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The Music Magazine Final Evaluation

By Jadie Jackson

Final Products
Cover Contents

DPS

The Cover
Using my style models as inspiration and reference, I believe my cover to be a good example of the cover of a music magazine. It has the chaotic layout that I wished to incorporate while still being clear and easy to follow. The colours used connote unconventionality while helping to grab attention via their brightness and boldness and on the darker background they stand out more. The effects used such as dropshadow, outline and strikethrough were used purely for effect to emphasise plugs and sell lines and to make the cover less plain. The fonts used are clear and understandable but still bold and obvious and almost tough again connoting the style of music. The font change between the plugs etc. and the masthead was done to make the masthead stand out more through it's uniqueness on the cover. This was also done to the band name 'Hope Within'. Bands usually have their own font style when their name is in print and because of this, I gave the band I used their own font style and used dropshadow and outline to make it even more unique and attention grabbing. The use of different colours when names are used helps to draw people's attention to them and emphasises the presence of these people in the magazine. This is an effective way of pulling in consumers as if they see that someone they like is in the magazine they are more likely to buy it. The repeated utilisation of exclamation marks helps to connote the loudness of the music and also seems to shout the sell lines at viewers of the cover. The gig guide plug was given a yellow frame to make it more attention grabbing and also to slightly divorce it from the background without it's frame it simply looks like text just slapped onto the page and it looks plain. Overall I believe my cover to be very effective and coordinated while still being chaotic and connoting rock music via it's layout and use of colours and fonts. The eyeline of the image helps to engage the viewer as the subjects of said image are looking directly at them.

The Title
The title for my magazine is one that was not originally being considered and was not in my preliminary title thoughts blog post. However, after much consideration I decided that none of my original ideas were good enough and so I came up with something new. I chose TheNoise! as my title because rock music is loud and noisy and people of the older generation often refer to rock music as noise.

Constructed using Quark, print screened, saved in Paint as a JPEG then PhotoShop-ed for the final piece.

Cover Construction

Construction Details
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The first step of my cover construction was to fit an image box to the entire page and then insert the image you see on the cover. Once the initial problem of getting the image to fit had been resolved - I had to unlink it's height and width then stretch it to fit the image box I inserted a text box for the skyline and inserted some text in a plain font and colour with the intention of experimenting with this later.

Next I placed a black triangle to the left of the page, fiddled with the transparency and inserted a small long text box at the top containing the words 'poster special' in red Rockwell Extra Bold. Below this I inserted three image boxes and then inserted small images into these. At times during the construction of my cover I found it easier to work without the guides and so some of my print screens do show guides and some don't.

I then inserted a small picture box to the right of the page and inserted the bar code which I had created online using a bar code generator. I placed a small text box next to this which I filled white and put my issue number, date and price into. Placing these two items together on the cover is a typical magazine convention as it makes all the details easy to locate without them being too obvious. Then I changed the images in the poster special box, giving them a thick yellow outlining frame to make them stand out more and to complete the look of this box.

Construction Details
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Stage 4 led to the creation of my masthead. I used two separate text boxes and added my text in white Rockwell Extra Bold. I heightened the letters in the word 'noise!' and widened the letters in 'the' so that they were better coordinated and spaced in relation to each other. I put the masthead in this layout so that it created a sort of logo for the magazine that is easily recognisable and noticeable in it's big, bold appearance. I also changed the skyline, changing it's colour to make it stand out better and adding a shadow to it to make it pop. At this stage I also added the gig guide plug by inserting a text box, adding my text and it's effects a yellow dropshadow -, angling the text box and giving the whole plug a yellow frame whose transparency I again changed.

My next step was putting in the main cover line Hope Within's strip across the width of the page. I inserted a black rectangle and slanted it to make it less conventional then changed it's transparency so it wasn't just a solid black band. I then inserted a slanted text box into this rectangle and put in the band's name in Script MT Bold and gave it a red outline and a turquoise dropshadow to really emphasise it.

This screen-grab is to show my progress during the construction of my cover. All that is missing here is my sell lines and the rest of my plugs.

