Monday, 31 January 2011

Mock Up Front Cover

After previously creating two rushed mock up pages i have decided to create a third to represent much clearer what i would like my final piece to look like. As you can see i have used an image off the Internet which makes clear eye contact but also has body language to immediately portray the personality of the character and this is what i am hoping to do also. As the artists clothing is included in the photo i believe this adds the slight element of aiming towards a slightly if not highly fashion conscious audience after the main element of music. I would also be keen to keep up this look rather than having a close up of just my artists face. On the mock up you can see above i have kept the cover lines fairly minimal but included enough to keep the page looking interesting. In my research and planning i came to the conclusion i would in fact like to keep my page minimalistic and the above shows the style i am attempting to present to my audience. The colours used within the page are also a glimpse of what i would like to appear on my final piece. I think the use of the vibrant red against the more monochrome, black white and grey works particularly well. Something i believe would need to be changed is the large cover line 'macy stone' due to the font. The font i use would need to be much more eye catching and bold to indicate what the main article inside is going to be about.

As you can see here i have taken an image from the Internet but manipulated it in the way that is suitable for the style of my magazine. Here i used photoshop to first of all cut out my main image so i was then able to place it onto the monochrome background which i have also edited. I have turned the saturation of the photo down slightly to reduce the bright colours within the photo. I have done this to give the magazine a more monochrome and classy look but ensured slight colour can still be seen within the cheeks of my photo to stop my artist looking malnourished and still potentially life like. I have created shadows around the image to enable the photo itself to look realistic and work well with the background i have added. When i placed the photo onto the background the originally size was much smaller than the one that you can now see. I stretched the photo upwards so i was then able to emphasise that it was the main element of the page and what i would want to be most eye catching. I also made it slightly bigger so then i was able to merge the masthead and the image together to ensure the magazine looks as if it has been put together skillfully and creatively.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Magazine Pitch Evaluation


Firstly i believe that my magazine pitch went fairly well although looking back i can see that i have used ridiculous amounts of hand movements. My watching my pitch back i feel that i explained many of the elements of my magazine clearly and into enough detail that my classmate were able to gain a sense of understanding i would like my final piece to look like.
Something that i feel worked well within my pitch was asking for suggestions on the names i had currently come up with. After getting positive feedback on the name Flux i have now decided to use this name for my final piece.
As i mentioned in my pitch i would like my contents page and double page spread to be minimalistic but still detailed enough to appeal to my target audience. I have stuck to this idea as i believe this will contribute towards the classy look i would also like my magazine to have. When being asked questions i came across realising that i had not actually decided the location for my magazine shoot. As i mentioned that i would like to keep it fairly basic so the artist is the main focus of the image, i have stuck to this and taken my photo shoot with a white studio effect. One more question that i came across when doing my pitch was how i would like my covering artist to be dressed. As i did mention they would need appropriate clothing to match the genre, i have followed up my decision to have them slightly smartly dressed rather than scruffy as have i previously mentioned i think it would add an element of class to the magazine and also keep it looking professional.

Over all the feedback that i gained from doing my pitch helped me to make final decisions on what image i am trying to portray through my final piece. Since my pitch i have changed small elements of what i would like to feature on my magazine due to several things working or not working. All these changes have been listed on my blog and  i feel that my pitch helped me to finalize the ideas i originally had in mind.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Mock Up Contents Pages

Mock Up Covers

As the two mock ups i have created for my magazine are very simplistic i feel that they would need many elements changing when creating my real piece. As you can see i have experimented with two different ideas i am considering for the masthead. After receiving a small amount of feedback i feel that the second masthead will work better with the magazine and the image i am attempting to portray to my audience. Although, i have realised that the image i will be using on the front on my magazine will be more along the lines of the first mock up you can see as i have decided that i would like slightly more clothing to feature. I will do this by using a shot that is positioned slightly further away rather than close up like you can see on mock up number 2. Taking the rule of three into consideration i feel that the coverlines will need to be based more in the centre of the page whilst my artist is making eye contact in the first section of the page. I have realised by doing my mock ups i do not want my page to look busy or over crowded with information but will be using 2 more coverlines as well as the one relating to my featuring artist.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Double Page Spread Article

