Category Archives: Creative Critical Reflection Comp 1

So how did it go?

I’ve now finished designing/producing my music magazine and I feel that it generally went quite well. I have learnt many new skills throughout the process and know that these skills will definitely impact any future media work I may do, especially with Mise-en-Scene and framing.

My Mise-en-Scene skills have greatly improved throughout this process and I feel that I am now generally quite good at matching costume with genre. For example, costume for the rock genre would often feature leather jackets and leather/denim jeans with rips. Likewise, I have learnt how props and setting would aid the communication of my genre, for example, a typical prop for the rock genre would be an electric guitar.

For my pop genre, my mise-en-scene included: Bright costume (one costume was a revealing dress which is stereotypical to the pop genre, the other was an oversized mustard-coloured jumper with a black denim skirt), typical props (a rose and a microphone) and generally quite natural make-up (except the eyes).

Framing is how your model is framed in your images. For example, a well-known form of framing is the rule of thirds. This is where your image is clearly separated into three sections and your model fits into one of these sections. There are also angle shots such as a low angle shot which connotes power and superiority and high angle shots which conveys weakness and submission.

My product often used eye-level shots to illustrate the connection between my star and the readers of my magazine. I wanted my readers to feel as though they were experiencing a personal connection with my star and so I often positioned my star looking directly into the lens of my camera so that she would be making direct eye-contact with the audience.

There are many other skills that I have progressed in throughout media studies also, these skills include: Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop, communication, organisation, DSLR cameras, research and analysis. These skills definitely aided me throughout the experience and I know that they will assist me in other areas of my life also.

So… How is it going?

I think that the designing of my music magazine is going well. The images that I have created and used on my pages reflect my genre of music through mise-en-scene. For example, my genre is pop music and this is clearly implied through the costume and make-up of my models; my main cover star had bold eye make-up with an understated, girl-next-door costume. Many pop-stars have a sweet girl-next-door image with their fans and this is the feeling that I was aiming for with my main cover star. My insets also demonstrate the genre of my magazine. There are lots of celebrity gossip stories which is a key part of the pop genre, there are also lots of article advertised around new artists.

My brand also reflects my genre and the image that I was aiming for with my Pop music magazine. Each page of my magazine has a pastel coloured background because the pop genre is known for being sweet, fun and bright, which pastel colours represent. This background theme has been consistent throughout my designing process and has created a strong brand image for my magazine. My headline fonts throughout my pages are very bubble-like, connoting sweetness and creativity, themes typically covered throughout pop music.

On my contents page, I have laid out my images in a diamond shape as it is a shape that is commonly associated with princesses – female pop singers are often referred to as ‘pop princesses’. A diamond is also referred to as ‘a girls best friend’ in the well-known phrase and it is typically girls who enjoy pop music. Therefore, even the layout of my images on my pages are connoting the genre of my magazine and solidifying my brand image.

In conclusion, the ‘Playback’ brand image has been very strongly created and associated with pop music as I intended. The pastel colour theme has been continuous and it has proven a very effective way of making my pop magazine unique so far.

Design Skills 2

I have learnt many new design skills over the course of media studies so far, especially whilst designing my music magazine. Some of these new skills include making columns, which fonts/colours suit different genres, how mise-en-scene effects mood/atmosphere, and how the layout of a page will draw attention to different details.

The layout of a product is vital to making a piece of media as effective as possible. For example, the cover of my music magazine has a layout which draws specific attention to my main cover star. I have the image of my main cover star central on my cover page and the image covers most of the page. My main cover line is placed directly over my image of the main cover star to show that it is interacting with my image and my star. I then have the masthead in a very large font at the top of my page with the image of my main cover star slightly overlapping it. This connotes that the title of my magazine comes second to the importance of this star, my magazine would not exist without these stars. I have a pug which also relates to my main cover star and other cover lines on the left-side of my cover. The background of my cover page contrasts with the jumper that my model is wearing. My main cover star’s jumper is an intense mustard colour whereas the background of my cover page is a far less intense mustard shade.


My contents page also has a very effective layout and colour scheme for my genre. There are 4 images on my contents page, relating to 4 of the different plugs shown, which form a diamond shape. The background is pastel pink which symbolises the pop genre as pop music is known for being very bright, pink and sweet. I have 3 columns at the bottom of my contents page showing all of my different plugs for stories in the magazine, two of these columns match the pastel pink colour of my background, whereas one of the columns (the middle column) juxtaposes the two outer columns and is a lilac colour. This is still a very sweet, pastel colour which matches my pop genre.

I have used a font that looks quite bubble-like, yet still neat for my masthead, main cover line, headline and ‘Contents’. This font is sans-serif like most magazines will use for their main cover line as it is generally an easier form of font to read.

As I have mentioned many times before, mise-en-scene definitely helps to set a genre. The outfits in all images that I have used on all three draft pages have been carefully planned out by both me and my models so that they suit my genre’s. My main cover star image shows the typical girl-next-door pop-star, the other images on my contents page show a mix of girl-next-door, ordinary pop-stars and stereotypical pop-stars.

I feel like the drafts of my music magazine have overall gone well, they could have been improved through experimenting more with Indesign and Photoshop. I feel that if I had tried to add a background to some of my images instead of just cutting them out, my magazine may have looked more effective. I also feel like the background of my double-page spread could have been improved, possibly through the use of texture shots or patterns. I feel like if I had been more creative and added some little patterns onto all three of my draft pages, they may have fitted in more with the pop genre which is all about fun and creativity.

