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Category: Component 1

A Front Cover Analysed

Joke’s on you, brands, I’ve become wise to your tricks.

For this music magazine cover I have set out to analyse in depth the audience and how the cover/content relates to said audience. What I inferred from this specific cover and what several studies have told me was the main audience was female millenials. From this I went to discuss what the Font, colour Pallette, Images shown and language used says in relation to this audience and how it’s particular use was relevant. I also went in further to analyse other interests that the audience may be interested in. I generally came up with very mainstream, celebrity, drama related content, using this knowledge it was clear the magazine had similar subject areas. This all blends together nicely and makes the magazine really appeal to the demographic.

This said, in my own magazine I should consider what demographic my magazine is going to be appealing to. Consider how relevant the content and front page are to them. After all, who’s going to be interested in a magazine that appeals to no one? Things like font should represent genre, the colour pallette to represent both artist and reader alike, images utilising mise-en-scene to convey a narrative, language that may appeal to my audience and make it more personal.

Audience Profiling

The industry knows you better than yourself.

Below shows the stats, studies and general information pertaining to the music magazine Billboard. This is the most relevant information when talking about their general consumer-base and what their magazine is based off of. Knowing their audience is essential to what their magazine contains and what’s shown on the cover, otherwise they would appeal to much fewer people and wouldn’t have a consistent consumer-base. For example, the average viewer is likely to be a male baby boomer. A reflection on this is the use of more male colours, generally blue, and the prominance of pop music in their articles. Boomers prefer more conventional media and the magazine represents that well.

When making my magazine I must consider my target audience and what aspects of the media I present they prefer, whether it be news based or music based. Whether the colour scheme be bright or generic black and white. What fonts are used to represent both music and audience.

 

Conventional design features of a magazine

You know their name, not their story. No like seriously the name’s a quarter of the page.

Hooray, more terminology to shove down your throat! This time we went straight to the source for inspiration, an actual music magazine. We were given the task of labeling the various aspects of said magazine. Here in this magazine we’re shown the very basic package; masterhead, plug, pug, issue/date/price, coverlines and captions. These aspects are the foundation of understanding what the magazine’s about, what the contents are. While we discussed the main cover photo describing what it’s about in detail, the most important aspect is the information physically presented. 

When coming to my own music magazine it’s essential to consider these aspects; following the norm is a good key to success, despite how boring that idea is.

 

 

So… How can an image communicate meaning?

Rhetorical question, I’ve learnt this already.

Much like how someone’s body language can tell you a lot about how they’re feeling, an image communicates that same feeling from a fixed and more specific perspective. Confused? Example: an image may be taken of someone with a relatively blank expression, generally someone would take that as someone being neutral. However, the image taken may be from a close and personal perspective, the person coming off as more serious and reserved. Or maybe a shot from far away showing the individual as lonely. Perhaps a more dynamic angle shows the person as preparing for something serious, like a fight. Needless to say there’s a lot that an image can do to represent one’s expression and add small details to tell a different story.

This is essential to understand when coming to make my music magazine, as well as what I’ve learnt from mise-en-scene. Things like what’s in a scene, costume, expression that also combo well with filter, angle, distance to tell my specific “story.” I say story but all I’m doing is shooting a music cover, no need to be over dramatic here. Regardless these aspects on top of everything else I have learnt will come and hopefully form the perfect music magazine.

 

Technical Camera Terms

Three weeks into media studies and I’m finally producing some decent media.

Working a camera is like raising a child, one wrong move and your shot at making something good is gone. Then your camera proceeds to rebel against the societal norm and angrily smoke saying “You’re not my real dad”

I digress, it’s hard, there’s much to consider when making a shot. Framing , aperture, the ISO, shutter speed to control many factors such as lighting, angle, what the shot represents and other vague aspects that a shot may entail. These aspects are highly important because it changes the message of the scene dependent on these aspects. For instance, Levi putting his thumb up at the camera can be portrayed as a nice gesture, but given darker lighting and a close-up view it could seem more sinister, make the viewer ask questions like “what are his intentions?” as he is the main focus. That said, it’s really important consider these main aspects when making my music magazine, I want people to understand I cover music and in a specific genre I want something lighthearted, maybe a mid-shot of someone happily grooving out for hip-hop or a serious close-up if I want to do a more “hardcore” genre.

My image that uses mise-en-scene to communicate meaning.

I mean it’s not my image, but sure, I guess.

