Sunday, 27 May 2012

Magazine Spreads and Critical Reflection

Below are both the final edits of my magazine articles. The top article is generally about the art of animation and how it is reverting back to the way it once was back in the 1930's. I decided to choose this topic because I have a passion for the subject; I also realised that I could use copyright free images because the images I have used are taken from my sketchbook. The article is written as if it were to be published in a specialist magazine, the likes of which I found examples of online. It was fairly difficult to write in a specialist way without getting too technical; which I found a lot of articles on animation did. Although I understand the terminology, and those buying the magazines would as well; I tried to make it appeal to a larger audience since the topic of Disney hits a wide range of people. The layout I wanted to look vintage; as if the images used are film cells from the past. I also left them looking rough, as opposed to cleaning them up and erasing my guidelines. I wanted to pull quotes from the passages and put them in quotation marks, not just because it is a standard magazine look, but also because they almost become like chapter headings in a story book; which seemed appropriate within the article topic. I initially wanted to add more drawings, of small animals interacting with the text and sitting on the title etc. But the attempt failed as adding the drawings meant less space for text, as well as it then becoming too image heavy. The opening statement I set in bold, again because it is a standard magazine layout, but also because it lets the reader know what the article is about. I feel like the large animated images may peak a persons interest, and therefore having a short summary allows them to decide whether they want to read it before continuing. I considered having a sepia background but eventually felt that leaving it white means the text is easier to read and the images stand out more.

This second article is a travel piece about New York City. I chose to write this piece because I have been to New York several times and as such feel I know enough to suggest things to do. I wanted to write it with the idea of suggesting things that wouldn't usually be seen. I deliberately didn't mention famous landmarks like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty because I felt they were generic. When I went recently, I struggled to find articles that would tell readers unusual things to do within the city. Although I don't suggest necessarily unusual things, I have tried to incorporate things like the best view off of Queensboro bridge, or the best places to eat outside of central Manhattan. This I feel gives it a tiny edge over the standard articles you see about visiting sites like Ground Zero and Central Park. One of the things I struggled with was to figuring out where to place the images to make it look like a travel article. I eventually loosely based it on online Elle Travel articles. They often have a scroll bar down the bottom for images, and although I couldn't incorporate that, I used the basic idea and put the images in a row down the bottom. Again the images are my own and therefore copyright free. The short barkers above some of the paragraphs are there to break the text up, and also to keep interest. I want the reader to want to know what they should "take the time" to do or "don't miss" out on. The effects on the images I thought came across almost looking like fridge magnets; this I thought was a nice (if accidental) touch because it's a staple image of things brought back off of holiday from tourist shops. 

Overall I am relatively happy with my magazine articles. I am happy with the layouts and the topic of both of them. I incorporated my own experience on one of them and a topic I am heavily interested in on the other. My one real struggle was with the animation piece and the writing style for it. I found it difficult to keep it down to earth whilst talking about a fairly technical subject but I felt it works fairly well. I'm also impressed with the layout and how it all came together. 

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