Action Planning Week: When starting my final major project, I first created a short rationale on what I had learnt over the course of my first year and what skills I would use to aid me in my final major project production.
I started by writing my rationale on how I had improved my photography skills and learnt to write in symbols so I can have enough information when reporting on a story and can jot my ideas onto paper quickly so I can write articles. I also learnt about legal and ethical issues within the Media. I have learnt about the five W’s of news writing (who, what, when, where, why) and how to design and create my own website.
I wrote this as a reflection on the progress and learning development I have made through units 1-7 and credited the information that I have learnt throughout the course that has aided me to become a better journalist.
I then started doing some primary research on what I wanted my final major project to be focused on. I began experimenting with ideas focused around fashion and festivals. By using Pinterest to create a moodboard of ideas from images I may use for my cover or double page spread or the layout of the magazine.
I did this as originally, I thought about doing something related to fashion (As I would potentially like to become a fashion journalist) and I also really like the festival season and fashion related to festival wear such as the bohemian and grunge trend.
This is two of the examples of images I used for my moodboard.
After creating my moodboard, I decided to do my first article on festival essentials that are needed when you go to a festival by creating a list of items to bring with you to a festival and I also decided to do a short Q&A with three people on what their top three festival essentials were so I could compare them to my own. I made a list with the essentials and why they are needed.
For my second article, I decided to keep it more fashion based. This was focused around the four most commonly-dressed outfit ideas you would find at a festival. The bohemian style, the grunge style, dressing for warmth and dressing for rain/bad weather. I gave tips on how to dress for these occasions and what fashion essentials you may need to achieve these looks.
I then had to think about colour schemes, layout and fonts that I would use which I decided to think about at a later date when I got onto the production of my magazine. I had to make sure that the colours would suit
When getting feedback on my idea, I was asked about how I would get my images as it would be difficult to recreate a festival-like scene and we discussed how I could still get effective, yet simplistic pictures by positioning the objects in my pictures effectively to look visually appealing. I also thought, the simpler the images, the more exciting I can make my background and fonts by using exciting patterns and bold colours to make my double page spread look like a professional magazine spread. I then researched some images from Pinterest and some library fashion books (Stated in my bibliography) to get examples of how I could display simplistic images with an exciting background to make it look exciting and professional like the ones in the book.
Research Week: I then started doing my primary and secondary research and during this week collected my initial research I would need to start my production of my magazine by reflecting on how other magazines created their articles to a professional level so I could know how my images and layout needed to look and what aspects were needed in my article writing.
This is when I did my audience research and looked at similar magazines to what mine would be regarding the age, gender and genre of the demographics of these magazines and my own.
I looked at TeenVogue, Seventeen and Kerrang! magazine’s demographics to look at the similarities their audience had with my potential audience. I then analysed Teen Vogue in closer detail by looking at the layout and colour schemes used by the magazine and how their techniques make the magazine look appealing and professional. For example, the magazine’s front cover has different fonts with bolder fonts standing out with key words such as ‘Fashion’ ‘Hair’ and ‘Fierce’ to appeal to the reader quickly and grab their attention to what the articles inside may include. This is something that grabbed my attention and something I may include within my own magazine front cover to give it a more realistic look and professional appearance.
I also researched what a target audience is from marketingdonut.co.uk and about the magazine industries and publishers and when researching suggested who would be the best publisher for my magazine if it was a professional magazine. I did this by looking at various magazine websites such as Condé Nest, Bauer Media and Hearst Corporation.
I then furthered my research by doing some initial research by looking at festival fashion such as outfits and bohemian-style jewellery as this linked in with the idea of my and examples of layouts for my magazine. (I also had prior knowledge of festival outfits I could string together from picture examples from Tumblr) and created a moodboard of ideas. I also looked at magazine layouts on Pinterest to get inspiration for my own layout and how I could interpret my own design that would look professional, yet individual and original.
I also did some initial audience research and made a poll with a series of questions to collect research on my magazine. I got feedback such as having some image examples of separate pieces of fashion or jewellery instead of having just full outfits. This feedback made me keep in mind when creating my images to photograph separate pieces. Another question was related to what genre of magazines was most commonly read by the poll participant with the answer being beauty & fashion which was good news to hear as the genre of magazine I am focused on is a fashion & lifestyle magazine.
I also plan to do more sustained research throughout the project with various resources such as websites and books.
Proposal Week: I have conjured ideas in my head on what my layout may look like and what photos I may need to take for my magazine spreads and I plan on getting help from others to help take and participate in group photos where I may need a model. I plan on taking photos of jewellery, hairstyles and outfits for my fashion article and for my festival essentials article I plan on taking photos of some essential you may need such as tissues and baby wipes.
