A Previous Student’s Work…

Below is the work I have chosen as the best magazine cover, contents and double page spread through use of camera and photo manipulation, selection of mise-en-scene, choice of vocabulary and the creative use of desktop publishing.

Above is the magazines front cover. The use of camera has successfully been used to give a clear mid-shot of the main cover star. Depth of field here is used as she is in strong focus, yet the background is not, this means the large camera aperture has been used to create a fairly shallow depth of field. She is in the centre frame of the three lateral and vertical thirds, although the lead room has been focused to the left. This has been done through use of mise-en-scene. The model is looking to the left as you follow her eyeline to the ice lolly. Her attire connotes what could be inside the magazine, as she is wearing a stylish outfit, it may hint to the reader it is a magazine focused on fashion. There is use of high-key lighting to bring a positive atmosphere to the image with use of fill light to lighten shadows. The main cover star has had her make-up and hair done to show her off as a young attractive woman which will appeal to a certain psycho and demographic. The use of props (the ice cream) has been used to create a light-hearted and positive atmosphere. The use of alliteration, ‘feminine, fabulous and fierce’, will appeal to a women-empowerment type psychographic and the term, ‘Note to Self’, it makes the user feel included which will in turn, make them want to buy it. The use of desktop publishing is evidently successful. For example, the graphics on ‘morphosis’ gives the title a positive and professional view. The DTP has carefully taken ‘AIDA’ into account. This is attention, interest, desire and action, with a clear focus point.

This is the contents page of the same magazine.  A variety of photographic techniques have been used here. For example, photo number ‘3’ is a closeup of the model, whereas photo number ‘4’ is a long shot. Some of the photos use high-key lighting, like photos 3 and 5, to show contrast, some others photos use low-key lighting, for example photos 1 and 2. The mise-en-scene in photo 4 represents a woman looking through other fashion magazines, her eyeliner takes the reader to this kind of magazine, sparking interest and desire. Some of the other images of the models look rather intense by them looking directly at the camera, this is evident in photos 1, 3 and 5. This could have been done to make the reader feel more included in the magazine. The use of the text in the ‘contents’ section is quite direct and uses the imperative to refer explicitly to the reader. For example, ‘take care’ or ‘what do you do’. This makes the reader want to read on and see what ‘they should do’. Desktop publishing here has been used well. The photos have been well cut out and ‘stuck’ together in the middle, this has looks interesting and grabs the readers attention.

Here on the double page spread, both photos use similar camera techniques. They both use high-key lighting, have similar colour schemes, and are both midshots. This lacks variety and the reader may lose interest. However, they are both high quality photos which link quite well into one another. Mise-en-scene is used effectively here, both models convey a relaxed image and both have hair and makeup in an attractive style. By using a limerick of, ‘mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’, it gives the reader a context they can relate to. ‘The Prom Queen’ is capitalised in a bright colour, this draws attention to it and the reader is captured with attention and desire. The desktop publishing has linked the two images together through colour and photoshop. The images look as if they are as one and this is aesthetically pleasing.

So… I’m ready to make some media!

When creating my magazine cover, I will need to use various graphical and camera techniques I have recently learned. Firstly, I will need to use the ‘AIDA’ acronym. ‘A’ – attention means that you need to have something to grab the reader’s attention instantaneously, this may be the eyeline of a main cover star which will lead you to an essential piece of information. This will then spark interest if the eyeline for example leads you to a tour title or an interesting plug – “Father of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s baby revealed – READ INSIDE” as an example. As the reader would have now been looking at your product for a decent amount of time, desire can then be created by an interesting colour scheme which matches the theme of the magazine, represented by the audience demo and psychographics, e.g. a heavy metal magazine for middle-aged men featuring a predominantly dark-coloured background. Finally, the action would be for the reader to purchase the magazine, which can be done by clearly displaying the price and barcode. Secondly, when photographing the model for the main cover star, the body language has to be appropriate to match the genre of the music and psychographics of the audience so they’ll be compelled to purchase it.

My Tour Poster…

Here is my tour poster using my model’s image which has been edited in photoshop and indesign: I have then reflected upon my work below, describing how I could have improved on it.


Feedback on the Brief

Your comment:

All features of the brief were included: these were – the name of the artist, the name of the tour, dates and venues, and where tickets were available from.

