Mast Head Designs

Below are five different potential masthead designs for my magazine.

In an attempt to fit the punk/alternative genre I aimed for an overall rugged, scuffed feel, using white texture overlays that fit this idea on the black text. I also wanted to convey a sense of power and strength through the mast head, consequently choosing to use a thick, strong, sans serif font, or alternatively, to appeal more to the rebellious nature of the genre, a hand-drawn typeface to give an image of graffiti on a wall.

Star Image – Theirs and Mine

The next stage of creating our magazine is considering how we want to represent our “star”, how they suit the genre and present themselves as a person to their audience. To better approach these ideas I looked at how this is done in real life, choosing an example of an artist in the genre I have chosen and looking at their various appearances and presentations in all aspects of the media – known as their meta narrative. This then takes into consideration the elements of  Richard Dyer’s Paradox of a Star, considering how celebrities are often represented as simultaneously extraordinary, talented and removed from society, whilst also ordinary, relatable and empathetic; all features which lead to their affection from fans and can be observed in how they are presented through the media.

Click to view full Prezi

From this research, I then continued to make points on and pick out common features in models of the genre, considering all elements is C.L.A.M.P.S, shown in the moodboard below with examples;

Consequently, this moodboard can act as criteria and inspiration for me to draw off of and and idea of what I aim to include and incorporate when it comes to creating my own star image / cover model.

Communicating My Brand

Below is an example of and link to my pinterest board for this magazine, which I plan to be a work in progress through the development of my magazine; collecting various images, photos, fonts, layouts and general ideas for reference and inspiration in my own magazine.

(Click to open on Pinterest)

My Audience Profile

To get a better idea of our target audience we were tasked with making up a dating profile for an example our target demographic. Using sites such as YouGov I looked into the general interests of people who listen to the bands of my genre, with a common audience of caucasian, white men (often millenials), who share an interest in bands such as Green Day, Blink 182, Nirvana, My Chemical Romance etc.

Creating this profile allowed me to getter a better idea and grasp of not only what the audience is interested in but what their mentality and ideaology is like, all to be considered when designing a magazine targeted towards them. Due to this I can now understand how to encode ideas, imagery and narratives that will appeal to my typical audience member and be decoded by them in preferred reading.

Branding Ideas & Mission Statement

To begin our work directly towards the creation of our magazine we needed to form an udnerstanding of the genre and typicalities of said genre that we were going to create under. For my magazine I have decided to cover the genre of alternative/punk music, primarily due to my own experience with the genre as well as it’s clear and distinct ideologies and community. This is further reflected in the word cloud I have created, covering some of the most prominent ideas, thoughts, themes and inclusions in a magazine of this genre;

After recognising these typicalities I then needed to decide on a name for my magazine/brand, drawing from the interests of the audience and reflecting the content of the magazine whilst sounding professional, topical and memorable. After some thought I decided on the title LE, standing for the Larson Effect, a sound often created when an audio feedback loop is created, for example when an electric guitar pickup gets too clsoe to an amp or a microphone, creating a humming, electrical, often unpleasant sound. This name and idea fits the typicalities of the music as not only an effect implemented in many alternative/punk songs but as a general reflection of the distorted, heavy tones of the genre.

Finally, I had to decide on and create a mission statement;

“L.E. magazine is designed by, and for fans of alternative/punk music; providing an inside voice on all the latest reviews, releases and updates from within the genre as well as acting as an escape from the mediocrity of everyday life.”

So… I’m Ready to Make Some Media

As the first half-term of the course reaches and end and I complete the final tasks before the creation of my magazine it’s important that I reflect on what I have learnt and gained so far as a media producer. So far I can confidently say that I can identify and reflect on the use of;

  • Mise en scene; (C.L.A.M.P.S.)
    • Costume- the way characters / models are dressed
    • Lighting- how lights and colours can be used to create an atmosphere
    • Acting- the interactions and positioning of characters in a scene
    • Makeup- (also including hair)
    • Props- the inclusion of items and tools to be used / placed within a scene
    • Setting- the surroundings and locational context of a scene
  • Camera / Framing;
    • (Extreme) closeup- shows detail and intimacy in a scene, creates an emotional connection for the audience
    • Mid shot- most frequently used, often shows general action and interaction and allows multiple aspects of a character to be shown at once (emotion, stance, movement e.t.c.)
    • (Extreme) long shot- often allows for the setting and overarching circumastances of a scene to be shown, can also display vunerability with the subject appearing small in a alrge mass of space
    • High angle- looking down on a subject, often implying a sense of inferiority and vunerability
    • Low angle- looking up at a subject, directly opposing high angle it often displays the subject as powerful and controlling
    • Rule of thirds- the idea on the basis that an image is split into nine equal sections and that the attention of the image fits cleanly into each box to satisfy the eyes and avoid overwhelming or confusing amounts of information in one shot
  • Magazine/Print Terms;
    • Information- inclusion of clear, stand-out information in the form of plugs, pugs, slogans and captions
    • Typography- fonts, formatting and general style of text to convey message and remain clear to read
    • Colours- reflective of emotion / mood, should be complimentary to one another and remain consistent to the genre
    • Audience- make sure to refer back to the target demographic and the typicalities within this in order to properly tailor your product and design to them

Other important considerations;

  • A.I.D.A– Attention, Interest, Desire (or Decision), and Action. It is important to know and underastand you client and their mentality to be able to successfully appeal to what they’re looking for in a product that you create
  • Blumler and Katz– Uses and Gratifications theory. This theory covers the idea of how an audience’s personal interests often correlate to and link with the media they choose to consume

My Tour Poster

To properly prepare myself for creating a magazine cover and to further familarise myself with the Adobe tools, I worked to create a music tour poster based on the allocated theme and photoshoot done previously, my genre being indie music. To achieve this I compiled a moodboard of other indie album covers and tour posters, taking notes on the genre conventions. As listed in the slides below, this genre often includes faded colour palettes, often featruring subject matter revolving around nature and natural forms, accompanied with surreal concepts and art styles.

