My Tour Poster

Below are example of Indie Music tour posters and the Indie tour poster conventions I have discovered:

LAYOUT: The layouts are very simple and not too cluttered. The star cover photo  is positioned in the centre of the poster with the dates and places they visit at the bottom. The main cover lines are very large and are either above or below the cover photo.

FONTS: The fonts of the main cover lines are quite unique and represent the individual group or artist. (some are very quirky like the ‘Arctic Monkeys’) The dates and other information about the music is in a smaller font that is clear and easy to read. (The majority are in a sans serif typeface.)

COLOUR: The majority of posters have a black/dark background with not much colour. If colour is used, it is either hint of brown or it is quite washed out and dull.  (for example, even though the Mumford and Sons poster is much more colourful than the other posters, it still isn’t neon or too colourful.)

PHOTO: The photos used on the posters are a mixture of styles. Most are a mid shot of the artists however some have aerial views of the actual tour or none at all.

From looking at the conventions of Indie tour posters, I have realised the type of components I will need to include when creating my own.

My Magazine Front Page Swede

After deciding on an NME magazine cover to recreate, I then started to build it on ‘Indesign’. I chose the NME cover which included LCD Soundtrack as their main cover star. Below shows the original magazine cover and then the one I recreated underneath.



Although I was mainly able to recreate the magazine cover, there are still components that I could improve to make it identical.

I think I was quite successful:

  • In making the colours in the magazine match. (especially the oranges on the masthead and main cover line).
  • The cover line fonts compare quite well and I was able to make the spaces between each of the lines match the original. (For example “Florence” and the line below had a smaller gap between them than the others.)
  • I was able to make the plug have the same layout including the lines above and below the text.

However there are also parts that could be improved:

  • I had the same main cover star image however it was slightly more zoomed in on my recreation. This made some of the titles and text seem slightly out of position and proportion.
  • The background is slightly off in that the original had a grey gradient from the top corners whereas mine does not.
  • The Masthead font is a little different to the original. The font is not exactly a perfect match and the “E” in mine does not layer behind his head. In the future, this could be corrected by using Photoshop to cut out my cover star to be able to layer him on top of the background (with the E behind his head).

From this task of recreating a music magazine cover, I have learnt how difficult it is to chose the correct fonts, colours and images, and how they must all be picked out perfectly to fit the intended style. This links back to Mise en Scene; being able to narrate a story through the different components. It has also taught me how layout is very important so that the audience is able to see all the key information without it being too busy and cramped. This piece of media included most of the conventions of a music magazine and so should mine when I create my own. I will also need to think back to Mise en Scene and the colours and language used so that it fits in with the genre and attracts my intended target audience.

Below are 3 Youtube tutorials on Indesign features that will help me when creating my own magazine cover.


A Front Cover Analysed

Below shows a music magazine I have analysed. I have looked at the price, demographics, psychographics, the mission statement, and what is actually on the magazine.

Looking at everything which goes into a music magazine, it has shown me how much I need to research before starting to make my own. I will need to look at the demographics and pyschographics of my target audience to determine what I will need to include to interest them. I will also need to think about Mise en Scene and any photography techniques when taking the pictures used on it. All of this must collaborate perfectly in order for my magazine to be a successful piece of media.

Audience Profiling

Below displays a music magazine which I have researched about to find the intended target audience.

After looking at Mojo’s website and using, I was able to discover more about the Magazine. I determined that the demographics for Mojo magazine was people aged 35 up (mainly Generation X). Men are more likely to read the magazine (with 73.1 % of readers being male) however it isn’t only advertised at men but women as well. The psychographics of the magazine are “for those truly obsessed with music” but with a lot of interests in classical rock. Over the years, Mojo have featured huge musical artists including Queen and the Beatles. With such big main cover stars and lines, this draws in more customers to look at their magazines, increasing the purchases of their media.

From investigating Mojo magazine, it has shown me how important it is to take an interest in your target audience and research them thoroughly. It allows you to plan out your magazine and cover to what your audience want and what is appropriate for them.

For example, if you were to create a music magazine based on opera, your demographics are most likely to be the older generation (probably baby boomers), with the psychographics of people who love classical opera music. You music magazine would then need to cater for that group of people and represent that genre. The front cover may still be conventional, however the language used may be sophisticated with an elegant font for the main cover line. You will then have a well known opera singer (e.g Andrea Bocelli) as your main cover star to draw in the attention of your target audience and then you may have insets to advertise more opera singers featured inside your magazine. This will all attract the specific target audience (of the older generation who love opera) however if you were to include bad language or a picture of a rapper, this would not draw in that segment of audience.

This shows me why researching your specific target audience is so important as you need to know what their interests and conventions are. If something isn’t what they are interested in, then your magazine will not attract them. When creating my own music magazine, I will need to decide on the target audience I am aiming it at and then research them to discover what I should then use to draw in their attention.

