CCR4: So… How did you integrate technologies (software, hardware and online) in this project?




Adverts are an important part of magazines. They give readers some things to look at they may interest them and they generate a small amount of extra income for the magazine companies. Brands spent thousands on adverts to make sure that they are putting them in magazines that the readers will be interested in. Knowing information about the pshycographics and demographics will be invaluable when choosing what advert to put where.

My magazine is a rap magazine so the basics of my audience are:

  • Millennial/ Gen X
  • Equally female/Male
  • Typically lower middle class/middle class
  • Like Branded jewelry and clothing
  • Sneakerheads

Using the Blumler and Katz Uses and Gratification model, I can see that personal identity would be he most useful to aim for with these adverts with things such as clothing and shoes. In many professional magazines, shoes and clothing are one f the main things advertised as well as sports drinks as the audience are quite active people who are outside a lot.

For the first ad I have chosen this:

This is a Nike ad that promotes Nike Zoom Vaporfly shoes. I think this ad fits well into my rap genre as it is a branded item that many readers look for.

the second ad I have chosen is a monster energy drink advert as it’s a drink that the audience of my magazine will commonly drink and so the advertisement will catch their eye.

A New Improved Magazine Draft


After implementing all of the advice that I have been given from my teachers and peers, I have finalized another draft of my final magazine. This version has come an incredibly long way compared to the previous complete draft in a good way. I think the presentation as a whole is a lot nicer, a lot cleaner and helps to show the style of the magazine throughout. Here are the chnages I have made to every page:

Front Page

  • Aligned text
  • Fixed text issues like size and capitalization
  • Added shadow to cover line
  • Fixed cover line text
  •  Fixed plug
  • Rearranged everything on page

These changes really help to create a nice, clean front page and make it a lot less cluttered and frantic as the old one.

Contents Page

  • Added shapes with gradients under each number
  • Bordered light blue box
  • Removed some contents.
  • Enlarged images
  • Added Wave logo along side

These changes also make the page look less frantic as a whole and the use of borders really help to section off each section of the contents which makes it much easier for the readers to see. The shapes under the numbers also help the reader to easily find which page they need to look for when flipping though the magazine.

Double Page Spread

  • Added very light golden gradient over images
  • Rearranged images
  • Added new image and cut old one
  • Added logos to bottom of page
  • Moved article
  • Added article
  • Added quotes
  • Added byline
  • Added heading
  • Added page numbers

This page definitely had the most care taken to make it reach its true potential. I had to redo the entire page basically from scratch. I think it look so much more interesting than it once was with the singular image I had before. Now the pages look more connected the ever and the images fit with the article much, much better than before. My favorite part about this page is the heading with the spotlight looking like its hit with a spotlight. This probably took up the longest part of designing the page as it’s what would draw people in so I wanted to nail the look of it. I used a combination of effects like drop shadow and feather gradients.

Complete Magazine Draft (3)

After several drafts of each page I have collected my three pages together for the entire magazine.

Here is the complete magazine draft:

Overall, I am quite happy with the style of all of my posts and I quite like how the colour scheme stays the same throughout with the blues that really reflect the theme of waves. I love the contents page as it has a minimalist style which makes it look clean and neat which will help when the reader is finding what to read and what they would like as that is really what a contents page is for. I feel like it is good for me to gather all my magazine pages together as I can really look at my magazine as a whole and see what could improve and how the magazine as a whole will look.

This Screen Castify was incredibly helpful as it gave me clear guidelines of what I need to do to make my pages perfect. From this video I have picked a few things that I urgently need to do:

Magazine Cover

  • Rearrange content on magazine cover
  • Centralize plug at top
  •  Capitalize font where needed and fix font issues
  • Align text

Contents Page

  • Remove some things
  • Bigger images
  • Change page numbers to one number only
  • Add some highlighting things to the numbers, shapes most likely.
  • Fix font issues
  • Align titles

Double Page Spread

  • Change image
  • Make pages have a theme or something so they connect
  • Layout needs to be interesting

Using all of this will definitely help to make my magazine look a whole lot better and using the skills I have learnt while creating the entire magazine will help to go back and look at what I can fix and do differently about older, more outdated pages. i think that these edits will make the magazine as a whole look neater and better and more like a professionally made one. There is still a lot I can do to improve my magazine pages and to see how far I’ve come from the first draft, I know that i am capable of doing them.

So… How is it Going?

So far, I am having a lot of fun in media studies and have learnt an incredible amount of new skills. I have learnt both technical skills with things such as in design and Photoshop and also many transferable skills! A lot of the skills I have learnt so far will definitely help me in the future as well as now.

Camera Skills

All my camera knowledge before media was pretty weak to say the least so it felt quite confusing when I first got my hands on a DSLR camera but after some help I have learnt many of the tools that I now use in order to create perfect images.

