Rock Magazine Analysis Kerrang, NME & Rock Sound
Colour scheme: the dominant colour scheme is madeup of black. red and white with yellow accents. Thesehave been chosen so that they appeal to the targetaudience of the magazine, with black being a darkcolour to signify „rock‟ compared to a pop magazinethat would usually be made up of bright colours todraw that specific audience.Photography: A mid shot of Gerard Way has beenused to clearly show which pose he is in, with hashands shaped into guns which is a convention thatwould be associated and related to the genre of themagazine, once again signifying to the audience thatKerrang is a rock magazine. The image is also an eye-level shot which makes the viewer and the subjectseem equal to one another. This makes the audiencefeel as though they can identify with the person in thephoto, which would often be someone they idolize, ona personal level . Also, because the image is so largeand spread across the front cover the audienceautomatically identify that this band will be the mainarticle, and because they are well known in the rockgenre they will draw the audience in to the magazine.High key lighting gives contrast between the darkercolour scheme and the photograph so that the photostands out, but it is also very coordinated with thecolour scheme. In terms of mise en scene the subjectof the photo is wearing a lot of leather and studswhich is often associated with bikers and connotesrebellion which is a convention of the rock genre.
Writing Style: The style of the writing on the front the cover isvery brief and aggressive which suggests the magazinedoesn‟t have a young target audience, with a tagline saying“London riot!” which wouldn‟t be something that children wouldunderstand and it also wouldn‟t be appropriate for them.Overall Look: The magazine cover as whole has a alternativefeel with the coordinated colour scheme giving it a veryorganised effect, however the messy, disordered compositionof the headline, taglines etc make the entire cover look throwntogether which often appeals to the target audience of themagazine. The colours are used to make sure its identifiablenext to pop magazines.Text/Picture Ratio: The main picture fills most of the frontcover which draws the viewers attention to the magazine,however the text is quite large (especially for the headline) andso in some ways the text seems to be dominant on the pageto inform the audience of what‟s inside the magazine.Publisher: Kerrang is published by Bauer Consumer Media ,which targets a very wide range of audiences and Kerrang istheir only magazine that is dedicated to rock music, so theyhave filled their niche in the market by creating this magazine.Fonts: The masthead (“Kerrang”) is written in acracked/scratched font which appeals to the audience as ithas imperfections and isn‟t too neat, and makes it look morereal and distressed which is something associated with therock genre (that the music isn‟t as auto tuned as pop, etc).The fonts are also more violent, aggressive and intense thanordinary fonts and most of the writing on the page is bolded tohighlight how in-your-face the cover is. The font creates ahouse style that is easily recognised by the target audience,so even though Kerrang is covered by the image it is stilldistinguishable.
Colour Scheme: The background of the contents page is filledwith grey making it look grimy and dirty, and the page has blackand yellow accents that stand out and let the audience knowwhich parts to look at first and they draw the eye. The coloursalso link to the front cover and have a house style throughoutthe magazine. Red is used again to connote blood and anger,something that is thought to be related to rock music and thepeople who listen to it. They are often considered angry,passionate people who listen to this genre as a way of anescape from real life.Photography: The images labelled 16 and 60 are photographsthat have been used from live events/gigs that are popular withthe rock genre to make the audience feel connected to thesinger or band by giving the impression that they have attendedand are going to read about a unique experience. The otherimages used on the page are posed, studio shots whichhighlight the bands‟ status, and most images feature dullcolours. Images 14 and 41 have used a low angle shot to makethe subjects appear powerful and dominant to the audience.This is something that is often related to the genre by theaudience who like rock music because they find rock bandsinfluential and important.The image of You Me At Six (which is coincidentally the largestimage on the page – indicating they will have the biggestspread in the magazine) features an intertextual reference toShaun of the Dead, imitating the zombie apocalypse and alsolinking into the genre and target audience of the magazine onceagain because zombies, death and blood are all associatedwith rock/alternative and „dark‟ music.Writing Style: The writing style seems very colloquial andunsuitable for a target audience of young people/children, witharticles, topics and quotes that are more suited to an adult orteenage audience e.g. “Please God, let me find a slutty chicktonight”. Quotes like this also suggest that the main audience ofKerrang would be male because stereotypically men would bemore likely to say things such as this and also to use colloquiallanguage and language that is usually considered unsuitable.
