At the start of the project I was given a brief of what I had to do/ produce. The brief explained that the project was to complete one front cover to a magazine and two double page spreads, which meant I had to gather all my knowledge and skills from Indesign/ Photoshop that I had previously learnt from the other units and put them together for this project. I was told that creating magazines was not my only task, I had to keep a reflective journal throughout the 8 weeks to write down everything I did, I needed a plan, proposal, research and an evaluation as well as designing and producing my front cover and double page spreads. The magazine should be aimed at a target audience of 16-24 year olds. I was told that I had 8 weeks to complete all the work which must be finished by Friday the 10th of June.

I then began my proposal, which was difficult for me to write at first as I had so many different ideas on what to do my magazine about, however once I was sure on one idea I found the proposal useful as it meant I could plan my whole project in a short amount of words, meaning it was easy and simple to grasp the whole idea for my project making sure I wouldn’t confuse myself. Comparing my first ideas of what the magazine would turn out like to how it has turned out is weird yet so interesting. I sat and thought in depth about my ideas, making them expand enabling me to then think of new, exciting ideas such as makeup hacks rather than just summer fashion which would have become boring/ dull after a few paragraphs. I made my magazine articles fun and easy to read, whilst at the same time the readers were learning hacks & tips which would help them on a day to day basis. If I was to complete a proposal again I would make sure I knew exactly what I wanted to do my magazine on, therefore I could have more time researching ideas on what to write my articles on, because I didn’t leave myself a lot of time I feel like I may have rushed my planning due to not feeling confident about my idea. Luckily the idea of makeup/ summer fashion is something I personally find interesting so I therefore knew exactly what I wanted to write in my article, which meant I could then write down all my planning a lot faster once I knew what I was doing as I felt confident and passionate about my ideas.

Overall I felt like my planning was effective once I knew exactly what my ideas were and what type of magazine I  would be producing as this gave me an outlook of what my article/ magazine would look like. Throughout the unit I felt like I could have managed my time better by sticking to 1-3 ideas and focusing on spending my time on them rather than overthinking ideas too much which would have resulted on me having too many ideas for my article, leaving me with too much to write. There were a few problems I encountered during my planning, one of them being my evaluation for my proposal; I was told that my evaluation had to be 150 words, once completed I was then informed by a tutor that there had been a typing error  and the evaluation only had to be 50 words, it was difficult to cut out 100 words as I felt like I had a lot more I could have said, however I over came this issue by cutting out unnecessary words and sentences.

I could have planned my research more effectively by writing down in simple notes how I wanted to structure my research, by doing this I would have had a more organised and structured research blog, rather than leaving it last minute to put all my research in the right place.

After completing my planning I then began to collect my research. I started by looking at magazine front covers & double page spreads from well known magazine company’s such as ELLE, Cosmopolitan and HEAT, these are all fashion/ beauty magazines which inspired me and also gave me ideas for my magazine. I then created mood boards on the magazines/ images I liked best, I did this to have an idea of what I want my magazine to look like, and also see what the typical codes and conventions were on professional magazines, so I could then follow and add the codes and conventions to my magazine, after completing my mood board I then decided to get audience feedback in order to find out what my target audience thinks of them. I got many positive feedback about my moldboards, which made me confident and excited to start making my magazine. After that I decided to analyse magazine front covers which I liked such as ELLE in order to find all the codes and conventions from the front cover to a magazine, I also began to research help with Indesign to make sure I wouldn’t have a problem using it when it came down to it. With my research findings I made sure I put it all onto one blog post, relevant or not, it was all research which could further help me when I start to begin my magazine. I made sure I used the majority of my information gathered, such as taking in to account the comments made by my audience feedback gathered and also the codes and conventions of magazines, this is important because if I hadn’t followed the common codes and conventions to a magazine then my magazine would have looked messy and unprofessional. I collected all my primary research from the internet, books and by doing a survey on what my target audience would want their ideal magazine to look like. I sourced all my primary research into my bibliography using the Harvard reference, to make sure I would have no issues with copyright.

I would never have been able to complete my magazine front cover and double page spreads if I hadn’t done any research as I would have been wasting time trying to work out how to use Indesign and I wouldn’t have known most of the codes and conventions to a magazine, I also would have no audience feedback on what they like and don’t like. The research I did before starting my production was really useful to me as I didn’t only learnt a lot, It also enabled me to have a visual structure of what I wanted my magazine to look like. The research I did during my production was also useful to me as it enabled me to come up with improved ideas for my magazine articles which I could then change. Research done during my production also made me realise that I needed to make my magazine unique and different in order to stand out.