Feedback on colours:

  • Has the design used a consistent colour scheme?
  • Is there a relationship between the colours in the image and the colour of the graphic design?
  • Do the colours seem typical of the genre?
Your comment:

The design has used a fairly consistent colour scheme of black and red with a bright (stage-like) background. However, there are some irregularities, for example the use of pink and blue. The graphic effects and design of the main cover star match and blend well with the background and the text colours. The graphics of the main cover star seem to be authentic which matches the genre of ‘indie’, however the background seems far too pop-oriented for and independent music artist.

Feedback on typeface:

  • Is all the text legible?
  • Is the typeface well chosen and does it suit the apparent genre?
  • How many typefaces are used in the design?
Your comment:

The majority of the text is legible, the dates and venues are slightly too dark to be seen however it is still satisfactory. Different typefaces were used to illustrate the supporting acts, these are ‘Vampire Weekend’ which was given a serif font with dark colours to successfully interpret the genre of music. ‘Girls Aloud’ are an accomplished pop-girl band which was illustrated with bright pink and blue colours with a more friendly font which also well demonstrated. There are five different typefaces shown in this poster, in future it would be better to use less to show consistency.

Feedback on integration of image and graphics

  • Does the text wrap around the image well?
  • Does the eyeline of the model focus attention?
Your comment:

The text is wrapped around the image so that the main cover star can still be clearly seen and the text can be read. The effect given on the main cover star has meant that the eyeline of the model is difficult to focus on. However, this means the reader will try to focus harder on the image to find the eyeline.

Feedback on image

  • Does the costume reflect a particular genre?
  • Is the body language of the model appropriate?
Your comment:

The costume of the model reflects the indie genre well through the use of props – he is carrying a violin, which well indicates he is an independent artist. His body language is relatively free yet quite powerful and this interests the reader. This also reflects the indie genre as indie means independent.

Feedback on copy

  • Do the words on the page prompt a sense of desire?
  • Is there a clear call and a route to action? (AIDA)
Your comment:

A quote from a well-respected newspaper ‘The Guardian’s’ has been included to prompt a sense of desire. This read, “The most anticipated tour of the year”. This entices the reader to want to purchase tickets. AIDA has also successfully been used. Attention is first grabbed at the top of the poster, as the lighting is high-key. Featured in this area is the artist title and tour name, which sparks the next factor, interest. Desire may be created through the featured acts being right underneath the title, or the locations clearly demonstrated below, showing it may be in a location near you. Action is then used as the link to the website is right below where an aspect of desire is.

Feedback on connotations

  • What messages and ideas are being communicated in the text?
  • Do those messages and ideas seem appropriate to the genre and purpose of the text?
Your comment:

The message which is communicated is to buy tickets to the shows. This is done through the use of high-key lighting in the background to highlight the main cover star. The graphics of the main cover star show the authenticity of the artist and the genre. This is appropriate to the indie genre as being authentic is essential to the key aspects of the genre.


My copy of professional magazine front page..

The first image is my mock-up of the front cover of a magazine shown as the second image. This was done using Photoshop and Adobe Indesign. Three ways I could have improved my version are:

  1. Some of the text fonts were not accurate and matched the original.
  2. Some of the text colours blended in with the main cover star photo.
  3. The plug is slightly off-centered and doesn’t look professional.

Here are some ways I could have improved it:

My strengths were as follows:

  1. The proportions were accurate in comparison with the original.
  2. The title of the magazine and main cover line were displayed clearly.
  3. All relevant components were included e.g. the plug.

Lick & Stick Mock-Up…

As you can see, the most important conventional design feature of this magazine cover is the main cover star. This is bold and stands out as it is the largest and biggest focus on the screen. We, when creating our magazine covers, will aim to use the same techniques to make sure the main cover star stands out from the background (by use of shutter speed and aperture e.g. to blur out the background), or is larger than any other image, giving it a sense of importance. The masthead should be in a bold ‘sans serif’ font so it stands out and is easy on the eye to read. The pug(s) should be in a bright stand-out colour to attract the reader to what is being advertised.

A Front cover analysed…

The audience psychographics and demographics are reflected upon the language, images, colour palette and font used in the magazine. The average age being 18-24 and the psychographic group being fun seeking active people, reflects on the bright colour scheme using high-key lighting, and the demographic being mainly males, “Woman on the edge” or “I feel so alone” may entice the male readers to buy the magazine.

