Masthead Kicker Explanatory Text Explanatory Text (Additional Kickers) Barcode Main Coverline Pull-Out Quote Coverlines Explanatory Text Dateline/ Price Line Central Cover Image Direct Mode of Address Strapline
The curve on the cover on the left shows the usual design for how the eye flow of a magazine front cover should operate for the magazine’s reader.
The ‘reverse-S’ shape is one that is used by many magazines for the structure of their front cover. However, the general structure of the reverse S shape is not as curved, more representative of a linear line than a curve, as the reverse S shape for this cover.
As you can see, the front cover of this NME issue mostly follows the general eye flow, with the bold masthead being on the top left, the main image of the cover model continuing to follow the eye flow, while the main cover line also follows the eye flow, with eye flow line ending at the barcode. Evidently, the eye flow incorporates all the main parts of the magazine cover.
In terms of layout, the magazine is organised and divided in a clear way. With the majority of the kickers and additional coverlines aligned in the form of a column to the right hand side. The main coverline and accompanying explanatory text are situated in the bottom left section, while the masthead is in the conventional position of the top part of the page, though (generally unconventional) it is aligned to the left side, rather than expanding itself to cover the top part of the cover, from left to right.
Sections of the Cover Masthead The masthead is what people will first associate with when they see the cover, and is rightfully emphasised on the cover. The use of an ‘ IMPACT ’ font without any embellishments, and bold and capital letters, creates the impression of strength within the institution of NME. It is a masthead that the reader/audience would believe is suitable for the magazine NME, and would capture their attention, especially against a more bland (black & white) background. Furthermore the fact that the masthead of ‘New Music Experience’ only incorporates the abbreviation of the words suggests the high stature of NME in the music magazine business, as they can be identified just by their abbreviation. Main Coverline The main coverline links in with the masthead, and many other features of the cover. The use of red and an impact font means that the main coverline is another feature of the magazine that immediately grabs the attention of the reader, for similar reasons to why the masthead is so eye-catching. The ‘LIAM’ part of the coverline is bigger than the masthead, suggesting that Liam is even bigger than NME the institution. Additionally, the pull-out quote at the top provokes a reaction from the reader due to its placement on top of the 4 letter main coverline and its potentially controversial content. Controversy means more magazines sold...
Sections of the Cover (cont...) The barcode is small and positioned in the bottom right corner of the cover to minimise the diversion of the reader’s attention from the other aspects of the cover. However, it is big enough for the reader to still read what is written on it. The dateline and price line are in small serif font (italics). This is so that the reader focuses on the other content of the cover more. The dateline and price line are aspects of the front cover that will not be the among the most enticing to the readers. Barcode Dateline/Priceline
Colour Scheme The colour scheme of this magazine focuses on the colours red, white and black. The use of black and white in the entirety of the cover, most importantly the cover image, allows the colour red to dominate the textual side of the cover. This is seen in the fact that red is used for the text in larger font. Additionally, the use of black and white provides a vintage feel to the magazine. The use of black and white usually evokes images of film and photography before the 1950s. The use of these colours is perhaps trying to connote that the person in the central cover image is evocative of a long gone era, and his return is a welcome return to that particular era’s music. Overall, I think that NME is attempting to suggest to their readers. The colour red is used for the masthead and the biggest pieces of accompanying texts (all of the coverlines/ kickers use red in a large capacity for maximum emphasis). Red is a brighter, bolder colour in capturing the audience’s attention, and the audience will most likely cast their eyes first on the red text.
Language The language on this cover is mostly formal, with a lack of hints suggesting an informal nature and not a visible use of any slang nor shortened words. The pull-out quote above is the most informal feature of the cover, mostly due to it being a pull-out quote from the interview with Liam Gallagher. The language used in this extract would speak specifically to the readers of the magazine, as it suggests the rebellious nature of the rock star, on the cover, Liam Gallagher in this case. The language used is quite emotive and strange, suggesting a quirkiness and weirdness in Gallagher that may attract the reader to reading the magazine. Additionally all the language on the front cover is in an ‘IMPACT’ font and in capital letters, as if all the information on the cover is important and emergent. The use of this throughout the entirety of the magazine creates a bold strong feel to the front cover. Unlike the image itself, personal pronouns such as ‘your’, talks directly to the audience and may persuade them to read the magazine.
Kickers Kickers are short phrases on the front cover that tease features that will appear in the content of the magazine. Here it is used to list several of the music artists that will appear within the magazine. The effect of the kickers in this case is to inform but also most importantly ‘tease’ the audience of readers of artists they may know of who make an appearance in the magazine. The reason why these are effective is because they only take up a short space on the front cover (without any explanatory text involved), involving just a word or two, yet may persuade the reading audience to pick a copy of the magazine due to the reader’s identification with a particular set of words, in this case the name of a music artist.
Mise en Scene (Image) The mise en scene of this cover consists of a close up of a man’s face, whose head is turned as if shying away from the camera, not wanting to be given attention. The use of dark clothing contrasts his white face in the black and white image. The use of prop, the glasses, also adds an element of cool to the model in the central image. The use of bright lighting, evidently showing that it was made in a studio environment, is very well orchestrated with the dropped shadow produced by the glasses adding a sense of darkness and rebellion about Gallagaher. The fact that Gallagher is on the cover suggests much about NME’s concept of celebrity, as Gallagher has already achieved a certain level of fandom and popularity. The advantage in having a known artist on a magazine is that you may attract his fandom to read this issue purely based on his involvement.
Mise en Scene (Image) 2 The image of Liam Gallagher is reminiscent of John Lennon, who is also mentioned on the cover (look where the arrow is pointing). This cover suggests that Liam Gallagher is going to achieve the level of popularity that John Lennon had, as well as his status as a musical legend. Additionally, this connection to the legend Lennon and the image of Gallagher strongly suggest that the most common genre of music NME feature is rock. Also, the cover model is not looking straight at the camera, detaching himself from the readers, as if he is not asking for their attention. This look suggests that the interview of Gallagher in the magazine will not be too revealing, as he is not looking directly into the camera, and therefore the reader, declining the attention that fandom may offer. The overall tone and look of the image suggests a more intimate, low key interview rather than an altogether revealing and ground breaking one.
Final Thoughts Overall, I am divided over my opinion of the cover. The use of red, black and white especially divides me. The red does indeed emphasise particular aspects of the cover, but yet I don’t think the combination of red, black and white particularly grabs my aesthetically pleased side. Nonetheless, the image used for the front cover is very strong and immediately strikes the reader. It may be used for inspiration in the making of my own magazine front cover. It gives a certain stylish, effortless and indelible look, which may be due to its classic black and white form. It is a quality that I would like to replicate in my front cover image.