Monday, 22 March 2010


In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Taking a first site at my product, I personally think it does fit in with other well established regional newspapers over the country, yet at the same time is controversial in how it looks, and what it is offering. My product features the standard tabloid layout similar to nearly all regional newspapers. I thought it would be better to keep most things quite standard such as the 4 column layout, as the main goal of my paper was for it to be looked at as another regional newspaper, just slightly more interesting for my specific target audience. Most of my ideas I used came from The Metro. I thought the way that Metro used their layouts and placing of the masthead was the way anyone would imagine a newspaper looking like when they think of it in their head, very similar to The Sun.

After looking into many regional newspapers and many cases of trial and error, I came up with the sketch of what my layout would look like. All newspapers follow the idea of having a white background, this is usually one of the main aspects of how we identify something as a newspaper. After research I saw that a lot of newspapers are also identified by their own colour. The Sun and The Metro are two good examples of this, as The Sun’s masthead background uses a shade of red, just like The Metro uses blue. I liked the idea of the date of the newspaper being set 90 degrees clockwise, I thought it gave the newspaper more character and shows more attention to detail, therefore making it look more professional.

I noticed in copies of many regional newspapers, publishers like to have an image overrunning some of the text and shapes on the page. I liked this idea and tried to incorporate it into my layout.

After my masthead and top layout of the paper were completed I tried leaving some space to add an overrunning image onto it. I found an appropriate picture of a guitarist from one of the featured bands to place over the top. Again similar to the idea of the date being sideways, I thought paying more attention to detail but without being too over the top gave the paper the look of being much more professional.
As for fonts I used quite a wide variety. When it came to actual articles, I kept the font standard, with a font I downloaded called “Old Newspaper Types”, as after thinking for days why my paper still didn’t look like all the other conventional papers, I realised that it hadn’t crossed my mind to change from Arial. When I came to choosing fonts for my Headline, and article titles, I wanted it to be a bit different to all the other conventional newspapers, but still being able to be labeled as a newspaper. To hit my target audience more I used fonts that were a bit out of the ordinary, but really favoured the idea that it was a music newspaper.
I realised halfway through my project that many conventional papers used bold lines to make it easy to differentiate between separate articles and by this point I was starting to realise that it was the small things that you never think twice about that really made the first impression of looking at it make you think. That’s a newspaper.

Many regional newspapers feature a 2nd page article on the weather of the area. After consemplating whether this would be a good idea to put in a music newspaper I thought that something more relevant, would be appropriate, therefore I came up with the idea of having an Events section which listed what would be going on in all the local clubs and bars around the local area.

How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

I enjoyed this part of the project a lot, as designing things using things such as photoshop, are one of my hobbies. I chose to do a radio advert and a poster for this task and they were both great fun to do. After researching these for a while I realised it might have been a bit harder than I had first thought. Listening to the radio didn’t really help me at all as no one really advertises newspapers on a radio but then after being at home one night listening to music on “Spotify”, an advert played between songs, which really gave me an idea in to what to do for this section. The advert I had heard was for a new club opening in Brighton, basically telling you what it was, where it was, when it was open, and who it was for. I tried incorporating all of these ideas into my own radio advert. I had to make sure I was specific with what was being said, as when companies such as 02 advertise their latest offers they can be very vague, not needing to be very specific as they are already a hugely established company, which everyone will instantly know and trust when they hear the name.
A problem that occurred during making my radio was the length. When I heard in the brief it had to be 30 seconds I thought that this was plenty of time to say what was needed to be said, but after writing up a script and reading it back whilst being timed, it came out as 50 seconds, and this was 50 seconds of speaking, let alone time needed between the intro of the advert and the ending, unless it were to end abruptly. After cutting this down to speaking of around 20 seconds and being very brief I thought this was appropriate for an intro and faded ending.
As a Music Technology student it was relatively easy to put together an advert using the software “Logic Express 8” which has a set of samples labelled “Radio Sounds” I used two of these sounds for an intro which then dropped into a song being played quietly. This is where I input the speech. To record the speech I used an X1 microphone with a sound absorber so it didn’t sound as if it was being recorded in a wide echoey open space. after the speech ends, I put a gradual volume rise onto the song which it conveniently had its main drop around 3 seconds after the speech ends. Then after the peak I faded the song out slowly to end dead on 30 seconds. A problem that I think I should have changed which didn’t cross me at the time was that in my advert it states “We only promote the newest and hottest bands”, but the song playing in the background to this is a relatively well known song amongst my main target audience.
I thought on a whole the advert went well, and fitted in with my paper being slightly different and not the sort of thing you would come across every day as opposed to the more common regional paper.