Overall Look: As a whole the contents page ofKerrang works well together with the colourscheme to make it look dirty/rough and the factthat the actual contents on the page is headedwith clear headings to inform readers whereeach topic would be in the magazine (“News”,“Album Reviews”, etc.) makes it easy to readand navigate, with a large font and not toomuch text that it would bore the audience. Theimages are also appealing with the variety ofstudio and live shots used to highlight howimportant live events are to the rock genre.Text/Picture Ratio: The page has anoverwhelming amount of images compared totext. This appeals to the audience becausethey wouldn‟t want to read huge amounts oftext on a page – they simply want to bedirected to the page with the band they want toread about.Fonts: The fonts on the contents page are veryeasy to read so that the audience can navigatestraight to the page they want without having toread a more complicated font (like on the frontcover). The parts that the magazine findimportant, such as band names and headings,are highlighted in bold to show theirsignificance.
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, relatingPhotography: Each of the photos that are placed on the page are un-posed and live action shotsof either the band performing or working on their new studio album. This is a style that is to the target audience butassociated with rock bands to make them appear flawed so that people can aspire to be them also contradicting the factbecause people don‟t want to have an idol who is perfect, they want someone who they can that the bands next album isidentify with. The images are placed haphazardly on the page and overlap each other as though about “strength” and “self-they have been placed carelessly. Also, the photography itself is substandard, with lens flare preservation” . This provesobstructing one members face and the background being blurred out. This once again appeals to that the stereotypes andthe target audience. Two images are mid-shots, to show the emotion on the band members face labels of the rock musicand the largest image is high key lighting because of harsh stage lighting. All images are in sepia genre are not alwaystone giving a mysterious feel and they are very high contrast images to make the lighter coloursstand out against the dark background. correct.
Text/Picture Ratio: Once again there are more images that dominate the page than text, but somehow they don‟t seem overpowering and instead make the page appear balanced. The use of a lot of images appeals to the audience because many people would want look at the band rather than read about them, and also for the purposes that people sometimes cut images out of magazines if they like them. Fonts: The title links the front cover of the magazine to the articleWriting Style: The writing style is interview-like, with the writer of the article asking the because of the similarlead singer questions and Gerard answering in full sentences that seem quite formal. font style, with the grimy,However, the language used is still colloquial in places such as “Oh, it‟s filthy!”. Also, the cracked effect. Thistext is quite informative with the main aim seeming to be bringing the audience and fans makes the audience feelup to date on the bands progress. more connected and also makes it seem moreOverall Look: Overall the page looks very mysterious, but the white and red heading personal to have the stylemakes the article stand out and look visually pleasing to the audience. The images takeprecedence over the text to start with but the text would also be appealing to the carried throughout theaudience because there isn‟t too much that it would be overwhelming. magazine.
Colour Scheme: The main colours featured are red, black and whitewith yellow accents (once again). These are a convention of therock/alternative genre and are used to appeal to the target audienceof the magazine because they aren‟t specifically bright colours whichwould be unsuitable for the audience. The colours used on the frontcreate a house style for the magazine so that the audience know thatthese colours will be used throughout. Black is used to conveymystery and death. This is fitting as the tagline used says “I can‟tkeep on living like this, it‟s doing my head in”. Death is oftenstereotypically associated with the rock genre as people feelaudiences who enjoy rock music are those who need to look up tosomeone or because they have no one else.Photography: The main image is a posed photograph that links inwith the colour scheme of the magazine. It is a eye-level, mediumclose up shot which makes the audience identify with the subject ofthe photo on a personal level that they wouldn‟t be able to do if theangle was different. Lily Allen is doing quite a seductive pose whichdoesn‟t look particularly natural and therefore contributes to the genreof the magazine as the target audience look for a more alternativelook when they shop. High key lighting on the image makes thesubject stand out against the background and makes her haircoordinate with the colour scheme, and the lighting connoteshappiness and positivity which contrasts with the colour scheme thathas a dark theme (once again linking to the genre and targetaudience of the magazine). Because she is the main focus on thefront cover, with her filling the majority of the page, the audience knowthat she will be the main article inside the magazine.Writing Style: The writing style is colloquial and mostly informal andunserious, apart from “I can‟t keep on living like this, it‟s doing myhead in” which has more serious connotations. “Lily Allen Takes onthe World” however is playful and amusing to the audience becausethe statement is a hyperbole. This means that that the text is an overexaggeration to draw the audience in. The word “Plus” at the bottomdraws the audiences‟ attention to the other bands featured in themagazine and makes them feel as though they are getting a lot fortheir money. The text is very to the point and aggressive and thereare no long sentences on the cover and instead short, snappy wordsthat make the viewer want to buy the magazine to find out more.