I then proceeded to create multiple drafts and concept designs for my poster, also included in the slides, trying out different mediums, styles and colours. I finally settled on a design including some hand-drawn tree branches (nature) and using water-colour paint textures (ilustrative, homemade aesthetic) with my photograph looking inwards, facing the text and cosequently drawing the reader’s attention to the information as they follow the eyes.

Reflection:

Feedback on the Brief

Your comment: 

My tour poster successfully displays;

  • The artist/tour name
  • The dates and venues of the tour
  • Directions of where more information and tickets can be found
Feedback on colours:

  • Has the design used a consistent colour scheme?
  • Is there a relationship between the colours in the image and the colour of the graphic design?
  • Do the colours seem typical of the genre?
Your comment: 

My poster is set to a basic and consistent colour scheme consisting of primarily dark, earthy reds and pale blues, linking to the typicalities of the genre and it’s links with warm, natural forms and colours.

Feedback on typeface:

  • Is all the text legible? 
  • Is the typeface well chosen and does it suit the apparent genre?
  • How many typefaces are used in the design?
Your comment: 

Overall I made sure to keep the text readable, using only two different fonts, and clear against the background, especially as a gradient is used behind it I made sure to sustain readability behind it with the colours.

Feedback on integration of image and graphics

  • Does the text wrap around the image well?
  • Does the eyeline of the model focus attention?
Your comment: 

I made sure to utilise the text wrap tool in Indesign to fit the image, and chose the image due to it’s facing into the text to draw the concentration of the reader.

Feedback on image

  • Does the costume reflect a particular genre?
  • Is the body language of the model appropriate?
Your comment: 

As mentioned before in my photoshoot plan, the costume and posture of the model are designed to fit the Indie theme, and I believe that this is captured well in my poster.

Feedback on copy

  • Do the words on the page prompt a sense of desire?
  • Is there a clear call and a route to action? (AIDA)
Your comment:

The title of the tour itself is one that I chose because of the sense of mystery, it implies that there is a new world to be explored by participating in the tour and the action, prompting the interaction. 

Feedback on connotations

  • What messages and ideas are being communicated in the text?
  • Do those messages and ideas seem appropriate to the genre and purpose of the text?
Your comment: 

The general message of my poster is the idea of “transcending the limits of realities”, an idea aligning with the Indie ideas of the supernatural mixed with nature and real life which I feel I conveyed well with the uses of branches (natural forms) and the title of the poster

My Magazine Front Page Swede

For this task we had to take an existing NME magazine cover and recreate it, as a “swede” to become more confident and comfortable using Adobe InDesign and it’s tools, in practice for the creation of our own music magazines in future.

Below is my resulting swede (on the left) in comparison to the reference I used. Overall I am happy with the final product despite it’s imperfections. In reflection, my three pros and three cons are;

  • Pro- Successfully edited the star image to overlay the title as in the original.
  • Pro- Text styles (italics, line spacing, etc) are accurate and allow the text to remain readable and clear.
  • Pro- Spacing and layout of text is successful and readable, catching theauydiences attention without interfering with visibility of the central image.
  • Con- The star image is lower quality than the original (the best I could find online), decreasing the quality of the overal image.
  • Con- The text/content does not fit the page in the same style as the original, leaving an obvious gap around the edges.
  • Con- Bordering shadows/vingette are not as neat or smooth as the original, with shadows overlapping where they shouldn’t and the inner sahdow of the background not working as desired.

PDF Link:
https://blogs.grammar.sch.gg/zoesneddon/files/2019/10/final-draft-swede.pdf

Three Useful Tutorials for Future Work:

A Front Cover Analysed

Our next job was to analyse in more detail a professionally produced music magazine cover and audience, using data gathered from the previous exercise and linking this to how the design attracts the target demographic, through the research into their audience demographic and psychographic, how this aligns with their mission statement and how it is conveyed through the font, colours, images and language. By detailing and understanding the specific audience of a magazine you can then much better understand their perspectives and what they look for in the media the indulge in, making it easier to attract and persuade consumers to buy and read your magazine. When creating my own magazine cover I will then be able to use the skills I have learnt from this exercise to pinpoint my own target audience and attract their attention in the same ways.

Audience Profiling

In this task we were given a random magazine cover and were tasked with analysing their target audience, looking at ideas of demographics (who the audience is), psychographics (the behaviour and habits of the audience). This allowed us to get a better undertanding of how magazines successfully marketed and designed their covers to attract the attention of their target audience, important to being able to market towards them specifically and understand what media they want from a magazine, which will later be useful when decding what to feature in our own magazines.