if I hadn’t incorporated these effects then the magazine cover would look more flat and bland. The cut out of her fingers and placing them above the text also makes the image look more lifelike, as if they are alive on the cover.

To also incorporate to the conventions of a magazine, I added a barcode, price and website to add extra information to the audience when purchasing the magazine. It is in a small white font, tucked neatly away in the corner so it doesn’t distract from the rest of the cover.

The masthead of the magazine had a font from dafont.com to make it stand out than the rest of the magazine with its distinctive style. Because my magazine is a J-Pop magazine, I wanted to make a cultural stamp of Japan with the use of the font. The colour of the text it white to match with the house style of the magazine, but so that it went with the red effect of the Outer Glow as well.

My main image is the most dominant part of the page, taking up most of the space on the page to create the readers eye. The person in the picture is posing without a smile, but yet is still expressing the “peace” sign, so it highlights how she is effortless in portraying her image, yet highlighting a friendly side to her. The rule of thirds in the photography in the feature article photo is very suitable for the use of the cover. The cover star is the centre of attention of the main headline, therefore her face is in the right in the middle, therefore it plays with being the ‘centre of attention’. Also, for the feature article photo, I also used a white ‘Stroke’ effect on Photoshop, so the image would look as much as it is real with the outer shadow effect, a little “cartoony” to incorporate it well with the animation trend that Japan is known for with its cartoons (anime). The colour use of turquoise for the main headline is very suitable, because it opposes the main colour use of red very well and it doesn’t clash to make it messy. It stands out very well, and I used the effects of stroke and outer glow also made the impact of making it stand out, as if it were in bright lights in a large city. Due to one of my main influences for this magazine cover being the rock magazine Kerrang! I also used a menu strip (horizontally) at the bottom of the page to conform to the rock style of magazine covers well. I used a colour scheme of white and black to make it stand out less than the rest of the main features of the cover. I also added a large dark- blue “PLUS!” to add to its appeal. For the anchorage I used a stroke effect on the text to make it stand out because it has equal importance as the headline, however, I didn’t want to distract from the headline, therefore I didn’t add Outer Glow to increase its importance.

I used a black banner at the side of the cover to make it more organised, but still make the kickers and cover lines stand out so they were hidden away from the array of colour that the background has. The cover lines and kickers are in a column on the right-hand side of the cover, to conform well to the conventions of a magazine. The kickers are in a bolder white text that is much more youthful to attract the eyes of its teenage target audience. The in a much more plainer and smaller text, the kickers appear, with added information if the readers want to read it instead of just the band names. Due to the secondary lead incorporating the prop of glasses to create the typical immature, geeky trend that pop/punk acts have, a pun ‘look’ (people use glasses to look at things) is used along with that in the anchorage to create a sense of humour with the target audience because that is what they are accustomed to in the genre of pop/punk music.

In the top right corner of the magazine cover, I have used a mascot because it heavily used in the Japanese media, to create a character, or to create moral to a target audience. So, I have used this mascot of a bear that reappears throughout the magazine in different colours to represent the magazine.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
I used a band index for the contents page because Kerrang! also does this, so it conforms to the right music genre of the magazine very well. The text of the bands is much more simple and also with the use of the colour white so it doesn’t stand out too much, but the readers still get a little bit of extra information if they want to read it. The title of the band index doesn’t use the outer glow effect so it doesn’t stand out too much. Just like the magazine cover, I used a black banner at the side of the page to organise it well, and separate different information appropriately. Once again I have used the background of the ‘Japanese-sun’ to conform to the Japanese style of the magazine well, but it also separates the main part of the contents away from everything else, so it upholds the most importance. Its also in the centre of the page to highlight being the ‘centre of attention.’ The ‘Contents’ heading is used to conform well to the style of a typical contents page and notifies the reader what they are looking at on this page. For the background of the contents page, I used black and white stripes to make the page much more busy and exciting to the readers eye, but at the same time it is still within a sophisticated style so it doesn’t distract the readers from the main parts that the readers are meant to see. I used the text in the middle column of the Japanesesun to notify the readers what the most important part of the magazine is. I used the headline ‘Mitsuki Tragedy Issue’ to run along the idol trend in the Japanese music industry. It makes the artist very important that they have a whole magazine dedicated to them, or that they are a main feature of it. The colour theme and house style of the magazine continues on the contents with the same use of the colours red, white, turquoise and black and also with the fonts.