Construction Details
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I added in a small lift-out quote from the interview below the band's name in the same font as the wording above it. I gave it a solid black outline to help it stand out more from it's black background. I feel this quote helps to finish off the band cover line and because it is in the same font as the band's name, it helps associate the two lines of copy.

At stage 8 I was finishing my cover off with it's sell lines and plugs and the rest of their effects. All the lines and plugs were in the same font, DejaVu Sans Condensed, but different colours. Two of the lines have no effects and are simply plain and obvious. The white on black stands out very well as does the yellow used for people's names. The two remaining plugs had strikethrough and dropshadow used on them to make them stand out more on the black background.

^^The Finished Product^^

Contents Page
Inspiration for my contents page was taken from the Kerrang! contents page with a large image taking up the majority of the right hand side of the page. The layout is simple and clear with a list-like table of contents that is easy to read and follow. The small cover logo beside the text for stories appearing on the cover makes it easy for consumers to locate stories from the cover that piqued their interest upon initial viewing of the cover. The masthead being duplicated at the head of the page reinforces the magazine's identity and links the contents page back to the cover. The continuing theme in terms of colour and font choices also links the two pages together and creates a sense of unity between them. The feature names being in upper case letters and solid white helps the reader to find specific articles quickly and easily and the feature information being in lower case letters and having reduced solidity again helps to draw attention to the feature titles. The inclusion of a page number on the image again helps the consumer to quickly locate the related feature. Yellow with a yellow dropshadow on black helps to make the page number stand out more. The subscription deal side feature in the bottom right corner of the page helps take up the remaining space with something not as conventional as a letter from the editor and also grabs attention with it's bright starburst shape, drawing the reader's focus to a deal that will bring in more money for the magazine. The use of colours such as red, white and yellow on the black background of the contents page means that the text and items pop more and are clearer to read as well as connoting the genre of music. The names of bands and band members are again typed in yellow here for the same reason as they are on the cover: to draw attention to them and also emphasise the presence of these people/bands in the magazine. Overall, I feel my contents page is well constructed and coordinated without being overly conventional. The colouring is chaotic without making the copy hard to read and helps to draw attention to certain things.

Constructed using Quark, print screened, saved in Paint as a JPEG then PhotoShop-ed for the final piece.

Contents Page Construction

Construction Details
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The first stage of my contents page construction was to put an image box around the entire page and fill this black my chosen background colour. Then on the right hand side of the page I inserted another image box before inserting text boxes at the top on the left for my chosen text. I then inserted a text box below the image box and another to the left of this stretching from just under the top text boxes to the bottom of the page.

Step 2 saw the insertion of the main image on the right again I had to unlink the height and width of the image and then stretch it to fit the box. I also inserted the header text here. The masthead being replicated from the front cover meant I simply had to copy and paste 'TheNoise!' and change the positioning to reach the desired result. Below this I inserted another smaller text box and typed the word 'contents' in upper case Rockwell Extra Bold. I then fiddled with the transparency of the word to reach the end result of what you see above.

Step 3 was the stage at which I inserted the subscription deal. The red starburst shape was an auto shape in Quark but I changed the colour and inserted the black framings to really make it pop and stand out. I inserted a slanted text box into this shape and added the wording in Rockwell Extra Bold with reduced opacity and a black drop shadow. These small effects help the word to stand out more on the red background. Next, the rest of the text was added via the insertion of another text box and the typing of the text in Rockwell Extra Bold. The smaller white text was put into another text box in DejaVu Sans Condensed. Many magazines use small print below offers such as these so readers are able to find out more without the information being overly obvious and detracting from the initial attention pull: the deal.

Construction Details
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At stage 4 I put in the page numbers in red Rockwell Extra Bold with reduced opacity. The red on black really stands out and the reduced opacity helps to prevent the bright colour clashing with the other bright colours on the page. Rockwell Extra Bold is a thick, bold font and is the font that the majority of my headings etc. are in. The use of other fonts is purely because they are easier to read when small than my Rockwell Extra Bold font.

