Rock Magazine Analysis

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My analysis of Kerrang, NME and Rock Sound magazines for college AS media coursework.

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Rock Magazine Analysis

  1. 1. RockMagazineAnalysisKerrang, NME & Rock Sound
  2. 2. Colour scheme: the dominant colour scheme is made up of black. red and white with yellow accents. These have been chosen so that they appeal to the target audience of the magazine, with black being a dark colour to signify „rock‟ compared to a pop magazine that would usually be made up of bright colours to draw that specific audience. Photography: A mid shot of Gerard Way has been used to clearly show which pose he is in, with has hands shaped into guns which is a convention that would be associated and related to the genre of the magazine, once again signifying to the audience that Kerrang is a rock magazine. The image is also an eye-level shot which makes the viewer and the subject seem equal to one another. This makes the audience feel as though they can identify with the person in the photo, which would often be someone they idolize, on a personal level . Also, because the image is so large and spread across the front cover the audience automatically identify that this band will be the main article, and because they are well known in the rock genre they will draw the audience in to the magazine. High key lighting gives contrast between the darker colour scheme and the photograph so that the photo stands out, but it is also very coordinated with the colour scheme. In terms of mise en scene the subject of the photo is wearing a lot of leather and studs which is often associated with bikers and connotes rebellion which is a convention of the rock genre. Writing Style: The style of the writing on the front the cover is very brief and aggressive which suggests the magazine doesn‟t have a young target audience, with a tagline saying “London riot!” which wouldn‟t be something that children would understand and it also wouldn‟t be appropriate for them. Overall Look: The magazine cover as whole has a alternative feel with the coordinated colour scheme giving it a very organised effect, however the messy, disordered composition of the headline, taglines etc make the entire cover look thrown together which often appeals to the target audience of the magazine. The colours are used toFonts: The masthead (“Kerrang”) is written in a make sure its identifiable next to pop magazines.cracked/scratched font which appeals to the audience as it hasimperfections and isn‟t too neat, and makes it look more real and Text/Picture Ratio: The main picture fills most of the front cover which draws thedistressed which is something associated with the rock genre (that viewers attention to the magazine, however the text is quite large (especially for thethe music isn‟t as auto tuned as pop, etc). The fonts are also headline) and so in some ways the text seems to be dominant on the page to informmore violent, aggressive and intense than ordinary fonts and the audience of what‟s inside the magazine.most of the writing on the page is bolded to highlight how in-your-face the cover is. The font creates a house style that is easily Publisher: Kerrang is published by Bauer Consumer Media , which targets a very widerecognised by the target audience, so even though Kerrang is range of audiences and Kerrang is their only magazine that is dedicated to rockcovered by the image it is still distinguishable. music, so they have filled their niche in the market by creating this magazine.
