evaluation - joseph ellison

EVALUATION (20 MARKS) Joseph Ellison

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Joseph Ellison



The magazine displays Steve Neale’s theory of ‘repeats’. I have used various code and conventions from my magazine of inspiration, ‘XXL Magazine’. These code and conventions include using the same colour scheme, I used a similar colour scheme because this colour scheme is effective as the colours blend well together and attract the attention of the targeted audience, this is evident in my audience feedback and research. The colour schemes are constant throughout magazine pages, I used black, red and white through out the magazine, also used the similar font, this created the continuity. Front Cover:When making the front cover, I checked that I had the conventions I needed, these conventions were the:• Masthead• The Image and headline• Cover lines• Issue number• Date• Price• Barcode• Social Network Details• Website• Strapline• PUFFContents Page:When planning and designing the contents pageI made sure the appropriate conventions were Incorporated such as:• Issue Number/Date• Page Numbers• Sublines• Social Network Details and the website were my form of

convergence, using these two conventions, my consumers are able to access information in different formats that they use more often.

• Main image for contents page• Lastly, the editorial. The editorial was aimed at my

audience therefore I included news surrounding the issue that my viewers will be intrigued by and also messages from me. I was inspired by the type of editorial used in XXL magazine so I used that as guidelines for my personal message to my consumers.

Double page SpreadInterestingly with my double page spread, I first began by trying to add my own ideas, I did this by variously changing the display of the pages, at first I tried using the main image of the cover star and making that the main focus point, to do this I inserted the image and made it noticeable by placing it in the middle of the page and let the writing hoover around the image. I also tried using the main image as the background with the text over the image, however these plans did not fall through. After a lot of consideration I finalized my thoughts and decided to have my cover star focused on one page and the other page will contain the interview with my cover star which is ‘Kendrick Lamar’. In the double page spread I used a question and answer setting to make it clear who the interviewer is and who the star that is getting interviewed is, I incorporated this idea from previous published magazines and decided to use it as it makes it clear and easier for the readers to understand, To do this I made the questions Red and the answers White. To add more clearness I made the answer. However just the interview alone wasn’t the only attraction for the double page spread. I added the page numbers, web address and the mast head. In addition to theses, I added a brief introduction on the interviewee about his success with his last album due to the fact the interview was based on the artists new song. I was also able to input convergence by adding information about the magazines soundcloud account where they can listen to the track and our web address which ‘educates’ (Katz) the readers.


During the planning process of my media product, I wanted to make a magazine which is able to appeal to a large number of social groups making it a massive success, however with much thought and consideration I realised it was no possible to focus my magazine to many social groups due to the main stories and look of my magazine. After creating questionnaires it became clear which social group I was aiming at and how I would aim my media product at them. My media product is able to represent my particular, targeted social groups is different ways. Firstly, my media product is very cultural and sits in the category of hip-hop. Taking this into account the social group my media product is able to represent the music of the black urban culture. Hip-hop has a deep history and sheds light on the black urban culture, whether young or old hip-hop runs through the blood of its listeners. Hip-hop has become so diverse other the years that different social groups has picked up a interest in the genre. This is an advantage for my media product as now different social groups such as whites, Asians, will know also be interested in the content of my magazine. Other social groups such as the ‘Urban youth’. This social group in my opinion is the biggest consumer due to their constant desire to become ‘social climbers’ (Maslow), in other words climb up the social ladder of popularity, wanting to know the latest information, news on the worlds biggest entertainment source. After I acquired the questionnaires I gave out, I found out that R&B and the British genre Grime were closely following hip-hop as the most wanted genre, using this information I added some features that were represented these following genres to acquire more consumers and more social groups. When making my media product I also wanted to make it represent different categories, for example, category C, D are mainly workers, they have jobs which requires a lot of work, I made sure my magazine could be a tool they used to ‘diverse’ (Katz) themselves from their normal day activities so they can focus on something that interests them. Additionally, category E would mostly be students who are the Urban youth social group. This group will be the main group which consumes the magazine due to the ‘social ladder’. I managed to incorporate and represent my social group by the cover star and cover lines. My cover star is Kendrick Lamar, who is a hip-hop icon, the headline is his new single, which again links to the ‘social ladder’, the urban youth would want to be more up to date with this information. My cover lines are a list of hip hop icons who are accumulating major success within the hip hop scene in this moment of time, therefore representing which social group my media product represents. On each page of my media product, I was able to feature the theory of ‘Female Gaze’ (Laura Mulvey), my front cover includes a cover star which is a male, my contents page also includes a male and my double page spread includes the cover star.


