Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Exam Advice-Audience and Institution

It is important that you show understanding of the key concepts and refer to specific examples in your answer. You can help yourself do well with five 'top tips'.

1. Read the question carefully

You have no choice of questions, so you have to have a go at what is there on the paper; sometimes students panic and think that they don't understand the question- maybe because of one particular word- but so long as you have prepared on all the concepts there will be something in the question that you recognise. Words like 'technology', 'convergence', 'distribution', 'marketing', 'digital'  come up and you should see them as your 'hook' into the question. Even if the overall wording seems to be baffling, look for the terms that are there in the question and see them as the springboard for your answer.

2. Don't spend ages on an introduction

You only have 45 minutes to answer the question, so there isn't time to waffle! A quick sentence which sets out what you are going to do and which media area or industry you are going to use will suffice. You can prepare a lot of this in your head in advance, so something like: In this essay, I shall write about (concept) in relation to the (film, music, radio, etc) industry, drawing on (examples) as my case studies.

3. Know your examples

Whichever industry you are writing about, you will need examples to support your points. I would always advocate having some contrasting examples so that you can look at all angles; for example, you might have a mainstream high budget film from the USA to contrast with a low budget independent Uk film, or a major record label to contrast with a little UK indie label. That way, you can talk about the different ways in which the industry might operate in different circumstances. You need not know absolutely eveything about just two examples, however. It could be that you know about the funding of a particular low budget film, but don't know about its marketing; in which case find another example of something similar where you can find out about its marketing. The important thing is to get a good grasp of the ways in which the concepts apply rather than every tiny detail of a specific case study example. What you do need is to make sure you understand the general principles well and can back up your points accurately.

4. Try to be systematic

Don't jump about between points; spend a bit of time at the start of the exam planning the structure of your answer and working out the main points and examples for each paragraph. this will ensure that the rest of your time is spent fruitfully as well. Know what key point you will make in each paragraph, what examples you will refer to and how you want to make a case from it all. Use similarity and difference as starting points for organising an argument; there will be differences between mainstream and indie which you might use as your way through, for example.

5. Make it all legible

Remember, examiners may be old and may have poor eyesight. Most students do not have great handwriting, so make it easier for the examiner to find the strengths in what you have written. Keep your paragraphs relatively short- half a page at most. Leave a clear line between each paragraph. There is nothing in the rules to say that you can't use a highlighter pen to emphasise your key examples or terms. Don't overdo this, but it does sometimes help to draw the reader's attention to points which ought to pick you up marks.

Prepare well and you should do well. Answers to Q2 often look shorter than those for Q1, but if you know your stuff and have revised properly, they shouldn't be. Good luck!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Creating A Band or Artist Name

If you are struggling for a band name for your magazine just do the following.:
  1. Go to “Wikipedia".
  2. ”Hit “random article” and the first article you get is the name of your band. 
  3. Then go to “Random Quotations”and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Magazine Names

  • Q
  • NME
  • Mojo
  • The Source
  • XXL
  • Vibe
  • Spin
  • Billboard
  • Blender
  • Paste
  • Wire
  • Loud and Quiet
  • Uncut
  • Mixmag
  • Rolling Stone
  • Metal Hammer
  • Kerrang
  • Classic Rock
  • Artrocker
  • The Fly
  • Wax Poetics
Defunct titles:
  • Melody Maker
  • Clash
  • The Stool Pigeon
  • Creem
  • Smash Hits
  • Sounds
  • Select
  • The Face 
  • Raygun
  • Record Mirror

Monday, 16 January 2017

12V - Music magazine genres and titles

James - country - TBA
Charlee - hip hop - Graffiti
Harri - grime - TBA
George S. - mainstream - TBA
Ben - hip hop - Heir
Frank - mainstream - Pitch
Izzy - Kpop - A Selcouth Junta
George G. - Indie - Undefined
Alfie - Indie - Clique
Will - Indie - Waves
Alex - Indie - TBA
George A. - hip hop - Coordinate
Cam - hip hop - Guidance
Rhiannon - Indie - Fanxy
Steph - Indie - Blare
Ceri - alt rock - TBA
Rosie - alternative - Virtuoso
Amy - alternative - TBA
Jasmine - alternative - TBA
Nieeve - alternative - TBA

Friday, 13 January 2017


Anton Corbijn
Patrick Demarchelier
Steven Meisel
Terry Richardson
Victor Demarchelier
Arnaud Pyvka
Jan Welters
Emma Summerton
Tony Kelly
Peter Lindbergh
Ellen Von Unwerth
Juergen Teller
Mert & Marcus

Adele by Mert & Marcus
Pharrell by Peter Lindbergh
Tyler, the Creator by Terry Richardson

Magazine Designers

This list will get you started on your research into magazine/ graphic designers. In brackets is an example of their work.