I have already written my rationale for my project and I aim to make for my FMP, a front cover for a lifestyle & fashion magazine, a double page spread with an article on essentials to bring to a festival along with example images and a double page spread with an article on festival fashion, outfits and jewellery and how to style different pieces according to the festival styles such as bohemian and grunge and how to dress for different weather conditions.
I plan on recording parts of my project I could improve on when starting my production and reflection on how I could and plan to improve them in my reflective journal and I will record any decision-making I make on changes to my project and production later on in my reflective journal.
Production Week(s): I then had to start the production of my magazine by creating a front cover and designing two double page spreads with images and an article. I started by doing the practical parts of my project such as the writing. I started by writing a draft for my articles by listing some festival essentials people may need and an introduction to the topic of my article. I then also listed some styles commonly seen at festivals such as the bohemian style and the grunge style and also how to dress for cold and rainy weather. Afterwards, I began to adapt these articles into much more interesting and gripping articles which were more exciting and readable. I did this making introductions to my articles and including persuasive language which readers will find more gripping and make them more likely to read the article as they find the article easy-going and friendly to read.
I then had to think about my photos, what I would need images of and how I was going to take them. I did a mixture of independent photos at home on my phone and also in a more professional environment with a DSLR-camera and a white background. I took some photos of festival essentials with my phone as I was able to control my close-up angles and lighting while also adding a filter to improve the overall look of the photo. Also, by using my phone, I was able to focus better on the small detailing on the festival items whereas with a camera I would have to change lenses and the settings. However, for my other photos such as outfit pieces, I found using a camera and professional backdrop helped to make my images look better overall as having a white backdrop helped bring the focus to the people or items in the photo and made my cover image look more professional. I had the help of some people to use as models which helped as I could use them for my cover and to help me capture one of the key elements of a festival which is unity amongst people and the group photos captured this well.
I had to re-invent my ideas for images for my double page spreads because of my topic being about festivals, this made capturing an authentic festival image would be difficult, even with the help of people. I had to think about making my image more simple yet still affective and still capturing the main essence of festivals. I like my cover for my magazine because of this, it is simple yet still captures the essence of a festival with the liveliness, aesthetic of the photo and the outfits of my models. I believe it is simple yet with the added flowers in the hair and unity of the models it makes the photo look very festival-like.
(This is the uncompleted front cover)
I then started designing my pages which meant I needed to research some fashion magazine layouts so I decided to look in some books for inspiration such as Hidalgo, Marta. R / 2007/ Young Fashion Designers/ EverGreen And Jones, Terry & Mair, Avril / 2002/ Fashion Now/ Taschen. And I used these sources for inspiration as how to create my own unique layout that looks interesting and original while still looking professional. I found the books reliable as they gave me the information I needed and were easy to follow while still being creative and giving me my own ideas. I went for a colour scheme that would go with the topic of my article while also not choosing too many colours as this would make the page look too busy. I decided to bring the element of festivals into my work and used bright colours and pastels while also using a bohemian-style pattern as a border around some of my photos and overall tried to make my page look fun and exciting.
For my first page, I decided to do a gradual blue gradient along with white writing too keep the page looking very airy and pastel. I also made a border around my photos with a bohemian-style print to add some of the article topic to the page. I thought I would keep the layout simple yet artistic as it has a list of festival essentials on one of the sides and a short Q&A on the other. Because of this, I positioned the photos around the text in smaller and larger sizes with some slanted and stuck onto the page in an almost scrapbook-style manner.
For my second double-page spread, as this was aimed more at the festival styles and how to piece clothing together for the right occasion. I thought of bright and happy colours as festivals have connotations of happiness and unity so I used an orange and yellow gradient background with black writing to make this stand out against a bold background and made it look professional. I also feel like orange and yellow are gender-neutral colours and do not relate with one gender more than the other so although my magazines audience is primarily female, I believe that if any males were to read my magazine, they wouldn’t feel overwhelmed with the magazine being overly-feminine and can also get advice from my article and interpret this to fit themselves. I also used a black border around the images that are scattered so they also stand out and pair with the writing nicely and doesn’t take too much attention away from the article. I then plan on adding some pull quotes to my page to make it look like a professional magazine.
When designing my first double-page spread I had a few issues with positing images and how I wanted my layout to look. I got some audience feedback from someone who would fit my magazine’s audience being a seventeen-year-old female. They quoted; “The main image is too much and doesn’t work with your layout. Maybe it would look better as a smaller image. The other page looks cute and basic with hints of a festival-vibe with the border.” As I have received this feedback, I decided to keep the layout ‘cute and basic’ as my feedback said yet rearrange my photos on my page to smaller images so it does not overwhelm the page and would work better with the background.
