Question 4: So… How did you integrate technologies (software, hardware and online) in this project?

Overall, technologies has had a huge impact in all components of the production of my magazine, I have used a variety of technologies across the production including hardware, software and online.

To answer CCR4 question ‘How did you integrate technologies (software, hardware and online) in this project?’, I have collected the technologies I’ve used in the four stages of my magazine production: Research, Production, Post production and Feedback, and spoken about them through this Piktochart.

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Question 3: So… How did your production skills develop throughout this project?

Now I have completed an important chunk of my time as a media student, looking back I can notice I have developed numerous skills which can be transferred into my life as a student and carry on in my life.

Reflecting on my work has made me realise how much we have actually done and how my skills I’ve developed enabled me to achieve my magazine completion. To put my skill reflection into perspective I have written a letter to a future media studies student describing the transferable skills they will learn and how I used them in the production of my magazine.

I have created a voice thread below of me reading my letter to a future media studies student.

Question 1: So… How does your product use or challenge conventions and how does it represent social groups or issues?

Researching other magazines similar to mine, that share the same genre of Jazz, I found there was clear magazine conventions which certain magazines use in unique ways to portray the style of the magazine. Because Jazz is a heavily creative genre the magazine conventions had no real trend in Jazz magazines as they challenge, use and alter conventions to express the individualism valued in Jazz.

However there were clear conventions which many magazines chose to use to influence the style of Jazz and values held dear to Jazz through star image Mise-en-Scene and layout/text.

To compare how my magazine uses or challenges conventions to portray meaning and narrate a story, I made this Emaze answering the question: ‘How does your product use or challenge conventions and how does it represent social groups or issues?’.

 

Powered by emaze

Adverts

The final component of my Music magazine I was missing was the adverts, although I did not need to design anything or make anything I needed to chose my adverts in relation to my target audiences interests and values.

In order to chose my adverts correctly I went back to the document I made of the demographics of those who listen to the more popular Jazz artists, to see the audiences interests so I can chose an advert which directly attracts and interests the audience. I also added a few examples of adverts used in other Jazz magazines to get a greater understanding of the type of brands advertised in Jazz magazines.

 

My Chosen Adverts:

 

 

 

After some investigation into the general interests of my target audience from their demographics, I selected these two adverts above to feature in my magazine, Balmy. When researching typical adverts used in Jazz magazines, I found there was a wide range of advert selection, ranging from environmental protests to headphone ads. Despite there not being a visible trend I noticed the ads were generally aimed at the older generations, with brands being more sophisticated but also creative and unique, like alternative jewellery brands and musical instruments.

Considering conventional Jazz magazine ads used, I chose these two adverts for my magazine. The first Powers Whisky advert I chose due to the general age demographic of those who listen to popular Jazz artists, being born between 1946-1964. I also found that those around that age tend to enjoy more sophisticated and celebratory drinks like whisky, wine and champagne, also whisky is a common drink served at Jazz clubs, suggesting origins of Jazz culture.

For the next advert, I chose to use this Tanishq jewellery advert as learning from the boom generations interests, although demographics were slightly more male dominated, the female Jazz audiences interests included: arts and crafts, fashion, reading, nature and Downton Abbey. Learning from this I decided to chose an add which reflects the creativity and individualism my magazine values, interesting my audience as they feel connected to the less well known jewellery brand as they too value individualism but also style and presentation.

 

A New Improved Complete Magazine Draft

After long hours of tweaking and editing, making final developments to react to the feedback I had received from my teacher and peers, I feel as if I have completed my music magazine: BALMY. 

I am overall happy with how my magazine looks and it is ready to be submitted, below I have attached my final pages with a few notes on my last changes.

Front Cover

 

There are a few tweaks which I made to my front cover to reach this final product:

  • I added another set of violin string-like lines and added the quote from the star under the stars name to connect the two together and clean up the bottom right corner.
  • I added a drop shadow to the main cover line and Star name to make it pop out more and add more depth.
  • Tilted the pug a little anti-clockwise, as pugs are conventionally tilted in front covers.
  • Changed the date to July 2020.
  • I added a few Jazz star names under the featured cover lines on the right, to increase the audiences desire and attraction to read the magazine, with well known names in it.

