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.

 

The Camera Talks…

Click on the image above to see it in more detail.

These were our best photos, placed into a moodboard. I then added hashtags to each photo to describe how each one used various techniques and what effect they are supposed to have on the viewer. This exercise will help us analyse our future actual photos we are going to use which will allow us to select the best ones. It also helped us to understand how a range of different photos using different techniques will make the reader more interested and make the page look more enticing.

My image that uses mise-en-scene for meaning…

This was our test outfit displaying our indie-artist costume. People in our class described the message given out by the costume as being quite a hippy and chilled out vibe. There were also comments like, laid-back and cool. These comments reflect a stereotypical indie-rock artist and what they would wear.

We then created a mood board displaying the various effects of mise-en-scene on different indie artists. Firstly, indie is a rather authentic genre having many themes and characteristics. The woman portrayed below gives connotations of innocence portrayed by her stance in the picture. She is rather huddled so she seems quite vulnerable. This is in contrast to the eye-makeup presented in the man’s photo. This makes him look quite distant and eerie. Various lighting is used in the photos for different effects. High-Key lighting is used in the far right photo of the man. This portrays a rather positive and casual looking image, in contrast to this, the man at the bottom uses low-key lighting to give a more confrontational and serious look. The use of hats as props give a chilled-out calm feel whereas the woman in the bottom left looks quite care-free yet flirtatious with her costume.

Here is a contact sheet including an analysis of our final images:

This is our final selection of the best photo. I feel it is the best because he is connecting with his fans and audience the most. By looking directly at the camera, he is attracting your attention instantaneously. This connotes a warm and friendly feeling, but still developing a talent-filled atmosphere.

 

Hello Media Studies!

There are several things I would like to learn during my Media Studies Course. Predominantly, how media connects and inspires people all over the world and how it is communicated.

In order to achieve these goals, there are certain skills I will need to have, but first I will concentrate on developing the skills I already have. These include, some “Transferable skills”:

  •  Teamwork, organisation, listening, perseverance and directing skills will all be useful during the course of the next two years.

These also include, some “Technical skills”:

  • Editing skills in computer programmes and basic skills in edublogs.

I will be, through the two-year course, developing my skills and adding more technical ones as I learn new techniques on various software and programmes.

Print media that communicates meaning…

 

This print media communicates meaning by the use of semiotics (the science of signs and symbols). The poster uses this to great effect by having bright colours to portray a friendly inviting feeling, I will take this effect away when I create my magazine by considering how different colours make people feel certain ways. There is a very narrow psychographic range in this poster, as it only appeals to people with certain tastes, in order to correct this when creating my magazine, I will make sure the colour scheme is effective in enticing the majority. I will also take into account the font and whether or not the text is in bold to create a more exciting effect. When working with the model(s), I will make sure the poses and positioning they convey is one of a similar message the poster is trying to show.

I am a media prosumer…

In media, there are four types of uses and gratification. Entertainment (E), Social Interaction (SI), Personal Identity (PI) and Information (I). These were created as part of a theory from Blumler & Katz in 1975 and promoted the idea that the audience is conceived as active and explains why in different forms, how and why we use media so frequently. From creating my collage I learned how frequently we use all four of the types on a daily basis. For example, I was so unaware of the amount I really used the media on the basis of my personal identity and for information. For me, as my collage shows, I use media mostly for entertainment (in the form of television programmes such as “Friends” and listening to albums (Girls Aloud). I also frequently use social interaction as a form of media in the ways of social media, like Facebook and Snapchat.

From this work I have learned that media is used in many different ways and has several different purposes. So when creating my magazine production, I will take into account how to interest my readers by using, “Entertainment, “Social Interaction”, “Personal Identity” and “Information”.