Evaluation question #1

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of music magazines)

My magazine uses many conventions similar to those seen in music magazine seen on stands. The name I have chosen to use for my magazine originates from Kanye West, a movement he created in 2010 which required artists under his label to smarten up, not only in the way they dressed but the way they acted. This of course follows many conventions of the hip hop genre as I am using something a hip hop artist has created themselves. The idea of the artists dressing a lot more formally and acting more maturely fits in well with the house theme of my magazine, as well as keeping it in the hip hop genre.
I feel that my page layouts seem to challenge other hip hop genre magazine but are in keeping with other gentleman magazine, developing both genres of magazines at the same time. I have tried to ensure that the page seems, clean and minimalistic, but at the same time not to appear empty and undesigned. I have inspiration from another hip hop magazine, Complex in the way that they include a large picture of their artist and ensure that the writing is clear and readable, but not taking up over half of the page. I have taken inspiration from Esquire in the headers and footers of the page to include the name of the magazine, the month and the story on the page. I feel this helps to create a more formal house style as well as making it clear for the reader. At the same time as making the pages more clear to read and making it more minimalistic.
I have tried to dress and design my artist, and the props included to appear quite minimalistic but also trying to make the artist seem quite complex. In keeping with the theme of the magazine, and that seen in Esquire I have dressed my artist in a suit, although on the cover he is wearing a tie, and on the DPS he has lost the tie. Making him appear more relaxed, of that he could be stressed, which is in keeping with the story on the same page surrounding the artist. The suit makes him appear formal, but at the same time seem quite easy and laid back, with it only being a single breasted suit we don’t immediately associate him with a business man or a country figure, but instead someone who appears to money. On the front cover the way his hands are placed we can see a watch, which I hope is shown in a way that looks like a high end watch such as a rolex or similar, linking in again with the fact that he has money, but also trying to show him as a arrogant man with money and not afraid of showing it.
I have incorporated playing cards on the table that he is sitting at, I added this in post production using photoshop. I felt these would help to show him as a more ‘gangster’ figure someone who has a lot of spare money, and isn’t afraid to spend it. I also hoped that the connotations associated who make it appear that he is gambling, possibly with his life or his career.
In the background of the DPS I have included photo frames that were originally in the room that I took the photo, but have multiplied these as there were only 2 frames on the wall. I have then included different parts of the artists body that I have cut out of various other pictures that I took during the photo shoot. I felt that this would help to create a better mise on scene for the artist, as well as giving the impression to the audience that he is in parts and we can see them all, as if he is apart for us all to see.
For the front cover the camera work and angle I feel have been used in a very strong manner to make it look as though we could be looking deeply into the artist, as if looking into his soul for explanations. I have used a mid shot, take directly on the artists level, with his hands together. In the double page spread the photo was taken from a slightly lower angle with the artist looking again directly into the camera. Now looking a bit more stressed from the front cover maybe showing that he might not be comfortable with the interview process. I feel that from the front cover to the contents and then ending with the double page spread there seems to be a change in the artist. Appearing more strong and unbreakable on the front cover, as if he could not be broken, to the contents where he seems more comfortable and ready to open up, to finally the double page spread where he seems to have given and deep interview that could have tired him out, and now sprawled across the table showing that he has fully opened up to readers.
This ties in well with how I have hoped to represent my artist, from the front cover as a strong man who appears to be unapproachable. I have changed his eye colour in post production to read which could have connotations that he or his music is associated with the devil, but this I feel conflicts with the idea that he is praying to the camera. This to me works well as I hoped the reader would see him as a man who could be seen as evil but praying as if he is hoping for change, and that only god can help him.
This then works with the double page spread as it could be seen that the artist has now been accepted by god and feels relieved, which would explain the sprawling across the table, but still doesn’t seem as though he is completely satisfied.
The fonts that I have used I feel work well with both the genre of the magazine as well as the artists style. The bold font used for the header, shows to me that the magazine is a strong one with a good reputation. But also with a heavy presence within magazines.
The font I feel gets thinner as it works its way down to the artist, becoming more artistic, and almost more welcoming, which i feel fits in with the artist. The tag line for the artist is that he is the new Goodfella, a mobster. Which I have used the same font as used for the promotional posters for the film. This fits in well with the artist as he is supposed to be an artist on the top of his game possibly the biggest artist right now, which the magazine claims he has been creating a whole new sound, which then ties in with the fact that he is a mobster, showing that he doesn’t follow conventions or rules and that he does as he pleases. In the music scene.
I have tried to use minimal tag lines on the front cover, to try and keep the minimalistic theme seen throughout the magazine, but at the same time filling the void on the cover. I have kept these related to the same genre of music, but not only that. I have included to other major artists, possibly the biggest hip hop artists around today, Jay Z and Kanye West. Placing my artists over the top of this and giving him a picture which takes up more space than these two giant artists shows that he is maybe more important and bigger in the rap game. I have also include three smaller tag lines at the top of the page, in a smaller thinner font, showing that these are either not major stories or that the stories or artists are not considered as big as my artist featured on the front cover. In the contents my artist is one again shown to be more important, although his picture is same size as the others, his number over his picture is highlighted by the only colour on the page, showing that his story is a bigger and more important read than the various other artists included.
In the double page spread the only title I have used is a small one at the two top corners of the page showing it is the cover story with ‘Mills’ I have taken inspiration for this idea from issues of Esquire.
I feel that although the way my magazine is laid out and designed may not usually be considered for a hip hop magazine, I still feel that the genre is obvious from the front cover throughout the pages. Comparing my magazine to Complex I feel as though I have developed the design that they started with the clean fresh look but only incorporating the idea of suits and more cleaner pages. The tag lines used on the front cover are the most obvious thing that make is distinctly a hip hop magazine with the use of well known hip hop artists. But also showing the artist isn’t completely formal, as well as showing him in a possible devil form but praying show that he isn’t a classical or acoustic star. In the contents once again the most obvious thing that give away the genre is the use of a lot of other well known hip hop artists that you would all associate together which help to show include my artist in this genre.
The colour scheme throughout my magazine I feel works well to create a hip hop theme as well as creating a minimalistic look. A lot of recent rap and hip hop music videos have been shot in black and white, giving them a more artistic feel, this is why I have made the majority of my magazine including images black and white. I have used read as a recurring colour only featuring minimally in areas that I felt would help to emphasise a certain thing, such as the red eyes on the front cover of the red photos/
One of the most obvious ways that i have challenged forms of real media publications is the house theme used throughout my magazine, I have tried to maintain a clean look throughout, similar to the house style seen in GQ and Esquire. I hope this has given my magazine a professional look, with a smart clean finish, making it a better read for the music fan.
I would argue that I have helped to develop conventions seen in magazines, by using a more simplistic look throughout it helps to show that a magazine doesn’t have to be busy and full of a lot of pictures and files. By using less images it helps to make the magazine an easier read, and a more enjoyable read.


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