To make the page look more interesting and unique, I adapted the font with one I believe would fit the topic of the article and used different fonts depending on the spread I was working on. I used shadowing and a tool that ‘squeezed’ the font to add dimension and interest to the page and font which helped the font to stand out.
Evaluation Week: The brief for my project was to create two articles and two double page spreads for a magazine with photos and a front cover on a topic of my choice. We started in early March with the deadline being Friday the 10th June. Within this time scale, I had to produce my own professional photos with the skills I have learnt over the course of the year to include in my double page spreads and my front cover. I also had to include two articles on a topic I had chosen and had to design two double page spreads to look like a real magazine.
My initial proposal was to write an article on festival essentials and what to bring to a festival (for example, baby wipes, wellies and a raincoat) and also do a short Q&A with some people on their top three festival essentials and what they like about festival fashion. I decided that for this article, I would take some pictures of some festival essentials and incorporate some ‘festival-style’ photos to piece the page together. For my second article, I was focusing on festival fashion including how to piece four individual outfits together for four separate occasions. (The bohemian style, the grunge style, dressing for cold weather and dressing for wet conditions) I was going to take some photos of individual pieces of clothing as examples of outfits and what to wear. For my front cover, I initially didn’t have a solid idea but knew what I wanted was something festival related. From this, I knew I could adapt and plan more if I needed or wanted to. However, I found that there was some problems as trying to capture a festival style photo proved difficult without a legitimate festival so I opted to make my photos more simple, yet still effective. I did this by taking some group photos to capture the essence of festivals such as unity and photos of individual pieces of clothing.
I had to change my photo ideas slightly as getting legitimate festival photos would be difficult. So I had to simplify my photos while still making them effective. I chose to take some photos in the photography studio and took photos of students to give the photos more excitement, movement and emotions. I used examples of pieces of clothing and festival essentials to add to my spreads as this actually made it easier to see examples up close and in more detail so that people reading my magazine would be able to have a better idea on the type of items to bring with them to a festival. I believe by changing these ideas up, I was able to capture images in more detail and focus on the main areas of the picture rather than a busy background at a real festival which could potentially include people that did not give permission to be in the image or underage people, violating media laws.
If I was to create my proposal again, I would change the fashion part of my article. I would change this as I initially proposed getting examples from my friends on their festival-style outfits. However, this proved difficult and I was unable to. I also believe I would focus more on my first article on festival essentials and extend this list to tips on items to bring and why they’re important as this would give my writing more depth and detail and make it easier to understand to readers.
I believe I could have managed my time better as this lead to some of my initial ideas being adapted and cutting deadlines finely. I believe if I was to do the project again, I would dedicate time to planning exactly the photos I wanted and needed and how I would take the photos whether it was by my phone, or in the photo studio or if I needed to take photos of people. I believe if I had done this previously, I would have had more time to focus on my written work and designing my production to a better standard. I also believe with more time, I would have been able to produce a better quality production of my magazine designs as I was not very confident with software such as InDesign and Photoshop. With the time I could have been able to adapt my designs and try out different tools which may have made my designs look more professional and unique.
I believe throughout the unit, I could have managed my time more wisely by devoting certain days and amounts of time to different areas of my FMP such as the photography, the production, the writing of my reflective journal being consistent and finally the research parts to my project and collecting more research throughout the unit. I believe by making a timetable of what tasks I had already done and what I needed to do next would have helped me to remain on top of my work, meet my deadlines and remain calm throughout the project.
I encountered a few problems during my project that I had not expected during the planning of my project. Firstly, my research which I did all throughout my project proved more difficult than I expected. This was because I had to get a range of different sources. When I tried researching from books, it was difficult to find exactly what I wanted and had to settle with finding inspiration from fashion books on how to position the models in my photos, how to take a good photo of clothing pieces and how to create my layout for my magazine. However, I could not find anything on particular styles such as ‘Grunge’ and ‘Bohemian’ styles or anything to do with festivals which is initially, what my magazine articles were about. Furthermore, producing my photos were more difficult than I expected as I had to think about factors such as the weather, resources and props and models to be in my photos. I wanted to achieve some happy and sunny photos to capture that festival-vibe of unity and happiness. However, transporting props such as tents and camping items would have been difficult and also being able to get people to help me with my photos would have been difficult as they also had to focus on their own work and planning wasn’t very organised. Lastly, I believed my production would have been better if I had been able to design what I originally had in mind for my layout however, I was not very confident using InDesign and Photoshop and with better planning and thought I could have taken time to watch tutorials or discover what different tools did.
