AS Evaluation

For my AS music magazine I chose the genre of ‘Indie/Alternative rock’ because I have an interest in that genre and it gave me a wider range of bands and artists to include in my magazine as it is a broader genre. My target audience was males and females between the ages of 16 and 23 years old. In my magazine I included a 10% discount for a clothing line; which they would have hightened the  interest of my target audience, articles on bands and events that they would enjoy reading about. I advertised the chance for them to ‘meet and greet’ bands that they like by including the magazine’s website on the cover. The tone of my magazine was talking about the music and the artists, upcoming tours, albums, gigs, etc. The register of my magazine is informal as though speaking with friends, and as my target audience were young adults the use of swear words would not have upset or shocked them, so I included a small amount of swear words in my magazine. The style of my magazine was unique, as my magazine had indie influences I decided to make the issue that I made in the style of a comic book. The reason that I did this was because I knew that many of my target audience had an interest in comic books as well as their interest in music. Combining the two topics I created a music magazine which had the main image edited to add a ‘comic book’ element to the appearence of the cover. The ethos of my magazine is to inform my target audience about music, bands, gigs, new artists, etc. The music is the biggest element of my magazine and I know that my target audience are passionate about the music mostly. However as I knew that my target audience possibly wouldn’t buy a music magazine that was completely focused on music I added other elements to my magazine. An example of this is Interviews with bands about their lifestyle and views, clothing lines/fashion and the lifestyle of the music genre, for example festivals and gigs. All of this still is relevant to the music magazine but it adds a more casual feel to it. In my mission statement I said ‘’ it will focus on the music and not the image created by the media’’ I believe that I have stuck to what I said as there are no gossip/storytelling elements to my magazine.

Some music magazines that I looked at were Kerrang! And NME, these magazines were good examples for me to look at because Kerrang! is an Alternative rock magazine and NME is an indie magazine. As I wanted an ‘Indie/Alternative rock’ magazine looking at both of those magazines helped me to find the right balance between alternative rock and indie. The target audience of these magazines are mostly aimed at young adults aged between 16-26 year olds. I get the impression that these magazines are more favourable to be directed at males, though many females will also purchase the magazines. The composition of these magazines are very chaotic, this could be to reflect the style of music that the magazine features. The photography of the magazines includes images of the bands playing live, being sweaty and drinking beer. This is an acceptable and common occurrence in the music genre and the reader expects this from the bands.

This is different to other music magazines, for example these types of images would not be included in a pop magazine because the artists in those magazines are expected to be role models for a younger audience and they look up to the artists on how to act, dress, style their hair etc. The pop artists always look fresh and glamorous so it would be immoral for pop artists to be drinking and looking dirty.

From the music magazine examples that I analysed I learnt about the codes and conventions of real media examples. The content is a major aspect of the magazine and typically the codes and conventions include music related articles, band photo shoots and event/gig coverage and reviews. The audiences that these media examples target their magazines at include mainly males but there are still female elements incorporated into the magazines. The genre of the real media examples that I analysed were rock and indie magazines, I did this specifically so that when it came to creating my own music magazine I knew what the elements of these magazines where and I could harness the knowledge I have gained to converge the two genres together.  The tone of these magazines was mainly music orientated, either including contents about the music itself, music events or the artists and bands. I learnt that by focusing on the music the reader gets what they want from the music magazine and it allows the magazine to feature more artists in each issue than alternate magazines that have a gossip element to them. The register of the magazines that I analysed was very casual and relaxed; swear words and slang were not uncommon. The reason why they included this style of language in their magazine is to help the reader relate to the content and enjoy reading and buying their magazine. The photography in the magazines ranges from unprofessional style ‘in the moment’ shots taken at gigs, to professional studio photo shoots. The reason for this is because it allows the artists to have created an attractive appeal to their fans but at the same time it gives an insight to how they play live; the readers will appreciate the mixture of diverse photography styles. Throughout the magazine the same font is used, it is so that the impression is given that the magazine focuses simply on the music and bands opposed to spending their time on making the magazine look ‘nice’. The composition of the magazine is quite chaotic and looks unplanned and spontaneous; this could be to reflect the genre of music and the type of audience it is aimed at. The grids used on the magazine front covers are conventional, the mastheads are at the top with the main image covering the page and the featured articles around the band on the cover. The mastheads on the covers are designed in a way that makes them iconic and easily recognisable, this allows the magazines to sponsor tents at festivals and by putting the masthead on festival posters it allows the readers to make the connection. The name of ‘Kerrang!’ magazine is onomatopoeic, this means that itimitates the sound associated with the object or action that itrefers to it is the sound of someone strumming an electric guitar. ‘NME’ magazine stands for new musical express, it is an abbreviation of a phrase which implies that the aim of the magazine is to discover and inform the readers about new music.