Omar Sosa (Apartamento)
Francesco Franchi (Il)
Albert Handler & Anouk Rehoek (A Guide Magazine)
Jop Van Bennekom (Fantastic Man)
Guido Kroger & Maxime Pintadu (Nico)
Mike Meire & Tim Geisem (o32c & kid's wear)
An Art Service ('sup magazine)
Raffiere AG Fur Gestalung (Kinki Magazine)
Matt Willey (Elephant)
David Carson (raygun)
Vier 5 (Fairy Tale)

Double page image from Kinki Magazine

Colour palettes

Mood Boards

Magazine analysis; cover, contents and double page spread

Colours: Text on Background

Black on white is still the easiest way to present type and to read it and you change that colour at your peril. Using coloured paper, coloured type or a heavy type patch often reduces legibility. In tests carried out by Karl Borgrgrafe (cited in Favre and November 1979) to see which colours worked best together, the following taxonomy of colour mixes was discovered, starting with the most legible, and working through to the least legible.

Black on yellow
Yellow on black
Green on white
Red on white
Black on white
White on blue
Blue on yellow
Blue on white
White on black
Green on yellow
Black on orange
Red on yellow
Orange on black
Yellow on blue
White on green
Black on red
Blue on orange
Yellow on green
Blue on red
Yellow on red
White on red
Red on black
White on orange
Black on green
Orange on white
Orange on blue
Yellow on orange
Red on orange
Red on green
Green on orange

As you can see, black and white comes pretty near the top although the list suggests that a yellow panel behind the black type would improve legibility (which is why important warning signs of danger are usually printed black on yellow.)

From: Designing for Newspapers and Magazines, by Chris Frost, Routledge, 2003

Note: though black on yellow may be more striking than black on white, it is unlikely to be more pleasing in large quantities. Magazine designers have to strike a balance between legibility, impact, and reader satisfaction. Between getting attention, and not being annoying.   CE

Colour Wheel

The color wheel or color circle is the basic tool for combining colors. The first circular color diagram was designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666.

The color wheel is designed so that virtually any colors you pick from it will look good together. Over the years, many variations of the basic design have been made, but the most common version is a wheel of 12 colors based on the RYB (or artistic) color model.

Traditionally, there are a number of color combinations that are considered especially pleasing. These are called color harmonies or color chords and they consist of two or more colors with a fixed relation in the color wheel.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Monday, 9 January 2017


Where do I find it?

In the start menu, select - all programmes - common programmes - Adobe Production Premium - PhotoShop (64bit)

How do I get started?

In the upper left select - file - new (In the Preset drop down menu select International paper)

What page size do I need?

For this project choose A4. Ensure the colour mode is 8bit, the resolution is 300 and the background colour is white.

How do I add an image?

You should have been able to save your image from Google. In the upper left select - file - open and locate the image you downloaded. The image will appear in a new tab, DO NOT PANIC, pull the tab down by pressing and holding the left mouse button until it appears in front of your white square tab, next press shift + v to drag and drop the image onto your white square tab

The Image doesn't fill the square!

Press ctrl + t, now press and hold shift, pinch the corner of the image and stretch it until it fills the space. You can use the move tool (shift v) to align it properly.

How do I add text?

On the left hand side, in the tool bar, is a T. Click on the T and then draw a text box wherever you wish. Type the name of your band and select a font and a size just as you would do on Word.

Helpful tips: CTRL+R will add rulers/ CTRL+@ will add a grid (both are useful for aligning text and image)

Why doesn't it look quite right?

In really, really basic terms, design is about symmetry. Think about the layout of the different elements. Consider the way the eye reads the page.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Set up a new blog for your coursework

Use the following format:

Your name as it appears on the register followed by mediacoursework (one word no gaps)



Student Blogs - 20/20 research and planning

Click on the images to access the student blogs. They all received 20/20 for research and planning.

Preliminary Exercise

Preliminary exercise: using DTP and an image manipulation program, produce the front page of a new school/college magazine, featuring a photograph of a student in medium close-up plus some appropriately laid-out text and a masthead. 

Additionally, candidates must produce a DTP mock-up of the layout of the contents page to demonstrate their grasp of the program.

You need to do the following:
  1. Come up with a suitable title
  2. Draw a mock up (take a photo and post on blog - Preliminary Exercise flat plan)
  3. Take photos
  4. Make the cover and contents page
  5. Post on blog