Conventional design features of a magazine

Most successful magazines all have the same or very similar conventions. These conventions include:

  • Main cover line
  • Main cover stars
  • Masthead
  • Cover lines
  • Insets
  • Captions
  • Plug
  • Pug
  • Issue/date
  • Price
  • Bar code

Below shows a magazine labelled with the conventions most magazines contain.

Although this magazine contains most of the components, it isn’t as conventional as other magazines. For example, the masthead isn’t as big as it could be; especially compared to others. This could effect how well it grabs the attention of the audience. This magazine also doesn’t contain a pug. A pug is a promotion for something included inside the magazine. (for example: “30 must see movies!”)

From analysing the technical conventions of a music magazine, it has shown me that although magazines can be based on very different genres, they are all constructed in quite similar ways. The more conventions included, the better the magazine is at catching the attention of the audience.

So… How can an image communicate meaning?

From looking at Mise en Scene and Camera Framing, it has made me realize how many different components to a photo you need to consider in order to portray a narrative to an audience.

Mise en Scene forms what the picture is actually of and what is included in it. You need to take into consideration the:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Acting
  • Make up and hair
  • Props
  • Setting

Each of these must link perfectly back to the narrative so that they are not just part of it for the sake of it, adding unnecessary confusion.

In addition to Mise en Scene, the photography techniques are also just as important. We have looked at camera angles, distance, and composition; each creating meaning in a picture.

Every decision made will be important and contribute to the narrative. You may decide on some bright lighting (this being a denotation) and not think of it being that important; however the connotations on this decision may add to the message. For example you may associate bright lighting with joy and excitement. Just a simple decision can play a major role in representing the story to the audience.

This has taught me that when making my media, I will need to plan out each style of photo perfectly otherwise my audience may misinterpret the meaning. Below is an example of how I would plan out a picture. It will be important to do this before even getting the camera out.





The Camera Talks

Below displays a mood board with my favourite 9 photos taken with a technique on how we took the photo, a denotation and a connotation. For example, the photo in the middle on the top row is just someone behind a metal gate, however we used it to create a narrative of someone being trapped and alone. We also added the action of her reaching out through the bars which we then focused on with the camera (and made the rest blurry) to add a depth of field. Along with the sorrowful facial expression, this action added to the aura of pain and isolation. This photo is actually my favourite out of all of them as I feel as though the story is being portrayed the best. The darker lighting and location emphasizes the emotion of sadness and the black clothing she is wearing also fits in with the narrative. I also really like the depth of field and how the camera has focused on the hand reaching out. It captures and draws in the audiences attention; making it very striking to look at.

Although the actors are the same in each photo, the use of Mise en Scene and photography techniques allow each image to tell its own individual narrative; creating different emotions and ideas.


Technical Camera Terms

After looking at Mise en Scene,  we were finally ready to start picking up a camera and looking at how the different camera angles, distance and composition helps to contribute in telling a narrative in media. We also looked at how the f spot, shutter speed and ISO affect the photos being taken.

CAMERA ANGLES: These are very important as they show the position of what you are taking a photo of. They allow a story to be told just from where the photo is being taken from. For example, if you are taking a photo up high looking down on something, it presents the object you are taking a photo of as very vulnerable and weak. If you are looking from the cameras perspective, it gives the sense of power and strength.

DISTANCE: This is also very important and contributes massively to the narrative. For example, if you were creating the idea of loneliness, the biggest impact would be a long shot (LS) or extreme long shot (ELS) with a singular person in it. However, if you were to take a close up (CU) or middle shot (MS) of a person, the seance of loneliness may then be lost as the background of the photo is not necessary seen.

COMPOSITION: This allows the photos being taken to have a structure to them, allowing them to tell the story without confusion. The “rule of thirds”, splits the photos up into 3 rows and columns, allowing each section to portray something different. This rule prevents the picture from becoming too confusing and crowded; preventing the story from being understood. Lead space is used to also add meaning. For example, if someone was in the bottom left corner but looking towards the top right corner, lead space may be used in the right of the image to suggest them looking at something specific. If no lead space was used, the story may become difficult to understand. Depth of field is another composition technique used and allows the attention of the audience to be drawn to something specific by making the rest of the photo blurry. This technique is created by altering the f spot setting on your DSLR camera, depending on what you want to focus on.

Once we understood the different photography techniques and settings on our cameras, we then experimented with them around school. As well as using the correct camera angles, distance and composition, we also had to remember to consider Mise en Scene and the story which we were trying to convey.

Below are the photos that we took.

From experimenting with our cameras, it has shown me that when creating my music magazine, I will have to consider the use of the camera as well as Mise en Scene. It isn’t just the costume, acting and setting that is important, but the lighting and camera techniques as well. All components will need to be decided carefully otherwise if one is slightly wrong or vague, the narrative may become misunderstood.

