Before I begin, I just wanted to address the points brought up by commenters in the previous review I did, as they wanted more pictures to better accurately understand the pictures I was referring to, but in order to shorten my post so I don't bore you all to death I'm going to write down which page I'm talking about. In this magazine, there are 20 pages, so if I say [page 4/20], then flip to page 4 to see my meaning. Thank you guys for understanding, it means a lot!
Muse Magazine editor-in-chief Ashley_Doggett published the magazine after a long remodel, and it's not been a bad comeback! Here at MDM I'll break the issue down and [unfortunately] rip it to shreds like I likely will with every magazine. After all, criticism is good for improvement.
|Click on the cover to visit Muse Magazine in a new window to follow along with my critique.|
Graphic Design: 2/10 The graphics went from so-so on the cover to terrible as the magazine progressed. May I point out on the cover the cheeks make her look anorexic and the feather crossing over her chest... Makes me wonder what designer came up with the inspiration. And may I point out on the right shoulder there is a single strand of black? If that's a strap I certainly don't see one on the left and frankly, it confused me. Let's talk about [page 5/20] where the necklace happens to be several sizes too large for her neck, and she's got some serious side-boob going on the right side. This continues as well later on [page 7/20] where the dress is poorly fitted as there is not only extra breast showing but extra stomach. Hold on, is that possible? Points back on the footwear [page 8/20] but what's going on with the moon? I'll cover the fashion editorial clothing-wise later on, but a glance at the model's heads [page 10-13/20] has me wondering what's wrong with their hair, as well as their faces. Finally, excuse my french, but WHAT THE HELL is going on in in the nude editorial [page 16/20]? The model's face color isn't matching with her body, which is downright just a lazy job in photoshop, as I am assured by my graphic designer friends there is an easy fix for that. All in all, I was really disappointed by the graphics.
Fashion Editorial: 1.5/10 The only points I could give here were for trying. I simply cannot comprehend what is going on here. The models are on a beach [page 10-13/20] wearing what looks to be Burberry-esque jackets and jeans, with only one in a dress (which appears twice by the way, bad choice). I could give points back if there was some sort of reasoning, but after spending many hours of the beach myself, I just cannot understand why I would ever wear a heavy Fall/Winter jacket and jeans to the beach. Also, since this was supposed to be a Summer issue, not a Fall/Winter pre-season issue, there is no way of returning points for this inevitable flop.
Creativity: 7/10 I will admit this magazine was creative in casing out some of Stardoll's members and asking them about themselves and their personal style and fashion opinions. Although not unheard of before (for full points, think originality!), this hasn't shown up recently, so kudos to you guys. Rehashing ideas are not always the smartest ideas, but Muse seems to have pulled it off rather well. What I don't like is the "Dollywood" that they are implying here, face it- outside of Elite News and PSG, that is not going over. Also, the nude editorial was a risk, and although I did talk about it's graphics above, I appreciate the idea of risk-taking.
Trends Shown: 4/10 This magazine had no trends shown, and honestly, no real fashion. No sustenance. I'm wondering over the point of the magazine itself, to be quite clear. I'm going to disregard the fashion editorial as I've already gone over that and assume the nude editorial was the trend? If it was, it's not catching for me. On the first picture [page 15/20] I'm not quite clear what the model is wearing but I like the American flag shorts, that is a cute trend that is pretty popular every summer. However, on the next shot [page 16/20], not only is the model's face not the same color of her body, the little growth of hair on her nether parts is a little disturbing. I understand we all grow hair there, but it's a bit repulsive to have it flaunted on a magazine. Also, when models are shot in magazines usually the photographers will hide the nipple, where here it seems to be half showing through her hair? Points off for that. There is the "The Absolute Hottest" article but it really just explains what Stardoll thinks is hot, not what the writer thinks. Think out of the box, there's so much you can talk about for Summer! Honestly I think I was a little generous with the points here, but I will keep it at 4/10.
Writing Style: 5/10 Can I point out I was not even a few sentences into reading [page 4/20] when I found my first spelling error? Right off the bat, I see grammar seriously lacking but at least the picture that is painted in my mind is vivid and I'm not ready to snore. It does get harder to read though as I'm mentally correcting the spelling and grammar errors that seem to keep growing. I'll admit, at least the font's nice and readable. What I'm wondering though is if this interview is really true (I know that she and Jack aren't really lovers, she's not really an actress, doesn't have a mansion, I get that) and I wonder if she actually likes "Boy George" or if that's a fabrication. If I'm not able to distinguish fact from fiction, what do I have left? How much else of the magazine can I take their word for? As for the rest of the magazine, there's no sustenance. The interviews are vague and hastily conducted, and the only real salvation to Muse is the "Madness and Greatness" article. However, I'm really not sure what this has to do with anything the magazine has said. It makes me really upset that the score could have improved so dramatically if the team was on point with spelling and grammar (hello, use spell check?) and by coordinating on a specific topic the issue was addressing. The "Madness and Greatness" article could have been more on point if the article was about say, "Stardoll's greatest leaders" with examples like Style_Magazine, Bluegreen86, or Beverlyhillshei, who are considered the "original elites." It really could have been much better so easily.
How did this magazine score?
19.5 out of 50 total points, at 39% or F
My Final Comments: I really, really, really hate to fail a magazine after the hard work I'm sure the entire team put in. However, the score was brought down so much by small or easily fixed things. I did not see a coordination between the team and what they were really doing, and honestly I felt most of the work was done by one person. A magazine cannot function with a one-man team! A magazine scores well by the willingness to work together and cooperate, and unfortunately I feel Muse failed in those aspects. Everything seemed quite sloppy and done last minute. Sadly, there was so much more I could critique. My advice? Don't rush to make a date. If you feel as if it's not good enough to show to the public, push it back. When I asked the legendary Alice (Hunnigall) about how she manages her perfect graphics, she replied: "Make them good. Perfectionism is no sin. I pick out faults in everything I do, I am the ultimate perfectionist. I pick out faults in everything, so, if you've made a magazine or project I've seen, chances are I've picked out one or two faults. If you can do a job you're proud of, it'll pay off more." Muse Magazine, I hope you all will read my review and know that this was constructive criticism entirely and I have no personal animosity to your magazine. I hope you take this advice and improve on your weak points and thrive in your next issue, I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Sorry for the long post guys!
MDM, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Comment!