Film Magazine Deconstructions by Hollie-Jade Higgins
Film Magazine Covers...
The front cover of a film magazine is primarily used to market current films, Total Film has chosen to picture Megan Fox who is the star of new movie Jennifer’s Body. When you look at the picture in more detail you can see that Megan Fox’s character has blood dripping down from her right hand. The character is wearing a cheerleading outfit that shows a lot of flesh that will attract the male gaze. Megan Fox’s stance is also very powerful and she is looking directly at the camera which may be intimidating for some readers. There are 3 main colours on this issue; red, white and blue. The white acts as a blank canvas to place storylines over and the red is very bright and stands out against the white which is eye catching to the viewer. Red, White and Blue are also the colour of the American flag! The masthead of the magazine ‘Total Film’ is partially covered up which indicates the magazine is already well established with its readers, the masthead covers around ¼ of the magazine cover and is situated in the top 3 rd , which gives the magazine more recognition on the shelf. The bold sans-serif font used is easily recognisable to viewers, it is simple, bright and eye catching.
The Magazines selling line is ‘ OUR BIGGEST PREVIEW EVER ! ’ The bold sans-serif font stands out and as ‘BIGGEST’ is in a different colour it is also made to stand out, the word biggest makes people think that this is something that they defiantly do not want to miss out on. The tag line is positioned in the left third of the magazine; possibly the most important part of a magazine cover as it is not covered on the shelves. The date, price, issue number and magazine web address are interestingly positioned between the top of the ‘M.’ The web address is the largest of these and again reaffirms the name of the magazine. These texts are black so do stand out against the white background, but not as much as the red and blue texts do. The top right of the cover shows 3 images of films that are featured inside the magazine, like Jennifer’s Body they are current films. The images are placed in individual grey boxes that are manipulated in different directions to be appealing to the eye. The images have the film title and page covering the bottom of the image. This is an interesting and eye catching way to display cover lines.
The left hand side of the cover displays a Grey/ Blue/ White arrow that is pointing toward Megan Fox. The arrow has ‘THE FUTURE 100’ written over it in football shirt style writing that works with Megan's cheerleader outfit. Directly below the arrow is ‘ EVERYTHING THAT MATTERS OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS’ as this is positioned in the left third it is constantly on show and attracts the eye. The writing is very simple and the grey writing mirrors the grey arrow. On the right hand side below the masthead is ‘A TON OF EXCLUSIVES!’ a bold capital font is used, continuing the blue/ white theme. This title is eye catching as people want to read ‘exclusives.’ Large numbers appear to be used over the cover; 100, 59, 53, 94, 128. This is done to create the illusion that the magazine is FULL. ‘ PLUS ’ stands out as it is positioned on a spacey white area and uses a bold red font that is similar to the masthead. The bottom left of the cover has a quote that relates to an actor from Jennifer’s Body which links in with the cover image. The quote is rather intertextual- ‘Jar Jar Binks’; a Star Wars character.
The barcode is situated on the bottom right hand corner of the cover; possibly the least important part of the cover. This cover uses white space efficiently to break up the variety of cover lines and stories that appear on the cover. The cover clearly expresses that the magazine is a film magazine; combining the masthead, imagery and cover lines. This magazine cover is simple, yet effective.
This cover of Empire magazine clearly has an X-Men Wolverine theme. The masthead of this magazine ‘EMPIRE’ is situated in the top ¼ of the magazine cover, the masthead uses a bold red font that stands out from the dark background. The centre of the masthead is partially covered by the cover image; this shows that the magazine already has a well established readership. The magazines selling line is ‘THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MOVIE MAGAZINE’ this gives the impression that the magazine will have all of the information of the genre; movies, inside. At the very top of the magazine cover it says ‘ WOLVERINE HAS RETURNED FOR… ’ Wolverine is displayed in a larger font than the rest of the tag line, this is to make it more eye catching as it is the most important part of the sentence (it is placed in the top left third). The date and price is placed between the M in small white writing, this makes it perfectly clear, however, is not the most important information on the cover. The magazines web address is positioned directly below the masthead on the right hand side of the cover, this helps to reaffirm the magazines name.
The image used on the cover looks like it has been taken out of the film, with an impressive background and the main character. The background is of the sky and allows black and white fonts to be seen. The main character has blades coming from his knuckles and large muscles, his stance and facial expression show that he ‘means business’ and has a stern look on his face. On the left hand side of the cover there are 4 large cover lines, although they all use the same font style the first cover line is a lot larger in size than the one at the bottom, they also vary between being black and white with a white line used to separate each of the cover lines. On the right hand side of the cover there is another 4 cover lines, once more using the same black and white with white lines to separate each of them. The cover lines on the left hand side are larger in size than the ones on the right, this is because the left cover lines need to be visible and to attract the attention of readers when it is placed on the shelf amongst many other movie magazines. The barcode is placed at the bottom right hand corner of the magazine cover. There are no page numbers displayed on this cover either!
Unlike Total Film and Empire magazines, Sight & Sound have left there masthead uncovered, this may be because there readership isn’t yet fully established or it may not be very popular. The black and red font stand out against the yellow background which is replicated on the right hand side where the price, barcode and date are displayed. The masthead is situated in the top left 3 rd of the magazine cover. The magazine selling line is situated directly under the Sight & Sound font but still in the yellow box. The selling line on this issue is ‘THE INTERNATIONAL FILM MAGAZINE’ the font size used is very a rather small serif font in red. On the right hand side of the cover, there is a small yellow box with the barcode inside at the top, with the date directly below; ‘ November 09 ’ a bold serif font is used with the month in red and the year in black; the month stands out. Directly below the date is the price, and below this is the British Film Institute (BFI) logo is placed. This shows potential readers that this is a serious film magazine.
The image used on this picture is perfect as a background for cover lines as it is very plain and light. The man in the image looks very professional. The mans posture with his arms outwards draws the eye across the page to view the various cover lines. Despite having a very simple, plain background image, the cover lines use a variety of different font styles, colours and sizes. The fact that there appears to be no limit to the colours used on this cover could mean that readers may find it difficult to distinguish the magazine as it has no set norms. There are also no page numbers on the cover, meaning people have to read on into the contents page to see what page the cover lines appear on.
After deconstructing the 3 magazine covers of Total Film, Empire and Sight & Sound, I have found that there are some similarities between them… <ul><li>The masthead is positioned in the top left of the cover and usually takes up ¼ of the page </li></ul><ul><li>A 3 colour scheme usually is applied </li></ul><ul><li>There should be around 7/8 cover lines </li></ul><ul><li>The image is usually of a main character of a current film. </li></ul>Film Magazine Cover Similarities...