My image that uses mise-en-scene to communicate meaning.

We were allocated a genre of music (Indie) which we then looked at into detail. (costumes, body language, sound, make-up, etc)

We discovered that the Indie music conventions are an independent pop group or soloist, usually having instruments including a drum base and acoustic guitar.  The genre creates the feeling to consumers of a carefree and laid-back style, giving the audience an escape from their busy and stressful lifestyles.

Mise En Scene of Indie Music:

  • Costumes: are very dull and washed out colours. They often wear shirts, oversized jumpers and skinny jeans.
  • Lighting: is quite bright contrasting with the dull colours which they wear.
  • Actions: are quite relaxed and chilled. Many artists are seen with hands in pockets or with their arms crossed. Their posture is quite slouched suggesting they don’t take things too seriously.
  • Make-up: is very natural. Some females are seen to have eyeliner but other than that, nothing too extravagant. Hairstyles are also very natural. Many have their hair down without any style. This presents their natural and unique style.
  • Props: are scarce. Other than the odd drumsticks or guitar being held, they are only really seen as themselves.
  • Setting: the locations of the photographs the artists are seen in are usually plain backgrounds. They are quite often in front of a white wall or sometimes seen in a wooded background.

Below displays a mood board with all of the ideas about Indie music we came up with.

Made with Padlet


After analysing the conceptions about the genre “Indie”, we then tried it out ourselves. We styled our model with a hand draw tee-shirt (to present individuality and quirkiness), black skinny jeans, and a worn, dull jacket. We used no make-up and left their hair in its natural form (messy curls) to portray the relaxed and chilled out vibe. For props, we also used some sun glasses and an acoustic guitar.

Once we had finished styling, we then got our peers to give connotations on our artist. Below shows the feedback we were given:

We were very happy with the feedback given as the words reported back to us included chill, lazy and relaxed. This was the exact vibes we were trying to accomplish. However, one of the words were “bored” which although links into the theme, could also be something negative. As a producer, we would need to make sure that we were achieving the right emotion but at the same time making it interesting for our audience. If we made our artist seem too boring, then the audience of our music wouldn’t be intrigued as it is not very appealing to look at.

From this feedback, it has made me realise that when creating media (for example when making my music magazine), you need to make sure that the message you are trying to portray is being understood by everyone. Although you may associate one thing with another, other people may not make this link. This could prevent the message from being understood. For example, I may link the colour red with love, however other people may link it with blood. This shows why you have to decide on everything carefully so the meaning is not perceived wrong.

We then continued onto the photo shoot where took many photos at different angles and lightnings. If you click on the image below, it will relocate you to a file which holds all of the photos we took.

Out of all the photos taken, below shows my favourite one. I chose this as I felt it portrayed the genre most successfully.

I chose this as my favourite photo as although it doesn’t include any props or accessories, the lighting and body language of our artist fits perfectly with the Indie genre.

The facial expression are very poised (not a smile but also not frowning); adding to the relaxed and chilled out mood. Their head is turned away from the camera, with their eyes following that direction as well. This creates the idea that they are looking ahead of them, possibly referring to the future they will have. Their body language is also not too upright, presenting their carefree vibes.

The fact that there are no props in this shot adds to the natural and simplistic look. All concentration from the audience will be focused on the actual artist instead of something less important. This simple look also allows the colour of the jacket to pop, showing off the worn, dull colours. This distinguishes the “Indie” genre massively as these colours are one of the main associations with it.

The lighting of the picture is relatively bright (brighter than some of the other photos), lightening up the mood and tone of the photo. Some of the other images were almost too dark that they dampened the aura, making it seem less Indie and more depressing.

Print Media that Communicates Meaning

Mise en Scene is essential to portray meanings in media. It consists of six elements which are:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Acting
  • Make up
  • Props
  • Setting

Below shows a poster which I have annotated, showing how these different elements are used to create different meanings.

From looking at Mise en Scene,  I have learnt that when creating my music magazine, I will have to consider all 6 components. For example:

  • Costumes: I will have to decide on what costume the people featuring in the magazine will wear. This will present not just their personality but will reflect the music that is being advertised.
  • Lighting: I will have to consider how bright/dark and the colour of the lighting that the photos in my magazine will contain. This will reflect the mood of the music featured.
  • Acting: I will have to decide on the proxemics and body language of my actors to present the correct message my magazine is trying to reflect.
  • Make up: I will need to chose the correct make up and hair for my actors to wear so that they fit in with the theme of my magazine.
  • Props: The props that will feature in my magazine will also need to present a story that matches the music being advertised.
  • Setting: The locations where the photos taken (that are used in my magazine) will need to be thought out so that it fits in with the theme and style. If not, it will become confusing to the audience.