The logo of the magazine is used for the contents because it conforms well to the conventions of a magazine contents page, where the magazine logo is printed in big text across the top of the page. In Japan a common trend within their media is to use mascots that represent something or to create a moral for their target audience. The use of a red-bear mascot conveys the Japanese style very well, and it makes appearance throughout the magazine, in different colours, to go with the pages well but to also notify the readers that this represents the magazine. The conventions of the typical magazine contents page are incorporated with the use of an editorial to create a connection through the editor and the readers of the magazine with a letter that involves slang to make a connection with the target audience of teenagers. The main headings on the contents have the Photoshop effect of Outer Glow to make them eyecatching (same technique used on the cover). This separates the contents into sections, creating an organised look to it. Then with each section it goes in a pattern of font colours of blue and red to also distinguish their separations. Just like the kickers and cover lines on the magazine cover, I used the same types of font for the miniheadlines for the article in each section on the contents. It incorporates itself well with the cover, a pattern of colour of red and turquoise is used once again to separate them all appropriately. Columns are also used to make the page more organised. The photography on the contents page, I believe fits in the genre of pop/punk music very well. From research I have done for the pop/punk genre, it is a common feature for comical poses to be executed. The main image on the page does this very well, but still upholds the girly-style that Japan is known for with its female artists.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
Black and white stripes, like the contents page, have been used to create an individual background, but at the same time it is still very organised. The use of the black and white colours also makes it blend into the background very well so it doesn’t stand out more than the heavy use of blue used. To conform well to the pop/punk music genre magazine, I have used three main colours in this double page spread, to make it colourful, yet not make it too colourful and messy. Black and white are very plain, but I added the blue shades to make an impact. I have used special effects on the feature shor to enhance the creative symbolisms and connotations within the image, but I then added a blue outline and a stroke effect to make the picture lifelike but also like its an animation (anime). The double page also conforms to the conventions of a double page spread well by the use of columns to separate the article out in an organised fashion. It is also at a suitable text size to make it readable.

For the section header I used the quote ‘I’m doing this’ to create a determination and strength in the page. It is in a bigger and bolder font to increase it’s importance.

The sub-section header has ‘Mitsuki Tragedy’ separated into blue text to make it stand out and create importance of the artist. A black outline has also been added to make jump out on the page. Bold writing and normal writing have been used to separate the text from the introductory text to the questions and answers. It has also been put into columns to make it organised and conform well to columns used in many double page spreads. Again, the mascot appears to represent the magazine, but it is used in the colour blue to conform to the colour scheme of the pages. The character it takes up on this page is the character of the reviewer. The mascot is then used in the top right-hand corner as decoration for the section header.

At the top of the page . I have used Japanese text to make it much more oriental to the Japanese culture, because even though the magazine is aimed at the UK with the Japanese culture, the use of the Japanese text will make it much more relevant to the Japanese aspect of the magazine. I have added a stroke effect so it stands out.

A pull quote has been used to highlight the more appealing material of the interview, so the reader will be interested in reading it,

I also added a CD review to help promote the star further and make her sound more appealing to the audience, because they trust the material of the magazine.

Rule of Thirds
Rules of thirds are used in magazine to organise the pages but to also make different things eye-catching compared to others. Usually the middle third is the most important, displaying the face of their cover star or whoever else is on the cover to make them the centre of attention. The top thirds then display the main heading at the top of the page (on covers) to make it stand out when people read from top to bottom. Other thirds are then used to organise other aspects of the cover such as cover lines and kickers. For my cover how rules of thirds were used: •The top line of thirds are used appropriately to display the title of the magazine and it fills it up appropriately so it isn’t too big for the whole cover, but it is at an appropriate size to still be eye-catching. •The middle third is used with a different target in mind. Where many American magazines such as Kerrang use the middle third to display the face of their cover star, mine focuses on the artists hair. In Japan, the look of the female artists is very important and they always have to uphold a flawless beauty that makes their target audience envious of them. So, I used the middle third to display my artists hair to highlight how healthy-looking it is and makes the target audience (preferably the girls) want to have hair like that. •The left column of thirds helps the organisation of the cover very well because all of the kickers and cover lines fit into it appropriately so it makes the page looked organised. •The most important kicker and cover line on the cover is placed into the bottom row of thirds appropriately so it make a large impact with the target audience, but it doesn’t take away all of the attention that the photography has. The main kicker also starts to sneak its way into the middle thirds, so it is partly the centre of attention, but not too much to take away the appeal of the feature article photo. •The bottom right third is used to place the barcode and date so it’s placed generically and connotes well with the traditional layout of a magazine. •The bottom left of the page also creates attention to the secondary lead, so it has it’s own importance with the feature article photo well. It also helps to tuck the PLUS! into a corner so it creates a little more excitement for the issue.

Influences for my magazine cover

Usually Kerrang use the tagline Life is Loud to promote their magazine, so I used the same technique with “The Ultimate JPop Magazine!”

Secondary leads both conform to the pop/punk culture with the hinted smile, to create a inside humour.

Hand gestures are used to conform to the Japanese genre by creating a friendly attitude with it.

