Category Archives: Component 1

Rough Page Layout – Lick n Stick

Rough Layout

Before you start working on your project in Indesign and Photoshop you need to have a rough idea of your page layouts.

Remember the assessment criteria:

  • Use of Conventional Layout
  • Integration of Images and Graphics

To achieve this you should have thought about how each element of your page will work together to create a coherent whole and to achieve AIDA:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action


Using examples of magazine pages made professionally to plan your layout.

  1. List all the elements on the page that are conventional (typically expected), you should do a list for each page, (help below):
  2. Using cut up postit notes for the different elements of your page design.
  3. Try a number of lick and stick layouts for each page until you have found a basic layout you are happy with.
  4. Take photos and upload them to your blog – use captions to identify the pages.
  5. Introduce and reflect on the purpose of the task and how it will help on your shoot and in DTP (Editing)
  6. Find a magazine layout that you like and take inspiration from it. Use hard copies as well as those found on line.

Front Page Design Elements

Double Page Spread Design Elements


Contents Page Design Elements

Here is a document to help you identity the elements of a contents page.

Masthead design

Now you know what your magazine is going to be called (you should have decided this for your Mission Statement), you need to have some fun designing some mastheads.

  • Use the inspiration from the fonts you have included in your moodboard and design about 5 on one Indesign A4 template – make a note of the fonts, size that you use alongside it.
  • Focus on weight, size, height, boldness etc and add some effects from the FX button.
  • We can import fonts from dafont – but you need to create a DAFONT folder in your D Drive so that the IT technicians can then install them.  Before that though, download them into the P Drive folder that is shared with all of you.
  • However, you can also take them into photoshop and manipulate them in there. However, this won’t be great for copy, captions as it will take too long but should be fine for the masthead.
  • Remember, bold and conventional font for the genre of the music and one that is also eye catching.
  • Choose one final design and include it on its own A4 template in Indesign and position and size it accordingly.




Studio Booking


  • Direct link to the Black and White studios here:
  • This is found in information – Studio Booking on the Menu of this site.
  • If you want the Lecture Theatre then you will have to ask a teacher to book it for you.
  • If you need to change bookings, then make sure you cancel your old booking.


  • You will need a key from a Media Teacher for the two studios.
  • Remember: set up and organise equipment before your model arrives to avoid them hanging around a lot.
  • Check the camera is charged and you have all the necessary batteries, chargers, lights, flashes etc.
  • If possible – use a double session or at least book one that runs in or out of break or lunch or a free lesson to give yourself plenty of time.
  • If you want to book a studio after school then you need to have a teacher with you so talk to them first.


Preparing for your Front Cover Shoot – PRODUCTION MEETING AGENDA

In order to plan your studio shoot of your main cover star, you will need to be REALLY ORGANISED.

Use this Production Meeting Agenda to plan out exactly when and where you are doing the shoot. Who is responsible for bringing various props, MES and who will be doing hair and make-up.

You will need to think carefully about who your model is and plan with them when they are available for the shoot. Plan to have a free before so that you can get them ready and maximise time in the studio or use breaktime or lunchtime to get everything ready.

PRODUCTION MEETING AGENDA (make a copy) – and include photos of the costumes from your star image slide to remind yourself and the models what they need to bring etc.

The link to the Photography Studio booking chart is in the previous post but also in Information above. You will need to liaise with your model to ensure that you are all free and available.

REMEMBER THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL – nails, friendship bracelets, bad hair, weird hair toggles, school shoes and school shirts, random jewellery and earrings.  Also, avoid clothing with logos or branding.



Star image – representation of the star

A key concept in Media Studies is Representation and Ideology.


  • The Star Image game.

TASK 2 – The Theory. 

  • This slideshow below tries to explain what representation means and how we can use music star image to illustrate the concept. Also this will act as research into the design of your own star, which you will be photographing in the weeks beginning 13th & 20th November.


Explore the Representation of a given music star as it is constructed in their  META-NARRATIVE

  • Choose ONE music star who would feature in your genre of magazine.
  • Create a slideshow.
  • Find examples from a range of texts surrounding your star (their meta-narrative). See the slide show for ideas on evidence meta narrative.
  • For each of your images include a description of how they are represented through the image or the tweet or the article.  How is the star image represented, portrayed, conveyed?  What is implied, inferred, suggested through the tweet, image, headline?You should have around 10 images with detailed analysis.
  • Summarise in 50 words the representation of the star – what are the ideologies surrounding the star?
  • On the final slide, include images of costume, hair and make up (Mise En Scene) that you will try and style your front cover model in next week.  Include adjectives for how you want them to be represented, portrayed etc.


Communicating my brand – finding inspiration

In Search of Design Ideas

All designers are constantly on the search for ideas they can appropriate (borrow) and incorporate (blend) into their own work.

You need to do the same for your magazine.

A Design Inspiration Process (My Example)

I have decided to make a magazine similar to Kerrang.

Of course I had to understand my audience and what media they consume and use this information to give me ideas for my inspiration search.

I looked at a number of back issues of Kerrang and used YouGov Profiles Lite for artists that appeared on those front pages. I took snips of their audience’s demographics and their media consumption, particularly the other musicians/ artists / bands which cropped up. Here is my research on my audience and what media they’re into.