Overall Look: The cover overall looks very alternative tothe audience. Even with a female solo artist as the mainarticle, the audience would still be able to identify that thiswas a rock/alternative magazine (because empoweringwomen are often shown on the covers of pop magazinesfor a teenage audience to identify with). The house styleclearly links into the genre with darker colours and adefinite colour scheme, and the title of the magazinedoesn‟t need to be entirely visible for the audience torecognise because they are appealing to a niche marketwho would be able to identify the magazine nonetheless.Text/Picture Ratio: The main image takes up most of thecover meaning that this is the article that the magazinewants the audience to pay the most attention to. Text isused sparingly except when to draw the audience in (“NewMonkeys Tunes”). This is appealing the TA because text isunnecessary to an audience who would already readNME.Fonts: The fonts used on the cover are mostly in blockcapitals, giving the effect that the words are shouted at theviewer and make them stand out. The main title has theappearance of newspaper clippings which create anindividual feel and make the audience understand two ofthe main conventions of the rock genre; rebellion andaggression, through using this style of text to break theboundaries of perfection that other magazine genres striveto achieve.Publisher: IPC Media publish NME. They also publishmagazines such as TV and Satellite Week and MarieClaire. They publish no other rock genre magazine and soare filling their niche in the market.
Colour Scheme: The colour scheme continues from thefront cover with prominent colours such as black, red andyellow, this time with a grey background much likeKerrang‟s contents page. This creates a duller effect thana plain white background would and is more appealing tothe target audience than garish colours. Having the whiteand red text on top of a black block of colour creates aneffect that jumps off the page and immediately draws theviewers eye to “NME this week”. Red is used to highlightimportant parts on the page, such as the list of bandnames included in the issue and the page numbers ofthe articles. The colour itself also connotes passionwhich could be linked to the list of names as theaudience would usually only buy the magazine if itincluded bands they liked or where passionate about.Black lines for the headings give a mysterious edge tothe magazine and make the reader want to continue onto read the article.Photography: At first it appears as though there is onlyone prominent image on the page, that of a live event inwhich the article below talks about, featuring the subjectsdisplayed in the image who attended a gig called AfricaExprez. However on closer inspection the image is splitinto two by the white line running through the middle, andis actually two separate images taken from oppositeends of the stage. This is effective as it makes the imagemore visually appealing to the viewer. The images arelong shots showing all of the subject to make theaudience feel connected as if they were actually there,as this is how they would see the scene in real life. Harshconcert lighting makes the images high key and they arequite grainy, making them interesting to the audienceand linking to the genre. The images are also fairly lowcontrast as the subjects‟ clothing are often barelydistinguishable from the background. This makes theimages seem more real and engaging.