AND WHYHarris Publications is one of the nation’s largest special interest media companies operating over 75 brands with print, digital, mobile and live event platforms.Harris Publications has produced magazines that educate, entertain, inform and inspire. The company has a strong culture of innovation.  Our titles are category leaders that engage millions of readers each month.  Quality editorial, beautiful design, targeted advertising, expert curation and high production values are hallmarks of Harris magazines and digital properties.


I believe Harris Publications might distribute my media product. Whilst in the planning process, I discovered Harris Publications and it came to light that this publishing company publishes the magazines I used as inspiration, such as XXL magazine and Juicy magazine. This was one of the main factors which made me think they might distribute my media product. Also, the use of convergence with the print, digital and mobile devices is one element I want to incorporate into my media product, because this is an effective of making my consumers interact with my media product through different uses of technologies. Also the similarities with my media product and the media product XXL magazine ‘signifies’ (De Saussure) that Harris Publications may think about publishing my magazine due to the similar code and conventions in my media product and the XXL media product.


• Firstly, using the theory of Hartley’s ‘Seven Subjectives’, the target audience for my media product is 14-25. This would also be group C,D and E candidates. Students or the ‘Urban youth’ who will use my media product as a source to climb the ‘social ladder’ (Maslow) and also workers who will use my magazine as a source to escape from their normal day activities, a diversion (Katz).

• My media product is aimed for both genders, it contains features that appeal to both genders, Using Katz theory of Uses & Gratifications males can create a ‘personal relationship’ with my cover star as they may feel they have things in common or can relate with the star. Females can also find my media product appealing by the use of ‘Female Gaze’ – Laura Mulvey, they can be attracted to the images of the male stars.


I used various methods to attract my audience. These included different USP – unique selling points or my codes and conventions. In order to attract a wide audience, I decided to make my cover star none other than Kendrick Lamar. Due to his success on his last album, he accumulated a large fan base. Using this information I decided to make the main story of my media product on a interview with him on his new single, attracting his large fan base and also my audience.

I also added cover lines, however they were not cover lines that contained stories but the cover lines were a list of artists who are very successful and known worldwide, this was to attract there huge fan base. Another code and convention I used was the use of a strapline, which gave a insight to my consumers on how successful media product is, convincing them to buy the issue and review it for themselves.

I also used promotions and language such as ‘exclusive’ and ‘win’ and also ‘free’ to attract consumers because these words look and sound tempting to an audience because everyone wants the most exclusive things and wants to win free things.



The main thing I have learnt from this production process was how to master the use of Adobe Photoshop CS4. I found this software very useful and effective due to the tools, which allowed me to make many modifications and enhance the look of my media product. The things I could modify and enhance on this software was the colour of my media product, the addition of codes and conventions, ability to change fonts and manipulate images and the font sizes, also being able to place my components on different places of the page.

Before the production process my knowledge of how to use Photoshop was very low, I didn’t even know how to insert images. However as the production process went on I acquired many skills, such as knowing how to manipulate and use the layers correctly and effectively, how to modify images to remove the background or flaws in the image. I learnt how to change the tone of the media product, modifying the brightness and contrast, and also the use of advanced tools such as quick selection tool.

To make my media product look more like I wanted it to, I decided to add my own unique font, to do this I visited the website www.daffont.com after a lot of thought I was able to select a font that I found extremely resembled my magazine well, such as the target audience my media product was aimed at and the different social groups my media product is aimed at. This also meant I was incorporate a sense of ‘repetition’ – (Steve Neale) into media product.

The use of Photoshop allowed me to make my media product look professional and stand out, it helped me manipulate major problems within the product such as spots or cuts in my images. In conclusion I learned a lot about this software whilst constructing this media product and I will be able to apply these skills in future tasks.


The first image I was planning to use was the image I was using on my first designed magazine front cover.However when I decided to start over the new idea had no use for this image, it did not suit the new idea, the style and design was different, the colours did not go and I felt that the quality of the picture was not good due to the lighting of the picture.In the final stages of consideration, I decided to scrap this image and change the idea of my image, for example the type of camera shot. I attempted to try and use this image in other parts of my magazine such as the contents page and double page spread however this also did not work out, so my idea to scrap the image was finalized.

The second image was the image where I managed to incorporate my new idea of the close up camera shot, this image was good because it clearly signified my target audience and social group.I made the model wear a hat with the writing ‘RUN DMC’ on it because ‘RUN DMC’ are well known hip-hop stars in the music scene, when consumers see this they will be attracted if they are RUN DMC fans, this is also a use of ‘star appeal’ (Dyer).

