AS Media: Production of a Music Magazine (and analysis)
Below are three pages I designed in Photoshop for AS Media, creating parts of a music magazine.
From left to right is Title page, Contents page, then DPS. The task was to design for a music magazine, using your own shots, genre of music, and theme to design everything. I created the fictional magazine “Mixtape”, named after the ‘vintage’ method of creating playlists by indie people and DJs alike. The masthead’s colour scheme contracts to draw attention, and the holes of A and P feature a mixtape hole for added visual effect and emphasis. The tagline lists three genres of electro to make the mag’s music genre clear, and features two popular social media sites anchored on the top-right-third of the cover to link to the target audience’s use of social media to promote the mag. The DJ “Strike Five”, as well as his gig “Detention”, are also fictional, as well as every other artist in the “Contents” page. It was definitely a lot of fun to create these identities, and I’d love to do it again.
The cover boasts a plethora of persuasive and emphasizing techniques; the headline uses all-caps and big font to suggest shouting, chalk imagery emphasis around “BIGGEST”, alliteration and a repeated, 2-syllable structure on each word to emphasize his role, regional identity by naming “Britain” to appeal to a geographical target audience, and finally a use of different typeface to emphasize the important part of the headline, as well as the metaphoric device “class into session” to link to his school theme. Whew!
Coverlines are listed in anchorage to the bottom-right-third of the cover, emphasized with a chalk “plug” and varying sizes of words. Again, use of alliteration in “top turntable tips” creates persuasion, while a hashtag links to social media. “Explodes” pairs with the band name “Sweet Dynamite” to create imagery. Numbers are in a big font to emphasize their amounts as being ‘big’.
To reflect Strike Fives attitude of getting into trouble at school, I used a school theme (chalkboard backgrounds, brick walls, school props, chalk drawings and styles, etc), as well as naming the artist and gig themselves as school-related things (strikes for getting into trouble [and five of them for being in too much of it], “Detention” reflecting punishment, “High School Daze” reflecting the confusion of growing up through school, etc).
His attitude is also reflected through pose. He’s laid-back, shown through his hand in his pocket (cover), slouching, and arms-rested pose on the couch (Contents), which relates to the attitudes of the target audience of teenagers and also the stereotype that electro listeners are laid-back and young. Despite this, he is also confident, shown through direct eye contact, serious facial expression (cover), and smirk (DPS and Contents). His simple, plain clothing, as well as open stance (DPS) makes him seem approachable and interested (depicted via lifting a headphone off of his ear, which also shows his interst in music). Ultimately, his entire image conforms to musical, electro stereotypes.
I’ve used props and vivid iconography to reflect the DJ style and his blatant link to being DJ – turntables, headphones, colorful iconography through wearing different shirts, etc. The whole “wearing different coloured shirts for different songs” idea was birthed from inspiration by looking at how artists such as Daft Punk and Deadmau5 both wore helmets as their iconography. I didn’t want to wear a helmet, so I used colours to reflect not only Strike Fives iconography, but also his youth, and the different emotions surrounding his make-believe music.
To highlight particularly difficult areas of the design, I’ve used chalk to act as a highlight. This lets the white text be seen via contrast, links to the colour scheme, theme and style, and also creates emphasis. Win-win-win! I also used the “Jivetalk” font in Photoshop CS5 as my typography, as I feel it fits the young yet electro-y vibe of the magazine and artist. I photoshopped in the book stack, school bell and DJ deck in the DPS.
This production also involved numerous additional designs; the cover-art, serving the dual purpose of visualizing the “subscribe” box and alluding to the ‘next issue’; and the CD cover for “High School Daze” in the DPS, again using chalk, color scheme, and iconography in it’s design. While they weren’t mandatory, I found that I had to create more designs to strengthen the illusion of Strike Five as a real artist, as well as create context and persuasion to various persuasive techniques (such as competitions). I also kept the Z-shaped reading structure at the back of my mind when designing, so the artist name and image is always usually the first thing readers see by anchoring it to the top third of each page, emphasizing him as the mag’s headline.