When creating our music magazine front cover, we must carefully consider our target audience and design it accordingly. If our music targets teen-pop group members, we will design our colour scheme to be brighter and use more high-key lighting for our images. However, if our music is heavy metal and targets middle-age or old men, our colour scheme will more likely be darker and the images will use low-key lighting. A bold and large font is always appropriate as it draws attention to the title, and the use of pugs and plugs is essential because they draw attention to what is inside.


So… How can an image communicate meaning?

An image can communicate meaning in many ways. Firstly, through framing. This is the camera’s distance from the subject and the camera angle in relation to the subject. Distance can be split into 8 sections including ranges of long shots, mid shots and close-ups. There are also angles in relation to subject. A high-angle is taken from above and is sometimes used to create a sense of vulnerability. A low-angle is taken from below, which often creates a sense of power and authority. A canted angle is a shot which deliberately at an angle, which creates a sense of distortion or confusion. There is also depth of field which is focus on objects in the foreground or background, this can shift between the two depths of field, this is called pulling focus and can shift audience attention.

We also learned about mise-en-scene (MES). Mise-en-scene is the arrangement of scenery and stage properties on a set to convey meaning, and includes: Costume, Lighting, Acting & Proxemics, Makeup and Hair, Props, and Setting. A denotation, given out by MES is what the audience can visually see, for example the actor has a closed-body language, and the connotation is what the denotation represents, so in this case it shows the character to be shy or innocent. This gives us a wider view of how a moving and still image is portrayed through various techniques which we can use in our own work.

Also, we learned about different forms of lighting. These include: Backlight, which is illumination from behind, Fill light, which is a supplementary light used in film that does not change the character of the main light and is mainly used to lighten shadows, Key light, which is the main source of light, Low key lighting, which emphasises shadows and High key lighting, which is naturalistic lighting yet still designed. Knowing these kinds of lighting allows us to change the focus and meaning of our image by changing the atmosphere and mood of the photos or videos.

Audience Profiling

Understanding your target audience is the key to effectiveness. For the purposes of advertising and marketing, the target audience is viewed as a segment of a consumer market. The audience has many roles, ultimately to consume the text, but also to inform the producers of current trends. This audience is defined or segmented by the media in two ways:

Demographics is when the consumer is categorised in terms of fixed variables such as age, class, gender, geographical location and ‘Socio Economic Groups’ – their social class segmented into grades (A-E). Psychographics is when the consumer is categorised in terms of their interests, attitudes and opinions such as those who aspire to a richer lifestyle or those who want to make the world a better place.

When creating our music magazine, we will need to ensure before anything else, we know who our target audience is. This will allow us to give our front cover a certain theme to attract our target age group, gender and race. We can also use their psychographic details to know what to include.

To find the information of this post, we used yougov.co.uk


The design features of a magazine.

The image above is an analysis of different aspects of a magazine cover. Here follows what each of the conventional design features represent:

A plug gives information about the contents of a magazine given on the front cover. It is essentially self-advertisement for what is inside.

A masthead is the title of the magazine, it is usually placed at the top of the front cover for display purposes. The font is usually bold and clear to give notice to the readers.

A pug is an incentive which is placed on the cover to make something stand out, this is usually done by putting text into a shape. It is similar to a plug in terms of its purpose, but often just as, if not more effective due to the fact it is easier to see.

A caption is a title or brief explanation appended to an article, illustration, cartoon or poster.

The main cover star is the main feature of a front cover which fills most of the page and stands out. It is usually quite a bold image and sets the tone for the majority of the magazine.

The cover lines and main cover line give information about major articles given on the front page of a magazine. It is used to attract and entice the reader with interesting and bold vocabulary.

An inset is a small picture in the corner of the page or of a larger picture. They are used to give extra details of who and what is on the inside of the magazine.

There is also an issue or date, price and barcode which are just regulations of the shop the magazine is being sold in.

These key features give us some ideas of how and what to use in our magazine covers, for example how to interest the reader by just having a bold picture or large main cover line.

Technical Camera Terms

There are many qualities of photos in the above contact sheets. There were several photos which are overexposed e.g. IMG_2524, where the aperture was too large, lowering the quality of the photo. In some cases, the photo was underexposed e.g. IMG_2512, where the aperture was too small, again lowering the quality of the photo. We used a range of tones and colours in our photos to create contrasts in the different pictures.

From this exercise, we learned how and why you use different apertures and shutter speed to create different effects on photos. Knowing this will allow us to take a range of pictures of different kinds using different techniques, we can also moderate how much light gets into the camera, so we can prevent under or overexposure.