  3. 3. Colour Scheme: The background of the contents page is filled with grey making it look grimy and dirty, and the page has black and yellow accents that stand out and let the audience know which parts to look at first and they draw the eye. The colours also link to the front cover and have a house style throughout the magazine. Red is used again to connote blood and anger, something that is thought to be related to rock music and the people who listen to it. They are often considered angry, passionate people who listen to this genre as a way of an escape from real life. Photography: The images labelled 16 and 60 are photographs that have been used from live events/gigs that are popular with the rock genre to make the audience feel connected to the singer or band by giving the impression that they have attended and are going to read about a unique experience. The other images used on the page are posed, studio shots which highlight the bands‟ status, and most images feature dull colours. Images 14 and 41 have used a low angle shot to make the subjects appear powerful and dominant to the audience. This is something that is often related to the genre by the audience who like rock music because they find rock bands influential and important. The image of You Me At Six (which is coincidentally the largest image on the page – indicating they will have the biggest spread in the magazine) features an intertextual reference to Shaun of the Dead, imitating the zombie apocalypse and also linking into the genre and target audience of the magazine once again because zombies, death and blood are all associated with rock/alternative and „dark‟ music. Writing Style: The writing style seems very colloquial and unsuitable for a target audience of young people/children, with articles, topics and quotes that are more suited to an adult or teenage audience e.g. “Please God, let me find a slutty chick tonight”. Quotes like this also suggest that the main audience of Kerrang would be male because stereotypically men would be more likely to say things such as this and also to use colloquial language and language that is usually considered unsuitable. Overall Look: As a whole the contents page of Kerrang works well together with the colour scheme to make it look dirty/rough and the fact that the actual contents on the page is headed with clear headings to inform readers where each topic would be in the magazine (“News”, “Album Reviews”, etc.) makes it easy to read and navigate, with a large font and not too much text that it would bore the audience. The images are also appealing with the variety of studio and live shots used to highlightFonts: The fonts on the contents page are very easy to read so how important live events are to the rock genre.that the audience can navigate straight to the page they wantwithout having to read a more complicated font (like on the front Text/Picture Ratio: The page has an overwhelming amount of images compared tocover). The parts that the magazine find important, such as band text. This appeals to the audience because they wouldn‟t want to read huge amountsnames and headings, are highlighted in bold to show their of text on a page – they simply want to be directed to the page with the band theysignificance. want to read about.
  4. 4. Colour Scheme: The overwhelming colour scheme of the double page spread is black/sepia tone. This immediately gives it a dark, mysterious feel, and black connotes authority and power (also linking to the title “We‟re being the best MCR we can be!”) but can also represent malevolence, something that links back to the genre of the magazine and what would be appealing to the target audience. White and red accents link back to the house style of the cover, and they are used to make the text stand out against the background. Red connotes anger, intensity, passion and danger, relating to the target audience but also contradicting the fact that the bands next album is about “strength” and “self-preservation” . This proves that the stereotypes and labels of the rock music genre are not always correct. Photography: Each of the photos that are placed on the page are un-posed and live action shots of either the band performing or working on their new studio album. This is a style that is associated with rock bands to make them appear flawed so that people can aspire to be them because people don‟t want to have an idol who isWriting Style: The writing style is interview-like, Text/Picture Ratio: Once again there are more perfect, they want someone who they canwith the writer of the article asking the lead singer images that dominate the page than text, but identify with. The images are placed haphazardlyquestions and Gerard answering in full sentences somehow they don‟t seem overpowering and on the page and overlap each other as thoughthat seem quite formal. However, the language instead make the page appear balanced. The they have been placed carelessly. Also, theused is still colloquial in places such as “Oh, it‟s use of a lot of images appeals to the audience photography itself is substandard, with lens flarefilthy!”. Also, the text is quite informative with the because many people would want look at the obstructing one members face and themain aim seeming to be bringing the audience band rather than read about them, and also for background being blurred out. This once againand fans up to date on the bands progress. the purposes that people sometimes cut images appeals to the target audience. Two images are out of magazines if they like them. mid-shots, to show the emotion on the bandOverall Look: Overall the page looks very members face and the largest image is high keymysterious, but the white and red heading makes Fonts: The title links the front cover of the lighting because of harsh stage lighting. Allthe article stand out and look visually pleasing to magazine to the article because of the similar images are in sepia tone giving a mysterious feelthe audience. The images take precedence over font style, with the grimy, cracked effect. This and they are very high contrast images to makethe text to start with but the text would also be makes the audience feel more connected and the lighter colours stand out against the darkappealing to the audience because there isn‟t too also makes it seem more personal to have the background.much that it would be overwhelming. style carried throughout the magazine.
