Design Skills 1

In class I have learned a number of skills that have aided in the production of my magazine.

Production Skills

One production skill that I have learned in the creation of this magazine is how to arrange production meetings and effectively lay out an agenda. I have managed to create clear plans as to how my photoshoots will proceed, including location, materials needed, direction of my model, and composition of the images themselves. On top of this, I’ve also learned how to incorporate mise-en-scene to convey a certain message as effectively as is possible.

Design Skills

An example of a design skill that I have learned in InDesign is the manipulation of fonts. I’ve learned that by changing aspects such as the height, spacing, width, thickness, size, and italicization, fonts can convey vastly different messages while still remaining in the same family of fonts.

A skill that I have learned in Photoshop is the ability to adjust the colour levels in my images in order to make them as clear as possible. Previously, I only know how to change the brightness on the basic slider, but I now know how to use the different light levels to finish with a more balanced end result.


A New Improved Front Page

Magazine Cover 2nd Draft

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Side by Side Comparison

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In order to improve on my first draft, I followed up on the feedback that I was given for Draft 1. The main 5 targets that I set myself were:

  • Work in Photoshop to improve the edit of my cover star
  • Add all necessary information by the barcode
  • Use a different, better body text
  • Ensure all features match colour scheme
  • Remove the border from the cover

I have used more consistent body fonts in this draft in order to make the cover look more put together. I did this by sticking to fonts from the same family, which I feel made my cover look a lot more consistent stylistically.

I’ve also improved on the consistency of the colour scheme, and have now ensured that I stick to 3 main colours, as well as black and white: pinks, purples, and blues. In doing this I think that the overall aesthetic of the cover is a lot more consistent, improving its overall appearance.

I removed the border from the cover, as I felt it looked clunky, and that it didn’t work with the rest of the draft.

One of the significant changes I made to my cover from the first draft to this draft was the rearranging of the cover lines. Before, the cover line of ‘Indie 50’ was featured below the photo of my cover star, Morgana, and took up a very large portion of the page. On the contrary, the cover line of ‘Morgana’ was fairly small and next to my model’s head. I feel that this arrangement didn’t make much sense since Morgana was the cover star of the magazine, and so should be the main focus of the cover itself. To alter this, I switched the positions of these titles, and also added the line ‘Queen of Indie’ to gain the audience’s attention and interest. I edited the appearance of the logo ‘Morgana’ in order to make it more visually interesting.

I altered the pug of the magazine to say something more fitting contextually than what it was previously. As the pug’s appearance is of paper that has been burst through, I felt the word ‘Ricochet’ made more sense, as if a bullet had ripped through the paper.

The bottom of the magazine previously was plain text directly over the image of my cover star, with a drop shadow behind it. An issue with this was that the colour of the text blended into my star’s hair, and so became quite illegible at points where it crossed over. To remedy this, I placed a small block of colour over the lower portion of the cover and placed the text over this, enabling it to stand out more and be significantly more legible.

In the photo of my model, she is wearing a t-shirt with a logo of a pink heart with the word ‘milk’ written inside it. As this didn’t link with anything to do with my star image, I covered this with the line ‘Queen of Indie,’ as it didn’t add anything to the overall look of the cover.

I edited the formatting of the text above my masthead slightly, and changed it to ‘for the individualist’ as I felt it sounded better.

I increased the size of my masthead as I felt it wasn’t big enough previously, and italicized it slightly to add the home-made feel that the Indie genre is associated with.

In draft 1, I only had 2 cover lines on the magazine, so I added some extra lines and brief descriptions of their articles below them.


My main targets for the next draft of my cover are:

  • Re-cut out my star’s hair in order to make it less clunky
  • Add further information (publish date, issue number)
  • Ensure that my fonts are still within the same family, by with slight alterations to increase variety

Draft of Front Page

First Draft of the Front Page

Feedback from the 1st Draft

  • Don’t like the border around the edge
  • Masthead – Good font, nice bold drop shadow, strike-through needs to be bolder
  • Possibly change plug to ‘for the individualists’ instead
  • ‘Morgana’ cover line font good, change background colour to match scheme more, shorter body text and a different font
  • Pug good, nice effect
  • Editing around model’s hair looks messy, don’t keep the logo on the shirt if it’s not going to have any significance
  • Remove negative in main cover line, consider the design of it more
  • Include issue date and price by barcode
  • Bolder cover lines along the bottom of the page

My Main TargetsĀ 

My main 5 targets to improve this draft are:

  • Work in Photoshop to improve the edit of my cover star
  • Add all necessary information by the barcode
  • Use a different, better body text
  • Ensure all features match colour scheme
  • Remove the border from the cover

I will take these notes and targets into consideration in order to create a more successful second draft.

First Contact Sheets

Studio Shoot Contact Sheets

My Favourite Images

Above are 5 photos from my shoot that I feel are strong enough to make the cover of my magazine. I think that I achieved the aims that I set in my PMA effectively, as the details of costume, makeup, and hair were all met according to my plans. On top of this, I also directed my model according to the PMA, and I think the results reflect this well. However, I feel that the photographs are quite dark, as they were taken in a dark studio. To help remedy this issue, I will adjust the light levels in Photoshop in order to make the images clearer and brighter. Overall, I feel my photos effectively convey the Indie genre, and that I have managed to take photographs that are suitable for my magazine.

Mast Head Designs

Possible Fonts for my Masthead

Above are some of examples of fonts that I feel are appropriate brand-wise, and which I could potentially use for the Masthead of my magazine.

My personal favourites are fonts 2 and 6, as they appear hand-drawn, and I think this lends itself to the Indie genre. Since much of the Indie genre focuses on an almost DIY and highly personal approach to music, a hand-drawn look suggests that this magazine is original and creative; something that is unique and has never been seen before.

My favourite font is font 2, and this is the one which I intend to use for my masthead. I will ensure that the masthead takes up a large portion of the magazine, as this is conventional to the magazine cover format. In order to add an edge to the masthead, I type it out in block capitals, giving an almost anarchic feel and a certain boldness to it. To emphasize this, I will have a strike-through through the title, further add the feeling of originality and standing out from the crowd.