She is the chic, style conscious, indie-pop sensation who has burst onto our music scenes with nothing short of a smile. Not to mention coming in at 2nd place in Radio 1's 'Sound of 2011'. Merely wishing to make music at her own content, "I never yearned for the fame" are the delicate words of the future musician and this years breakthrough act, Macy Stone. Flux got the chance to speak to the burgeoning talent herself, Macy takes us from her favourite hobbies right through to her UK tour which began earlier this month. 
So, being fairly new to the music industry, how does it feel to be recognised by so many people? To sum it up in one word would be 'crazy'. It's like, sometimes i forget about the place i've reached. I'm my own worst critic, so i never know if what i'm doing is any good. But then i am where i am, so i say "well someone must like my material". 
You're not wrong there. You decided to stick with your biological name 'Macy Stone' what influenced you on that decision? Well, i simply thought, it flows well and it's not something incredibly dull. I did opt for my middle name for a while, which resulted in 'Ella Stone' but couldn't get the hang of people calling me 'Ella', so that was never going to work!That was probably for the best then, and we know that you didn't have the easiest of up-bringing's, does that make your success even more worthy? You're right I did lose my mother at a young age, and my father not long after, but did always have people around me who were supportive. Although i believe i'm worthy of success just as any other artist is. I didn't yearn for the fame, but 'it found me' as some would say, and i couldn't be happier. I'd like to hope that one day people would find my journey inspiring in some way.
That's right, and no doubt that they will. Going back to inspiration, you have finished the first album now so where has your inspiration come from? The majority of the songs on the album are very real. I think it's essential that people can relate to some of to the lyrics, but also have fun with them. Many things inspire me though, from other artists to some silly state of mind that i might find myself in one day [laughs]. 
How did this all come together for you then, i mean where were you first discovered?It began when i got myself a few gigs around my hometown of Islington, then i somehow blagged myself a gig at Koko in Camden Town. Just before i was going to perform i heard someone from Rough Trade Records was coming to check out my set. At this point, my stomach was turning. Afterwards that's when we got talking, and it wasn't the quickest process, but i was eventually signed by Rough Trade. I died inside a little, to say i was on the same record label as music legends The Strokes took a bit of getting used to.
So the first  lbum is called 'The Limit' what's the reason behind choosing the name? Did you finish the final piece in time as expected? Basically, i believe that to some extent everything has to have a limit. Though, it's quite controversial as one thing that does not is music, so i suppose i love the contrast. Writing my album was a lengthy process, it took me around two years, but yes everything fell into place pretty much on time, which is unusual for me [laughs] and i've now gained a sense of pride. 
That's great news for all us fans. Being named one of the 'Sounds of 2011' by BBC Radio 1, surely that was overwhelming for you? Yeah. When i found out i didn't really believe it, i was like "no way, have they got me confused with someone else?" But yes, that was really something quite special for me, and i could not be more appreciative. I'm still a growing artist and i'm glad that has been recognised. 
I'm sure many are waiting to see what the future holds for you. Obviously music is your number one passion, but is there anything else you particularly enjoy? I've been described as a bit of tomboy in the past, as i suppose that's down to my affection for sports. I have to keep fit and go to the gym, otherwise i just feel discouraged. I used to go every morning before heading to the studio for recording. Fashion and having a sense of style is something that has become more important to me over the past few years also. 
And so that has been noticed. Your fashion is now something that appears to be regularly cropping up in the media, how would you describe your style? Well i think that the way a person chooses to dress, very much reflects the person themselves. I tend to go for a look that's quite clean, not too scruffy, however somewhat quite boyish when i feel like it. Experimenting with different garments is always enjoyable! If i had to pick someone with an idolising fashion sense it would have to be Alice Dellal, she's wicked. 
That's interesting. Speaking of idols, who is someone that you'd love to work with in the future? I could probably go on forever, but there are a couple that stand out to me. To work with Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club would be sublime, his voice fascinates me, and their music is just so soothing. Though, i did work with Laura- Mary Carter on one of the records which features on the album, and that was a bit of an honour for me. Blood Red Shoes have been one of my favourite bands over the past couple of years
You have a small UK Tour which began last week . Can you describe the reactions that you have received so far? The response that i have received is something that i could not be more blissful about. To have people singing my songs back to me whilst i'm on stage and hearing little screams of my name bounce off the walls is some what quite magical. 
You  have proved to be a success throughout the country it seems. This year looks set to be a busy one for you, are there any other goals you wish to achieve? My ultimate goal would to be asked to play at a festival. I'm not saying Glastonbury, but i imagine the atmosphere would just be unforgettable. Yeah, that would be super. 
That's a reachable goal then. It's been great speaking to you, and thank you for your time. All of us here at Flux cannot wait to hear the album. I'd like to hope so. Thanks very much for having me into the studio! Expect to hear the album early next month with the release set for April 7th.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Now that i have made the final decision on the name of my magazine i have decided to test out fonts that could potentially be the masthead on my front cover. I am still slightly unsure whether i would like my font to come from the left of the magazine and finish half way. Examples of this would be Spin and NME magazine. I think to this i would use a font which is less bold and something slightly more artistic, rather than just bold. Sticking to the colour scheme which i hope to present on my magazine, here are a few examples: 

