Semiotic analysis of magazinesPresentation Transcript
Semiotic analysis of Film Magazines
The Hobbit Cover Issue #266 (August 2011) Empire Magazine Analysis
Grey/Gold are the two primary colours used on this cover which relate to “Gandalf the Grey” and the “One Ring”. Grey is Gandalf’s colour, associated with age and wisdom. Gold gives a sense of warmth to the cover. It could also make the image of the Bilbo seem like a sepia photo which shows his traditional Hobbit nature. The overall effect is muted as the range of colours is limited. The Title - Empire - is the largest text on the cover, and in a bold red colour, to draw the reader’s eyes. It is partly set behind Gandalf. This shows that Empire is such a well known brand and so iconic it can get away with covering its title.
The Font used for The Hobbit is Serif typeface which is more traditional and therefore fits with Tolkien's story. The Hobbit also is the second biggest piece of text on the magazine and shows how important this film is. The box surrounding “First Magazine on set” and the use of the different font colours is used to attract the eye and show how Empire has the exclusive information on this film. Gandalf’s open stance represents his goodness and friendship. His relaxed pose creates a sense of familiarity and his slight smirk would make the reader think he is telling us this film is going to be a good one. The size of the image could represent Gandalf’s power. Bilbo stance is open but he is not looking towards the reader, this could show that Bilbo does not know about the journey he is about to embark on.
The outfits worn by both Gandalf and Bilbo both show that this film is going to be a fantasy film.
The reason Gandalf’s size compared to Bilbo’s on the page is in two parts;
Ian Mckellen is well established in the Tolkien world as Gandalf
Gandalf has a large impact upon Bilbo and his journey
Gandalf seems to be breaking the forth wall by looking directly at the audience, almost compelling us to come and look at the magazine. His eye line is also at the same height as the masthead and therefore make sure Empire will stay in your head even if you don’t buy.
The layout draws the reader in as it creates a sense of depth. This is achieved through the placement of Gandalf and Bilbo’s characters being set behind the title of the film but in front of the title of the magazine. This depth draws the readers in across Gandalf to Bilbo, almost as if the reader is being pulled into Middle Earth
The Dark Knight Cover Issue #223 (January 2008) Empire Magazine Analysis
Green/Purple are the two primary colours that are related to the Joker’s appearance. Green is also a sickly colour, suggesting mental illness. Purple is associated with royalty, which could represent his feelings of dominance and show his place as Batman’s greatest villain . However, the tone of the purple is more psychedelic or ‘day-glo’. The darkness encompassing the edges of the magazine could represent his foreboding presence. The Title - Empire - is the largest text on the cover, and in a bold red colour, to draw the reader’s eyes. It is partly set behind the Joker. This shows that Empire is such a well known brand and so iconic it can get away with covering its title. Just like the previous magazine the Joker is looking directly at the reader drawing you in and again his eye line is at the same height as the masthead ensuring Empire is remembered.
Text pertaining to other stories are in a smaller size but are in Bold to capture the audience’s attention but still keep focus on the main story and image. They are placed so that they do not interfere with the main image. The use of the Ransom font, which is meant to remind us of cut out letters from newspapers, used in ransom demands, is to highlight the Joker’s criminal activities. The scratched like font used to describe Joker could be seen as reminiscent of insane ramblings carved in asylums. The use of the Bat symbol in the top centre is a another iconic image in opposition with the Joker.
The Joker’s open stance should show friendship or vulnerability but his smirk combined with his mad make up undercuts this impression. This shows not only his confidence but also power. While seated and behind bars, it is the cops who look like the ones who are caged. He looks completely in control of the situation. The mise en scene on the magazine is the police holding cells, but the bars are in the background, so there is nothing between us and the Joker, who we are invited to meet. The bar code is placed out of the way in the bottom left corner as it is not important to the reader.
Breaking conventions Empire Magazine does not have the title of the film in a large font; they only have a small section at the top showing that they have the world exclusive on the film. They may see that the Joker is iconic enough to show what the magazine is focusing on. The Joker’s face is shadowed slightly making the reader realise that this is the villain and is very dangerous. However the bright light on everything else may throw the reader off track with the character’s alignment, just as the combination of colours might as well.