This final image was the chosen image I used for my finalized magazine front cover. I decided to pick this image because it looks professional and the picture was inspired by an existing media product. This pose was common within other existing media product also, so I decided to use a pose like this and it turned out to be successful.This image also met its purpose, it managed to attract the targeted audience and using ‘star appeal’ (Dyer) I was able to attract the fan base of the cover star using this image, it is a clear representation of the star.


The first idea was a mid shot of the duo group. I felt it appealed to my target audience and social groups. The image gained interested because of the ‘star appeal’ (Dyer) the consumers would flick through to the contents and see this image making them want to read on. My first main contents page idea was to have a number of images matching the cover stories, however this did not work out, the images weren’t easy to place and some fitted well but others either did not fit on the page or did not suit the design and style of the magazine. Although this picture has a sense of professionalism to it, it did not suit the style and design of my magazine and also it did not look right when I attempted to place it on my front cover and my double page spread. The image was a likely option however it was not used in my magazine but a lot of consideration was put into this image.

The second idea was my final image and the image I decided to use of my contents page. Using this image meant I had to change up the idea of my contents page, instead of doing images with cover lines I decided to have one main image and a caption with the image. I would then have the cover stories on the left hand side of my image around the main image. This took a lot of and consideration because I wanted to make sure it looked right because the quality of the image is not the best, however it suits the style and design of my magazine, therefore in Adobe Photoshop I tried to improve the quality of the picture by altering the brightness and contrast of the image.I also used this image because it meets its purpose by attracting the targeted audience and social groups. The image also fitted m magazine because the model is wearing dark colours which manages to suit my magazine.I would remove the background of the image and this helped because just the image was needed for the contents.


The first idea was a whole body shot of the model in order to show and demonstrate my magazines target audience, social group through the image, for example based on what the character is wearing and also his posture and hand signs, the magazine conforms a type of hip-hop style. I made the model do hand signs as a sort of representation of himself, many famous people do certain rituals or signs which best describe them and also helps them separate themselves, these individual characteristics give the star a unique way of presenting himself, by doing this stars are easily noticeable and then a sense of ‘star appeal’ (Richard Dyer) is created and it begins to make the consumers more interested in the magazine. This is why I made the model for my magazine do a unique hand sign, as a way of branding himself or making a name for himself, therefore also making it easy for his fans to recognize the signs and become interested in my magazine because they are aware that the celebrity they admire is featured in the issue. When I managed to import the image on to my magazine the image did not suit the style of magazine and my production process came to a stand still.

When the first idea failed, I realized that it was a possibility that the first idea failed because it was a shot of a single person, I then decided to assemble a group and try a different approach. I chose this picture because it has a sense of realism to it, it resembled a typical boy band so I decided to base my double page idea on the boy band theme. I made the group wear all black to symbolize they are a boy band and it is easily recognizable. The image fitted and was well suited to the design of my magazine. When I decided to remove the background I had second thoughts but the image with the removed background fitted really well. I felt that the long, full shot also fitted well, showing the whole outfits of the models is able to show and represent their social group and it also appeals to my target audience.


Masthead - MFT

Web Address(Convergence)Main Headline



Social Network Sites



Issue Number PUFF

Conventional for the head to be over the masthead.

ANALYSING MY CONTENTS PAGESmaller version of the Masthead


Main image


Page Number


Social Networking Sites

Convergence - Website


Editorial Image


Social NetworkSites

Website –Convergence

Smaller version of the Masthead


Main Image

Smaller version of Masthead

Website – Convergence

Page Numbers

Quotes Introduction of the ‘stars’ – Richard Dyer

Question in different font colour to the answers to differentiate.

Use recentangle tool to make box around main image.



I feel that, having completed the preliminary task and learning about the demands of this production process, I have learnt many skills regarding Adobe Photoshop. I have learned how to use Photoshop effectively and I have also learned how to use many tools to enhance my work, to improve the quality of images and manipulate images by changing the size, shade and tone of the image. Looking back at the preliminary task, I was very limited in my Photoshop abilities, as shown in the image below, I was not able to download new fonts using www.dafont.com however looking at the main task, I was able to successfully use and download a font from da font that represented my magazine and also suited the style and design of my magazine. I have also learned about the different code and conventions a media product contains and being able to create them using the different tools on Photoshop. The images shown in my magazines are different sizes and shades showing I was successfully able to manipulate them by altering the brightness and contrast of the images. There is evidence of progression that I feel particularly demonstrates how I met the demands of the production process, for example, being able to easily change and alter feedback given to me, before I would of found it complicating to go back and change the given correctly and to my teachers standards, however I am now confident in my Photoshop skills and I'm able to manipulate or enhance my pages with ease.