We Love Pop is one of the magazines that I took inspiration from when researching and constructing my music magazine. This is because it is a mainstream pop magazine which contains many of the codes and conventions to connote the popular genre. The typical conventions of any magazine includes: the masthead, sell lines, barcode, cover story and puff.
The masthead of my magazine is one of the conventions of magazines that I conformed to. The purpose of the masthead is to capture the attention of the audience, I went about this by using a single word for title ‘Poptastic’ which is a play of the word fantastic which is an informal adjective connoting something extraordinary. When I conducted my questionnaire for research the data showed that the majority of the participants preferred this name so my audience feedback directly impacted my creative decision. Pop magazines such as We Love Pop uses emboldened, black, sans-serif typography for the masthead which is similar to my masthead. However, I challenged the conventional use of the magazine masthead being tilted to the side of the page, instead the ‘Poptastic’ masthead flows horizontally across the top of the page. Despite such differences in my presentation style, clarity of the masthead was still maintained.
The house-style of my magazine is made evident by the use of a limited range of warm colours such as amber and pink. Pop magazines also present their magazines in a similar way to ensure the magazine follows a particular visual aesthetic. However, I challenged the conventions of the magazine by using pastel colours instead of block, neon colours like Fusia. This is because I want to target a male demographic so I used cool colours such as blue to highlight the names of the cover artists on the left side of the page. This isn’t typically seen on mainstream pop magazines however the purpose of this is to inform the reader of the featuring artists who are recognisable figures in the genre. Pop magazines such as We Love Pop use colours such as pink regardless of the presence of a male or female cover artist. Occasionally their running house style does not always match the costume of the cover artist. However, I challenged the use of mismatching colours by using a dark blue which complements the cover artist’s jacket. This colour blue is then seen on the contents page and double page spread thus proving that I have maintained the same house style throughout the magazine.
Furthermore, sell lines were presented on the front cover of my magazine therefore I was able to conform to the conventions of the genre by using language that would engage with the teenage demographic. The topics highlighted were “relationships” and “drama” which may gain the attention of the audience because these are sell lines are alluring and have connotations of gossip.
I conformed to the conventions of the genre by selecting images which showed the cover artist and other artists making various gestures and poses because this is what is seen in existing magazines. The images show the cover artist in a centrally framed position making direct address towards the audience by staring into the camera which helps to portray the artist as a confident role model which the reader can aspire to be like. In mainstream pop magazines this is one of the most noticeable codes and conventions. Shout Magazine also uses centrally framed models in high key lighting on their front covers therefore this demonstrates how I did not subvert the dominant conventions of pop magazines. These features that I incorporated into my magazine are what makes Pop magazines interesting to read about so the repetition of these codes provides the pass along audience with a sense of familiarity so I was able to market my product towards a mainstream target audience similar to the audience that We Love Pop aims their products at.
One of the ways that I adhered to the conventions of contents pages is by using the same fonts as seen on the front cover which forms the magazine house style. The font ‘Droidiga’ was used on the front cover and this is also used on the contents page. The font has a distinctive letter ‘o’ which is easily recognisable by viewers. Similarly, the same font used on the front cover was used in the page reference box. The language used in this page is colloquial so that young audience members can read the magazine easily. The editor’s letter at the top left of the page enhanced the professionalism of the magazine because it ends with the signature of the editor who only stated his first name connoting the informality of the content of the magazine. This is seen in existing magazines such as We Love Pop.
The images chosen conform to the conventions of the genre because there are a variety of different images and poses. The main artist is centrally framed in the page which connotes his importance. Magazines such as XXL conforms to this convention even though the genre of the magazine is hip-hop orientated. Around the main image are images and quotations from secondary stories and images. The use of numbered images connoting the page references is seen in almost all contents pages. The purpose of this is to direct the reader to the pages they want to read. So by linking the page numbers to the contents page box I was able to ensure that there was some form of continuity for my magazine.
The double page spread of the magazine follows the same structure of magazine spreads. The page consists of one shot of the model and a question and answer session on the other. Features such as the page number, cover artist’s signature, pull quote and highlighted text are evident. The signature helped to give the interview a personal tone. Magazines often feature the artists signature on the double page spread which might signify the authenticity of the cover artist as they open up and share their personal experiences. The use of the pull quote from the magazine signifies the importance of specific pieces of information which will resonate on the reader’s minds. the line ” I’m always willing to open up about my personal experiences” implies that the artist is friendly and honest which conforms to the stereotypical story lines of cover artists is pop magazines who are usually seen sharing embarrassing information about themselves.
The page composition is equally divided so the image of the cover artist can be admired by the teenage audience. However, I challenged the visual codes of the genre because there was no direct mode of address so the artist isn’t breaking the fourth wall.