Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Question 1: How does your product use or challenge conventions and how does it represent social groups or issues?



Teacher: Good morning students, as you all know today is presentation day. When I call your name be prepared to elaborate on the conventions and representations of social groups and issues in your magazine. First up is Emily!

Me: Through researching magazine conventions I was able to learn the fundamental features and components of a magazine, however as time passed and I got deeper into my magazine genre I learned in-depth about the key, common conventions of a Black hair, beauty, and skin magazine. Therefore once I learned the rules about my genre  I was able to creatively push the boundaries of its conventions.

In particular, the masthead of black hair, beauty, and skin magazines are commonly large, bolded, and written in standard font with neutral colors, such as black, white, or in the case of Jet magazine red. However, I thought it was a bit plain, so I added some variety to my masthead by writing the longer part of my title, Beauty, in the standard, bolded white font and the shorter beginning part of my title Lux in calligraphy  with bright neon colors. This added a bit more life into my cover page and made the words stand out more. In addition, the cover lines in black beauty, hair, and skin magazines usually are located on the left hand side of the page, framing the main image and they are written in a mixture of bolded, standard, and thin fonts.  I employed this convention in my own cover page, as well as the barcode placement, issue date, and taglines. 

On my content pages I organized my page number, title, and description in the conventional columns, but I placed their locations on opposing sides of the page to separate the hair, skin, and beauty sections. I added the website, issue date, and page number at the bottom right hand corner of the page like content pages usually do, as well pictures of corresponding skincare products. However, I moved away from the typical  plain white background that is usually seen in black hair, beauty, and skin magazines into a more vibrant blue color. I felt that this brightened the page and fitted well with my color scheme and the colors and words on the page. For my double page spread I gave myself more creative freedom as there was less conventions to follow. I framed my text into columns around my image on the left hand side of the page and continued these columns on the right hand side of the page to make the text appealing to readers and easier to read. I also added a short puff piece on the bottom of the page to give more insight into the abilities of my feature model and to promote her business.

My target market for my magazine was black teenage females interested in hair, beauty, and skin so I created my magazine layout, content, images, sentence structures, etc. around stuff that would best appeal to this audience. The survey I conducted at the beginning of my magazine research showed that this target market is responsive to images of models that represent their skin tones, hair textures, and age group and content that is youth, hair, and skin friendly, therefore I structured my feature story and chose my models based of of these preferences. The cover page, content page , and double page models were all African American women in the same age group as my target market, and my feature story was an inspiring and insightful piece on my models journey to a successful hairstylist, which is a coming of age story I and my audience could relate to.    

Question 2: How does your product engage with audiences and how would it be distributed as a real media text?

 Magazines caters to the interest of the public or a demographic within the masses. In order to ensure full engagement with my audience I conducted a survey to best learn the interests and demographics of my readers. In this survey I acquired information about what content, models, color schemes, and titles would best appeal to my target market.  With the feedback I received through this survey I structured my magazine components, such as the color scheme and cover page model, around the interests of my audience. To further elaborate, my target market was black female high school teenagers interested in hair and beauty, I featured a young, African American upcoming Miami hairstylist. On a local scale this feature story would do well to relate with my audience, who is also of the same age, race, gender and has the same interests and location as my feature model. I also discussed the up bringing, advice, dreams, and struggles in my model's hair journey which would inspire other young hair entrepreneurs to chase their dreams, or simply entertain them with them with a anecdote. 



My magazine as a real media text would be distributed through youth, beauty/skin, or hair-based businesses and areas, such as the beauty supply hair, salons, barbershops (for my expansion into the male hair and beauty industry), and even the newsstands in convenient stores and on the side of the street where there is a lot of foot traffic. Since my target market, who are female black youth are in a predominantly tech savvy generation I will use social media platforms and digital media, such as a website to promote my business and serve as a virtual means to acquire my magazine. Overall, my means of distributions will reach youth that are geared toward print materials and or digital methods of reading. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Question 3: How did your production skills develop throughout this project?