Here I inserted a starburst onto the main image, filled it black to stand out on the red and inserted a slanted text box into this shape. The text box holds the text 'Page 22!' in Rockwell Extra Bold with a reduced opacity and a yellow dropshadow. This gives the text a glowing effect and makes it stand out more on the black. At this stage I began typing in the copy for the table of contents. The font used throughout is 12pt. Calibri. The titles of the features are typed in upper case, solid, bold, white letters to make them easily locatable and the feature information is typed in white, lower case letters with a reduced opacity so they are easy to read on the black but do not detract from the emphasis put onto the feature titles.

The final stage was the filling in of the table of contents. Again I used yellow to highlight the names of bands and band members as I did on the front cover this way consumers can find the rockers they want to read about by just looking for the colour yellow. The small colour logo is very simple a yellow circle with reduced opacity holding a red upper case 'c' in Rockwell Extra Bold. It was very simply made in Quark during the polishing of my contents page and although plain and simple it draws attention quickly to the stories that were featured on the cover, making them easy to locate it is extremely irritating when one finds something interesting on the cover but cannot find it in the table of contents or the actual magazine.

Double Page Spread


The use of a lift out quote on the image helps to pique the reader's interest as once they read it they wish to know the context in which the quote was spoken. It is important to choose juicy quotes to lure the reader in. A small introduction in the first column of the feature helps orientate the reader and introduce them to the band thus easing them into the interview. A convention of most magazines is the capitalisation of the first line of an article and this convention is one I have embraced here. Small page numbers in the outside corners of the pages help to orientate the reader in the magazine and placing them in the outer corners means the consumer doesn't have to open the magazine up properly to find a specific page they can just peel back the corner and search more efficiently, cutting down on page turning time. Keeping the colour scheme simple in terms of the copy means that it is easy to follow and looks less crowded, more than two colours in text can be overwhelming for the eyes and if a headache or eye ache ensues, the consumer is not going to continue reading and may stop buying the magazine because of such a bad experience. The band name 'Hope Within' being put into red when surrounded by white text was done to make it stand out in a chunk of copy and again the band's font was used to reinforce the identity of the band and make the name easily recognisable just by the shape of it. It is a proven fact that the mind recognises the shapes of words and associates this with the actual words in the brain. The use of an informal mode of address makes it easier for the reader to relate to the text as does the use of colloquialisms and familiar language. Overall, I believe my double page spread to be quite professional and effective in it's layout and look and to target my specified audience very well with the use of familiar language.

Constructed using Quark, print screened, saved in Paint as a JPEG then PhotoShop-ed for the final piece.
Pictured above is my double page spread. It was influenced strongly by my style models as you can see by the inclusion of a full page image of the band, a small introduction and a lift out quote layered on top of said image. The band name was the first thing to be coloured and because of this, the colour scheme was worked around it. The use of reds and whites on black in a clear font makes the copy easy to read and follow in it's conventional layout of columns whilst being unconventional in the use of such colours. The questions asked were put into red while the answers were put into white to help the reader distinguish between them while reading the feature.

DPS Construction

Construction Details
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Construction of my DPS began with the insertion of two large image boxes, each one encompassing an A4 half each. Then I inserted the image on the left hand page and stretched it to fit the entire page before making the background colour of the other page registration black. Next I inserted all of the necessary text boxes for titles, page numbers and the columns etc. Above is the skeletal end product of stage 1.

At this stage I began inserting my text. I started with the easiest part inserting the page numbers. These I simply typed in a font and colour that would be obvious on both backgrounds before giving them a dropshadow. The band name was the next text to be added. For this I used the band's chosen font Script MT Bold to reinforce the band identity. The font colours used here are only preliminary and were subject to change throughout construction. The small introduction to the band was then typed again the band's font was used when their name was inserted and the colour was changed to make it stand out even more. The text box this was typed into was turned black with reduced opacity as the font colour was hard to read on the background image. Then I typed in the lift-out quote and above is the end product of stage 2.

