My Magazine Front Page Swede

For this task, I was allocated a specific edition of the iconic music magazine, NME (New Musical Express). The aim is to recreate the layout and to recap on the main conventional design features of a magazine cover. Using Indesign – recreate/copy the cover you have been allocated, we used the program Indesign to edit these magazines and get the most accurate magazine cover in comparison to the original. This task was set to have some fun with Indesign and experiment with the different features for future use. The idea was to find the right fonts, play with the sizing, learning try our best to lay out the cover with a conventional layout. I decided to choose this magazine from NME magazine because it is quite simple and easy for me to achieve an accurate copy as well as allowing me to use the different tools and techniques.

 

For this task, I had to recreate one of the magazine covers that were given to us as a class. I chose this magazine from NME magazine because it is quite simple and easy for me to achieve an accurate copy. From creating this magazine, I discovered my strengths using Indesign were:

  • Finding fonts that were similar to the ones used on the real magazine, as well as using various tools, such as making the letters taller and wider, to achieve the most accurate representation as possible.
  • Positioning the texts in the right places as I think it looks accurate in comparison to the professional magazine
  • Sizing of the letters and using the tools to achieve the most similar size/height

Some of my common weaknesses were:

  • The image I used, as it was more zoomed in than the original image which also made it seem blurry and not high quality. This made it harder to position the text and find the right sizes but I tried my best to make it precise. Although I did not need to find the exact photo – any one with a similar grouping of performers I still would of preferred the exact picture so it would of looked more accurate.

This task has been useful because I have learnt how to use many of the basic features of Indesign and know my way around the program a lot more. I have found the skills I need to work on and I know my strengths. From experimenting on this program it will help me when making my own music magazine in the future.

Here are some videos that will help me when making my own music magazine in further lessons:

A Front Cover Analysed

This task was to complete a thorough textual analysis of a music magazine that we researched as class. Our aim was to analyse the target audience and see how the different features link to what audience the magazine is aimed at.


For the magazine I chose, the target audience was aimed at millennials from both genders. As I looked further into detail, I discovered that typically people who enjoy rock would read this magazine as the band member from the band “The 1975” is featured as the main star on the cover.

From completing this task, it has helped me understand how each component and feature on the cover of any magazine cover contributes to how it appeals to the audience it is targeted at. This has also been helpful for when I’m making my own music magazine. This is because I will think about how every aspect links to the target audience and do so successfully.

Audience Profiling

As a task, we were allocated a music magazine cover from the slide show given to us and had the challenge of researching our cover and looking into the intended target audience. We looked into this because it is always essential when creating any media product that you have a clear idea of who your audience are and what they expect to read, listen, watch in your product. Media marketing experts will always carry out audience research to ensure they are providing their audiences with the ingredients they want (repertoire of elements) and also ensure they know how and where to find them so that they can maximize their sales, circulation or readership. The audience is an essential role to think about in the production of a magazine as well as all other media. This is because the audience itself has many roles, as they consume the text but also inform the producers of current trends and give positive or negative feedback.

 

In this Vibe magazine, we see that the main cover star shown is Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. He is regarded as one of the most skillful and successful hip hop artists of his generation. He is most popular among women and millennial’s and is the 29th most popular rap and hip hop music artist. He also receives a 20% of positive opinion which conveys he is popular in the rap and hip hop industry. Kendrick is included in this magazine as the main star because it will attract the audience and especially his fans from many classes as it is a cheap magazine so anyone can afford it.

The magazine itself uses many typicalities such as masthead, name, colours, design, articles, and images.

 

Conventional design features of a magazine

In the lesson, we were put in pairs to analyse the main design elements labelled on the magazine. We looked at many examples of magazines and analysed the colours, images and expectations and how they reflect the emotion and purpose of the magazine. Also we studied the similarities of the magazines by the prices and choice of words they use to intrigue the audience. Most of these elements are typicalities of any music magazine such as the plug, main cover star, main cover line, caption, inset, pug, masthead, issue, date, price, bar code and cover lines. I labelled each of these technical conventions on the magazine below:


 

So… How can an image communicate meaning?

Since studying the different elements of media so far I’ve seen how camera framing and mise-en-scene can represent individuals, groups, events or places. We studied two videos and looked into both the camera framing and the use of mise-en- scene which were combined for representing the elements. We looked at a scene from Downton Abbey to see the different uses of Mise-en-scene and created an essay to analyse each element which helped develop our understanding and consideration for how important these aspects are.