Design Skills 1

I have learnt many different skills since I have been designing my own pop music magazine. The skills that I have learnt are on the programs: Indesign and Photoshop. The skills I have learnt are things like: how to edit the colours of an image on photoshop, how to properly cut out the background of an image, how to change the colour of shapes and writing on Indesign, and adding effects to different shapes on Indesign.

This first screenshot shows how to add a gradient to the background of my contents page. You can alter the slope of your gradient which determines how much light there is on your shape, you can also alter your gradient so that it is linear or radial. For my contents page, I chose to have a radial gradient so that the light comes directly from the centre of the page. I felt that this effect implied that the light shines directly out of my magazine, all of the interesting information and knowledge comes straight from the stars and stories featured within my magazine. This gives off a very positive star image and implies that my stars are the focal point of everything, the light shines around them due to their flawless attitude and excellent nature.

This second screenshot shows how to change the colour of an image in Photoshop. This proved a very useful tool for me as I used two images of the same person on my contents page, using this tool I managed to alter the colour of the cardigan that my model was wearing and made the two images look like they were of different people. To change the colour of something in and image you must first select it using the magic wand tool, then you go to filter, then to Hue/Saturation. In here the box on the right-hand side of the image will appear and this lets you play with different colours and the intensity of these colours.

I can use this feature to represent my genre. If I wanted to dress my model in a pink cardigan to show the typical pop colour, I could use this tool to do that. I could change the colour of the cardigan to white to connote the purity, innocence and free-nature of my star.

This next image shows me changing the colour of the middle column on my contents page. In a previous post I mentioned colour changing of text and shapes as something that I needed to work on in Indesign and I now feel like I am aware of how to do this and can do it quite easily.

Changing the colour of shapes has a very positive impact on genre. You can convey an entire genre using purely your colour scheme. For example, a pink/purple colour scheme or a colour scheme using very bright, eye-catching colours can illustrate the pop genre. In contrast, a colour scheme using purely monochrome/metallic colours can illustrate heavy metal music, and a colour scheme using blacks and reds can represent rock music.

This final screenshot shows that I am able to cut out the background of an image on photoshop. This is a skill that I struggled with when first using Photoshop. I have now learnt how to cut out my model and how to ensure that he/she is cut out with minimal background left in my image.

Cutting out/editing your star can impact their narrative. An image which is obviously highly edited can connote your star as false and plastic, whereas an image which is cut out smoothly and naturally edited will portray a real, flawless image of your star.

These are all of the things that went well whilst drafting my music magazine. My drafts of my magazine could’ve gone even better if I knew how to add in a new background to some images on photoshop. I feel like some of my pages may have looked better with a different background that wasn’t just a colour. However; if I had added in a background to some of my images, my magazine would no longer have a pastel colour scheme.

Overall, my drafts of my music magazine have gone quite well.

So… I am ready to photograph my star.

I feel that I have now learnt enough about camera and mise-en-scene to photograph my main cover star for my music magazine. I am aware of how different camera angles can represent different moods and atmospheres to the audience, therefore I know that I need to use a mid-shot for my main cover image. This will make my audience focus on my model’s face and costume to see the expression shown in it to convey mood. I am also likely to use a point-of-view angle over a low or high angle as it will make my audience feel engaged with my main cover star.

The mise-en-scene is extremely important when conveying the genre of my music magazine to my audience. I am going to have two different costumes for my model to wear; one will be a revealing dress to represent the stereotypical promiscuous pop star, the other will be a far more relaxed outfit, an oversized jumper, a denim skirt and some pumps, this will illustrate the typical girl-next-door pop star.

Warm, bright lighting will be used alongside my models acting to portray the desired atmosphere for each costume. In the first outfit, my model will act seductively to illustrate the stereotypical pop star; whereas in the second outfit my model will act very ditsy and fun to portray the girl-next-door image. I will use bright eyeshadow with bold eyeliner to connote the brightness and boldness of pop music, this genre of music is fun and colourful, much like my model’s makeup will be. We will also use props such as flowers and lollipops to convey the fun, cheerful image that I want my model to radiate.



So… I’m ready to make some media!

When I am creating my own magazine there are lots of important design features that I need to consider. I need to think about who my audience are and how I am going to ensure that my magazine appeals to them. This can be done through the use of mise-en-scene, camera angles and page layout.

For example, I can ensure that my music magazine fits in with my intended genre through mise-en-scene. I need to ensure that the costume of my model represents my genre, if I was doing a Pop magazine for example, I would have my model wearing quite revealing clothes to represent the stereotypical female pop star. I would also have to ensure that their body language fits in with the stereotypical pop stars body language, so my model would have to pose quite suggestively. The props I need to use should also represent the genre, for example I could take some photos where my model is holding a microphone.

The layout of my cover will also help me when I am trying to attract my audience to my product. I need to recognise that the use of blank space can sometimes be effective, and I need to remember where my audience is likely to spend the majority of their time looking. The audience is normally drawn to look where the model is looking. I should always ensure that my model seems engaged with the information in my magazine, I could do this by putting the information so that it is slightly overlapping the image of my artist. I could also do this by having the model looking towards the information.