  5. 5. Colour Scheme: The main colours featured are red, black and white with yellow accents (once again). These are a convention of the rock/alternative genre and are used to appeal to the target audience of the magazine because they aren‟t specifically bright colours which would be unsuitable for the audience. The colours used on the front create a house style for the magazine so that the audience know that these colours will be used throughout. Black is used to convey mystery and death. This is fitting as the tagline used says “I can‟t keep on living like this, it‟s doing my head in”. Death is often stereotypically associated with the rock genre as people feel audiences who enjoy rock music are those who need to look up to someone or because they have no one else. Photography: The main image is a posed photograph that links in with the colour scheme of the magazine. It is a eye-level, medium close up shot which makes the audience identify with the subject of the photo on a personal level that they wouldn‟t be able to do if the angle was different. Lily Allen is doing quite a seductive pose which doesn‟t look particularly natural and therefore contributes to the genre of the magazine as the target audience look for a more alternative look when they shop. High key lighting on the image makes the subject stand out against the background and makes her hair coordinate with the colour scheme, and the lighting connotes happiness and positivity which contrasts with the colour scheme that has a dark theme (once again linking to the genre and target audience of the magazine). Because she is the main focus on the front cover, with her filling the majority of the page, the audience know that she will be the main article inside the magazine. Writing Style: The writing style is colloquial and mostly informal and unserious, apart from “I can‟t keep on living like this, it‟s doing my head in” which has more serious connotations. “Lily Allen Takes on the World” however is playful and amusing to the audience because the statement is a hyperbole. This means that that the text is an over exaggeration to draw the audience in. The word “Plus” at the bottom draws the audiences‟ attention to the other bands featured in the magazine and makes them feel as though they are getting a lot for their money. The text is very to the point and aggressive and there are no long sentences on the cover and instead short, snappy words that make the viewer want to buy the magazine to find out more. Overall Look: The cover overall looks very alternative to the audience. Even with aFonts: The fonts used on the cover are mostly in block female solo artist as the main article, the audience would still be able to identify that thiscapitals, giving the effect that the words are shouted at the viewer was a rock/alternative magazine (because empowering women are often shown on theand make them stand out. The main title has the appearance of covers of pop magazines for a teenage audience to identify with). The house style clearlynewspaper clippings which create an individual feel and make the links into the genre with darker colours and a definite colour scheme, and the title of theaudience understand two of the main conventions of the rock genre; magazine doesn‟t need to be entirely visible for the audience to recognise because theyrebellion and aggression, through using this style of text to break the are appealing to a niche market who would be able to identify the magazine nonetheless.boundaries of perfection that other magazine genres strive toachieve. Text/Picture Ratio: The main image takes up most of the cover meaning that this is thePublisher: IPC Media publish NME. They also publish magazines article that the magazine wants the audience to pay the most attention to. Text is usedsuch as TV and Satellite Week and Marie Claire. They publish no sparingly except when to draw the audience in (“New Monkeys Tunes”). This is appealingother rock genre magazine and so are filling their niche in the market. the TA because text is unnecessary to an audience who would already read NME.
  6. 6. Colour Scheme: The colour scheme continues from the front cover with prominent colours such as black, red and yellow, this time with a grey background much like Kerrang‟s contents page. This creates a duller effect than a plain white background would and is more appealing to the target audience than garish colours. Having the white and red text on top of a black block of colour creates an effect that jumps off the page and immediately draws the viewers eye to “NME this week”. Red is used to highlight important parts on the page, such as the list of band names included in the issue and the page numbers of the articles. The colour itself also connotes passion which could be linked to the list of names as the audience would usually only buy the magazine if it included bands they liked or where passionate about. Black lines for the headings give a mysterious edge to the magazine