I then went in search of picture, words, designs as well Photoshop & Indesign techniques I thought might suit my Kerrang styled magazine.

To gather my images together I used Pinterest, which allowed me to pin my ideas to a board I called ‘Magazine Moodboard’. You’ll need to install the Pinterest tool bar button in Chrome in your profile. This will give the ability to ‘Pin’ images you see in a Google search.

I used the following search terms in Google after the band names or artists listed in my YouGov research.

  • ‘Lyrics’
  • ‘Album Art’
  • ‘Logos’
  • ‘Tweets’

I also searched for ‘Design’, ‘Graphics’ and ‘Typefaces’ along with with the following #adjectives, which I associate with Kerrang and the bands / artists which appear on it…

  • ‘Grungy’
  • ‘Urban’
  • ‘Raw’

Use adobe colour wheel for a possible colour palette and include visual denotations and connotations that embody your brand and visual design.

This is a link to my Pinterest board

This is a link to a Pop inspiration board.

This is a link to an Indie Folk board.

Use INSTAGRAM for a source of fantastic images, ideas.

TASK – Get Inspired & Do some Research…

You should follow the same process as above.

  1. Do your audience research on a magazine similar to the one you want to make.
  2. Sign up to Pinterest, install the button in Chrome and create a new inspiration board.
  3. Search the media your audience is into, as well as designs, logos, colours, lyrics, tweets.
    1. After you have pinned about 50 images, go back to your Pinterest board and delete about 10-20% of the pins so you’ve got a board of around 40-45 pins, which seem to have some design coherence.
  4. Explain your pins
    1. It is important that you explain why you have chosen the images and what design features are attracting you. If you look at my board, I have edited the pins to explain what feature I like about them and how I might use them in my magazine.
    2. If you can edit the comments so that they can be seen easily then do so, otherwise summarise in the introduction what you have chosen and why and pick out one or two examples to examine in depth.
  5. Link your Pinterest board in a blog post called ‘Developing the Brand’ and reflect on how useful you found this as a way to gather ideas for your own design, which starts next week…

It’s decision time – YOUR MAGAZINE!


Task 1 – What genre?

Pick a Genre – probably best to choose a genre of music you understand, like and can be excited about. That said, some genres of music have very specific conventions and might be able to provide you with much more scope for design decisions and copy style. If you are undecided perhaps choose a very obvious genre i.e. punk, heavy metal?

Research various genres – you will be amazed how many sub-genres and sub-cultures there are. These are just a few.

Task 2 – Choose the name of the magazine. 

Use a generator app or a thesaurus for a simple, catchy and relevant name of the magazine. It has to be catchy and relate to your genre and brand – make it relevant to your target audience.

  • Bonus, Fault, Exchange, Storm, Louder, Open Mic, Score, Epoch, Placebo, Audio, Stream, Hustle, Phonic, Whisper, N&U (new and unsigned), Orbit, Swipe, Double Tap, Like, Status, Plectrum.

Task 3 – Brand Wordcloud/Mission Statement – Blog Post

Create a wordcloud that includes all the words that relate to what might be your mission statement  for your magazine.  For example will you magazine feature: new talent, unsigned artists, fashion, concerts, festivals, be edgy, anarchic, energetic?  Address all 4 of the Uses and Gratification that Blumler and Katz talk about to ensure maximising your sales to ensure that your contents will appeal to their use of the text.  Include the name of the magazine in a different colour.

This is an example wordle for a HipHop/Rap magazine called STREETZ.

Blog post:

  • Introduce your magazine and its name.
  • Outline the genre – brief description of the type of music and performers associated with the genre.
  • Embed the wordle and introduce it.
  • Create a couple of lines for its mission statement which will also be part of the wordle on the magazine’s brand.

This is a link to some previous  mission statements – not perfect but a start.


Task 4 – Dating Profile

Now that you have an idea of what your MAGAZINE is all about, you need to know more about the audience. Using and your imagination, create a dating profile of a typical target audience reader. Keep them in mind all the time when you are designing to ensure you are hitting the target, satisfying their needs and giving them predictable pleasure.

Favourite music, favourite TV, who do they follow on insta?, favourite quotes, job, age, favourite food, best type of Sunday, favourite holiday destination, ambition?

You may have to think laterally to find a similar audience member to search for their profile in

You will have to use your imagination too or model it on someone you know who fits the demographics and psychographics of your typical target audience.  It could be YOU!

Design it on indesign of a google slide.

Your tour poster

This is your chance to shine now. This is your chance to put all your technical skills with Indesign and your knowledge and understanding of how font, colour, images and language can help communicate a story.

A client has come to you with an image of themselves as a performer. Their style of music will belong to a particular genre. They want you to design a poster for an A4 page in a magazine, advertising and promoting their forthcoming tour. You must include the following:

  • Name of artist
  • Name of the Tour
  • Dates and Venues
  • Other information like: where the album can be bought/downloaded, tickets available from and prices etc.

Why not use this tour poster presentation as a start for inspiration or look at the previous presentation?

Consider AIDA – attention, interest, desire and action.

Look at this presentation of CD covers that relate to specific genres and you will see how ‘conventional’ the colour palettes are for each individual genre.  Make sure you too follow the conventions but create an innovative and eye catching poster.

Remember,  doodle, muse and research before you open up your Indesign.