Writing Style: Apart from the short article in themiddle of the page, the rest of the text on the contentspage is short and perfunctory, only highlighting certainaspects of what will be contained within so that theaudience will want to look for themselves. Thelanguage is once again fairly colloquial to appeal tothe audience but still maintains a correct feel anddoesn‟t seem out of place. Adverts such as “subscribetoday for just £5.57” are used to draw the audience inwith excitement at getting the magazine at a reducedprice and creates anticipation.Overall Look: Overall this contents page is verysimilar to that of Kerrang in some aspects such ascolour scheme, and that the magazine is very clearlytargeted at people who enjoy rock/alternative musicand would usually be aimed at adult males due to thedull colours and style of images.Text/Picture Ratio: On this particular contents pagethe dominant feature is text. There is only onepronounced image in the contents and this is whatdraws the readers eye first because it is the onlysource of visual graphics on the page. However, eventhough there is a lot of text it isn‟t overwhelmingbecause most are short statements or even justwords that are arranged so that they say a lot bysaying so little.Fonts: The fonts on this page are readable andordinary, helping the flow of the page which has a lotof text. However, important parts have been bolded todraw the viewers eye such as the title and the “bandindex”
Overall Look: The double page spread itself looks very modern and contemporary and slightly breaks the boundaries of colours and styles that are usually featured in rock/alternative magazines. It has a very fresh feel and appeals to teenagers , especially through the band‟s name, which is placed in the middle of the double page to make the reader‟s eye drawn to it.Colour Scheme: The colour scheme of this double page is very unlike the rest of the magazine‟s house style. The main coloursused here are white, blue and black. These are still dark colours, however the blue is very prominent and is a cool, cold colour thatconnotes calmness and power and also makes the subjects of the image appear strong. However, when blue is used a lot it canmake the viewer feel sad and melancholy. The black block of colour links into the contents page and makes the text stand out, andalso 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 ofthe entire double page spread that is red, and that is where NME.com is displayed, thus promoting themselves through a differentcoloured box that stands out amongst the rest.Writing Style: The article is quite informal and full of quotes and answers that wouldn‟t be suitable for a target audience of youngchildren. Therefore the target audience is more likely to be teenagers and young adults. The quote “Of course we‟re a sexual band.We‟re The Teenagers and that‟s all they think about” is another indication of the target audience, and also the genre because passionand rebellion are conventions of this genre.
Text/Picture Ratio: There appears to be many more images on the page than text, especially with the image that takes up one page. This is used so the audience can identify the new band, and minimal amount of text often appeals to the target audience. Font: The fonts used are clear and appear to be quite typical “typed” fonts, linking to teenagers because they are often stereotyped and associated with being a generation obsessed with technology and computer gadgets.Photography: The main image takes up an entire page of the double page spread and is thought out clearly to link intothe band‟s name. The three people featured in the image are laid comfortably on a bed in what looks like a teenage boy‟sbedroom. This mise-en-scene gives the audience a clear relation between the name and the people, and also helps theaudience make an assumption about the band and what their music would contain, because there are a lot of posters ofwomen on the walls. The clothing the band members are wearing are very dark to fit into the colour scheme and nothing inthe image is particularly bright. This shows that the music would most likely appeal to males rather than females becauseof the content of the music. The image is a long shot, showing the subjects as well as the background (bedroom wall).This gives the audience a clear look at the band for future reference so they would recognise them in a later edition of themagazine. There is also a smaller inset image of a band member at a live event/gig, which is a convention of the rockgenre as concerts are a large part of the culture, and therefore this would appeal to the target audience of the magazine.
Colour Scheme: The main colours featured are black and white,with yellow, red and blue accents to highlight certain parts of thefront cover. These specific colours are conventions of the rockgenre and fit well to entice the target audience of the magazine(which would be teens/adults and mostly male). These coloursare the only colours used on the cover which suggests to theaudience that this is the house style and they will be usedthroughout. This helps the viewer identify better with the inside ofthe magazine because the colour scheme will be the same andso creates a sense of consistency throughout. White is used tostand out against the dark background so that it jumps out at theaudience and entices them in to the magazine. Yellow is oftenused to emphasize the key aspects of the cover. By puttingwords such as “exclusive”, “free” and “rocked!” in this coloursuggest that this is what draws the audience in the most plus it isalso used as a marketing technique by highlighting offers.Photography: The image of Gerard Way (rock band MyChemical Romance‟s lead singer) on the cover immediatelydraws the attention of the target audience because the band isvery well known within the rock genre. This is a selling point forthe magazine. The image itself is a serious, eye-level shot whichgives a sense of intimacy and makes the viewer believe they areequal with the subject, giving the magazine a more personal feel.Gerard Way‟s red hair colour appears quite high contrast againstthe dark background and it stands out and grabs the viewersattention, suggesting this was intentional to show the rebelliousside of the rock genre and demonstrate that individuals havetheir own distinctive style that breaks the boundaries of whatsociety says is „correct‟. The idea that Gerard Way‟s hair is fallingover into his face also links to this thought because he isn‟tconveying the look of „perfection‟ that a lot of pop magazinecover artists do, as it isn‟t necessary to draw the attention of thetarget audience. The gold stain on the subject‟s shirt gives thegrubby, grimy look to the magazine cover, linking to what isstereotypically related to the target audience of the magazineand the genre.