Construction Details
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Stage 3 was simply the insertion of the lift-out quote in upper case Rockwell Extra Bold in the centre of the feature copy page.

Finished Product

This last stage saw the inserting of the feature copy. I used a clear, simple font Calibri so the text was easy to read and put the questions into a different colour to the answers. The answers had reduced opacity whereas the names of the members who answered the question were left with regular 100% opacity. This was done to help easily distinguish between the person's name and the answer they gave. I also changed the colouring at this stage. The band name was changed to red, the lift-out quote on the left to white and the liftout quote on the right to red. This was done so that they stood out and grabbed attention better. They also better coordinate with their backgrounds now that they have been altered and they are also easier to read. In the right hand corner of the image is the image byline in a dark, small font that could easily be read if the reader was interested enough if not, it is hidden enough not to distract from anything else. The feature continues on to another DPS and at the end of the copy on this page there is a small arrow and the short phrase: continued overleaf. At the end of this stage I made sure the copy was horizontally aligned and that the text boxes were all aligned also. Inclusion of the band name in the feature copy was in it's staple font and a different colour to the copy surrounding it and the top line of the copy was capitalised.

The Good, The Bad and My Music Magazine


The Cover Good:

Bad:One of the sell lines does encroach on one of the subject's faces slightly. The word 'Andy' in one of the plugs is slightly hard to read because of it being black on a black background. The red text looks slightly out of place on a page where the rest of the text is white and yellow. The bottom right corner of the page is a bit bare.

The sell lines and plugs are clear and easy to read. The layout is simple but conveys the chaos of rock music. The masthead is easily recognisable and is even a sort of logo for the magazine. Large emphasis is placed upon the main feature very simply with the inclusion of an obvious image and a large strip containing the band name. The barcode, price, issue number and date are well hidden but still easy to find when necessary. It is well colour coordinated with the colours used connoting rock music with vibrancy and boldness. It has a crowded look but is still easy to read and follow and it does not overwhelm the consumer.

The Good, The Bad and My Music Magazine


Contents Page Good:

Bad:The table of contents is quite a large chunk of uninterrupted text. The background colour is quite bland and block. The picture borders are quite harsh and sharp and not blended with the rest of the background. The cover logo sometimes encroaches upon the text.

The cover logo makes it easy to find articles from the cover. The titles being 100% opacity and capitalised makes it easy to find articles by name and distinguish between the title and feature information. The right hand corner 'deal' is eye-catching with being too distracting. The large image on the right hand side of the page reminds the consumer of the main feature and makes it easy to locate with it's page number located on the image itself. The magazine title being at the top of the page reinforces the magazine identity. Musician's names being in yellow make it easy for the reader to locate features that involve their favourite artists.

The Good, The Bad and My Music Magazine


Double Page Spread Good:

Bad:The band name is slightly hard to read on the left hand page because of the lightness of the background and the brightness of the text. The yellow numbering doesn't quite fit with the rest of the page's colouring. The lift-out quote on the right hand page divorces one line of a question from the rest of the question. Again the background is quite bland and block. There is no decoration or effects used on the right hand page leading it to look plain.

The mode of address is informal with use of colloquialisms making it easy for the reader to relate to. Well colour coordinated with the use of a minimal number of colours red and white for text, yellow for page numbers. The copy is horizontally aligned very well. The use of different colours for the Q and A makes it easy to distinguish between the question and the answer given. The lift-out quote on the left hand page fits well over the image and is simple to read. The font and colours used make it easy to read and follow the article copy.

Changes
Original Cover Layout
The layout for my cover varied slightly from the original layout mock-up and on this slide I will discuss these small changes and the reasons they were made.
Plug and Sell Line The gig guide cover line swapped places with the plug from the original layout mock-up. This gave the top of the cover a more balanced look. The remaining plug was moved to just above the barcode and the sell lines were moved up and down slightly to again balance the page better.