  • Aperture – This is a small hole in the camera that can increase or decrease in size to determine the depth of field of a picture. A lower focal length such as 5.6 or below is better for taking close up pictures with the background out of focus. In contrast, A high focal length, such as 11 or higher will be better for taking landscape photographs.
  • Shutter Speed – This is how long the light is fed into the camera. This can be useful for taking photos of movement such as a car driving past as it leaves a slight trail behind showing movement. A good shutter speed to start with is 1/125.
  • ISO – The ISO Allows more or less light into the photo. This can have many different uses like taking images in low or high light concentrations.  A low ISO will make an image look crisper and cleaner but work best in a high light level area whereas an image with a high ISO will look more grainy but work better in dark areas such as at night.

As well as these basic camera skills I have also learnt how to use a few techniques outside of the camera settings:

  • Lighting – Lighting can make a massive difference to the look of a photo. A low-key light setup can create deep shadows whereas a high-key light setup can create a more naturalistic look in a photo.
  • Angle – The angle of the camera in comparison to the focus object can create so much meaning. A low angle can make the object seem powerful and authoritative whereas a  High angle can make the object look vulnerable and afraid.
  • Distance – The distance of the camera in comparison to the focus object is also very important. It can make an object seem small and alone or it can make an object look big and strong.


Photoshop & In-design

Photoshop has been an incredibly useful tool that has made many of my images look much cleaner and fit into my magazine and other things. In-design has also been an incredible program to use and has been essential in the creation of my magazine. The vast amount of tools that I have learnt to use on both of these programs has allowed me to be very creative with what I make. Before coming to media studies I had very limited knowledge of both of these programs. Some tools I have learnt to use like Gradients, shapes and text tools have really made my pages look a lot more professional and interesting.


Transferable Skills

Many of the skills I have learnt during my media course have been more than just technical skills. A lot of the skills will be ones that I am able to utilize outside of school:

  • Teamwork – Learning to work with others has been a vital part of media. Taking feedback from peers to helping and getting help with equipment and tools all of these skills have been so helpful. If not for teamwork I would not have learnt how to use many tools that I ended up using during my magazine creation. I had to ask for help many times as a lot of my peers knew more than me and that’s okay because they gave helpful tips that allowed my work to be produced to its full potential.
  • Organisation – This skill is probably the most useful one I have learnt. I myself am not an incredibly organised person by nature so having to meet deadlines and struct schedules has been a challenge for me. I have had to keep up on my work on a regular basis and make sure that I don’t get to far behind. I have slowly learnt better and better ways to deal with certain problems and how to make my workflow efficient and smooth.
  • Experimentation – Experimenting with tools and techniques has cause some great things for me throughout my media work. Many of the drafts for my magazines had things that I had no intention of creating at first. Even the mast head for my magazine was just something I thought would look cool so I did it! Experimenting with my work has made it easy for me to express my creative side and has made a really unique feel to much of the work I do as most of it is just things that I think of off the top of my head.

Design Skills 2

Since I began using in-design and Photoshop a lot recently, I have gathered many skills with the tools and learnt certain techniques that help me now and in the future. Some skills I have learnt through google and YouTube and others I found out by myself:

        • The BLUR tool really helped to refine edges of images. Before using the blur tool, my images would have a weird white aura after I cut them out from their background. To fix this I looked up how to fix it and found that the blur tool is a quick and easy tool to fix this issue. It really made the images a lot cleaner and nicer to look at and helped them blend in well with the magazine.
        • The SMOOTH setting really helped me to make clean, curved and straight lines. I found this out myself while designing the logo of the magazine as I wanted to put a line through the middle of the word. Using the smooth tool made the line perfect and helped to make it look nice. Here is a quick example of when smoothing is and isn’t used:
        • The Shape tool really helped me to create some interesting looking things as well as fill in space among other things. I used it in every one of my magazine pages. On my contents page, I used the hexagon shape to create a sort of flower by simple placing many shapes on top of one another and rotating them slightly. This worked great to fill in some gaps and was a quick and easy thing with a good outcome.
        • The Text tool was one that I used extensively when making all of my pages. It is the easiest way to add text somewhere and lets me play around with different fonts, colours, sizes, distance and more! This really made it hard to decide on a certain look of the text as there were so many options but overall the sheer amount of options that you get let you be as creative as you want
        • The LINE tool really helps to create importance in words such as a headline or title and helps to separate words from other parts of the page. I used it on my contents page title to  separate the big heading from the small contents underneath. I also used it for cover lines on my front page and to highlight what they were and guide people to them.

A New Improved Contents Page

Draft 2                                                                      Draft 1

Draft 2 of my magazine cover does not improve on much from Draft 1 as I was already quite happy with the design. I did improve a few things though:

  • Made some text bolder and bigger
  • Added front page article
  • Made light blue box smaller

I also tried to experiment with using a gradient to broaden the colour.

However, I do not particularly like the design as I feel like the white background gives it a more clean feel but I will get some feedback on which one people prefer more.

I don’t think there are many more changes I need to make to my contents page as I feel like the first draft was almost perfect and with the improvements in Draft 2 I think it can’t improve on much. One change I would make is maybe replace the existing photos with new ones. I feel like only 3 models all magazine is a bit boring and adding a couple more will add some spice to the page.

I also think the top left picture is a bit fuzzy so maybe I could retake it. This would make it better to look at and if I used a plain background or something it might fit better into the page.