ALSO:

•Banners are used like Kerrang to display other features in the magazine, but have no importance compared to the main article. •The colour scheme of the magazine uses four colours, for Kerrang (red, yellow, white and black), Japanese Nylon has three (orange, black, white and pale orange), but my magazine cover uses four colours like Kerrang (red, black, white and blue). •The feature ariticle photos both use hand gestures and pout, with their faces posed in one angle, so they both want to have the same appeal to their target audiences.

The main cover line and kickers are placed in round about the same spots on the covers, so it creates its importance, but it doesn’t take the spotlight away from the feature article photo.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?
PHOTOGRAPHY For the most part I believe that the front cover is the main weapon when it comes to representing social groups, especially through the photography and what they portray. •FEATURE ARTICLE PHOTO – Due to the Japanese culture being a big fan of girly fashion, I used a bow hair band to annotate that very well. I also used a female cover star to represent the girly part of Japanese culture as well. Also, what a lot of people from Japan do is use the peace sign, which they think of as a friendly gesture, therefore the person in the photo poses with this to notify the readers that she is a nice person, and it also creates a friendly attitude from the magazine. •SECONDARY LEAD PHOTO – In the pop/punk music genre a lot of photography incorporates a lot of humour and the latest trend to come out of the pop/punk genre is the use of “geek” glasses. For example (left) Christofer Drew (Never Shout Never) who is also known very well in the pop/punk genre. I also believe that the glasses assisted very well with the text of the cover, creating a pun with the word “look” into “A look into the newest J-Pop star on the scene!” It also adds humour, which is a heavy feature in the pop/punk genre. Adding to that, the pouting puts in a sarcasm, probably making fun of more serious artists who pose a lot to create an impact in their music such as Lady Gaga. It creates a laidback attitude, so the target audience doesn’t have to take the magazine too seriously. TEXT •The main heading is in a Japanese style font to make an impact with the Japanese style of the magazine, and the red outline also creates a Japanese appeal, what with the colour red being a main colour representation in Asian culture. However, the use of the colour red also reaches out to a male audience, due to it looking quite masculine in contrast to the feminine images. •The colours used in the text such as blue and white appeals to the masculine audience that may read this, if they can look past the feminine character at the front. However, the fonts of the text are also very feminine, so as much as it reaches out to a male audience it majorly reaches out to a female audience in contrast.

Genre having an impact on social groups and the target audience
My music magazine has a worldwide impact upon social groups due to it’s hybrid of genres. From the Eastern side of the world there is J-Pop and from the Western side of the world there is Pop/Punk, and when these are merged together they can have an appeal to the entire world and very different social groups. With that the music magazine will have a massive impact on teenagers, not just with the genre but how the magazine can be displayed to social groups within it’s target audience. Different ways it can have an impact on social groups and the target audience: My target audience are teenagers:  Teenagers are the newest audience for many media products, with print based media being one part of it. With magazines and newspapers creating different messages within them, social groups are then created. For example with the large popularity of the mainstream music, NME are one of the many magazines that can reach out to them with a vast variety of music genres displayed within the issues. On the other hand, there is an underground social group of teenagers who all reach out for genres of music that isn’t mainstream, and that’s why Kerrang magazine is such a popular product. It isolates itself to one genre (rock music) to reach out to a specific social group of teenagers who are not being catered for in print based media. However, with my magazine, I want to reach out to isolated teenage social groups, but at the same time have a worldwide appeal to the target audience. The use of J-Pop unites with the underground culture of Pop/Punk music, creating an usual hybrid of genres to create a new appeal to my music magazine. With it’s individual approach to these very unique music genres, it can stand out in the market.  Due to the economic climate, it is getting more and more expensive for print based media to reach out to it’s target audience, and with teenagers being the centre of their target audiences, advanced technology is now being used to display magazines that is free to get a hold of but heavy advertisements are included in the magazines to make money from them. My magazine has a worldwide appeal and with the internet being a place for international connection sand new electronic media, it is the perfect place to have my music magazine. With popular companies like Dennis Publishing which is the prim arch of this new evolution, I can release my magazine as an electronic music magazine, so it is easily accessible, and updates can be released the moment they are new a fresh and can be released on new gadgets such as the iPhone and iPad. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-pop (K-Pop and J-Pop are near enough the same genre of music but originating from different parts of Asia). “Through the presence of Facebook fan pages, availability on iTunes, Twitter profiles, and music videos on YouTube, the ability of K-pop to reach a previously inaccessible audience via the Internet is driving a paradigm shift in the exposure and popularity of the genre.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Due to my magazine being a hybrid of different cultures, of course the magazine would be distributed worldwide. It would be difficult for many publishing companies to promote magazines in different countries. However, one way to do that is through the internet, due to it being the only media machine that unites the world and lets everyone see and look for what they want to. With an internet advertising, the magazine would be promoted very well. Dennis Publishing is well known for publishing on the internet so I believe it would do a good job in distributing the magazine to its Japanese and UK readers or any other countries who want to read the magazine. Dennis Publishing was founded in 1974, and is one of the world’s leading independent publishing companies. The group also consists of many smaller companies that operate in the US, UK, Australia and India. Even through the recession of 2009, it has not managed to sway their profits and they have still maintained the profit they earn every year, exceeding £85 million a year (excluding their subsidiary companies). They have also published over 50 magazines, digital magazines, Magbooks, websites, apps and mobile sites in the UK. They als publish The Week in the US and Australia. With their vast variety of promotions, especially through the use of the internet and apps, with Dennis Publish, my magazine could reach out internationally. Also, with this generation of young people being consumed by new technologies such as iPods and Blackberry’s, their route to the internet is so much easier to overtake, therefore it would be very easy to promote the magazine and reach out to such a large teenage audience.

