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Evaluation

Introducing the project, my task was to produce a magazine front cover and two double page spreads on a subject of my choice. My first idea was to do makeup because I have the most knowledge in this area relating to the project I am doing. However, I wanted to challenge myself further by doing a subject I haven’t done before which was interviews and tips on how to get a job. I thought this topic would be great for the audience of this magazine as I have experienced people around me in a similar age group struggling to get a job or not knowing how to. I also thought I could talk a lot about this topic to the audience as I have had many interview experiences myself and wanted to share advice. The time I had to complete my project fully was 13 weeks. In these 13 weeks, I tracked everything I did one by one and with the help of the reflective journal I created this was very easy to do so. It helped me keep on track and have my ideas stay fresh in my mind.

In section one of my proposal I wrote a rationale limited to 100 words giving a brief on all the units I had done so far which helped me recap what I had produced helping me remember the skills and techniques I had used. The word count being so limited made me struggle to narrow down what I had to say about each unit as there were many more things I had to say however, I had to briefly explain, overcoming the problem it created for myself.

In section two I wrote about the project concept. I made notes on every idea I had come up with for my production and narrowed it down to 200 words for this section. Making notes of my first ideas that I thought of really helped me start the project and gather an understanding of what I wanted to achieve out of this. Although, my final project is quite different to my first thoughts I would like to think that I stuck to my plan well yet improved many things along the way as it was a lot of trial and error. It is important to keep checking the proposal to keep ideas fresh in the mind and it is always best to plan first. If I were to complete a proposal again, I would add more information however more briefly as notes not sentences, this way I can include more detail in less words which would be more helpful. When it comes to the content, I would again give more detail on everything that I want to include in my final production piece, not just the main parts.

My planning went well even though it could have been better if I allowed myself more time. This project has definitely given me a good experience as now I would know what to do and what to change in the future with a similar project. I noticed I had to give myself a lot of time to actually organize and plan. For example, I booked a photo studio and a DSLR camera for the best quality and professional imagery. However, I had to plan around the times my model was available for the shoot and it was quite difficult to arrange so I started running out of time. This meant I had less time to edit the photographs and add them to my production however; I sped up my working pace and managed to finish them. Although, if I had more time I believe I would have got a better result out of the images and the production in general.  In the case of a different project in the future, I would like to plan ahead in case of any interruptions along the way and no risks of missing the deadlines.

Research was really important for my project, as it is with any project. The research I did was generally information I already knew however, it helped refresh my mind and ideas and keep a copy of it saved for me to look back on whenever I needed to get inspiration and ideas. I did research on front covers and double spread pages to see the design, layout, themes, colours used, fonts, size of text, articles and so on. I had to look at everything in detail to gather a good understanding of what I need to do and what could make my magazine better. Looking at professional magazines really gave me motivation to do my best. One of the first recorded researches I did was a moodboard made up of some magazine front covers and double page spreads of my favourite magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan. Research is definitely important as I needed to know how I could write my articles as there are so many different ways to do so. I chose what I thought was suitable for the topic of my articles in order to make it look as good as it can on the layout of the magazine. It is also important to notice what is good and what could be improved on a magazine which is why annotating them was very helpful. I did more research on my favourite magazines for the demographic and psychographic profiles. This widened my thoughts and knowledge, especially when it comes to the audience of the magazine. In my opinion, I could have done more research and I know this will have helped me a lot when it came to design because I struggled to choose what design I should produce. However, I had a look at some paper copy magazines to give me more ideas in depth.

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There are some improvements the production could have if I had more time to do so. These would start from the basics such as the front cover having more detail in text but fewer words. I could have placed text around the model on the image however; I thought it would be different to place text in the centre to grab the reader’s attention. It gets straight to the point of what the content inside the magazine is about. When it comes to the images, I would have liked them to be edited better however; I did my best in adjusting brightness and colour and for them to sit perfectly in with the background of the pages.

I received audience feedback from two Hillsborough College students on the final production piece. Aimee McAssey, 18, Health and Social Care student, says: “The text is great, you gave great information and advice for people like myself. You could have made your titles look better by trying different fonts or editing them however, you added lines to one to make it stand out. You made it interesting by adding makeup which all girls can’t go without these days and the nightmare interview added at the end is a little fun twist to it.”

Tanisha Johnson, 17, Media student, says: “Your design is good. The photographs look professional and I like how you made the do’s and don’ts match the images with the models facial expressions and the angles you took the photos. You can tell you have done your research with how you have done your layout for the magazine, the pages aren’t cluttered or boring, very fun to read as it is a topic that interests the people around our age.”

I took these comments into account and agree with both. I would have liked to improve the title, style and font, especially the one on the first double page spread; however, I concentrated more on the rest of the magazine as I was limited on time.

This leads onto the appeal for the target audience. In my opinion, and including the feedback from the audience, the magazine appeals to the audience because the audience is at an age where they are interested in the topic. Even if people don’t like reading magazines, I feel as though because it’s related to many people of the age range of 16-24 they will at least take a glance and take in information from it. I chose this subject purely for the reason that it informs the reader rather than focusing on entertaining the reader.

For the final product, I did use research for the last page of the magazine, to see what authors have added to an informative article to make it more interesting. Many magazines have quizzes or surveys and I decided to make it relate to the subject and add an interview with a twist that still gives advice from a second person other than myself.

To conclude, if I were to do this unit again, I would try to improve quite a few things. Starting with planning, I would have liked to allow myself more time to plan everything in much more detail such as where to take photographs and organizing. While, planning I could have made more notes to give me a quicker start to the actual production piece. When it comes to research, I believe you can never do enough research for a project of this type; I would improve my research by comparing the quality of professional magazines and beginner magazines that need improvements. I would analyse these in more detail. I would improve my product by using every software available to make it the best standard I possibly can because the skills I have and that I learnt throughout this course are capable of doing so.

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