Variation

Masthead The masthead originally spanned the width of the cover. I did however change this so that the masthead was situated to the left of the page. I also made it smaller and changed it's layout so it could become an icon representative of the magazine itself. I placed it to the left as people read from left to right therefore they will notice and read the title first.

Spacing The spacing between the barcode and the poster special was increased to disconnect them from one another as I felt that they were too close together in the original mockup and looked associated with each other.

Changes
Original DPS Layout
The majority of my layout for the DPS remained similar to my original layout mockup but some things did change in order to better structure the page. On this slide I will discuss these small but effective changes.

Variation

Small Introduction The original layout mock saw the small introduction positioned on the left. However, after placing my chosen image into Quark and attempting to place said introduction here, it became clear that it wouldn't work as it would be covering one of the subject's faces. Because of this, I moved the introduction over to the right where it would not block any faces.

Image Byline The image byline was originally situated to the left, slightly to the right of the page number. I decided to move this over to the right to make the page less crowded and disconnected. On my final product it sits just below the lift-out quote on one of the lighter stripes of one of my subject's jumpers. I feel it looks better here and less disconnected from the image.

No Changes?

Contents Page The contents page didn't vary from the original mock-up as I decided this layout worked well. It is simple but effective.

DPS The second page of my DPS also didn't vary from the mock-up as the layout worked well and is simple and easy to understand and follow when copy is incorporated.

Time Management
Time management was not a particular issue when it came to this part of my project as I already had many ideas for my music magazine before the completion of my college magazine. The images were taken at the same time as my college magazine images were and I already had layout plans before I even started on this particular piece of my project. The things that took longest to do were probably the construction itself and this evaluation powerpoint. The research portion of this project took quite a while to complete also as I wanted to be thorough and ensure I was effectively targeting my audience.

Software and Hardware Used and Skills Learned/Gained - 1


Samsung N150 Plus
I used my netbook for the majority of my work on this project as well as the college computers.

Nikon DS100
This camera belongs to the college but I was allowed to take it out for use during my photo shoot. The digital camera I own would not take pictures of such a high quality as this camera and so I decided to use this instead of my Samsung ES25. As I had already used this camera in my college magazine photoshoot, I already knew how to operate it and again I found it very easy to use.

Software and Hardware Used and Skills Learned/Gained - 2


I used Photoshop CS2 at college and CS5 on my netbook at home. I have previous experience with this software and I find it extremely to use with on screen captions telling what tools do what when I hover over them. My netbook runs this software very well and I have no complaints about this software.

Open Office 3.3 Impress was used to create this power point evaluation. I used this software to create the powerpoint evaluation for my college magazine so I knew exactly how to use this. The problems however were the same as the ones that I faced during the college evaluation.

I used QuarkXpress 9 for the construction of my music magazine. I already had experience with this software although having not used it in a while, I was a little bit rusty. Things came back to me quickly however and I didn't stay rusty for long. My netbook ran this software very well and I have no complaints about it.

Problems
Open Office 3.3 Impress ran extremely slowly during the making of this powerpoint and repeatedly froze leading to extreme frustration. Again the college computers were problematic when it came to running software and blogging and despite numerous complaints to IT services, nothing at all has been done to solve these problems.

Exporting things from QuarkXpress was another big problem as it has no export as JPEG option and exporting my work in PDF format led to all of the effects such as drop shadow etc. being stripped away. My media tutor is currently trying to fix this issue and find a better solution than printscreening, saving into paint then photoshopping the image to reach the end result of a JPEG of my work.

PhotoShop-ing - 1

On the left is the original picture taken in the college's music studio. On the right is my photoshopped image. I cropped the original image as there was too much background and not enough of the subjects in it. I really didn't like the background colour of the image as it washed out the red on Erin's jumper so I used the colour replacement tool in Photoshop and changed the red to black and grey. The darkened background colour makes the full colour subjects stand out more and means that none of them are washed out.

PhotoShop-ing - 2
The original on the left again had too much background to it, especially above the subject's heads. The image on the right is the one I edited. All I did was crop it until there was less background and so more emphasis on the subject's instead of their surroundings.

End