News & Magazine 1

Reflective Post (Media Pack and final touches)

For our final meeting today we spent several hours editing the media pack and readjusting a few of the features.
The media pack specifically took a lot longer to do because the word count was between 350-500, but we managed to get up to around 700, meaning that it had to be heavily edited and cut down.

I helped another member of the group write up what was to be included in the media pack, and did checks on grammar throughout the text as well. This was vital because it needed to look professional and state accurately what is within the magazine.

In terms of features, my ‘Finding Dory’ article needed to have the quotes removed in order to fit the news page that had been created and had the story illustrated with a picture of Dory. Then the background was sorted out and the colours were made suitable to the articles within the frame. The whole point of this is to make sure there are no white spaces – would look wasted.

Colour has been one of the main factors involved in making the magazine look good, otherwise it just wouldn’t work. Issues we encountered for example was the front cover and how the dark colour of the text was making it blend into the background. It is in these instances that we have to make sure that the colours are correct for the article and its background.

We all printed off and filled out a self-assessment form which we have put together with the print out of our blog URLs for these reflective posts.

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Reflective Post (Starting the media pack and trial printing)

So today we met with the rest of our magazine group once again, and decided it was time to start on the media pack and further editing more pieces that are to go into the magazine.

I worked with one other person on starting to do some research and write a paragraph about what the magazine is about and what it entails. This was interesting in itself because we did some research in order to help inform us of what to include in this media pack. So to start off, we wrote about who the magazine is aimed at and what sort of things the reader would encounter while reading it. Also,  the purpose of the illustrations were stated as well, and the reason is to act as a visual tool to help attract the reader. Then, we all wrote what features, reviews, and news stories were featured within. As well as this, there are activities for the reader to do such as ‘Build Your Own Pirate’.

Something else that was worked on today on how the magazine pages would look like printed, and we just had a few issues with the pages that came out, it didn’t work properly.

We went over what font was best to use once again in order to perfect the look and make us feel satisfied with the end product. With regards to the front cover, we decided it would be much better to change the background from the map of Cornwall/UK to a underwater scene which we thought would be more appropriate.

Editing of the features was also done, so things like punctuation, spelling and cutting out any paragraphs/sections we thought weren’t necessary – looked too wordy.

Reflective Post (Some rearrangements and testing)

Yesterday we met once again with our group and worked together for a couple of hours on thing such as going through what has been added to the main magazine layout on inDesign and then tried testing out printed versions of some pages.

We looked through each slide that Corey had from everyone on the inDesign program that he had saved and discussed how some plain backgrounds could be filled or made to look better. It is important to consider these things, because as the content is directed at kids then the visuals are obviously important.

On some peoples features they had changed their mind about how they wanted their pieces to actually look so we saw so rearrangements made with the text in places. And editing like this will occur over the weekend before Tuesday when we meet again for the final time before handing in our finished product.

Colour scheme was also reviewed and we have all agreed that what we have so far is good with regards to the colour of text contrasting to that of the background. The only minor change will be to do with the front cover where the picture of the Cornwall underneath the hand cupping the ship is too dark and will be made slightly lighter.

After we had changed various bits as explained, next came test printing a few of the laid out pages to see what it would look like when printed, and whether the colours appear right when on paper. That seemed okay for now.

We have decided that the majority of everybody’s work including that of the two features, review and news story which is good and should result in a fully packed magazine filled with awesome articles and information for the readers to learn.

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Reflective Post (additional pieces to do before hand in)

Over the Christmas holidays, we have all been given tasks to do such as writing one news story to add to the magazine layout.

My news story I decided would be about the new ‘Finding Dory’ film that is to be released in 2016. I asked the opinions of younger people who had seen the first film, ‘Finding Nemo’. Also, this topic is suitable because our first issue of ‘History’s Mysteries’ is about all things sea related.