I firstly did some primary research by researching what other professional magazines do to attract their target audiences to reading their magazine and how they layout their magazine to make it visually appealing. I then focused on my own ideas and researched by creating a poll on what people focus on when reading magazines by asking questions such as ‘What type of magazines do you usually read?’ and ‘What appeals to you about magazines?’ to get an idea on what my target audience would enjoy reading and what type of things appeal to them when reading magazines. I then created a moodboard with Pinterest and found examples of magazine layouts and festival style outfits, focusing mostly on the bohemian style and grunge style while also fining indiviual fashion pieces such as jewelry. I also got feedback from people on my production throughout the project with a comment such as “The main image is too much and doesn’t work with your layout. Maybe it would look better as a smaller image. The other page looks cute and basic with hints of a festival-vibe with the border.” which helped me to adapt my magazine layout to something which someone who would be a part of my target audience (Primarily female 16-24 year olds) would enjoy the most. Finally, I then looked at some books (Listed in my bibliography) from the library which were on the topic of fashion as I believed this would help me to get an idea on how to layout my magazine and how to focus on pieces of clothing in photography and how professional photographers would take photos of models and the type of things they focus on to make the image more visually appealing and professional by focusing on their surroundings, lighting and expressions of their model. I believe by focusing on these things, this would help me to influence my own photography and production.
I did have slight difficulty finding a variety of sources to conduct research with as there are not many sources I could research on festivals and fashion based around this as the popularity of festivals and the festival-style trend is fairly new to fashion. As this was the case, I used two main sources I knew would definitely contain inspiration for my magazine such as Pinterest and Tumblr. I had already done prior research on festival fashion on Tumblr as I have my own blog on the website. However, on Pinterest, I was able to create a large moodboard and display all the fashion pieces I needed and wanted for my research.
I believe I could have done more celebrity-inspired research and how popular celebrity festival-goers piece their outfits together and possibly used this as inspiration to make an article on a celebrity-inspired outfit with influences such as Vanessa Hudgens and Kylie Jenner (two celebrities famous for their festival styles and outfits) I believe if I had done this, I could have had a more interesting article for my production and a more thought-out and planned double-page spread with images that are simple yet planned and went well with my article.
During my production, I was getting feedback from peers around me on what they believe I could improve on my page such as the colour scheme and positioning of photos and how they believe I could improve my pages by something they would want to see if they were truly reading the magazine. I also used books to give me inspiration with any final photos I might have needed such as angles, backgrounds and any details professional photographers in the book had focused on when taking their photo. I also used it to give me ideas on producing my own unique yet professional-looking layout for my magazine as my magazine is a fashion and lifestyle magazine I believe the fashion layout would have helped in the production of my own double-page spreads. I believe with the use of this research I was able to think about extra detail in my pages such as the fonts and how to position my masthead and titles. And adding extra detail to give the page more dimension by adding boxes around pull quotes and using the fonts to my advantage such as different styles in italics or bold or using the tools in InDesign to make the text closer together, giving the outline of the writing a colour or slanting the writing.
Throughout my project, I used my reflective journal as a reflection on the work I had already done and what worked well for me or challenged me. It also helped me to plan out what work needed to be done next or added. Through my action planning week, I was able to see what ideas I had made, what I found that challenged me out of the initial ideas I had and how I adapted these ideas. I was also able to get an idea on the the first parts of research I had done for my production and used this to cater to what my target audience would like if they were to read the magazine such as feedback from my poll and ideas I had found on Pinterest and Tumblr on magazine layouts, fashion spreads in magazines and also examples of festival outfits. Furthermore, through my proposal week, I was able to get a clear idea on the type of photos I would want and need and what kind of layout I was planning on having. This was also the time I started drafting my articles and I was truly able to figure out what I wanted to write about and knew that I could use this time to research for my article writing if I needed more information about the things I was writing about such as researching into the bohemian and grunge styles or perhaps read about other people’s ideas of their festival essentials. Finally, during the production I was able to see what I had already done and why by reflecting back on my journal which helped to plan on what I would need to do next and how I could improve on my production by doing so. I was also able to see where I had lost time and where as I explained earlier, could have spent the time improving my InDesign and Photoshop skills to produce a better double page spread by experimenting with the tools.