Mise En Scene is an essential element of how meaning is made in Media.  Every costume, hair style, lighting state, location, prop, accessory, posture, gesture, facial expression is there for a reason – to tell a story, convey an idea and an image. The essential components for Mis-en-scene are:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Acting
  • Make up/Hair
  • Props
  • Setting

I discovered how important these elements were when portraying the individuals, groups, events or places because without them the emotion and story would be hard to follow and unclear to the audience. Each of these aspects work together to portray the intended narrative, such as if the character was smiling and in bright clothing it would have the connotations of a happy individual. However if the character was dressed in dull clothing and within a dark environment, as an audience we would assume the character is sad. From studying this and seeing how effective mise-en-scene is, I’ve seen how they all link to create a successful story and represent the characters as well as conveying the setting and place.

The camera framing is also essential when representing the individuals and event to convey the intended narrative of the scene. Examples of these angles, distances along with their roles are:

  • an extreme close up of a tear stained eyes could underline a character’s sadness and vulnerability.
  • an extreme long shot of a man standing alone on a deserted beach might portray his isolation and solitude.
  • a two shot of a two people, with one in the foreground looking away from the camera and the other slightly out of focus in the background could add an enigmatic, mysterious feel to the scene as well

These elements portray that is important to plan and keep in mind different angles and distances because it helps to represent different meanings to the audience. This also clearly shows the denotations as well as the connotations to the audience from the camera framing to portray a clear story and narrative to the audience.

 

 

The Camera Talks

In this task we took our photos and created a mood board to tell the story of each picture. I included the hastags of technical term (#longshot#lowangle), the example/denotation (#manalone#teacherlookingcross), and the analysis/connotation (#lonely#excited#leaving). I used multiple locations around school to make different images and include many angles.

In this moodboard I’ve shown nine of my favorite images from my photoshoot. I used hashtags to portray the technical term, denotation and connotation of each of my photos. For each picture I thought about the angle and type of photo it was due to it’s distance and composition.  I had examples of close ups, long shots, low angles, two shots and high angle shots. Then I thought about the denotations an connotations by describing what was happening in the picture as well as the emotions and feelings behind it. Such as whether they were happy, angry, having fun, studying.

As the photographer I took a variety of different shots such as long shots, for example the bottom right picture, that shows my model walking away from a high angle as she looks vulnerable and enjoying nature. My use of close up pictures shows the emotion of my model whether she is happy or sad as you can clearly see her facial expression. The high shot image makes the model look lonely and vulnerable. I always kept in mind the conventions of mis-en-scene, by thinking of the posture, gesture and facial expression of my model as well as the background and environment she was in and linking the colours to her mood.

My knowledge I have learnt from unpacking each photo, and using a story with emotion behind it, will help me in the future when making my own music magazine. I will also use mis-en scene and try different approaches to camera angles.

Technical Camera Terms


When learning to use a DSLR camera I learnt how to produce a successful photograph by manually controlling the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. I took practice photos for a music magazine by keeping in mind the composition and positioning of my photos, by trying out different angles. We learnt that the camera is analysed by the framing and movement. Framing is the camera’s distance from the subject or camera’s angle in relation to the subject. Examples of distance is extreme longshot, medium longshot, midshot, close ups. There a multiple types of shot which have specific functions within a TV or a programme. In terms of movement we tried out methods of pan, tilt, zoom, and ped.

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

As a group we were set the task of creating our own tour posters, as we have been studying, also being allocated a certain genre to base our poster on. We picked our genres out of a hat and received the theme Psychedelic rock. Then we researched together the mise-en-scene conventions that are used, such as the costumes, makeup, setting and type of music. We put together all of this information and inspiration for our own into a moodboard …

 

Made with Padlet

As a group, I was allocated the genre psychedelic rock for this task. Creating a mood board allowed us to see the diverse style of psychedelic rock which is expressed through lots of bright colours and patterns. As well as being very vibrant as well as causal. Clothing and styles of psychedelic rock includes:

  • Tie dye tops
  • Baggy trousers/ jeans
  • Long hair
  • Accessories e.g. headbands, glasses, scarves
  • Long necklaces
  • Peace sign

The positioning and facial expressions that they portrayed were very laid back and casual and sometimes creating a peace sign with their hands as a gesture. From the research there wasn’t much makeup used on as they went for quite a natural look but then used a lot of vibrant colours through clothing and accessories. Overall, we discovered we had to look quite slouched and careless when taking our pictures and almost make our position seem effortless.  Through facial expression the image we added to our mood board the person seemed chilled back and happy which fits in with the vibrant colour choices that the clothing and style includes.