and make the reader want to continue on to read the article. Photography: At first it appears as though there is only one prominent image on the page, that of a live event in which the article below talks about, featuring the subjects displayed in the image who attended a gig called Africa Exprez. However on closer inspection the image is split into two by the white line running through the middle, and is actually two separate images taken from opposite ends of the stage. This is effective as it makes the image more visually appealing to the viewer. The images are long shots showing all of the subject to make the audience feel connected as if they were actually there, as this is how they would see the scene in real life. Harsh concert lighting makes the images high key and they are quite grainy, making them interesting to the audience and linking to the genre. The images are also fairly low contrast as the subjects‟ clothing are often barely distinguishable from the background. This makes the images seem more real and engaging. Writing Style: Apart from the short article in the middle of the page, the rest of the text on the contents page is short and perfunctory, only highlighting certain aspects of what will be contained within so that the audience will want to look for themselves. The language is once again fairly colloquial toText/Picture Ratio: On this particular contents page the dominant appeal to the audience but still maintains a correct feel and doesn‟t seemfeature is text. There is only one pronounced image in the contents and out of place. Adverts such as “subscribe today for just £5.57” are used tothis is what draws the readers eye first because it is the only source of draw the audience in with excitement at getting the magazine at a reducedvisual graphics on the page. However, even though there is a lot of text price and creates anticipation.it isn‟t overwhelming because most are short statements or even justwords that are arranged so that they say a lot by saying so little. Overall Look: Overall this contents page is very similar to that of Kerrang inFonts: The fonts on this page are readable and ordinary, helping the some aspects such as colour scheme, and that the magazine is very clearlyflow of the page which has a lot of text. However, important parts have targeted at people who enjoy rock/alternative music and would usually bebeen bolded to draw the viewers eye such as the title and the “band aimed at adult males due to the dull colours and style of images.index”
  7. 7. Colour Scheme: The colour scheme of this double page is very unlike the rest of the magazine‟s house style. The main colours used here are white, blue and black. These are still dark colours, however the blue is very prominent and is a cool, cold colour that connotes calmness and power and also makes the subjects of the image appear strong. However, when blue is used a lot it can make the viewer feel sad and melancholy. The black block of colour links into the contents page and makes the text stand out, and also alerts the audience that the box contains information that isn‟t linked to the main article. The white gives the page a fresh look, which relates to the article and because the band is new, indicated by the tagline “The best new music”. There is only one part of the entire double page spread that is red, and that is where NME.com is displayed, thus promoting themselves through a different coloured box that stands out amongst the rest. Writing Style: The article is quite informal andPhotography: The main image takes up an entire page of the Text/Picture Ratio: There full of quotes and answers that wouldn‟t bedouble page spread and is thought out clearly to link into the band‟s appears to be many more suitable for a target audience of young children.name. The three people featured in the image are laid comfortably images on the page than Therefore the target audience is more likely toon a bed in what looks like a teenage boy‟s bedroom. This mise-en- text, especially with the image be teenagers and young adults. The quote “Ofscene gives the audience a clear relation between the name and the that takes up one page. This is course we‟re a sexual band. We‟re Thepeople, and also helps the audience make an assumption about the used so the audience can Teenagers and that‟s all they think about” isband and what their music would contain, because there are a lot of identify the new band, and another indication of the target audience, andposters of women on the walls. The clothing the band members are minimal amount of text often also the genre because passion and rebellionwearing are very dark to fit into the colour scheme and nothing in the appeals to the target audience. are conventions of this genre.image is particularly bright. This shows that the music would most Font: The fonts used are clearlikely appeal to males rather than females because of the content of and appear to be quite typical Overall Look: The double page spread itselfthe music. The image is a long shot, showing the subjects as well as “typed” fonts, linking to looks very modern and contemporary andthe background (bedroom wall). This gives the audience a clear look teenagers because they are slightly breaks the boundaries of colours andat the band for future reference so they would recognise them in a often stereotyped and styles that are usually featured inlater edition of the magazine. There is also a smaller inset image of associated with being a rock/alternative magazines. It has a very fresha band member at a live event/gig, which is a convention of the rock generation obsessed with feel and appeals to teenagers , especiallygenre as concerts are a large part of the culture, and therefore this technology and computer through the band‟s name, which is placed in thewould appeal to the target audience of the magazine. gadgets. middle of the double page to make the reader‟s
  8. 8. Colour Scheme: The main colours featured are black and white, with yellow, red and blue accents to highlight certain parts of the front cover. These specific colours are conventions of the rock genre and fit well to entice the target audience of the magazine (which would be teens/adults and mostly male). These colours are the only colours used on the cover which suggests to the audience that this is the house style and they will be used throughout. This helps the viewer identify better with the inside of the magazine because the colour scheme will be the same and so creates a sense of consistency throughout. White is used to stand out against the dark background so that it jumps out at the audience and entices them in to the magazine. Yellow is often used to emphasize the key aspects of the cover. By putting words such as “exclusive”, “free” and “rocked!” in this colour suggest that this is what draws the audience in the most plus it is also used as a marketing technique by highlighting offers. Photography: The image of Gerard Way (rock band My Chemical Romance‟s lead singer) on the cover immediately draws the attention of the target audience because the band is very well known within the rock genre. This is a selling point for the magazine. The image itself is a serious, eye-level shot which gives a sense of intimacy and makes the viewer believe they are equal with the subject, giving the magazine a more personal feel. Gerard Way‟s red hair colour appears quite high contrast against the dark background and it stands out and grabs the viewers attention, suggesting this was intentional to show the rebellious side of the rock genre and demonstrate that individuals have their own distinctive style that breaks the boundaries of what society says is „correct‟. The idea that Gerard Way‟s hair is falling over into his face also links to this thought because he isn‟t conveying the look of „perfection‟ that a lot of pop magazine cover artists do, as it isn‟t necessary to draw the attention of the target audience. The gold stain on the subject‟s shirt gives the grubby, grimy look to the magazine cover, linking to what is stereotypically related to the target audience of the magazine and the genre. Writing Style: The language style on the cover is used to entice the audience into the buying the magazine by placing short, snappy, attention-grabbing words such as “exclusive”, which makes the viewer want to the buy the magazine to see content that they wouldn‟t find anywhere else, and “rocked!” which automatically links to the genre and reinforces the audience‟s views on the magazine. The style of the text is very straight to the point and has a list of band names on the front which is used once again to attract the buyer.Fonts: The fonts seem very ordinary, so that they are easilyreadable to the audience, except for that they are bolded and Overall Look: Overall the effect the cover has on the audience is instantaneous. The wordchunky, signifying the loud, abrasive nature of those who “MCR” is in bold which immediately draws the viewers eye rather than the masthead, thereforestereotypically enjoy the rock genre. suggesting that the brand is well known within the genre and the cover star and main article are more the focus. The image is striking and appeals to the target audience and the short wordsPublisher: Rock Sound is published by Sonic Publishing, a on the page suggest aggression which also links to the genre.publisher that specialises in music and movies. However mostof the things they publish, such as Rocklouder and Text/Picture Ratio: There is very little text on the front cover in comparison to how much of theClickmusic, are online sites. Rock Sound is the only monthly image is shown. This is a convention of rock magazines because it draws in the specific targetmusic magazine they publish which fills the niche in their audience as they are more drawn to images and the names of their favourite bands. What textmarket. there is on the page is useful and put there for a reason; to grab the readers attention.