I believe my magazine is fit for purpose however after the creation I believe I could have added more common codes and conventions of magazine covers and layouts such as a puff (Offering things such as free giveaways) and more buzzwords and even creating my own barcode. However, I believe from looking at my cover, I was able to use the colours to my advantage as while producing a colour scheme which would attract my readers by being bright and noticeable, it was also used to cleverly reveal buzzwords such as ‘You’ by using personal pronouns to make the person feel instantly connected and involved in the magazine. My magazine also includes the masthead with the ‘Vook’ logo which will be distinctive and easy to recognize to readers. My photo on the cover is also a studio shot, shot as a close up on the cover with a festival feel to it with the flowers in the hair relating to the double page spreads inside.
I believe for my brief, I was able to cover this well by creating a two double page spreads with two articles on topics which would attract a primarily female 16 – 24 year old audience. As my articles were about festivals I believe this would be interesting to them as festivals are something commonly attended by younger people while also being vibrant in music, fashion and food which would be interesting to females of this age and they would enjoy reading about festival essentials to bring with them if they were to attend a festival and festival fashion and what to wear when at a festival and how to dress for occasion such as cold or wet weather. I believe the initial ideas of my articles were good and informative to readers however could have been furthered by giving tips and explaining why to bring the festival essentials listed and how they will come of good use while even sharing a few of my own experiences making the article more friendly and chatty making the readers feel included and relaxed. I believe I could have also asked people of my own age what types of things they like about festival styles such as the bohemian and grunge style and included different opinions also rather than just my own. Finally, when I was in the production part of my project I used books on fashion to help influence how my layout would look and how I wanted it to look more unique and not so typical of an ordinary magazine but still looked put together and professional.
For example, I wanted my layout to look quite relaxed with a mixture of the text, pull quotes and example photos on the page. I also tried to look at the codes and conventions of fashion magazines and what they included when producing their articles. I focused on the language they used such as persuasive features like alliteration, rhetorical questions and personal pronouns making the reader feel included. I included these features in my own magazine articles such as the titles being alliterations and my introduction including a rhetorical question which makes the reader feel like they are personally being talked to and think about the text.
Throughout the project I was able to improve working with a DSLR camera and focusing on my angles, lighting and including prior skills I had learnt through the course such as the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I was also able to expand what I previously knew about InDesign by using different tools such as tools to alter my text that I did not previously know about and creating gradients with colour.
I believe my magazine would appeal to my target audience as the topic is on festivals and fashion included in festivals. As my magazine would be in a fashion and lifestyle genre, I believe the topic would be exciting and interesting to primarily females of 16 – 24 in age. Most woman would be looking for articles on topics such as fashion, food and more in a fashion and lifestyle magazine which festivals also include and as festivals and festival styles are becoming more popular and trendy, I believe my target audience would find my articles interesting.
I did some audience research before starting my planning and production of my magazine. I looked at various magazines and what codes and conventions they have and include to attract an audience and appeal to their readers. For example, when focusing on Teen Vogue, I looked at what headlines they include on the front of their magazine such as buzzwords to use as Teen Vogue is a popular fashion magazines with the same target audience as my own magazine and believed I could use this for inspiration.
When getting feedback on my final product I did not get any feedback from an industry practitioner. However, when I got feedback from my peers, they said they believed my articles were interesting and useful if someone wanted to go to a festival however the overall appearance was lacking in a certain creativity that professional magazines include and I believe if I had learnt what more of the tools did in InDesign and had more time to adapt my magazine during production I could have improved the design while also including typical codes and conventions of a magazine to make it professional.
When creating my magazine I had to be aware of media laws and ethical issues. This included editing my article draft as when creating my article I included comparing the Bohemian style to Gypsies which was inaccurate and could have been seen as offensive also not purposely meant to be so I had to remove this. I also had to change my initial photo ideas of them being outside to capture the camping side to festivals in case when outside I included someone in the background who had not given me permission to include them and did not obey media laws. Furthermore, when including my pull quotes, I had to make sure to include who the person was without giving out any further personal details about them.
If I was to do this unit again, I would improve my planning by having better organisational skills and diving the weeks and days into certain things I would need to do and devoting this time to working on certain areas of my project. I would have also spent one day taking photos as this would have left more time for my production and to learn how to use more tools in InDesign.
I believe I would try to find more resources to get research from. I believe other social media such as Instagram would have been useful as just like Pinterest and Tumblr I would be able to find a tag and look for exactly what I need such as different festival outfits and different magazine covers and photoshoots so I could get inspiration for my own photos and how to create a professional looking double page spread.
Furthermore, I believe the creativity of my ideas were good however because of time issues, I believe that hindered the creative ideas I originally had. And as stated prior, if I had more time I could have produced better photos (outside in nice weather) and also would have been able to use InDesign to my advantage.