Who would be the audience for your media product?
As part of the research for my magazine, I had to take a questionnaire to see what the majority of teenagers were like. Music magazines are all aimed towards teenagers due to them being the heaviest influence to the media. Therefore I asked question to teenagers and these are the results I received:
             

Mainly female All into rock music The all shop in the high street in Middlesbrough They all buy from different brands They plan to go to university They all look up to music artists as their main role models Mostly environmentally friendly Mostly have jobs They all take a wide variety of subjects Most take enrichment They don’t put themselves into a social group but a fair few did say ‘emo’. They all want to have jobs they aspire for They all use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook To define my audiences we created a questionnaire to define what my target audience will be for my future music magazine. Due to my gender being female, it was quite obvious that I eventually asked mainly girls to fill in my questionnaires due to them being an easier group of people to ask. This could make my magazine biased, due to it leaning towards a more female audience. From the questionnaire in general, I discovered that a large group of people I asked fit into the social group of “emo”. My audience also seems to be very social, due to them using the internet for mainly social networking sites, such as Facebook and MSN. From the results, I did incorporate some of the results to my own magazine audience. My magazine would reach out a worldwide audience of teenagers who have a heavy interest in the J-Pop or pop/punk music genres. Social networking is a heavy use in their day to day to life so it would be easy to reach out to them through internet promotions. Due to most of them having a music artist as a role model to them, and due to my magazine wanting to create a positive image to the audience, it would be easy to reach out to teenagers and create a positive image for them with influential music artists. Teenagers can sometimes be immature at times, so I believed that the comical aspects of my magazine would be able to reach out to them quite easily – with puns in the text and facial expressions in the photography etc.

How did you attract/address your audience?
The use of colour on the magazine cover attracted the target audience of teenagers very well and it attracts an audience that includes different genders and doesn’t isolate itself too much. Different cultures are also part of the target audience so the different uses of text really highlighted the differences well. With the use of photography I also made it relevant to the lifestyle of my target audience, so they could feel a connection to what the magazine was displaying. Japanese lifestyle is all about being happy all of the time and expressing your self with an individual style (hence the creation of Harajuku fashion). The use of bright colours and photography in my magazine conformed to that well in my opinion. The language that is used in the magazine is simple and not too busy, so the readers don’t have to look at the text all of the time. I incorporated this technique for the text due to the Japanese being big fans of anime where images are more relevant and eye-catching rather than the text. I also reached out to the pop/punk part of my audience, by using layout techniques that Kerrang have such as the tagline above the main heading and comical photography to reach out to a target audience with an immature attitude.

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

For the music magazine, it was the first big assignment I have had to do using the program. At first I found the program a little hard to tackle and understand, however, once I’d completed my magazine, I learned to use many features in the program that I guarantee I will use again. For many of the images and text I used blending techniques such as stroke and outer shadow and outer glow to emphasise different texts and images, and make them less “flat” on the page so it looked bland. Online media has definitely helped me with research for my magazine, such as images and videos I have wanted to see to identify different aspects of the music genres I wanted to highlight with my magazine. The Internet was the main component in my research due to my music genre set in Japan, and the Japanese music scene isn’t very well known and as the internet is an easy source to get all of my research it was very useful to use the internet. Due to my target audience of being from different cultures, the internet would be the easiest thing to use along with social networking sites to unite them through promotions and advertising.

Looking back at your preliminary task (the College magazine), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?
I have learned so much more about the genres of music that I pressed on in my music magazine. Of course, pop/punk and J-Pop are music genres that I listen to on a daily basis but with the research of it for my magazine, I learned so much more, about how they lived their lives, what their fashion symbolised and created and what their lyrics and attitudes meant for their target audiences. I also learned that they all have their similarities but also their differences.

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