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Kirsty

Just a girl with a blog…

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Unit 9

9.3.1, 9.3.2 Evaluating My Webzine

To prepare for creating my webzine, I had to consider the main theme of my webzine and research others which were similar to the end product I wanted to achieve. I wanted to create a beauty & lifestyle webzine and stuck with my initial idea throughout the creation of my webzine. When researching others alike it, I looked for the most prominent aspects of a webzine and the parts which made it different from a typical webzine to a beauty webzine. For the example the design aspects and the layout. I found many of the beauty webzines had menus for different beauty categories (for example, make-up, hair, lifestyle, etc) And also had more of a feminine layout to attract it’s majority audience with a ‘girlish’ font, logo and masthead and stereotypically featured a lot of pink and other bright colours on it’s pages.

I believe however I could have done more thorough research by  perhaps comparing more popular beauty webzines to more general ones to decipher between the aspects of a more professional webzine to a more amateur-created one. For example, a more ‘amateur’ webzine will have more of a blog-feel to it and may even have a section for personal posts unlike popular webzines which may have more than one admin, giving it a more professional vibe and takes away from personalising a webzine which a more ‘amateur’ webzine may do, as it is there’s alone. However, through my research, I can see that both types of webzine have many similaries with links to their social media, an ‘about’ section and a ‘contact’ page and will consider this when creating my own webzine.

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Through developing my webzine I learnt skills in developing a webzine which could be useful for the future for example, the use of logos. A retina logo is a higher- quality logo with more pixels typically used on a computer or laptop which gives a clearer view on your webzine’s logo. A mobile touch icon is also important as it gives the webzine an identity and allows for mobile and tablet users to identify the site quickly without the use of text with image and colour being the first thing people are typically drawn to.

Overall, I think the design and theme of my webzine meets my specification with my webzine being primarily aimed at a female audience ages 16 -24 interested in beauty and lifestyle. I believe the simplistic layout which is similar in style to other beauty webzines make my webzine easy to navigate which will make it easier for users who may not be used to the internet or easier for mobile and tablet users which have smaller screens which would show less area of the webzine. The side bar makes it easier to categories the type of article a person may want or if they are looking for something specifically such as the archive (which makes it easier to find certain articles or issues of my webzine) or contact and about me information.

I also tested my webzine on multiple search engines such as mozilla firefox and internet explorer to ensure that it would work on multiple options of search engines that people may use and give my target audience a larger opportunity to use my webzine with minimal effort from their part.

 

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9.2.2 Product Design

Research:

I decided to research similar webzines to my own which focused on fashion and beauty to get inspiration on which design features are most commonly used among these webzines which will give me an idea on how to style mine to make it look to my audience more like a  professional webzine such as these examples. I am able to see from these examples that webzines will have sidebars with different categories of information. I also noticed that webzines will use certain aspects to stand out such as a masthead which will make a statement and stand out amongst the colourful articles and a main focus article as you click on the website which is the first thing you would see.

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I then started to build my website on ‘ThisisTap.com’ and I started by using the theme ‘Genie’ which was founded on ‘Themeforrest’ to create a more professional look to my webzine and create a more polished look. After this, I started to adapt the appearance by creating a left sidebar which will hold categories and also put in a fake logo to have an example of what it may look like once it has it’s real logo.

I also added one of my related articles to give the webzine a more real look and am able now to adapt my archive and move around parts of my webzine and think about how it would look with my masthead, logo and colour scheme to give the webzine more of a personality and am able to build my webzine to fit the look of a typical webzine.

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I then started to design the basic parts of my website to give it more of a personal taste to mine and how I would like the page to look. For example, I changed the font and it’s colour to give it more of a pastel look and represent the type of content I am creating with the colours appealing to my target audience of females between 16 – 25.

On the sidebar, I also have an archive which means people viewing my webzine will be able to view past issues which will give them a view of my older articles, interviews and etc.

 

9.2.1 Plan & Development of Webzine

My theme for my webzine will  be quite soft-looking with minimal pastel colours and silver and gold detailing with my logo inspiration reflecting this. I picked logos that had very intricate but small detailing as I hope to have this detail in the background with a main pastel colour focus and black font to contrast against the soft background. I also picked a font which had a quite ‘un-done’ hand written look to it to make it look more like a journal giving it a sense of intimacy and personality. I hope because of this, my target audience – the majority females aged 16 – 25 -will feel more involved in the webzine and feel a sense of comfort and trust when reading.

I plan to product a webzine based on beauty which will include tips, hacks, reviews, ethical beauty and interviews with beauty lovers and professional make up artists.

I decided to use the name ‘Pixie’ for my website as I think the name reflects my webzine content well. Pixies are often seen as cute and fun but also caring and soft which are traits I hope to interpret into my webzine content and design.

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These are some font and logo ideas I researched for my initial design ideas for the logo, masthead and background. I looked at various pictures with things from the images that I would interpret into my own logo and masthead such as the outline of a pixie and detailing in pastel colours of the flower for an ‘X’ and vine designs to use as a border.

 

 

9.1.2 Interpretation

From my own research on webzines, I have gained an understanding in what a webzine is and am able to identify characteristics of a webzine such as the difference between a website and a website – a webzine being a magazine with scheduled issues of content being produced on a schedule of the creators choice.

I hope to apply the knowledge I have learnt from my research and create categories for my webzine as I have noticed this is an effective layout for people to be able to locate information they want and a popular way to display information amongst webzines by using sidebars. Sidebars are the most helpful and effective way of keeping multiple categories in one specific place while keeping the webzine from looking overcrowded and busy and aesthetically pleasing.

The use of categories means subcategories can be used when the website contains a lot of different types of information and I will model my own webzine like this. I also learnt that creating an archive helps myself, and visitors of the website to find specific issues of the webzine from specific dates or months quickly and helps to keep tabs on what I have created so far.

I have also noticed many webzines use large cursors to scroll through their page so phone users are able to find things easier. Some webzines will create their cursor to match their logo or theme of their webzine for example, a website called ‘Sketchy Business which uses a sketch-like image of a pen for a mouse cursor. Reference  I like this idea as I believe it will give my webzine more character and life.

I also researched different logo variations and designs to get inspiration for what I may want to design for my own webzine while considering the colour scheme, font and extra detailing.

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I liked these ones as I think the styling, detail and colour scheme suited my webzine name ‘Pixie’ And wanted something very minimal and soft-looking. I believe the name of my webzine being called Pixie influenced me to think of very minimal and feminine-looking logos that matched the name.

 

 

9.1 Webzines Research

What is a Webzine?

A webzine is an electronic magazine published on the internet. Some social groups use different names to describe Webzines such as Ezines which is a more specialised term given to smaller online magazines and newsletters by electronic methods, for example, electronic mail. Some groups may also refer to Cyberzine and Hyperzine and some online magazines may refer to themselves as ‘electronic magazines’ or ‘e-magazines’.

Examples of Webzines

Examples of some popular Webzines include:

City Limits

Orion Magazine

Salon

Extra!

http://projectcensored.org/independent-periodicals-webzines/

The difference between a blog and a Webzine

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-an-online-magazine-and-a-blog

When it comes to online blogs and webzines – there are definitely key differences between the styling of format, content and writing style.

Online magazines will usually include stories that are highlighted on the front page of the site as this is the main focus of their page and what readers are the most interested in. However, blogs are more likely to minimise the number of stories on the front of their page is this will not be their main interest to readers.

Webzines, as they are magazines, will usually have a more format writing style and have less of a personal relationship with the readers as they will be writing in a non-biased way to a widespread of readers and have to keep an appropriate and equal relationship to all readers without offending or having controversial opinions. Whereas, blogs are much more personal to the creator and will have more of a relationship with their readers and are able to state their opinions in a much more casual way meaning that the writing style of a blogger may be more informal.
Finally, the format of a blog and webzine are much different. Webzines will usually imitate the format of a traditional magazine with issues that contain articles and ads that will be in a traditional column style on the front page. Whereas, blogs will usually contain posts about varied subjects the blogger chooses and will be written in a more freeform and diary-entry style.

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Webzine Logo Research

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I like the simplicity of this logo as the artistic minimalism of the logo isn’t too ‘In your face’ yet is attractive as the style is plain but interesting.

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I also like this logo as it isn’t too busy but still eye-catching because of it’s dainty detailing around a fancier font. I believe the logo is pretty but minimal so people would be interested in knowing about the website and not overwhelmed by block lettering or colours.

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I am also a fan of this logo as it includes enough detail to know what the webzine or blog will be about and the minimal dainty design is interesting without being overwhelming. The muted colours are also attractive as they sit nicely behind the gold detailing of the words which stand out because of the metallic colour which gives the photo more texture.

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This is a similar logo to the prior one, I also like this style as it has similarities to the one beforehand. I also like how it frames the font is a metallic gold box also standing out against the minimal background because of the pastel background and textured font.

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I like this font as it is quite a ‘un-done’ and handwritten.

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