As Media Studies Coursework Evaluation
Media Coursework ??“ Final Evaluation
My task was to create a magazine using at least three pages of original material for an article of my choice; I was to produce a front cover, a contents page and a double page spread. I aspired to create a fashion magazine that would combine the class and elegance of ???Vogue??™ with the more high street prices of ???Glamour??™, creating a magazine which would be aimed at young women aged 16-21, this includes teenagers (a particular social group) and also includes young adults. This is represented on the front mainly, due to the model I used being around the same age range as my target audience and they would be within the range of A, B or C social class categories meaning for a mass circulation, this is in line with other magazines of my chosen genre, as all magazines of this genre will want to appeal to a mass audience, they will do this by using what is known as an house style effect, for example ???Vogue??™ magazine will use the same generics from time to time, so it will appeal to the audience being that it is predictable, it allow the audience to feel safe with the magazine feel secure with it, safe, it??™s one of the main reasons why consumers of the magazine will buy the same magazine over and over again, Vogue does this as they know that this house style is appealing and that most audiences don??™t like change, so they will tend to do this repetitively because they know they will attract their audience, I shall use this to conform to the generic of the genre I want to portray. The social group that mainly appears in my magazine are teenagers and young adults. They are represented through the colour scheme, pink, purple, white and black which keeps it simple but the white makes it stand out, to become unique, different and vibrant. I think this reflects the individuality shown by teens and pre-adults today. Also pink is stereotypic colour representing the femininity present within the magazine and reflects the fashion genre of the magazine; my magazine is aimed at a younger female demographic.
For my magazine I decided to stick to the normal conventions of a fashion magazine e.g. picture in the middle, title at the top, cover lines on the side, etc. The visual conventions I used were: masthead at the top, picture in the middle, date, price, barcode, tagline and cover lines either side of the image. To conform to the generics of a fashion magazine I have discovered in my research that many of the high end magazines had names in other languages for example ???Elle??™ magazine, ???Elle??™ is French for ???She??™ therefore this aspired me to name my magazine ???La Femme??™ the French word for Women, which all links to the major theme of my magazine, which connotes that it would appeal to the more educated demographic Class B readers as these certain readers will get the preferred meaning that it means ???Women??™ and thus suggesting it is within women??™s interest.
Also, I have used an example of the Hypodermic Syringe Theory on the front cover of my magazine; by placing a selling line cleverly juxtaposed below the masthead named ???The New Feminine??™ it is an example of the Hypodermic Syringe Theory as it injects the idea that this one magazine is the only fashion magazine the consumer will ever need because it is the new supposed way of fashion, it is suggesting new fashion to the consumers and this would most likely to attract my target audience as they would want to satisfy their curiosity for this supposed new fashion. Even if the audience do not get the preferred meaning, this selling line will be sure to make them aware that it is a fashion magazine. It suggests that it will be the only magazine the audience will ever need, and so the audience will use this as a layer of needs, Abraham Maslow??™s theory hierarchy of needs suggested that we all have different layers of needs, and that we achieve certain needs before going onto the next layer, so they will use this selling line because if it is the only ever magazine that they are going to need then they will use it for a sense of security, so they feel safe with the magazine. If the audience feel this way, then they will most likely buy the magazine and to continue buying it and the producers of the magazines know this, and will most likely use it for their advantage, so this is suggesting that they have power over us as they know our needs, they know what we want, so they can use this in a way to manipulate us all. Karl Marx believed that social change is what was needed for a better society, and to get social change there must be class conflict. Marxs major concern of social change was economic change. Marxs most well known work dealt with class conflict, the opposition between the capitalists and the working class. The bourgeoisie in this case are the producers of the magazines, and if they know our needs then they can use it to manipulate us into buying their magazine, so by suggesting this ideology in my selling line, it will make the audience use the magazine in this way, and is also a form of manipulative power, which Karl Marx suggested that those in power use their knowledge of our needs to manipulate us, and if the producers know this, they know what we want, and we will most likely buy the magazine again, they are manipulative in this way.
Other features would include the main image which I have cleverly positioned the model in a sexual manner this also conforms to the generics of a fashion magazine as I have discovered in my research that fashion magazines have the tendency to position their models in this way, Laura Mulvey??™s Male Gaze Theory would suggest that the male gaze is present within the way I have positioned the model as she does not look like she is in any position of power at all, Laura Mulvey would suggest that she has been deprived of her human agency and relegated to a status of a mere object, as she appears to be more like an accessory to the magazine, rather than a human being.
I??™ve done this by purposely positioning her in a way that supports what Laura Mulvey also suggested in her Theory of Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema; she stated the following; “Women as image, men as bearer of the look” thus connoting the idea that she??™s an accessory, something to be played around with, she doesn??™t look like she has any power whatsoever, her body language suggests this, it looks like she has been told to position herself in this way, possibly by a male figure, because her body language tells us that she needs help, a kind of support from a male, she??™s trying to support her weight by placing one hand of her hip and another trying to conceal herself, suggesting that she insecure with herself. I also noticed in my research that on each of the front covers the models that they used had a direct mode of address with the audience because the models were looking right at the audience forming some sort of relationship with the text, because if they can relate to the magazine they will most likely buy it, so I was sure to use this generic on the front cover of my production, so it would fit with the genre I was trying to portray and did not subvert, I found this generic while analysing other magazines in my research, so I purposely used the generic to conform to the normal conventions of a fashion magazine.