The main colour used on both of the real magazine examples that I analysed is red, this could be to suggest excitement and animation relating to the music. Yellow is also another colour featured on  front covers which is frequently used in real music magazines of similar genres, this colour is bright and and cheerful which sometimes is a contrast with the music style included in the magazine. Black and white are familiar colours found on any music magazine because they contrast one another and they imply a sense of sophistication and maturity. In my magazine I used red, burnt orange, black and white mainly because these are colours that reflect the main image on my cover. The boldness of the red enchances the darkness of my magazine and it also relates to the comic book idea and the colours attract a youthful audience whilst visually complementing the main image.

The photos used in the real music magazines range from studio shots to outside locations. The reason why these photographs are used is to inform the reader of the experience of the magazine. If the shot is in the studio then the reader can expect articles and features on the bands and any upcoming new music they may be releasing. However if the photos are from a live gig then it is expected that the magazine will discuss the live experiences of the bands. In my music magazine I took pictures of a live gig that I went to for the reason that featuring them in my magazine will show the reader what to expect from this certain band at their gigs and express to them the atmosphere. I also took pictures of a teenage girl with heavy eye make up, she wasn’t posing for the camera or trying to look pretty because that is not what the music genre has connotations with; looking messy is ordinary because image isn’t the important element, the music is. The headlines and articles of real music magazines are extremely important to the companies that produce and design them because frankly that is what the magazine depends on to sell copies. Headlines like ‘NORTHERN UPROAR’ imply that the music the band produces is loud and chaotic, so this helps the reader understand what the magazine includes.

In my music magazine I used a variety of topics to relate my articles too so that the reader could tell how diversely my magazine speak about music. I chose the layout of my music magazine not based on other music magazines but on comic books like Marvels ‘Spiderman’ because I wanted to incorporate the comic book style into a music magazine, the ‘MARVEL’ title is red and in the top left corner of the magazine; this is the same as on my music magazine front cover and that incorperates the comic book feel. It is similar to my flat plans in design but it differs from them due to the comic influences. The tone of my magazine and the real music magazine examples are similar because they mutually focus solely on the music aspect of the industry and not the gossip or fame side. This is important to the target audiences because they do not want to read about which brand of chocolate bar their favourite band likes but which song on their albums is most important to them. The register of my magazine and the real music magazines are alike due to the casual relaxed language used, as if talking with friends. The reason why it is this way is because when the readers are reading the magazine they do not want to have to analyse the writing but relax and enjoy the simplicity of it. The fonts used in real music magazine like ‘NME’ propose that they are more concerned with what is in the articles in the magazine, opposed to how good the fonts look. In my magazine the fonts I used were slightly more elaborate because I wanted it to be visible that this issue of the magazine had comic book influences. The shattered effect of the masthead in ‘Kerrang!’ magazine relates to the volume which the music is preformed and played, loud enough to break glass. The masthead on my music magazine is block colour and has line detail around the letters to make it look as though they are shaking; I did this to incorporate again the comic book theme of this issue of my magazine. I subverted the codes and conventions of my music magazine because it is not any ordinary music magazine, the comic book influences in my magazine added extra flamboyance to my magazine and I had to style it after a real comic book. I did this by placing my masthead in the top left corner of the page, which is an unusual location for the masthead. Then I positioned the featured article titles down the far left of the page, in the style of a comic book. Arranging the main image of my magazine centrally on the page was conventional because it is usually where the main image is placed. The result of subverting these codes and conventions changed the outcome of my magazine from looking like a generic music magazine to looking like an indie rock msuic magazine with a slight comic book implication.

