Evaluation Q1

Category: Entertainment

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In this slideshow, I am going to go through the various forms and conventions used by real media products and look at how I have used, challenged or developed them in my own work. This is how my magazine looks beside real media texts.

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MASTHEAD The masthead is one of the most important parts of a front cover. It builds an image for the brand and keeps consumers coming back and buying the same brand. Mastheads are usually large, taking up about a quarter of the page, and are always placed at the top. Bold, capitalised text is generally used, and the colour contrasts with the background and image. Most mastheads stretch across the whole cover, while some stretch across the left half of it. I have challenged this convention and only stretched my masthead across three quarters of the cover. This looks unique and also leaves room for a feature to attract more readers. Other than that, I have followed most of the other conventions. My masthead is bold, capitalised and stands out. As you can see in both mastheads, the image overlaps the text. This is a widely used convention and helps to emphasise the image and also makes the cover look professional.


IMAGE The image is the main focus of the cover and is the first thing that readers will see. The image tends to be of the main featured article in the magazine, which is usually about somebody well known. Therefore, readers will spot somebody they recognise on the cover and then have a look. Most images show the band or artist looking at the camera and doing some sort of pose or action to make it more interesting. The image takes up the whole of the page, overlapping the masthead and going off the bottom. I have followed conventions with my image, positioning the band in a triangle so you can see all of them. They are holding candles, which is a symbol used in their band. This also creates mystery and intrigue in readers as they want to find out why they are holding them. The image takes up the whole page and overlaps the masthead.


MAIN COVER-LINE The main cover line conventionally links with the main image and anchors it. It has the biggest text on the cover, apart from the masthead, and is usually in a central position. Main cover lines have bold text, and often have a very short description. I have followed these conventions. My main cover line anchors the image and is placed centrally on the page. It has the same colour text as the masthead, to create a consistent colour scheme. The description is very short and tells the reader what the article is about. It is a different colour to the main cover line to help the cover line stand out.


COVER LINES Cover lines provide the reader with a brief idea of what the issue contains. They tend to mention the bands name, or title of the article, and sometimes have a description. The text is usually the same or similar to the masthead and main cover line, but the colour isn’t always the same. I have mostly followed conventions for cover lines. I only put two on my cover as they didn’t fit so well around the picture. One is advertising a featured article, and is in a fancy text, to create the impression that it is a special article. The other cover line lists bands that readers can find in the issue. This is found on many music magazine front covers as it attracts anyone who is interested in any of the bands mentioned. It is headed by text in a different colour to make it look more attractive and also to keep to the colour scheme.


INFORMATION Institutional information like the date, issue number, barcode and price are present on every magazine cover as they are there to make it sellable. Barcodes are placed around the edges of the cover, and conventionally are found in the bottom corners. The other information can also be found around the barcode, or sometimes underneath the masthead. The barcode is usually small so it doesn’t take up valuable space. My cover follows this convention as well as the others.

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TITLE The title of the contents page is simply to show the reader what page they are on. It also helps to add some balance to the page, and can give information about the issue. The conventions are that the title does not have to be big, but is usually the biggest text on the page. It is at the top of the page, above all of the contents text. Issue numbers and dates can also be shown. My title follows these conventions. The colour scheme and font also follow the front covers colour scheme and font, to give consistency.


IMAGES Images are the main focus of the contents page and draw the reader in. The images usually show bands or artists, and can either be from photo shoots or performances. The main article tends to have a photo shoot image attached to it. The images also have labels which tell the reader the page number and can show the bands name, or a very short article title. Some images also have a short description. I feel that my images follow conventions for the most part. My main image stretches across the whole page, showing that it is the featured article. Both of my images have the page number and an article title in the top corners in a white font, and highlighted in a black box. The way in which I feel my images develop conventions is how I have included a short list of what can be found in the article below the title. This is sometimes found, for example in the bottom left image, but it is part of the title label.