Media radio logic 2 by Gtfostopher

With my poster I hadn’t really made many real plans as to what it was going to look like, it was more improvised, as I found it easier to work by getting ideas from what I already had. I had done research into other posters but I came across the similar problem that I had with the radio advert. You don’t really see many posters for newspapers. I was trying to use ideas such as huge billboard spreads that the Sun use quite commonly but similar to the radio advert, as my company isn’t well established you have to know exactly what it is, and what its for. The Suns advertisement will usually use quite a vague advertisement just with the known emblem in the corner, the well recognised shade of red they use as well will contribute towards this.
I tried using a variety of different effects to make my poster stand out and be different, which with the use of Adobe Photoshop CS4 is made much easier than expected. Gaining ideas from more common regional newspapers was quite hard to do, so I tried to use the ideas I had gained wired in with ideas from posters for gigs and concerts, which seemed a lot more on the lines of what I was looking for. I used the internet to download various photoshop brush tools which were to make the creation much easier. I thought downloading brushes that were quite random would fit well, just for the background. I downloaded hundreds of different brushes but only included a few such as lightning bolts and paint brush splatters, which worked well with the idea of my target audience being youths age 16-24. Strangely I got these ideas from being in the clothing shop Topman one day, when I was looking at t-shirts. These were the kind of patterns that were being used in lots of clothing for young people nowadays so I thought this would work well.
One aspect I really liked in my poster was the font sizes, going from big to small, I thought it made the poster unique seeming different. I gathered this idea from the brand “Original Source”, who make shower gels.

I thought the idea of terms like “PUMP UP THE BASS” and words like “JAM” would instantly give someone viewing the poster the knowledge that this was to do with music. The wanted the poster to come across as being in your face as it sets itself apart from most other posters, which normally would just pass by without thinking twice. Not only would the poster being in your face make you look at it, but it makes it memorable and you would recognise it if you were to see it again. I made the paint splat in the top right corner overlap the text it would appear as the most important thing to take notice of after reading the huge text. The writing inside reads “The only music newspaper around”, just to clarify what the product is offering. Alongside this I added that it was free with another block of text. When I first added the word free it didn’t really seem as hard hitting as it should be, so after looking around photoshop a bit I used blending options > Outer Shadow, to it really stand out amongst the rest of the poster. The white light shadow behind the text let the “FREE” appear on top.

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

Generally my audience response has been quite good. I started by asking people like my best friends, who I knew would give me an honest opinion and wouldn’t be worried to tell me what they thought could be better. Small details such as font size and picture placing were the most common point made, but one that I had completely forgot about was that I hadn’t placed adverts into my newspaper. This proved to be very helpful and really boosted my predicted grade for my coursework.
When it came to asking people who I didn’t know quite so, my feedback was also generally good. I wasn’t really sure how to come across getting feedback from randomers, so I thought going to the internet would be my best bet. I uploaded my work to the social networking site facebook to and sent the link to people who I don’t know particularly well, but were well fitting as my main target audience, asking them to write what they think about the paper in the comment box. Most comments were good but there were certain sections that kept coming up such as the colour scheme. A lot of people said the colour scheme just didn’t seem right and it was too light. To me I didn’t think that it had seemed a problem but I thought if these people are my target audience then what they are thinking is probably what should be best. Another problem that occurred were people leaving silly comments as you do which didn’t help the slightest in the final outcome of this work.
One person who I had asked about it specifically commented on the size of the title. They mentioned that the masthead looked too empty. After going back to this it really did seem it. During this audience feedback I realised how much getting others opinions really does help for things you never noticed before.
I adjusted all of the sections that people had mentioned and the second time round on my feedback things were much more positive, a few people even mention that it looked like a professional newspaper.

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

My whole project has been based around new media. If I didn’t have access use to the internet there’s no way this work would have been possible. A majority of my research would be internet based and research I did into other newspapers all came from their own websites. The Sun, although not a local newspaper, really helped in the development of my paper, where without having to go buy a copy every day, I could use their website as a way to see what their front page looked like each day, helping me with my ideas on what my product layout would look like. This site particularly helped me presenting my second page as I thought this was a trickier of the the two.
I found the use of the NME website very helpful towards the creation of my poster. The site shows concert dates and posters designed for tour dates of bands. These helped with ideas for backgrounds and how to pattern the poster. Another source I found helpful was music myspace. Smaller bands that try to help each other out promote each other through advertising each other with posters.

When it came to feedback new media technologies were the reason I got feedback. I found that the best time to get this feedback was with the use of facebook. When people are in their free time with nothing better to do, they were more than happy to help me out with some feedback. With access to my blog and posting my work on facebook, I could send my work straight to my friends giving them a direct link sending them straight to all of my work, so I could not only get feedback on things such as my ancillary tasks but when it came down to theory work, I could ask other media students who would also have blogs.
Blogger helped me a huge amount as well. With the use of blogger I could upload my work to it and have it marked online, so I could go back and redraft it and get feedback within a couple of hours. The way it came across most helpful was that if my work was on my blog, I could pretty much do work anywhere as long as I had access to Blogger. Not only was this a huge help for me but also for my teacher as she does not have to chase around after you for work, but simply view it straight away on a blog.
The use of slideshare made uploading easy and a lot more tidy as well. It meant that I could upload lots of work at a time, but keep it tidy at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. 16/20
    Excellent evaluation. Very detailed - it's obvious you enjoyed the process this time around.
    Consider how you can get top marks for 'excellent use of digital technology or ICT for the evaluation'.
    Start by placing the radio advert in the evaluation so you have audio. Consider how you can further develop - maybe vox pop style feedback for finished 3 products?