Before this project, I only had experience taking pictures with the basic, automated camera settings. But over the duration of taking photos for my content, double, and cover page I learned about camera angles, lighting techniques, mise-en-scene, and model poses. These components taught me how to utilize lighting, background, and camera angles to capture the best quality of my subject. Due to Isis, my main model’s reflective dress it was a challenge taking pictures when the sun was its peak, so I had to wait until night to use the natural lighting from the surrounding buildings to capture a picture of her that was appealing and not filled with glares from her dress. Due to this, I had to brighten the colors of the photo and blur the background of the photo so Isis could be the main focus and information could be framed around her on the cover page. The camera angle taken of my main image was from a straight-on angle to capture a holistic view of her elegant, feminine attire and fierce body language. Whereas in the image I took for my content page the sunlight was a complementing tool that helped capture the perfect picture and the background was less busy and did not need blurring. The photo was taken from a close-up, low angle to fully allow the model’s skin, hair, and confidence to be the main visual point. Overall there were lessons well taught and it increased the quality of my final product.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Final Magazine


I changed the color scheme of my double page spread because I felt the bright yellow and green were visually overwhelming and took away from the other elements on the page, such as the text. These colors were not complementing to the main model's image as well. Instead I chose to go with more softer, yet vibrant colors, such as pink and orange. I felt these colors were complementing to all the elements on the page and helped the text standout to create a visually appealing double page spread.

Color Scheme



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Developing My Double Page Spread

 As with the other components of my magazine my double page spread lacked flare and creativity. Even though I understood and implemented most of the conventions of a double page spread on my draft I had not explored all the possibilities, which made my page look bleak and a turn off to read. So, I drew upon other black hair and beauty/skin magazines for inspiration and a foundation to build off of.

 I came across this double page spread from the Black Beauty and Hair magazine that I found appealing, particularly the way how the text framed the shape of the image. The text fills in the space of the image giving it a unique shape and placement that makes the story enticing to read. I also liked the format of the letter F in the story, as it draws the reader's focus in on the text and it helps to stand out since it is not the largest feature on the page. Furthermore, the miniature stories on the second page was a good use of space and an interesting addition on the double page spread. 

With these observations in mind I began formatting my double page spread by erasing the background of my main image and extending the picture so that Isis's full frame was in view.  I then began to work on the title of my story. During this process I began looking at magazines for inspirations in which I found this double page spread from Black Hair and Beauty helpful. I liked the contrast between the playful calligraphy the title is written in versus the basic font that was used beneath it to describe the purpose of the page. I also liked the way how the text was organized in columns instead of in paragraph form as I felt it added more layers to the details on the page. 

As I continued to work on my title I found a playful font like the one used in the article above that I liked and a basic script to write the subheading in. This contrast created a feminine and elegant look that I felt matched the aesthetic of my feature page. I then used Isis's body as a tool to divide the first page in half. I used this spaced as a guide in formatting the text into columns around her body, so that the story could naturally be easy on the eyes to read. I also incorporated the P in larger text box with a burgundy color to draw readers into the story, as well as framing the sides of the pages with a white line to create some contrast on the page and create a focus on the text boxes. I enlarged and bolded the last sentence of the story to emphasize the significance of the message in my model's "Road to Hair Success" story and also because it added some variety to the text. I was left with a lot of negative empty space at the bottom of the page that I decided to fill in what a puff piece of Isis's work that promoted and showcased her businesses like beauty magazines often do. 

I added a slab of color onto the page to create a divider between my feature story and the puff piece. I chose the orange color that I used on my content page to continue the color scheme and make my words and pictures stand out. 

I added a puff piece on a curl set Isis did on a client with short hair and incorporated her contact information like I have seen other magazines do on their short stories.

I then added the pictures of Isis's work that I had captured a couple days prior by erasing it's background using the background eraser tool found in Canva. I then framed the pictures around the text and added the website link, issue date, and page numbers on the bottom of the page, which are typical magazine conventions in black hair and beauty/skin magazines. 
This is the final product.