 

Contents Page

What final changes did I make? :

  • I moved the Image of Millie inwards, off the line of spotlights, which now I have done feels a lot cleaner and sticks out to me more.
  • I added another line of red dots from the top, to match the other side of the headlines and make it symmetrical, adding a cool bouncy energy.
  • I added page numbers next to every headline to match contents page conventions and make it easier for the reader to find the right page.
  • Adding a red drop shadow to my star image, I feel makes the Star stand out more to the reader but also links the whole page together with the colour scheme and light style.
  • I also made sure that the spacing out of letters and alignments were all equal and correct to make it look professional and tidy.

 

Double Page Spread

Here are the last edits I made to my Double Page Spread:

  • I aligned all the paragraphs to a column, including my introduction which I removed from the paint splatter and placed under the heading. Aligning the text made everything seem more organised and tidy, making it easier for the readers to read.
  • I changed the layout of the DPS headline, so that the stars name was one one side of the page, and the rest was organised in a cleaner and closer manner on the right side.
  • I changed the font of the pull quote ‘Never Judge, Always Imagine to a less violent font which matched the headline. I prefer this font as it looks handwritten by the star suggesting creativity and making the Star more ordinary than extraordinary to the reader.
  • I changed the colour of the outline around Millie from black to a peach-pink type colour, as its a lot softer and tied in with my colour scheme. It also helps portray Millie as more approachable and passionate rather than daunting in a black outline.
  • I added a de-saturated red filter over the bookshelf, as I felt there was too much of a texture contrast between the outline around Millie and the bookshelf, it also made the whole page more attractive and interesting.

Complete Magazine Draft (3)

After more tweaks and additions to my magazine, I have come to a point which I feel somewhat content with how my magazines look, excluding some things I need to put in, and have attached my draft 3 ready for my teacher to give me feedback.

 

At this stage in production, any source of feedback is really helpful as its hard to notice your mistakes when your working on it for hours, therefore my teacher has made a Screencastify of her giving some feedback on my draft 3, so I can get some feedback from a fresh pair of eyes.

I have attached the Screencastify my teacher sent me below, we had some issues with attaching my DPS draft for the recording, however I took note of the feedback she gave me and added it to my Screencastify Summary.

 

 

Feedback Summary

 

Front Cover

  • Add anther cover line between the two on the right, or add some Jazz artists under ‘Featured’ and make the ‘The best Jazz cafes in New York’ separate above.
  • Make pug bitter and slant it as pugs are conventionally tilted.
  • Pull the rectangle in bottom right down slightly.
  • Try connect the quote to Star Name as it seems separate at the moment.
  • Change date to summer 2020.

Contents page 

  • Check spacing between ‘n’ and ‘o’ of contents title.
  • Move image of Millie inward and off the spotlights.
  • All contents headlines need a page number.
  • Add red dots at top to make symmetrical.

DPS

  • Make the outline of Millie a different, softer colour.
  • Check alignment of paragraph headings and spacing.
  • Remove the paint splatter, the writing is illegible and looks odd.
  • Add page number on left.
  • Just say ‘continued…’ rather than ‘final two tips on next page’.

So… How is it going?

Looking back at this point in time of my two years of Media studies ahead, I have already noticed that I have developed some transferable skills which I never expected to develop in media before starting. Below are a few examples of some transferable skills which I have developed so far…

  • Communication

During my magazine production I have had to develop my communication skills in two ways. The first way is communicating effectively with my models and classmates around shoots and giving feedback about their magazines and ideas. When preparing for my shoot, my communication skills were exposed as I had to keep track of what clothing items my classmates were bringing to the shoot, and remind them before the shoot. The second type of communication skill which I have developed is my ability to communicate meaning and ideologies through different text, such as cover lines and appearance like Mise-en-scene.

  • Organisation

A huge skill which has been essential so far in media studies, has been my organisational skills. With hundreds of photos I’ve taken and multitudes of Photoshop edits and illustrations I had to make sure everything was sectioned in separate folders for each magazine component. I kept everything in the D-drive on my computer, with four main folders: Front Page, Contents, DPS and Shoots. I believe these habits of organising my work will transfer into my daily life where I will now consider laying out my work from other subjects in an organised and clean manner to control and manage my work load.

  • Teamwork

Although In the course of Media so far we have been working on our individual brand within our magazine, teamwork has  played an essential skill to have in order to smoothly run our shoots and give and receive feedback with each-other.  Teamwork was sentimental in our location shoot, as I had to connect with my models for them to understand my intentions but also help others with technical issues or queries. This skill will transfer into my life ahead as a student and individual, where I’m required to connect and understand colleagues, friends and tackle problems as a group.