My magazine represents my target audience by aiming the content and style of it towards them and their social group, the type of photography and editing will be favoured by my target audience as it is converging two of their interests. I included in my music magazine content that would be of interest to them, for example clothing lines they will shop at or like, interviews with bands and artists they like, festival coverage relating to the magazine genre and music that they will enjoy, listen to and hopefully buy. One social group that my magazine was not aimed at is hip hop, there are no references to clubs, drugs, money or violence in my magazine which are stereotypical views of that social group. The tone of my magazine is mainly focusing on the music and partially fashion within the genre also, this is unlike a hip hop magazine in the way that the tone of one of those magazines would talk a lot about the lifestyles that the artists lead, the amount of money they have and who they are friends with within the industry. The register of my magazine is quite casual because I wanted my target audience to feel like they didn’t need to make an effort when reading the magazine, to allow them to relax. This is similar to a hip hop magazine because the type of register in a magazine like that would be very casual and informal.My magazine could have alienated some groups like Goths, Chavs, Gangstas and Nosh because their music tastes are extremely different to the genre of my magazine and not much, if any, content relates to them. There aren’t any social groups that I can think of that my magazine could entice, this is partly because my magazine is a combination of alternative music and indie, so it has already connected two different styles and two different audiences. My target audience is displayed in an unbiased way because nowhere in my magazine have I made reference to the style of music or social group reading it being superior to any other, and in no way have I suggested that they are inferior to any other genre or style. I did this because then my magazine can’t be seen as bias and it stands on neutral grounds, that way it will not offend any person who reads the magazine or hears about any of the contents in the magazine.

IPC Media, formerly International Publishing Corporation, a solely owned subsidiary of Time Inc., is a consumer magazine and digital publisher in the United Kingdom, with a large portfolio selling over 350 million copies each year. NME magazine is one of the magazines which IPC media publish.
IPC Media also produce:
– IPC Newspapers (including The People and The Daily Herald from Odhams, as well as the Daily Mirror and Sunday Pictorial).
– IPC Magazines, publishing the consumer magazines and comics, which include ‘Buster’ comic magazine, ‘NOW’ gossip magazine, ‘Look’ gossip magazine and ‘NME’ music magazine.
– IPC Trade and Technical, publishing the specialist magazines (later known as IPC Business Press Ltd).
– IPC Books, handling all book publishing (headed by Paul Hamlyn, whose own company had been acquired by IPC).
– IPC Printing, handling all non-newspaper printing operations (headed by Arnold Quick, whose own company had also been acquired by IPC).
– IPC New Products, a launching pad for products which used new technology (headed by Alistair McIntosh).
The common theme of IPC media productions is that they are all textual manufactured artifacts; they do not produce any media for television or radio.
The Bauer Media Group (Bauer Verlagsgruppe) is a large German publishing company based in Hamburg, which operates in 15 countries worldwide, theworldwide sales of Bauer Media Group’s magazine amounts to 38 million magazines each week. Bauer publish Kerrang! magazine.

Bauer Media Group on the other hand does produce media for television and radio. The magazines that they produce include; ‘Take a Break’, ‘That’s Life’, ‘TV Choice’, ‘Total TVGuide’, ‘Q’ and ‘Kerrang!’. Bauer Media Group has a 50% stake in the British television company Box Television, the other half owned by Channel 4. Box Television acts as the content subsidiary that produces several popular music television channels, which include: Q TV, 4Music, Kiss TV, Kerrang! TV, The Box, Magic TV and Smash Hits TV. Bauer also owns 45 radio stations including ‘Magic’, ‘Kerrang!’ and ‘Kiss’.My music magazine fits into the company style of both IMP media and Bauer Media Group because they both have a wide range of genres and styles of magazines. NME and Kerrang! Both have smartphone applications which can be downloaded straight to the mobile phone for free, this will encourage their target audience to download it because they can get a preview of what the magazine features without paying any money for it. NME also sponsor festivals such as ‘Reading Festival’ and Kerrang! sponsors ‘Download’ festival.  This multi-format approach to publications affects how music magazines reach their target audience. If the publishing company owns its personal radio station and TV channels then they can advertise their music magazine on those channels and stations.  Advertising cross platform gives these productions an advantage because they are promoting their product directly to their target audience. They also have the advantage of being able to constantly advertise their media productions and the multi-format approach allows their target audience to interact with the products.