Source of Information:
 Black Hair and Beauty Double Page Spread:

Friday, March 19, 2021

Developing Table of Contents: Images, Part 1

Kristie, one of my model. and I met up over the weekend to practice shots and hopefully capture some good pictures for my table of content page. These pictures were taken over the course of a weekend we spent together as she cleaned out her closet. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade! I took this as an opportunity to execute a photoshoot of sorts, with of course a fashion show in between. With her help we pieced together a variety of looks, ranging from a casual to high-end style, and experimented with different lighting and camera angles. One of the reason why I chose to do a black hair and beauty/skin magazine was because their photographs allowed for a lot of flexibility regarding colors, poses, models, hair, outfit, accessories, etc. I think this creative freedom is what drawn me to this magazine genre and what makes these hair and beauty magazines so appealing.

Although I took an assortment of pictures I am leaning more towards the last images as it's lighting is the most complementing of my model's skin of all the photos taken, which works in favor of my skin/beauty content. Her red nail color and black and gold attire are also enriched by the sunlight, and in combination with the gleam off her distressed locs by the sun I feel these photos captures the beauty/skin and hair content of my magazine best.

Location: Kristie's Backyard 
Outfit: Camouflaged pants & fur jacket
Hairstyle: Loose wave
Props: Sunglasses & Phone
Angle/Shot: Low angle, Mid-shot

Location: Bush behind Kristie's house 
Outfit: White tub dress, Head scarf
Props: Beige purse, Gold necklace, Gold rings, Sunglasses 
Hairstyle: Black straightened hair  
Angle/Shot: Mid-shot 

Location: In front of Kristie's house 
Outfit: Black tube dress, Cream sweater
Props: Gold hoop, Collage bag
Hairstyle: Black straightened hair
Angle/Shot: Full body & Mid-shot 

Location: Taxi
Outfit: Squared black shirt
Prop: Gold hoops, gold rings, gold bracelets, sunglasses 
Hairstyle: Distressed Locs 
Angle/Style: Low angle, Close-up

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Developing Table of Contents: Images, Part 2

Below are the photos of skincare products I took for the skincare section of my table of contents. Looking at content pages from other black hair and beauty/skin magazines I noticed that images of skincare products was a common feature on all pages, therefore I felt taking these pictures was a necessity for an authentic beauty/skin magazine. I chose the basic skin creams and oils I could find around my room to match the natural skincare information my cover page and content table promised coverage on.  As you can tell I played around with the lighting, angle, prop set up and background for my photos, but in the end, I decided to use the third picture as the lighting from the sun had increased the clarity and readability of the label and details of the creams and oils. Since I would eventually erase the background of the photo in Canva the mis-en-scene was irrelevant, as so was the props, as I could manually add them in Canva. In the end it all came down to lighting, which I got the best of during midday, when the sun was partially out.


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Developing My Content Page

 Being that I altered the color scheme of my cover page from a monochromatic pink into bright festive colors like blue, yellow, green, and pink I had to rearrange my contents page to match my new theme. Additionally, my content page was basic and looked uncustomized, which is the complete opposite of  what a magazine's content page is supposed to look like. Since this basically meant that I had to scrap my entire content page I looked at other magazines for inspiration and as a basis to start building off of.

                                                                   I stumbled upon this content page from the Black Beauty and Hair magazine. I found the layout of the page simple, but yet appealing which was what I was going for. Therefore, I structured the content information on the left side of the page in columns, with the page number, page title, and content information organized in the way that it was on the cover page.

I fitted the image on the right side of page, as it is formatted on the magazine's content page. However, as I went down lower on the page I began to integrate my style and preferences on the page. I put the skincare section on the right side of the page and the image on the left instead of following the order of the magazine's content page because I felt that it added some variety to the page. After analyzing the magazine's content page I realized that I had forgotten essential conventions such as the publication date, website, and photography credits on my previous draft. I made sure to add these details on my current content page, as well a variety of pictures that correlates my content and adds character to the page.

I was not satisfied with the content page as I felt it  lacked the feeling of liveness I am going for. Hence, I added a cool shade of orange to the background of the second image and added another text circle of a similar color and size. This increased the content page appeal and enrich the page with color and shapes.

This is the final product.

Source of information:
Black Beauty and Hair Content Page: