Analysis of content and design of a music magazine
Analysis of content and design of a music
Classic rock magazine is owned by Future publishing plc and was founded by ex-Metal
Hammer Deputy Editor Jerry Ewing along with Metal Hammer colleague Dave Ling and art
editor Andy Ryan at Dennis Publishing. They suggested a one-off title dedicated to classic
rock. They felt it was neglected in publication and would attract a large audience. Although
firmly focusing on key bands from the 1960s through early 1990s, it also includes articles and
reviews of contemporary and upcoming artists it deems worthy of note. Despite starting as a
one-off project it has become one of the UK's best selling music magazines, and attracts
much attention and respect of many of classic rock's biggest names. It recently published its
150th issue and now has a higher circulation than NME.
Analysis of the front cover:
The September 2010 edition of the classic rock magazine comes in a pack which can be seen
as the front cover. The long shot image is bleeding of the page and is of a dated American
block of flats and the windows of the flats have been altered as images of famous figures
such as Margret Thatcher which immediately indicates that the target audience are of an older
generation, in addition there is also an image of a spitfire which again relates more to the
older generation as opposed to the younger generation. The composition of certain images
such as the motorcycle or the heart with the dagger pierced through the middle illustrates the
rebellion and the dark side rock conveys. The front cover is of grave importance as it is the
first page a reader will see on the shelf at a supermarket, therefore the image, layout and
content on the front cover is crucial on whether the reader wants to read on and purchase the
magazine or not. Since this magazine is targeted at the older generation the front package
and front cover image takes them back to a different era as it portrays events and figures from
the past, which in theory will attract their audience.
If we look at the front package/cover we can gather there is little mention of bands and
albums and that there is a free CD inside this edition which is a great promotional idea for the
reason that this is an expensive magazine however this promotional idea will make people
think that they’re getting their money’s worth and therefore should invest in one. The back of
the pack gives a better insight into what else the magazine will contain such as Led Zeppelin
who the edition is based. The information on the front cover of the pack is focused at the
eyebrows. If we examine the colours scheme we can recognize that the predominate colours
such as dark and light grey have a direct correlation with the past giving it that vintage look,
nowadays brighter colours are used, moreover we look at the masthead especially the ‘r’ in
‘rock’ we can gather that the rust again gives it that vintage look. There are a few iconic
signs on the front cover such as the spitfire planes. The heart with the dagger pierced through
the middle is symbolic as the colour red represents danger and love which is linked with rock
n roll. Furthermore the heart with the dagger can also be seen as an indexical sign. The signs
obtained from the front cover are not essential however it allows the reader to relate to it. The
masthead is a greyish white colour which as I stated gives it that older image. Classic rock
has an official website which I believe helps not necessarily with circulation, but with
promoting events that are coming up. Classic rock magazine costs £4.99, which can be found
at the footer of the front cover along with the barcode. If we analyse the language we can
acknowledge that it’s more formal than say NME which is targeted at the younger generation.
The magazine is created and produced by Future publishing which is a UK based company.
The institutional factors such as politics and events of that era go well with the old look the
producers went for.
The denotative description of the layout tells us that the editors went for a simple look with a
clear section for the features that will be in the magazine. In addition their use of the pictures
informs us that they did this because they wanted to go with a bold statement about the
definition of what rock is and symbolises, this can be tied in with the representational view.
The connotative description of the layout tells that the image used is what they are trying to
say rock is and what these rock stars look like. There are 2 typefaces used which are sand
serifs and serifs which give it that formal look. The language used is not difficult to
understand like ‘revitalise their careers’ nor is it really formal; however slang and other
wacky phrases are not used as it is not targeted at a younger audience. The use of colours
such as the red symbolises love and danger that is related with rock.
The double page spread is set out with the writing on the left and advertisement on the right.
The advertisement which is promoting ‘iron maiden’ new album gives us the indication that
again it has been targeted at the older generation with maybe a few younger people who are
dedicated to classic rock. The connotative description shows us that the articles are long with
lots of text which again indicates that it’s for an older audience. The serif font used is one of
the few modern things in this magazine, with 3 typefaces. The image used is of Black
Sabbath who were a dominant figure in the 90’s which again relates to their reader. The
representational view given shows us that the rock stars all have long wacky hairdos with
leather jackets and generally look miserable. The use of colours illustrates that the grey and
black ties in with Black Sabbath who are a dark band. The content used tells us that it’s been
dedicated to Black Sabbath which shows us their massive fan base.