Target audience demographic:
Age:  16-23 year olds
Gender: Mostly males but have an appeal to females too
Aspirations:  to make music, to become a professional photographer, to start a clothing line, etc.
Education: educated in a government run state school
Occupation: students
Hobbies: Playing music instruments, skateboarding, going to gigs
Interests: music, photography, gigs, festivals, skate boarding, etc
Fashion: Band t shirts, skinny jeans, converse, etc.
Shopping habits: Cheer Up Clothing, Glamour Kills Clothing, Drop Dead Clothing, DBNO Clothing, Lazy Oaf Clothing, Babycakes Clothing
Technology usage: Computer (social networking), cameras, iPods, mobile phones
Reading interest: music magazines and Harry Potter
TV/internet/music habits: they will mostly watch music channels like Kerrang!, NME, Scuzz, etc. and usually they will watch TV on a night time or in the evening. The time that they would go on the internet is most likely late at night/ early hours in the morning.
Social activities: Xbox, gigs, festivals, band signings, etc.

My magazine attracts the correct target audience because in my magazine I have featured certain genres (Alternative rock and Indie) of music that will attract a very specific audience and there are no elements of my magazine which give mixed signals as to the genre of it. The photography style on my magazine front cover could potentially attract a ‘hipster’ audience that listen to dub step music, this is because of the way in which I edited my photographs to look like a comic book, something that that social group might be interested in. The tone that I used in my magazine attracts the right audience because it is focusing on the genre of music that my magazine is about, so nobody would read the featured text on the cover and think that it was a hip hop magazine. The register of my magazine attracted the correct audience and it could attract the incorrect audience, the reason for this is because the language is very relaxed and casual, which other magazines with different genres might also use. The colours used in my magazine attract the right audience because I have used a wide range of bright colours, unlike in a pop magazine the main colour palette would be pinks and purples or in a heavy metal magazine where the main colour would be black. The fonts used in my magazine definitely attract the correct audience because I used very comic book style fonts that reflect the magazine and relate to the genre of music. The features in my magazine attract the correct audience because they transmit the accurate representation of my magazine through the articles on the cover and in the contents page. This is because it is promotion the audience the type of articles, music, bands, events and fashion that they are interested in. It is important for a magazine to have a presence on the internet via their own website because it allows readers to contact them, find out information about bands that isn’t included in the magazine and give feedback to the magazine. This will provide the reader with an incentive to subscribe to email newsletters or magazine subscription, increasing magazine sales and company profit and it will provide the magazine with useful information about their target audience which can be applied to future magazine issues. IMP media who own ‘NME’ magazine have sponsorship involvement in Reading Festival and they have segments in every magazine issue and an area on the ‘NME; website dedicated to unsigned bands and new music and also they have a section with gig flyers in their magazine to help the promotion of gigs. Bauer Media Group who own ‘Kerrang!’ magazine sponsor Download Festival and they also have sections on both their website and in their magazines for new music/unsigned bands and they also have a section with gig flyers in their magazine to help the promotion of gigs.