File of photos:

For this image, we asked our classmates to write down adjectives that they thought best described our outfits. These words included:

  • Natural
  • Eccentric
  • Extrovert
  • Creative
  • Energetic

Final Photo

We chose this picture out of the pictures we took because it’s the picture with the most edgiest look which fits in with the psychedelic rock theme. For our costumes we wore psychedelic inspired outfits wearing patterned shirts, round glasses, baggy patterned trousers, long jackets and scarves in our hair. This picture itself shows a good representation of each element to our costumes along with our facial expression which makes us look chilled which we saw from our research is a key part of the look.

My research and practice from this shoot will help me in the future when making my own music magazine. This is because I will think about the mis-en scene conventions which include:

  • Location – the particular place and time created in the frame. 

 

  • Set – the surroundings where the action will unfold; usually the stage, including integral design features.

 

  • Studio/set design – the overall design concept present in the frame, relating to the set. 

 

  • Costume – a style or fashion of dress, especially that of a particular place, time or class. Also hair and make-up.

 

  • Properties – (props) movable objects used in the construction of the mise-en-scene.

 

  • Proxemics (Positioning) – of characters and objects within the frame and in relation to each other.

 

  • Body language – how characters bodies are positioned and their facial expressions.

 

  • Production design period/era – utilised to create characteristics within a mise-en-scene reflective of a certain historical period.

 

  • Colour design – the style & combination of colours used in generating the mise-en-scene.

 

  • Lighting – e.g. High key lighting: illumination that creates comparatively little contrast between the light and dark areas of the shot. Shadows are fairly transparent and brightened by fill light. Low key lighting: illumination that creates strong contrast between light and dark areas of the shot, with deep shadows and little fill light.

I will make use of each of these elements and keep in mind the target audience in order to achieve my successful cover.

 

Print Media that Communicates Meaning

From this task, I have learnt there are many components and ideas to create media to fit it’s overall purpose. Even small aspects such as facial expression of the band members and the colours chosen for the images. These aspects convey the ideas that the band are quirky and confident. The overall connotations of this tour poster is simple and plain but still represents a lot about how the band is unique and edgy.

Mise En Scene is an essential element of how meaning is made in Media. Every costume, hair style, lighting state, location, prop, accessory, posture, gesture, facial expression is there for a reason – to tell a story, convey an idea and an image. I’ve used this to analyse this tour poster to see how the band itself is presented to it’s audience.

This task will help me to make my music magazine as successful as possible. This is because I know how each aspect and component is important in creating a purpose and portraying how I want my magazine to look. Through the costume, expression, colour choices etc. I know how to create my own and to make it best fit for it’s purpose.

So…I’m a media prosumer

I consume many examples of media everyday. I watch it, I listen to it and I produce it. This is evident through my collage I have made as it shows how throughout our everyday life media is used and is a big part. It’s used in many ways such as a key part of entertainment, as well as used to provide information and surveillance. Personally I use media a lot for entertainment by watching shows and movies on platforms such as Netflix. However, I also use media as a social interaction for example using apps on my phone like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger to interact with my friends and family wherever I am.

From seeing how the media affects and helps my everyday life and how through particularly social media we can share our life experiences and friends, family or anyone can see what you post. We can interact with each other on these platforms by messaging, liking/commenting on each others posts and reposting. Media plays very a important role and has influence in virtually every aspect of our lives. It is considered as the best source to know about the happenings of world. Newspaper, magazine, radio, television and internet are the different types of media. It greatly affects our lives because media has the power to influence our thoughts. This influence is sometimes positive and sometimes negative.

In my collage, I used the Bulmler and Katz Theory which was discovered in 1987. This theory explores the ideas of the uses and gratifications that come with each media. I showed this in my collage as a regularly use each component in my everyday life as part of the audience and portrays my own uses of media and what particular ones I enjoy and use most frequently.

The use of information in the theory explains the self education to suit personal needs; advice on practical matters; information on events or issues of personal interest; curiosity or general interest, such as Online News – Guernsey Press, Daily Mail, BBC. Personal Identity explores the media reinforcing personal values; models of behaviour; content explored to challenge, adjust or affirm sense of self e.g.  Culture Pages, Good Housekeeping Magazines, Facebook, Instagram. Integration and Social Interaction explores identify with others to gain a sense of belonging; find basis for real life interactions; substitute for real life relationships, for example drama series and reality TV. My most commonly used is entertainment that conveys escape; diversion; emotional release; filling time; aesthetic enjoyment to the audience, like Reality TV, Love Island, KUWTK, RHousewives, Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, Films

I’ve discovered from this research and reflection that the media is key for businesses to promote their product, e.g. magazine, and to know what other products have been successful with the target audience. Also to consider this when making my own magazine cover as it is one of the most important for businesses to earn profit from what they have created.

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