At the start of the project, I was briefed on what I had to produce. I was told that the overall aim of the project was to demonstrate the skills that I have learnt and built on in the previous units. I was then told that the project was to produce a front cover and two double page spreads in the time scale of 8 weeks. The magazine had to be aimed at a target audience of 16-24 year olds as it is supposed to be for people in the college according to the scenario on the UAL brief. In the brief, I was also told the different sections that needed to be completed, these included; reflective journal, proposal (and action plan), research, plan, produce and design and the evaluation.
After this, I started my proposal. I found this really helpful because it gave me the opportunity to write down the plan of my entire project in limited words in order to not over complicate it. I thought that this was also helpful throughout the whole of my project because if I ever came off track with my initial ideas, I could always refer back to this proposal in order to keep structure of my project. From originally writing my proposal, I feel like the concept of my idea has adapted slightly to have more meaning. When I was writing my proposal, I thought that I would just write a recipe for my magazine and do a taste test and that would be the end of it- since then, I now have more depth to my ideas because in my articles, I haven’t just wrote what I said I was going to, I have gone into more detail and wrote about the history of chocolate in the chocolate article and written about how my article relates to social media on the Kinder vs Oreo article, therefore my articles now have more of an angle to them. If I was to complete my proposal again, I would have thought further onto what I would be producing so that I could find a reason for why I was writing and producing it, because when it came to writing my articles, I had to find a last minute purpose for writing them, so I feel like I could have been more prepared if I had thought onwards when writing my proposal.
Apart from this, I felt like my planning was very successful and effective because it was able to give me structure while proceeding onto my research and was also able to guide me into the right direction in terms of what type of magazine I would be producing.
I felt like I could have managed my time better throughout the unit by researching more appropriate things for my my magazine before starting the production so that I didn’t have to find it last minute and I could have looked back at my research for help if I did it before.
I feel like I could have planned my research more effectively by planning exactly the things that I would need to research that would help me to proceed onto my production. I could have perhaps listed the things that I needed to find out so that I could be more organized.
The first thing I did in terms of research was look at images of the types of magazines that I was creating and made moodboards out of these. I did this first because I felt this would help me to have a more visual understanding of what I will be creating overall and also getting a professional magazine on the same theme from the beginning would help me all the way through because I needed to see what the typical codes and conventions of these magazines were. I then thought it was important to collect some audience feedback on these moodboards because there would have been no point in proceeding in something and then finding out my target audience do not like them. From then, I gathered research that I thought would be relevant such as textual analyses of magazine covers, research on InDesign techniques etc. and from there, it all flowed nicely. I collected secondary research from a variety of sources such as the internet and books and sourced it in the bibliography using the Harvard reference, to give credit so that there would be no issues with copyright. I then regularly did primary research and focus groups to frequently make sure my ideas related to the target audience. I found this method effective because it worked well how I would complete some research and then collect audience feedback to approve of the concepts, so then if there was something wrong I can identify this straight away and then fix it.
All the research I did before starting my production really helped me towards the build up of starting my magazine because I was able to build thoughts and ideas up to create structure for the ideas on my magazine. I used all this research to visualise how my articles and front cover would look. The research I did during the production was equally important because this helped me to add new and improved ideas to my magazine in terms of font, colour schemes, images etc. I frequently looked back at my research during production to remember the ideas I had looked at then and also formed new ideas with the research I had done presently. I also looked at what the target audience thought regularly in order to remember what they like and don’t like in cake magazines.
I came across an issue in my primary research on the analyses that I had done of some magazines. The issue was that the magazine that I had analysed was on my opinions of what the target audience is. However, I had also added in the official target audience of the magazine after researching what it was from the producers. This was an issue because I was contradicting myself from the real target audience to my opinion. I fixed this problem by explaining the the original analyses was based on my opinion I then wrote another analyses on the official target audience.
I think that I could have improved my research by being more specific, e.g., in the analyses of my magazines, although they had the same target audiences, they were not really relevant on the cake magazine that I was producing as they were about completely different things. Therefore I could have improved the research by making these analyses on cake magazines or something similar.
I did a lot of research during production. I did research on another magazine that I felt was more relevant at the time to what I would be producing. I also did a lot of audience research while producing my magazine because I wanted to make sure what I was doing was relevant to my target audience. This helped me along the way because it gave me reassurance that my target audience were liking what I was producing, and if they didn’t I could improve it straight away.