In this project I used my own digital camera (Samsung dualview tl210) to take photographs; it is a 12 megapixel camera which means that the photographs I took are of high quality and definition. The pictures I had taken I edited in Adobe Photoshop CS5, I found this software extremely useful because anything that I wanted or needed to do to my photographs I could easily do. I used Photoshop to compose the front cover and contents page of my magazine, as well as edit my photographs. The tool helped my magazine the most was the ‘poster edge’ effect on my images, this gave the images a comic book effect. As I didnt want the main focus of my magazine to be a comic book I changed the layering style of it to ‘Pin light’ so that the original copy of the image blended with the edited ‘Poster edge’.The software Adobe InDesign CS5 I used for my double page spread, it was really useful when putting the text into columns and organising the page. I used the blog site ‘Wordpress’ to upload all of the work that I had produced during this project. It allowed me to create blog posts which included text, images, links and videos. I could also use the website to create polls in order to effortlessly ask my target audience questionnaires. Another website that I used was Dafont, it is composed of hundreds of different font styles which you can download and use, this permitted me to get comic book style font to use for my music magazine. The simplicity of these technologies was valuable to me because I could use each of them with ease and without difficulty. Their straightforward layouts made navigation simple and once I had the knowledge of what each aspect of the technology did I was able to create my music magazine fluently. Planning and organisation are key concepts of any publication. Organising when and where your photo shoots will take place is a simple measure than needs to be taken to ensure that the rest of the magazine production process can take place. Creating flat plans of the pages included in your magazine is important because it gives you a target to work towards and a rough idea of how much work you must do to guarantee your magazine looks correct. Kit and prop lists are vital before taking your photos because it is important that you have all the necessary tools to make certain you have photographs that will relate to your magazine and so that they are of a high standard. All of this planning and organising must be completed to the highest standard and on time otherwise the production of the rest of the magazine is halted and you will struggle to meet your deadline. Presenting my work and ideas on my wordpress blog has helped me organise the production of my magazine because all of my planning and work is all in the same place and it is easy for me to access and locate certain elements of it. The advantages of using Poll daddy to create instant polls, is that I was able to collect market research with ease and swiftness. In the real publication world this style of work communication makes it easier to explain your ideas to colleagues and knowing where all of your information is, decreases the amount of time which you spend presenting your ideas to others.

In my preliminary school magazine project I was successful both in communicating my message to my target audience and in how I used the software. The features of my magazine related to areas of the school that my target audience were interested in and they were not boring. The style of photo that I used was caught in the moment and youthful, I hoped it would make the audience feel relatable to the magazine. The tone of the magazine was a gossip aspect of school for females and the register was casual, so they felt like they were reading something a friend had wrote. The colours that I used in my magazine were bright and youthful and the font was simple, so not to over crowd the page and go over the top. I used to software Photoshop to create my school magazine, I changed the ‘contrast’ and ‘brightness’ of the main image and enhanced the teenagers hair colour with the ‘colour replacement’ tool. My artistic eye aided me in choosing the right image for my front cover and selecting which fonts and colours to include in my magazine.

In my preliminary school magazine project I was successful both in communicating my message to my target audience and in how I used the software. The features of my magazine related to areas of the school that my target audience were interested in and they were not boring. The style of photo that I used was caught in the moment and youthful, I hoped it would make the audience feel relatable to the magazine. The tone of the magazine was a gossip aspect of school for females and the register was casual, so they felt like they were reading something a friend had wrote. The colours that I used in my magazine were bright and youthful and the font was simple, so not to over crowd the page and go over the top. I used to software Photoshop to create my school magazine, I changed the ‘contrast’ and ‘brightness’ of the main image and enhanced the teenagers hair colour with the ‘colour replacement’ tool. My artistic eye aided me in choosing the right image for my front cover and selecting which fonts and colours to include in my magazine.
Compared to what I have achieved in my music magazine project I could have improved my photo editing skills, after practicing a lot I am now more able to achieve accuracy when editing photographs, so in my school magazine I would have improved on editing the main image on the cover and understood what I was doing better. The element of font on my magazines I thought worked particularly well due to the website Dafont I was able to have access to a vast range of different fonts. One aspect of my magazine that did not work as predominantly were the thumbnails; they look very awkwardly placed and they do not intermingle as effortlessly as the other elements. I could have planned their positioning and transition more thoroughly or spend more time experimenting with the technologies to understand how to include them on my magazines front cover.
I have learnt that the importance of research, planning, market research, well thought-out photographs, flat plans and kit/prop lists are essential to ensuring your media product will have the best outcome and satisfy the vision you initially had of it.

Planning, organisation and effective time management are as equally important in media production as your artistic skill and knowledge are. Without taking the necessary procedures the production of your magazine will not take place to the full extent in which it can. In the progression from preliminary to main project I have learnt a lot about the media production industry and how it functions, there is a large amount work prior to the actual magazine being produced that I did not identify previous to completing this project.