Another task involved was choosing which pictures were good enough to illustrate the article. This will hopefully attract the readers to reading the story of (maybe) their favourite film.

One of our group members has purchased the inDesign program, so we have been sending him our articles and he would arrange them into the layouts on the design tool. This tool is great, because you are able to see how your feature/article would look laid out before having it printed as part of the whole magazine.

For our deadline hand in, we have to give in an individual portfolio of our news story, two features, review and a black and white print out of one of our features that has been laid out on inDesign.

Reflective Post (Putting our features on an InDesign Layout)

Now was the time to layout our features on the InDesign program on the computers. The whole aim of this task is to put our features onto a double page spread and sort out where we want to place the text and images. We worked with our group and got some help with each other since not all of us were as experienced with the program than others. Until this project, I didn’t realise how much thought actually went into the design layout of a magazine: everything from flat plan to how you want the text laid out on the spread.

Several things I had to think about whilst being helped, was how the text was going to fit into the double spread as well as the images. The look of the background was something I had not considered before, so for now it would be plain but with boxes around the fact box sections on the spread. This will all change however when it comes to the next ‘draft’ of it, if you will.

The images we have chosen for the feature are going to be drawn by hand so it would appeal more to the reader and to avoid any copyright issues. Our group member Harley is taking on some of our images (he is a better artist) which is great because that way we are all working together. But for now, the images in the feature which I have submitted to be looked at contains the actual images until the illustrations are completed. This is the same for the background too. My chosen font is another element that was important for my feature, and I went for the ‘Algerian’ typeface at size 12.

Reflective Post (layout ideas etc)

During yesterdays lecture, we had the chance to speak with everyone in our groups – this time discussing the magazine layout.

There were several things to be considered such as the size of the paper (A4) and it being 32 pages , the width of the margins and columns. We decided wider margins for our magazine because as it is for children, it would be appropriate to see more white space around the features etc. For this reason we thought it’d be best to not use drop caps at the start of a feature/review as it may confuse the child reading.We had been advised to think about what fonts to use (appropriate to the audience), so our chosen type face is ‘Standard Sans Serif’ because it is simple and not difficult to read. However, the fonts will not change for the headline on each issue. For example, like ‘Horrible Histories’, it will remain consistent.

Illustrations are important in this magazine, because the images need to speak for themselves (no captions are wanted unless necessary). And how the image appears will be unique due to the fact that they are hand drawn/sketched to make them more appealing. We have to be careful though, because children are much more aware these days with how graphic or realistic an image looks, so it cannot be drawn too simply.

Once this area was decided upon, next on the agenda was what the cover of the first issue would look like. A suggestion was to have a globe on the front, but with the title supporting it rather than an actual frame.

With regards to the layout plan of the magazine, elements we felt would be great to feature within the pages is a ‘Revolting Recipes’ section (a gruesome recipe from that period/subject), a glossary section (or flash cards which can be collected with each issue). Then in terms of the double spread features, fact boxes and ‘Did you know?’ would be vital to add.

Reflective Post (Writing the features & review)

Our course has a reading week so we have taken this period to complete individual tasks which include starting work on our features and reviews.

It had taken me a while to decide what I wanted to do mine 2 features on, but then I finally settled on the history of the River Thames and the Mary Rose warship.

They are to be written in the language that children between the ages of 7-12 would understand. This actually proved to be slightly challenging as it meant having to simplify phrases and thinking through much more of what I was writing. Choosing the images was an interesting task as well because I wanted to pick ones that would clearly explain themselves just by having the reader look at them.

These features have to be a minimum of 700 words each and the review, between 350 to 400 words.

I am still considering what to review, but I have so far considered doing it about Sentosa Island in Singapore. This is because there are a lot of attractions involving sea creatures and I got to stroke a Pink Dolphin while there.

When our group gets back together, we are going to keep editing our work and see if there are any improvements that need to be made. Then we shall choose which of the features are to be used in the magazine itself.