Below I have collaborated with two of my other classmates to represent the mise-en-scene of a rapper. First we created a mood board to fully grasp that which what a rapper is, the “essence” of a rapper in a sense. We took some concepts to fully understand how a rapper acts and should look (with the limited resources we have) and threw our good friend Zoe into the wilderness and uncomfortably pose for our benefit.

The photos below are meant to capture an air of rebellion, of wealth and of independence. We posed Zoe to look towards the camera in most shots and to have an air of dominance because rappers are not depicted as weak, they’re above society, they don’t follow the rules. We also opted to have Zoe wear Jewelry to show that she’s wealthy and gives a better establishment of power and dominance. Finally, Zoe is wearing casual clothing because it show’s that she’s different and doesn’t like following the norm. I believe this manages to capture what we encapsulated on the mood board perfectly and the common conventions relating to rap.

In the last image of this post our class chose some words to collectively describe what Zoe the Rapper™ represented. Ultimately we received four different words: Confident, Rebellious, Expensive and uninterested. Having said that, it shows we managed to perfectly represent what we set out to make.

In terms of my music magazine, it’ll be important to look at what aspects work for my genre, look for community feedback and survey information relating to it. From there I can determine the optimal mise-en-scene for my magazine.

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Print Media That Communicated Meaning

Symbolism is important.

Below shows an annotated copy of a poster advertising a live Muse concert. I have attempted to clearly outline how each bit of text and image convey meaning and draw the reader’s attention. Every bit of space conveys meaning, nothing is wasted and understanding this is essential to when I make my music magazine. Fonts, font size, positioning, what information goes where, what images are used, what aesthetic I want to use, it should all be relevant and have purpose.

To expand on this, all information should fall under a concept called “MES” which encapsulates colours, fonts, images, gesture, body language and lighting in an article and what relevance they have to said article. This is crucial to get across to my audience, what it’s about, what will draw them in, what’s topical, new or relevant to the article. All of these aspects should be considered when choosing what I add to my magazine and is crucial to making it convey a certain narrative in that it should be recognisable in what it is.

So… Hello Media Studies

Hi, I’m Patty ( You would know me as Alex) and I’m bad at media. Hopefully over this course, I will change that and become a media god; Learn to appeal to audiences and understand the media-scape as a whole to use to my advantage in my future careers. My current experience with media mostly delves into corporate media and in depth into fair-use/copyright protection having done computer science for GCSE. I hope that media studies will help me learn the intricacies and aesthetics to various medias, how companies run/maintain their medias and how to appeal to audiences in various ways.

That said, I’ll see you in two years from when I’m writing this. Have fun thinking about that 🙂

The Media Ecology. Map of concepts and mediascape.

Turns out, media affects people, huh.

Ecology is the study of how organisms impact and live with each other in their day to day life. Given that description it’s easy to discern that media ecology is how media effects our society as a whole in our day to day lives. The images shown below show both examples of ecology, a mind map of how institutions affect various aspects of the media landscape and a Lego construction showing how human roles affect each other in their lives .

To begin, the Lego construction shows a surgery taking place, the consumer (or patient in this instance) relies on the doctor to keep them alive, the doctor relies on the consumers money, to buy more product from the man on the red board, so he can serve more patients. This supplier relies on the doctor’s patronage to survive and feed his family, and fund his own life insurance in case of a fatal injury, to which it comes back to the doctor to save him. As convoluted as it is, this is the cycle of ecology and the symbiotic relationship between consumers and prosumers. Understanding this is essential to creating my magazine, as I rely on consumers to buy my magazine, at which point I make more and the consumers buy more as they like my magazine series.

 

A mind map to showcase how institutions affect different aspects of the mediascape
A Lego set to represent how a surgery requires different aspects to function.

 

So…I’m a media prosumer

Suffice to say, I have sinned. 

This mess of a board is meant to showcase the various medias that I, and many others may consume on a day to day basis, trying to clearly outline what these medias may fall into and in relation to how the audience may consume them.

To expand on this: it attempts to outline medias that may be used as these key concepts; Entertainment, social interactions, information/education and personal identity. Two individuals, Blumler and Katz, created a theory that outlined these as the main uses and gratifications of media as a whole. These aspects are highly important if I’m to produce my own music magazine, as is this study’s purpose, as appealing to these various gratifications and uses will be able to better spread the magazine to a wider audience and make it more engaging.

 

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