During my primary research I realised that I had an issue, I had done many textual analysis for front covers of magazines and not any for a double page spread, this meant I needed to go back and look at double page spreads in detail and then identify codes and conventions of the double page spreads, this did set me back for time however after looking through loads of different summer double page spreads, I had many more unique ideas for my own double page spreads. I feel like I could have done more research into hacks/ tips to do with makeup/ beauty, this may have meant I came up with hacks not many people had heard of which would have made my magazine appealing to its audience, however when sharing my hacks with family & friends, they were all shocked when I told them my final hacks, meaning they had learned something new. By doing more research into summer fashion/ trends could have helped me further with my production as I could have included a wider range of summer trends such as what celebrities are wearing this summer, this would have helped my production as it may have appealed more to my target audience.

I did research during my production such as looking at other summer magazine front covers & double page spreads I also did a lot of audience research during the process of making my magazine as I wanted to make sure my audience liked what I was producing, and I also wanted to make sure it was relevant to my target audience. I found that the research findings I gathered improved my overall production due to feedback from audience feedback with enabled me to change what my target audience liked/ didn’t like.

My reflective journal helped me massively when I was planning, as I could write down all my ideas off the top of my head and then look back at them all and decide which ones would be suitable for my magazine and which wouldn’t. My reflective journal was most useful during the research stage as it allowed me to keep track of all my research  throughout the whole project making sure I had structured steps on what I needed to complete next which made the tasks easier to me as I wasn’t confused or worrying about forgetting something.

I think my product is fit for purpose because I have followed what I needed to do on the brief, it follows the common codes and conventions of a magazine, such as a masthead, strapline (subheading) and a bar code etc. I could have improved its fitness for purpose by adding page numbers, which I forgot to do, this would have made my magazine look more professional.

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Here is my final front cover to my magazine, from looking at this I feel like I have fulfilled the brief as I have produced what was set and I have met the deadline for my production. Looking at my front cover I think that the font for the ‘VOOK’ and ‘Ultimate beauty bible’ looks amazing at fits well on the page, I also think the image looks summery and the model’s posture and pose looks professional. I feel like the cover lines could have been further improved as they look a bit unprofessional and like they have just been randomly placed there, however I do like the font and colour. I also think I could have improved by re shooting the picture without the grey metal pole in the background. The research I carried out helped me in producing my front cover as I was able to add my cover lines, the research also gave me new ideas, such as the ’10 beauty mistakes you didn’t realise you were making’ the direct address used (‘you’) talks directly to the reader, instantly grabbing their attention.

However the font I had chosen for one of my double
page spreads would not allow me to have use symbols and punctuation, it just came up with this when I tried:

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 12.46.46.png Meaning I could not add punctuation.

Researching Indesign techniques really helped me develop my skills on how to use Indesign as if I hadn’t taught myself I would have wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to do simple tasks, such as removing blemishes in the model’s face. I have also built up skills on how to use Photoshop, as before research I had never really used it. I think my magazine appeals to the target audience as I used  informal language to connect with teenagers making my magazine fun instead of dull and boring. I also think it appeals to the target audience as I include direct address, which connects to the readers grabbing their attention.

Once the product was fully finished I gathered audience feedback, to enable myself to see what other people thought about my magazine, so I made an audience survey and got teenagers interested in fashion and beauty aged 16-24 to complete it. My first question was ‘Does this magazine look appealing to you’ 89% of people said yes, which I was extremely pleased about. My next question was ‘Do you think the magazine looks summery’ 70% answered yes and 30% answered no, I did expect more people to vote yes, however 70% is still a high percentage. Instead of percentages I wanted to know what people liked and didn’t like about the production so I asked ‘What is your favorite feature on this magazine’ the majority of people said that they liked the fonts and colour scheme. I then asked ‘What is your least favorite feature on the magazine’ the comment I agree with most was “I think the cover lines look a bit out of place, also you could have made them bolder/ easier to read” I do think the cover lines look out of place and they could have been more striking and easier to read.

Due to there not being much time left I did not manage to get any feedback from an industry practitioner, this would have been really useful to me as I would have had a professional’s opinion and review on my magazine, which would have allowed me to further improve my magazine.

My magazine adheres to the media laws and ethical guildlines, I made sure I knew my model’s age, and therefore did not need parental permission in order to take photographs of her and I made sure there was no issues regarding copyright.

Overall I think I did a good job at producing my magazine front cover and double page spreads, if I was to do the unit again I would further improve my planning by knowing what I want to do and sticking with it, instead of having a few different ideas and leaving it last minute to decide which one to do. I would improve me research by brain storming my ideas and then organise a structured list of what I needed to do. I think I could have been more creative in my images and maybe shot them in different places and made my model pose in different, unusual ways. I love my overall product, however I could have further improved this by, as the comments said, making the cover lines stand out more and making them bolder/ easier to read. I problem solved on many occasions such as when my font would not export, which meant I had to change all my fonts, I remained calm and didn’t stress as there was nothing I could do. Finally I feel like I could have communicated more to my tutors and asked them questions, which may have saved me a lot of time.