These skills I hope will stick with me for the rest of my time as a student a swell as my life as a whole, however I have only just began the Media Studies journey and hope to learn a wider range of transferable skills across the next two years!

 

Design Skills 2

In further development of my magazine I have used more and more tools and techniques on both Indesign and Photoshop which has enabled me to enhance my photos and create cool and interesting graphic illustrations, in order to further develop my star images and overall appearance of my magazine.

Here are a couple examples of a few tools I have used in my magazine production:

Brush Tool

When designing my DPS, I felt as if my page was a little bland with no real graphic illustrations which is a key convention in Jazz magazines due to the link of Jazz and creativity. Therefore I opened my star image up in Photoshop again to experiment with graphic illustrations to try and make my Star seem more exiting and creative rather than basic and boring.

I used the brush tool to draw an outline around my Star image, I selected the brush tool then used the chunky charcoal style brush, which was a slightly grainy realistic brush stroke as I felt it expressed an artistic and creative sense.

I firstly experimented with how it looked with a thinner black stroke at 100%  opacity, however I felt as if it didn’t work in portraying my star as more creative, but rather more menacing.

 

Therefore I took note of the colour scheme I used in my DPS and Front Cover: Red / Peach pink, black and white and used a de-saturated, (peach pink like) red, which I felt portray my star more creative and unique but also smooth and seductive.

 

Levels

Another design tool which I have used in my magazine creation is the levels tool, which enables you  to move and stretch the brightness levels of an image histogram, including the brightness, contrast, and tonal range.

I used this tool when creating my DPS background, I wanted to create a background which tied my article and Star image together as well as having a unique texture and appearance, so I used my image I took at Priaux Library of a bookshelf.

I used the levels tool bar to decrease the amounts of blacks in the image, to make the black text stand out more to make it easier for the reader to read. I altered with the mid tones and whites to reach this unique grainy image which looks aged and suggests sophistication.

 

I believe overall I have used Photoshops tools to my advantage well, and have been able to add some graphic illustrations to suggest creativity, but also have been able to alter my images to create new textures and a background for my DPS.

However I understand I have only touched the surface of Photoshop’s tools, and believe it would be better if I could find a tool to alter the background of my contents page to make it more interesting.

A New Improved Contents Page

Below is my second draft Contents page:

My improvements:

  • Added a drop shadow to the dotted lines, creating a spotlight effect.
  • Added a second image, with the page number of what article it is.
  • Changed the font of the ‘contents’ masthead, and also turned the ‘C’ red.
  • Added my contents headings, along with three page numbers next to three of them.
  • Added page number and quote next to main image to reference the page its on.
  • Added the contents page number (3).

 

My Contents page conventions:

Main image and Sub image

Creates an image to the reader of what to expect in the magazine, and also creates a point of action for the reader to turn to the page with the star image on.

Page numbers

I only added 3 page numbers on this draft as I learned from other contents pages that the numbers are not always included, it gives the readers a call for action next to the written contents, only putting 3 highlights the recommended or most popular ones.

Page number

Page number 3, the third page after the front cover and advert page which makes it easier for the reader to find the page.

Colour Scheme

Similar colour scheme to my front cover and DPS, red and black as that’s also what the model in my main image is wearing, which unifies the magazine together with a distinct and recognisable theme.

 

After making improvements to my contents page, I asked my friend Jake for some feedback to gain a new perspective on my page, here were his notes he made:

  • Add page numbers to all contents headings, as it looks odd with only 3 numbers in such a short list.
  • Maybe add some more contents.
  • I really like the colour scheme along with the dotted lines, its simple yet effective.
  • Move the second image of Millie closer to the centre of the page, away from the spotlights.
  • Add a line of red dots from the top to make it symmetrical.
  • Possibly add a drop shadow to star image of Sam, or blend outlines as the white outline on him is still slightly visible.
  • I love the way you have composed your contents title.
  • Check the spacing of the ‘contents’ lettering, make sure their equally spaced between each letter.
  • Shift the whole layout to the left.

I am happy with the improvements I have made on my contents page, however looking at it now I feel like I should add page numbers to the rest of the contents and also try experiment with the graphics of the main image, I will also consider my peer feedback when making amendments.