  9. 9. Colour Scheme: There are three main colours on the contents page: red, white and black, which link into the house style from the front cover of the magazine. These colours are typical of the rock genre and are a convention by the red connoting blood and anger and the black connoting death and mystery. However, the colour white is juxtaposed against these two other colours as traditionally white signifies purity and innocence. This gives a sense of irony and suggests that these colours were chosen to contrast against each other just like people who listen to the rock genre would contrast against others who listen to pop. Also, the red and white contrast against one other so that the two opposite sides of the page stand out, with the red colour used on one side to highlight the images, because lots of images opposed to text are a convention of rock magazines. Photography: There are six images on the contents page of Rock Sound. The first image is the largest suggesting to the audience that the main article will be about Green Day. This is a draw to the audience because the band is well known and popular within the genre. This image is a posed, muddy-looking photograph which is fairly high contrast to make the subjects stand out against the background. It is also an eye-level shot which lets the viewer engage with the picture and gives them a sense of intimacy and closeness to the band. All the images featured on the page are of more than one person, linking to the idea that bands are the most popular within the rock genre and that it‟s rare that a single artist will be featured in magazines such as this. Un-posed, live-action shots such as “58” are also a convention of the rock genre because they are more suited to the target audience of the magazine as viewers are often drawn to images from live events. Writing Style: There isn‟t a lot of writing on the page but in terms of the contents it‟s set out in a systematic way, with subheadings to direct the viewer immediately to what they want to look at. Also, small snippets of information inform the reader of what‟s to come, with the band on page 122 having a tagline of gig guide: Bleeding Through. This is used as a technique to draw them in to the article so the page doesn‟t look boring but so it still continues to be snappy and direct . Overall Look: Overall the contents page of Rock Sound is similar in ways to that of Kerrang and NME in terms of colour scheme because all magazines have beenFonts: The fonts on the page are quite grungy assigned a house style that fits with the genre and target audience. The stars on thelooking, scratched, decayed and smashed up. These things bottom link in with the magazine itself because many famous rock bands originatedare a connotation and a convention of the rock genre and from America (and America is often associated with stars) but also because thewhat would suit the target audience. “Rock Sound” is headline band Green Day has a well-known single called American Idiot which mostdisplayed at the top in what looks like faded and dirty graffiti people who are into the rock genre would recognise. This is another way of invitingwriting, something that is associated with teenagers/young the audience in and making them feel closer to the band.adults which is the target audience of the magazine.
  10. 10. Colour Scheme: The colour scheme of the double page spread is mostly black with white writing and a yellow logo placed next to the band‟s name. The black background gives the page a mysterious, eerie, ominous feel with the colour having connotations of death. The white juxtaposes the overwhelming colour of black because of the seemingly mixed message the page is sending. Looking at the quote at the bottom of the page, "Im back to a place where I can enjoy this again” this suggests that the white is used to connote hope and moving on, because the band member has obviously had a trouble enjoying being in the same place in the past. The yellow logo catches the eye as it‟s the only bright colour on the page and therefore draws the viewers eye. Yellow has connotations of happiness and hope, which once again link to that people who enjoy the rock genre often listen to bands‟ music to get themselves out of a bad place or situation. Photography: The main image takes up an entire double page spread, being used across both pages. This is so that the entire band can be highlighted and shown to the audience for further recognition. The six people featured in the image are all posed differently, all with sombre looks on their faces that let the audience make an assumption about the band and what their music would contain (serious topics, hopeful lyrics etc). ThereWriting Style: The writing style on both pages is are only three members actually looking into the camera Overall Look: The overall (eye-level) which suggests these are the ones thecolloquial, with profanities being used in the interview by effect of the double page is that audience will identify with more. The other three lookingthe band members in the first sentence and throughout. the audience automatically away gives symmetry but also keeps the element ofThis gives the effect that the band is more real and can recognise that the interview will mystery about the band. The clothing the band membersbe themselves without having to be told what to say be about the band‟s struggle are wearing are all black to fit into the colour scheme.unlike many pop artists. The interview is also fairly because of the dark colour The image itself is low contrast and muddy, once againpersonal, discussing Steve Hewitt‟s former band and how scheme that is highlighted with connoting sadness and depression, somethingthe lead singer became “more and more controlling”. This white suggesting a happy stereotypically associated with people who enjoy theis also a pull to the audience because fans often want to ending. rock genre. The image is also a long shot, showing all ofhear about things that happen behind the scenes. the members as well as a fitting background (old and decayed building).Text/Picture Ratio: There appears to be a larger image therefore it still dominates the page Font: The main font on the page is an old font that lookseven though there is only one. However, the writing of the interview is small and seems pretty like Celtic ruins, linking into the title of the band Lovedetailed. This still fits into the convention that the rock genre often has more pictures than Amongst Ruin and making the audience feel moretext. connected to them and it also makes the page appear more personal.

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