If I was to improve my research during production, I would have done some more research on articles and front covers because I then had a better understanding of what I was producing because I feel like this could have helped me even more to have found what worked best for my magazine.
Writing my reflective journal on the way of my entire project helped me because it gave me a chance to stop and think why I’ve actually done something and how it will help me with my project. It also gave me the opportunity to keep track of everything that I was doing throughout the whole project which was helpful because it formed organisation in relations to time management etc.
I think my product is fit for purpose because I have followed precisely what I was told in the brief. My magazine appeals to 16-24 year olds and it follows the appropriate codes and conventions for the type of magazine that I have produced, these include; masthead at the top, barcode, page numbers etc. However I still feel like I could improve its fitness for purpose by dong more things to make it appeal to 16-24 year olds by maybe using more appropriate language for youngsters.
From looking at what I have produced now and back to the brief, I feel like I fulfilled the brief well because I have stuck to the concept of what needed to be done and stuck to the deadline. I think in some areas of my final product some things can be improved such as in this in the front cover. I feel like I could have improved this because I think that it looks a bit unprofessional around the image as it looks slightly hazy from where it has been cut out. I also think that the colour scheme could have been chosen more effectively on the front cover because I think it may look considerably overwhelming. I also think I could have improved the appearance on my ‘the world of chocolate’ article by adding more images. Finally, the ‘Kinder vs. Oreo cake’ article could have been improved because I think that text is slightly small so I think it needs to be bigger to make it easier to read.
The research that I have done has had a big impact on what I have produced because doing consistent research gave me new ideas which made me change my mind throughout. An example of this was when I started my ‘the world of chocolate’ article because when I first started it, I had so many ideas that I didn’t want to be limited by one, so I experimented with a couple of designed and merged a few and it was able to give me the product I have today.
During the whole of this project I have been able to adapt and build on the basic skills I had learnt in the previous units. This includes techniques on InDesign and Photoshop. These skills were mainly built on by problem solving- for example, I had a problem when designing my ‘the world of chocolate’ article because I needed the text box to be a custom shape, therefore I did some research into this and solved the problem- this was able to give me a new skill learn.
I think that my magazine appeals to the target audience because it uses lots of colour and images which younger people usually prefer.
I did some audience research before I started production so that I could get an idea of what my target audience like to see within magazines. I found this helpful because I was able to have the knowledge of what my target audience like so that I was able to know what to include in my production from the very start. I used this research effectively in my production by using the knowledge I had to include my target audience’s likes and dislikes into the magazine.
After the product was completely finished, I wanted to get some audience feedback so that I could see how successful my magazine was, therefore I produced an audience survey and posted it on social media to allow my target audience (16-24 year olds) to complete it.
My first question was ‘would you buy this magazine’, and the stats were 86.67% which is a very successful statistic as this means it appeals to my target audience.
This was my next question, which was also successful and I also had some comments from the people who said that it did appeal to the target audience. I agree with these comments because the research I did on what my target audience like relate to what people have commented.
Another important question I asked was “how could you improve this magazine”. The comment that I most agree with was the colour on the front cover. I think that the colour scheme on the front cover looks fairly overwhelming and too bright, therefore I agree with this comment.
All of this feedback from the focus group will help me in the future because I now know what I can do to improve my magazine and what people like to see. I agree with most of this feedback because the target audience are going to be reading it so I needed to try my best to please them when designing it, therefore their feedback is important.
Unfortunately, in order to meet my deadline, I did not get the opportunity to get any feedback from any industry’s. However, this could have been useful for me because it would have given me the chance to get a professional’s opinion on my magazine so that I could have had some constructive criticism to learn for the future.
My magazine follows all of the media laws and ethical guidelines because when producing it, I did some research to double check that everything followed these rues. I made sure there were no issues with copyright always used appropriate language etc.
Overall, I feel like the whole f the unit went really well. However, there are a couple of things that I could have improved such as; when it came to planning, I feel like I could have planned more wisely in order to get more perspective when it came to writing my article. I also think I could have done more research before starting production on a wider range of topics such as writing and taking images so that it would have saved more time during production. I think that my creativity side was my strongest but also feel like I could have improved this by experimenting more. I am happy with my final product, but from looking at some of the comments on my survey, I strongly agree with the comment about the front cover’s colour scheme- I think its too contrasting and bright and can look too crowded. I think that I could improve my problem solving by achieving it in a more variety of ways such as using the internet instead at times, instead of just asking people. Finally, my communication towards tutors and other students could have bee improved by being more vocal at times for when I needed support because this could have saved more time.