Critical Analysis, Key Concepts and Bibliography

Critical Analysis

I created a magazine due to my chosen audience, Ella a 24-year-old nursery worker from Leicester, who enjoys glossy monthly and weekly magazines.

In relation to the production of my artifact, I created a sex article for a spread situated in the ‘You You You’ section of ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine.  I chose to do an article for ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine because their sex articles are about and for women. They are not objectifying or perverted in any way but intellectual with interesting facts and professional opinions. I thought this was important given my audience member, a young woman. I wanted the article to be approachable and interesting and not scare her away.

I followed as strictly as possible all the layout features that are seen in such articles in ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine. To make my article as authentic as possible I emulated the article ‘The Last Taboo’ by Laura Jane Macbeth, which featured in the January 2012 issue of ‘Cosmopolitan’ U.K Magazine and on the Cosmopolitan website.  I numbered my pages in the same way, for example ‘166* COSMOPOLITAN MARCH 2012’ on the left pages and ‘MARCH 2012 COSMOPOLITAN *167’ on the right pages.  I presented my statistics in colourful circles similarly to those in ‘The Last Taboo’ so my reader could grasp information quickly and easily. The section at which my article would be found in is made clear as I labelled every right page with ‘You * You * You’ as featured in ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine.  I highlighted quotes by making their font bigger, italic and in pink to make them stand out thus grasping the readers’ attention.

I used the colour theme of pink and black. I was limited to what colours I could use in terms of my written article because in InDesign the colour swatches available are colours best used for printing.  Those are black, white, pink, blue, green, yellow and red.  It’s not a huge limitation but I did initially want some of the colours in the photographs such as purple and gold to be reflected in the writing it was accompanied with. However, I think it’s nice how I had to create a consistent colour theme because it indicates it’s one entire piece. On the last few pages of my article, the pages have a border because articles in ‘Cosmopolitan’ sometimes do the same. I’m not entirely sure why, maybe it’s a signal that the article is coming to an end? I’m not sure, but I did anyway just to emphasise the authenticity of the article.

With my photo sequences I incorporated text. I added script from pornographic scenes that played out similar scenarios and added the title of the movies, which they came from. This would emphasise my theme of pornography and show that the fantasies I have written about do actually appear in pornographic scenes.

In terms of my physical artifact, I wanted to create an article the same size as a ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine. There go, I created an A5 sized article. When it came to printing the only paper they used that would print double sided only came in A4 so I had to trim down the pages. Initially I wanted my pages to be bound with a straight spine but giving the size I couldn’t as the straight spine can only be achieved on A4 documents. Therefore, I had to have a spiral spine. In the physical artifact there are big gaps in the middle of the pages but that’s because that was the required space needed to bind my magazine (apparently). If it was actually in a ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine, there would be no gap.  I also created a PDF file of my article. In the PDF file I state that the models in the photographs did not partake in the acts written about in the article and that the photographs were by me (page 6 of article). However, I didn’t do this for my physical artifact because I forgot too. I would have featured it on there too though.

In terms of accessibility my audience would either have to purchase a monthly ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine priced £3.50 and find my article inside or view it online as a PDF on www.cosmopolitan.co.uk. Therefore, my audience member would have to pay to view my article, unless she has unlimited broadband!

Key Concepts

The images featured in my article are mine despite being self-portraits. I used a tripod and used the interval timer setting on the Nikon D700 camera to take the photographs. I also state ‘By Sophie Moet’ in the article. I will need to add that I was the photographer as well.

I manipulated my photographs so they looked pristine. Mine and the models skin was made clear as I used the retouch tool and enhanced the colours and lighting to make the images look more magazine worthy.  Images in magazines are always airbrushed and retouched to achieve a polished glamourous effect and this is something I tried to emulate. I also manipulated the layout of the images as I created photo sequences so the viewer could see the action or scenario within the images unravel. In terms of believability, I will state that the models in the photographs did not partake in the acts talked about in the article. The photographs are supposed to be seen and used more for entertainment purposes.  In terms of believing them for what they are is questionable as I did enhance the colours and retouch spots and blemishes.  Also, the photographs were staged and acted out, it isn’t actually me and the model you are seeing but the characters we are playing, similar to Cindy Sherman’s photographs.

As I’ve created both a physical and digital version of my article I suppose it caters to both digital natives and digital inhabitants. One can either buy is as a physical object or view it online. Maybe viewing a magazine online caters more to a digital native though, as they are used to viewing things from screens.

My artifact can be taken out of context, as it isn’t actually in a ‘Cosmopolitan’ magazine. However, I think I’ve made it clear through the markings on the bottom of the pages ‘‘166* COSMOPOLITAN MARCH 2012’ that it belongs in one. My article can be shared, either physically for example Ella could give it to her friend or it could be shared online via blogs or Facebook.

Bibliography

Bibliography PDF

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