Next i have also looked at some fonts which i would use if they were to be spread across the whole of my magazine. I feel that this font would need to be something much clearer than the previous. Here are a few more examples of fonts i am going consider. As you will be able to see they are all very similar are carry the same common features.

Final Magazine Title

After doing some market research and narrowing down 7 different names for the title of my magazine i have finally come to a decision. I came up with the following names; INspire, Vinyl, Pulse, Twee, Chorus, Rogue and Flux. I quickly made my mind up and decided that my two favourite were Pulse and Flux. I feel that they both have a short snappy tendencies but also carry  some good meanings in relation to music itself. 

After receiving positive feedback when doing my pitch on the name 'Flux' as at this point i still had my options open. From this i think this has helped me to finalize the name of my magazine. The name 'Flux' has also grown on me greatly whilst taking the other names into consideration.  I actually came across the word 'Flux' from the famous 2007 hit by Bloc Party. As Bloc Party do in fact fit into my music genre slightly this was another positive. The actual meaning of the word Flux that would be presented on the front of my magazine is the flow of something and the constant change of something. This links in particularly well with the subject of my magazine which is up and coming music. As music is always changing and constantly flowing i believe this hold a good hidden meaning. My only worry about the name Flux was whether all of my audience would understand the meaning. If this was the case that they were unsure, i think the word itself rolls off the tongue nicely and is something that is likely to stick in the back of your head. 

The Golden Spiral

The Golden Spiral was in fact something that was first discovered by Pythagoras. In geometry, the golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor b is related to φ- which is the golden spiral ratio.  Originally the Golden Spiral was firstly derived from the 'golden rectangle'; a unique rectangle with a golden ratio. When you connect a curve through the corners of these rectangles, that is when the golden spiral is formed.  To be specific the golden spiral gets wider by a factor of φ for every quarter turn that it is making.

Over all, this means that the spiral shows us where the eyes are drawn first and the place that we automatically find most pleasing. If the theory was to be put in relation to photography it would seem that the centre of the spiral is where the main focus of the image is. As the spiral moves away from the centre, this is moving away from the point of focus to smaller details that we do not notice as much. I will have to test this out on several of my tests shot to ensure that the golden spiral theory works with my photographs.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Test Shots

Beneath you will be able too see test shots i have taken to get an idea of exactly what photos i would like to feature on the cover and within my music magazine. Whilst taking these photos it has revealed to me that a lot of experimenting with camera angles, facial expression and body language is going to be needed to create an effective photo which also ties in with the genre of music i have chosen. These are some of the test shots that i took and some explanations as to whether i think they would work for my final piece. 

This photo is a close up of Matt's face and a small amount of his body and clothing. This is one of the photo's i actually found most effective. The main reason being the eye contact which is being made with the camera. I think this is something that immediately engages the reader and makes it feel personal. I think the angle has also worked well as it pursues a casual approach as if the artist has been caught slightly off-guard. I have changed this photo to grey scale which i also am keen on as i believe it can add an element of class to the magazine cover. 

Using a higher angle rather for this photo i feel that it could make the artist look a little vulnerable rather than in power, which is the type of image i would like to create within my article. So i think i would use an image from below or on the same level rather than one like this. I think that the colour within this photo is effective due to the little amount of saturation being used for the skin tone and hair but then the item of clothing being particularly eye-catching. This is something i think i will consider for my final shot as i think the clothing as well as the artist is important. I like the distance the model is away from the camera in this shot, as it is not to in your face. And i believe that if Matt was making eye contact with the camera this photo would be likely to draw in potential buyers. 

For this image i have come to the conclusion that it would be more suitable for a contents page or to feature on the double page spread. This is due to the fact of the lack of eye contact once again. Something that i think has worked well is the slightly lower camera angle which adds the slight element of power to Matt in this photo. Although, i think that for my front cover this is the maximum amount of my artists body i would like to feature. I have realised that if the shot is to distance it lacks in communication and contact with the target audience. I once again believe the colours work well within this shot. The clothing is something that stands out, and also the Matt's hair appears to be a main feature within the photo which is something i have realised i may consider. 

I think that this photo is effective due to its worn background. For my double page spread shoot i think that i have realised that i am going to use a setting which has a range of scenery rather than using photos that appear to have been taken in a studio. For example Matt's character can be slightly reflected by the scenery which is around him in this shot. I enjoy that he is face on and slightly leaning towards the camera which once again creates the idea of power. The black and white i think is also effective as it gives the artist a chance to really stand out. 

This photo has been taken from an extremely low angle. I think this makes the artist look powerful and also at a high status. This could  tie in greatly in relation to how they are going up in the music industry. So i may decide to use a shot such as this in my double page spread. I think this has made clear to me that i am sure i want to use a scenery background rather than a studio. The colours in this photo have also been edited which once again draws attention to the face and the clothing of the artist which is something i wish to continue throughout my magazine. 


Artistic Front Covers

Friday, 14 January 2011

Featuring Artist

The name of the artist that is going to be the main feature of my music magazine is called Macy Stone.  She has just turned 20 years old and 2011 is going to be the year of her big break through. Macy has self taught herself to play acoustic guitar from the age of 13 years old, although did not begin writing her own music until the age of 18. She is a character which would not be described as cocky or over confident but will express her own opinion within conversation. Macy could be labelled shy at times as she likes to keep herself to herself most of the time, but is slowly coming out of her shell as her career takes off. Although, relating back to the above she does have a fierce side and edgy touch in relation to her music. She has been mistaken to come across dull and 'moody' when being photographed but this is not the case as she believes having fun but also being passionate about music is the key to success. 

The look that Macy portrays through her appearance could be described as 'boyish' and she would not be found in anything pink or frilly. This is down to the fact that growing up as a child she used to be very much a tomboy. Now though that look consists of a casual/smart, fashionable attire.  For example, a shirt teamed with boy fit denim shorts and her classic Dr Martens.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


For the publishing of my magazine i have chosen a company called International Publishing Corporation, or otherwise known as IPC Media. I think this would be an appropriate organisation to use for the publishing of my magazine as it states that it is "the UK's leading consumer magazine publisher". IPC Media produces over 60 iconic media brands. The company currently publish magazines such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Nuts, Look and NME. I think as NME use this organisation it is also a wise choice of publisher down to the fact that some of the inspirational pieces i have researched have in fact been the NME magazine. 

As IPC appear to be a worldwide recognised company i think this is an extreme bonus for my magazine. This is down to the fact that it could fall into the same category as other best selling magazines such as NME. So therefore i should think that by using such a popular company my own work will be boosted from this and also gain much more popularity within it's own category. 

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Magazine Title Final Ideas

After doing my research i have discovered that the magazines i would usually tend to read follow a common pattern of using a short, monosyllabic, punchy name. For example, 'Q' 'Love' and 'Spin'. Making an exception for the highly popular NME magazine which has succeeded in using a short acronym with a basic, to the point meaning. I particularly like the the idea of a quick, but to the point name, as i think this is more likely to stick into a buyers mind, which then leads to consideration of the meaning behind the masthead itself. On the other hand i do believe that there are several polysyllabic names that can also have the same effect. For my magazine i have came up with 7 different names, each with a slightly different hidden meaning. So far, these are the potential names i have came up with for my music magazine; INspire, Vinyl, Pulse, Twee, Chorus, Rogue and Flux.

Currently i do not have a favourite from the above and intend to carry out some market research to help me make my final decision. I think that is something that will be extremely useful as meeting the needs of my audience is something that i must take highly into consideration.

Friday, 7 January 2011

25 Word Pitch

To present my magazine pitch the the rest of my class i chose to use Microsoft Powerpoint.
The 25 words that i came up with to sum up the main elements of my magazine were the following;

Edgy, striking, mid-shot, up and coming, indie/ alternative-pop, minimalistic layout, formal text, contemporary photography, contrasted, minimal colour palette, mixed gender, 16-18, fashion interest. 

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Magazine Name Ideas/Thoughts

After having spending a lot of time thinking about the name of my magazine i have decided to stick to a name relating generally to music, rather than the genre i am following, which is indie. The reason for this being, is that i think it is to complicated to find a specific indie related name which will give out the correct vibes for my magazine. Another decision that i have thought about for a while is whether to stick to a full word or an acronym, and i came to conclusion that i think a word will be much more appropriate. I think this because an acronym can only be used when it is clear what is stands for. For example something like NME (New Music Express) has been around for a long time, so buyers already know what they are going to be getting inside. If i was to create an acronym for my own magazine, this could cause confusion as to what it actually represents and the audience may be unsure as to what they are going to find inside.

I also think that for my magazine i would like to stick to a monosyllabic word. This is because i believe that they are much more powerful and to the point. For example, in my own personal opinion i think 'Q' is much more effective than 'Kerrang'. When choosing the final name of my magazine i will be taking this into consideration but also doing market research to see  how my audience feel about this matter and whether opinions differ.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Target Audience Profile

The target audience for my magazine itself consists of two different types of people. The reason being for this is the slightly different age gap but at the same time they both share a passion for a specific genre of music.

Firstly there is James. He is a 24 year old student who is currently based at Middlesex University. He is studying marketing within the media but has always made time for his deep interest in music. His favourite genre of music would usually be indie but he also enjoys listening to several rock and alternative artists. James became a passionate music fan whilst growing up under the influence of his father who was a rock music fan from the era of the 80's. His favourite band has grown to be Arcade Fire along with the 5 piece London based band, Foals. James tends to focus on digging deeper into the music he already listens to rather than spending time discovering up and new coming artists. He does not have a favourite shop, although living in such a fashion conscious city, means that he does take plenty of pride in his appearance. He is smartly dressed but with his own personal touch, some may say slightly chic. As well as studying and music, James is a football fanatic and uses technology such as Skype and Facebook to keep in touch with his closest friends. He has a strong dislike to rap music and also going abroad to new countries. James believes that he will do well in his studies but promises to maintain his interest in music, and to regularly attend gigs each month with the advice of his regularly purchased magazine; NME. Something that James is willing to do, it spend up to £5 on music magazines which catch his eye, he thinks it is important to follow the music news and information as well as the music itself.

Secondly, Kaya is a 16 year old girl studying her A levels in her hometown of Brighton. She is highly focused on her appearance, but fears looking polished and over done. This is based on the genre of music she likes. Indie is her number one music choice, but Kaya tends to discover the little less known bands rather than the mainstream usuals. If she was to pick a couple of her favourite artists they would be i Blame Coco, Yeasayer and Dutch Uncles. Although, she believes bands such as The Libertines should never be forgotten. She is currently studying Media, Music and Textiles. She has played the guitar since being a young girl and believes that one day she could follow in the footsteps of an idol such as Coco Sumner.  Rather than visiting many gigs throughout the year, Kaya saves her money and visits festivals such as Reading, Glastonbury and Latitude. Her favourite shop is Beyond Retro in London town, due to this she often finds her self shopping online for similar boutiques. Unlike the smart, sleek look James tends to go for, she lives in Dr. Martens or a pair of run down Converse. Things that she does not appreciate is reality TV shows, overrated pop artists and extreme socialising as she believes there is plenty of time for that after her studies. Something Kaya and James have in common is the high review of their favourite music mag; NME.  The ambition Kaya has is to continue into Further Education studying music and media related subjects.