CONTENTS The contents is what the page is all about. It provides the reader with a quick and easy reference on where to find the articles. There are a few conventions for the contents. Some magazines use two sections for their contents, Features and Regulars. Another convention is that the article title is in a bold or larger font than the description. The page number is given next to the article title. My contents follows conventions. It has the two sections. In features, each article has a two or three line description, but in regulars, there is no description as the titles are self explanatory. The article title is on the first line in a larger font and the description follows. Sticking with the scheme of the rest of the page, the section titles and page numbers are highlighted in black boxes. The colour scheme is also the same.


EDITORIAL & ADVERTS Some magazine contents pages have a small editors note on them to introduce the issue or to give some behind the scenes information into the institution. This is usually in a small font and ended with the signature of the chief editor. Another convention that is sometimes seen on contents pages is a small advert for subscribing to the magazine. It usually offers a discount or saving and gives brief information on how to obtain it. My contents page develops these conventions. My editors note is very brief and more of an introduction to what’s been happening in the music world over the past month. I felt that as the target audience of my magazine is 16-24 males, they probably won’t want to read a full blown editor’s letter. My advert is also very brief and redirects readers to another page to get information on the full offer. This is to save space on the contents page. The discount shown is in large text so that the reader can notice it very easily, and then read the smaller text. This is a convention which I followed.

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TITLE The title tells readers what the article is about and draws readers who are flicking through the magazine in. The conventions are that it is the largest text on the page. It is large, and can be really big if it fits the page’s style. Most of the time it will just be the bands name, but sometimes it can be a quote or a reference. It can overlap the image as well. My title follows the conventions that are there, but titles can be very different. It is large and highlighted by a blue box. This highlighting effect can be considered a theme used throughout the magazine to give it identity. My title overlaps the image, and heads the article. Just below the title is also the writers name, as some readers might have favourite writers.


IMAGES The main image usually follows the same conventions. It tends to take up at least half a page, often the left page, and showcases the article’s subject. It can be a photo shoot image or a performance. It will usually have text over the top, either drawing people to read the article, like pull quotes or buzz words like ‘exclusive article’, or the title of the article. Minor images are used to illustrate the article or provide some behind the scenes footage. The images do not always have captions, but when they do they can be a description or just labelling who’s who. My images follow conventions, with the main image taking up the left half of the double page. Over the top of it, it has a pull quote, a box showing it is a certain type of article, and a buzzword. The image is of the band at a photo shoot and is used to help readers identify with them. The smaller image is of the front man of the group, who has the most contact with the public. Although it is nothing to do with the article, his positioning is unusual and gives the band character.


ARTICLE The article starts off with an enlarged letter and is arranged in columns. The text is very small, so that the writer can fit a lot on each page. Black and white are the conventional font colours as they are easy to read and look professional. Pull quotes can sometimes be placed in the middle of the article and these make it look more appealing, as well as drawing readers into reading the whole article. For interviews, the article starts with an introduction and then is followed by a series of questions which are usually in a bold font, and answers which are not. Names are given if the interview is with more than one person. My article follows the main conventions. It is laid out in two columns and has a pull quote highlighted with a blue box in the middle. This follows the colour scheme of the page and it’s positioning helps to balance out the page.


NON-ARTICLE TEXT Non article text is usually related to the band or subject but is not part of the article itself. It can be anything from a band profile to album information. It is usually the same size font as the article and follows the colour schemes. Non article text is usually contained in a box or column so it cannot be confused with the main article. Non-article text is quite rare for the first page of a major article, so in that way, I have challenged conventions. I feel it makes my double page spread look a lot more attractive instead of just being a wall of text. My non article text is a column to the right of the page and gives information about the band’s tour dates and the free cd given with the issue, which the band are featured on. The text is brief and isn’t hard to read, so can provide a break from reading the article.

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In conclusion, I have mostly followed conventions. I have challenged conventions for the masthead, cover lines and non-article text and developed the editor’s note and image labels. As a lesser known magazine brand, the producers must make sure that their magazine fits in well as the audience might not react well to something that they aren’t used to. However, it is fine to develop or challenge conventions for smaller things, like the layout of inside pages. I am confident that the ways in which I have challenged or developed conventions will be advantageous to the magazine’s sales.