I have also used an example of Bulmer and Katz??™ Theory Uses and Gratifications Theory, by featuring several different celebrity article titles for those who use the text for integration and social interaction purposes, the audiences who get pleasure of the text from just knowing about celebrities lives, this is all from what I have seen in my research for example; on a recent front cover of ???Glamour??™ Magazine, the anchorage text is an article of Victoria Beckham, thus forcing Victoria Beckham fans to want to buy the magazine as they would want to know the recent events in her life, they would therefore also use this for information, so that they can satisfy their curiosity and general interest with their celebrity this is how I will attract my target audience because if an celebrity is featured in a magazine then it is likely for readers to read it, this is called imagined communities , which states that a nation is a community socially constructed, which is to say imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group, so the audiences of my genre will tend to perceive themselves as part of their celebrities life just by reading it in a magazine, when they make that use of the magazine, this is a generic I have used to conform to this conventions.
The contents page of my production is very much inspired by ???Vogue??™ magazine which has a simplistic approach to the presentation, it??™s not too busy, but fills the space perfectly meaning the reader can easily find the article they are looking for without the struggle of fighting through bright colours and confusing shapes, I have used subheadings in which the different features have been sorted into, meaning that the reader can scan through the areas of the magazine that are of most interest to them, the main attraction of the content page is a main image of the model I have used on the front cover of my magazine, because she is the main feature of the magazine it would only be natural that she would also have a major importance on the content page; because the audiences would want to be easily guided to the main feature of the magazine, because that is what attracted them to read the magazine in the first place.
For my last piece of production I have created a double page spread which would be the inside article from the anchorage I have used on the front cover of my magazine. It is an interview based article which is between the model that is anchored on the front cover of the magazine and ???La Femme??™, in my audience research, I found out that 15% of women in 2011 would read a fashion magazine if it featured a celebrity in it and a further 10% of women were influenced by what the celebrities wore and so I wanted to use these statistics to regularly attract my target audience. I used a combination of fonts, colours and pictures which would make the double page spread appear attractive and appealing to the audience. I am particularly proud of this piece of the production as what I have produced fits in with what exactly I wanted to produce, and it has a definite flow to it, as it carefully leads the eye to the parts which will make the reader want to fully read the article.
In my research I have noticed that many celebrity interviews will use short quotes from the interview which jump right out from the page by using a larger font size and different font colour and therefore I tried and found this technique to be quite successful in my double page spread, this would be more appealing to my target audience as it would be more attractive and they wouldn??™t bore easily from it.
I have also used an example of; Denis McQuail??™s Uses & Gratifications theory which suggest that the audience interacts with the text in 4 different ways. Entertainment, Information, Personal Identity and Integration and Social Interaction, this example can be found on my double page spread, on at the bottom right, I have featured a section called ???Isabelle??™s Wish List??™ which is giving advice to the reader and suggesting styles that work for ???Isabelle??™ and giving the impression to the audience that these styles will work for them also. The audience would use this for Information as they would be seeking advice and information on practical matters or opinion and decision based choices for example they might use this advice to change their appearance or dress sense in hopes of looking or feeling like their celebrity; and also for personal identity as they would use this section in hopes of becoming more like the celebrity and this is also an example of the Star Theory because if a celebrity is wearing it, it must be fashionable and also they would take her advice in hopes of becoming more like or closer to their celebrity.
In Conclusion, I feel that I have managed to create a high quality production for the budget and resources I was provided with and feel there are many individual parts of my magazine which demonstrates excellent production values which I feel could be seen in huge circulation, mainstream magazines. I found this project increasingly interesting and I have learnt a variety of things from it, I have learnt actual the conventions of a fashion magazine better, in the pre-production I did not know where to place things but in the actual production I knew exactly what to do due to my research. I am also more familiar with Adobe Photoshop, more now than before; I also learnt how to set up a small studio and position lighting equipment etc. to enhance the quality of photographs and I learnt how to set up and use a camera correctly and also add effects, also using the zoom tool to get an accurate shot. I also learnt that planning and research pays off, in the pre-production we had very little time to research and this reflected in the production, I looked in depth of other magazines of the same genre to make sure I was getting it right, I found this very reassuring and made the whole project allot easier to complete and refine. If I were to do this project again, then I would pay close attention to the detail in which I produce, for example on my double page spread, as there was a variation in the typography of the size of the font in which I used, this was due to a technical issue which occurred in Photoshop, however if I were to do this again, I would of paid the attention needed to correct this. Also I would change the quality of the image, however I do feel that I have managed to create high quality production with the resources I have been provided.