Below are a series of tips on how a successful magazine should be set out. When analysing magazine front covers evaluate which of these tips they follow.
The first colour is white. The second colour is black. The third colour is red. Calligraphers and early printers grasped this over 500 years ago and experience has proved them exactly right. White for background, black for text, red for accent and excitement. These three colours are the best . Be very careful with all other colours.
Roger Black (designer of Newsweek, Time Out, Esquire, National Enquirer, Rolling Stone)
A cover should be a poster. A single image of a human will sell more copies than multiple images or all type. Always has, always will. Think about why.
Never set a lot of text type in all caps. After a while, it’s just too hard to read.
Use only one or two typefaces. Italian design is the model: a strong sense of a few things that work together. Avoid a free for all of multiple fonts/colours.
Get lumpy! The trouble with most design is that it has no surprise. If you want normal people to pay attention, you have to change pace in your presentation. Monotonous rhythms of picture, headline, picture, text, ad, headline, picture, ad, etc. Is like a pudding without raisins – a stew without lumps.
Break up type to add interest
Chris Frost – Designing for newspapers and magazines
Don’t use too many typefaces. Too much variation will end up looking a mess. It’s best to limit yourself to one font, and variations of it.
Emphasise your entry point, with larger intro type, bold faces, drop letters, etc. Choose your entry point with care, and make it the focal point of the page.
Even mediocre photographs attract an audience and a good news picture, even on an inside page, may attract 80% of the readership.
Harold Evans – Pictures on a Page
Just switching type face from serif to sans can result in massive differences in reader comprehension, and response, to advertisements
Colin Wheildon – Are you communicating, or just making pretty shapes? (2005)
There are few major newspapers in the English speaking world today which use the sans serif type for the body text. Conversely, many major magazines choose sans serif. Serif faces have long been regarded as highly readable. One theory is that the serifs acted as tram lines, keeping the eyes on target. Another was that the modulated thick and thin strokes of serif types provided greater opportunity for individual letters, and hence words, to be distinguished and read.
Responses to text in printed colours showed a considerably lower level of good comprehension.
81% said they would prefer to read the page of coloured type because it was more attractive. But the test results clearly show that in practise, they found coloured text more difficult to read. It was attractive to look at but did not make a good reading environment.
Editors and designers are the missing link between the ape world and man.
Every picture should have a caption. Readers get very irritated if they cannot find the caption. But the caption must not state the obvious. A picture of a vicar pouring a cup of tea, should not have for its caption: Vicar, pouring cup of tea. Captions should add to the information in the photo, not re-state it.
Many music mags use witty, tongue-in-cheek captions.
Type size for the body of an article should be between 9-14. (not the headlines, standfirst, crossheads etc). Some newspapers go down to 8, and many would consider that anything above 11 is too large, wastes space, and patronises the reader. 9 is the most common size.
Useful websites to help you can be found in the link bar on the right hand side.
For the final 20 marks of the project, you must complete seven tasks on your blog, posting them in this order, with the question heading at the top of each task. Make sure you answer each question as well as producing the visual elements.
1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of music magazines)
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups ?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
7. Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of music magazines)
As part of your planning and research you should have looked at Music Magazines and selected a particular sub genre (e.g. Indie, pop, r&b, dance etc) to re-create. Find an example of a pre exisiting music magazine which matches your magazine, paste it into your blog and highlight the key generic conventions of the magazine (the list of terminology can be found HERE)
You should go through the final version of your project and select elements which follow conventions and any which do not.
The aspects we would like you to consider across your nine frames are:
The title of the magazine
Costumes, props, iconography used to reflect genre
Camerawork and framing of images
Title, article, header etc font and style
Genre and how the magazine cover, contents and spread suggests it
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Pick a key image of your artist from your magazine (ideally the cover image). Take a screengrab of a reasonable sized image of them. Think of one or more recording artists/stars from other magazines with some similarity to them (but maybe some differences too!), find an image on the web of that/those stars and grab it as well. Drop the two into photoshop, as a split screen. Export this splitscreen image as a jpeg then drop onto your blog and write about the similarities and differences in terms of appearance, costume etc.
So for example if you have a female R&B star on your cover, look for other female R&B star to compare them with (remember to try and ensure that they are of a similar age, ethnicity etc)...
where the money might have come from for a magazine such as yours here
what your magazine is similar to 'institutionally' (name some magazines which would be released in a similar way)
You need to refer to actual company names and processes so you will need to maybe do a bit more research into magazine publishers like emap
When you have scripted, record the voiceover using iMovie, windows movie maker etc on a new audio timeline, then export to quicktime and embed on blog. (this is a good example of what you can do. It was created for A2 and a slightly different question but the style is correct).
You should have a drawing of your target audience member and an explanation of what kinds of taste they might have- where they would shop, what music they would listen to, what their favourite Tv programme would be, etc.
make sure you have taken a photo of it, post it on the blog and write a few notes on why they would buy your magazine.
Take a screen grab of your magazines cover, content and spread and place into iMovie, movie make etc. You will then use YOUTUBE's annotation tools to add NOTES, SPEECHBUBBLES, and LINKS to your magazine:
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
In pairs, take a picture of each other holding the kit you have used. This might just be the camera and tripod, and your Macbook but there may be other things you want in the shot.
Drop the image onto your blog and annotate it, adding all the programs and other technology you have used as screengrabs and what you learnt about it/from using it. Your written text need only be minimal. You could include reference to all the online and computer programs you have used such as flickr, blogger, facebook, photoshop, vimeo, scribd, slideshare etc.