Writing Style: The language style on the cover is used toentice the audience into the buying the magazine by placingshort, snappy, attention-grabbing words such as “exclusive”,which makes the viewer want to the buy the magazine to seecontent that they wouldn‟t find anywhere else, and “rocked!”which automatically links to the genre and reinforces theaudience‟s views on the magazine. The style of the text is verystraight to the point and has a list of band names on the frontwhich is used once again to attract the buyer.Overall Look: Overall the effect the cover has on the audienceis instantaneous. The word “MCR” is in bold which immediatelydraws the viewers eye rather than the masthead, thereforesuggesting that the brand is well known within the genre and thecover star and main article are more the focus. The image isstriking and appeals to the target audience and the short wordson the page suggest aggression which also links to the genre.Text/Picture Ratio: There is very little text on the front cover incomparison to how much of the image is shown. This is aconvention of rock magazines because it draws in the specifictarget audience as they are more drawn to images and thenames of their favourite bands. What text there is on the page isuseful and put there for a reason; to grab the readers attention.Fonts: The fonts seem very ordinary, so that they are easilyreadable to the audience, except for that they are bolded andchunky, signifying the loud, abrasive nature of those whostereotypically enjoy the rock genre.Publisher: Rock Sound is published by Sonic Publishing, apublisher that specialises in music and movies. However mostof the things they publish, such as Rocklouder and Clickmusic,are online sites. Rock Sound is the only monthly musicmagazine they publish which fills the niche in their market.
Colour Scheme: There are three main colours on thecontents page: red, white and black, which link into thehouse style from the front cover of the magazine. Thesecolours are typical of the rock genre and are a conventionby the red connoting blood and anger and the blackconnoting death and mystery. However, the colour white isjuxtaposed against these two other colours as traditionallywhite signifies purity and innocence. This gives a sense ofirony and suggests that these colours were chosen tocontrast against each other just like people who listen to therock genre would contrast against others who listen to pop.Also, the red and white contrast against one other so thatthe two opposite sides of the page stand out, with the redcolour used on one side to highlight the images, becauselots of images opposed to text are a convention of rockmagazines.Photography: There are six images on the contents pageof Rock Sound. The first image is the largest suggesting tothe audience that the main article will be about Green Day.This is a draw to the audience because the band is wellknown and popular within the genre. This image is a posed,muddy-looking photograph which is fairly high contrast tomake the subjects stand out against the background. It isalso an eye-level shot which lets the viewer engage with thepicture and gives them a sense of intimacy and closenessto the band. All the images featured on the page are ofmore than one person, linking to the idea that bands are themost popular within the rock genre and that it‟s rare that asingle artist will be featured in magazines such as this. Un-posed, live-action shots such as “58” are also a conventionof the rock genre because they are more suited to thetarget audience of the magazine as viewers are oftendrawn to images from live events.
Writing Style: There isn‟t a lot of writing on the pagebut in terms of the contents it‟s set out in a systematicway, with subheadings to direct the viewer immediatelyto what they want to look at. Also, small snippets ofinformation inform the reader of what‟s to come, withthe band on page 122 having a tagline of gig guide:Bleeding Through. This is used as a technique to drawthem in to the article so the page doesn‟t look boringbut so it still continues to be snappy and direct .Overall Look: Overall the contents page of RockSound is similar in ways to that of Kerrang and NME interms of colour scheme because all magazines havebeen assigned a house style that fits with the genre andtarget audience. The stars on the bottom link in with themagazine itself because many famous rock bandsoriginated from America (and America is oftenassociated with stars) but also because the headlineband Green Day has a well-known single calledAmerican Idiot which most people who are into the rockgenre would recognise. This is another way of invitingthe audience in and making them feel closer to theband.Fonts: The fonts on the page are quite grungy looking,scratched, decayed and smashed up. These things area connotation and a convention of the rock genre andwhat would suit the target audience. “Rock Sound” isdisplayed at the top in what looks like faded and dirtygraffiti writing, something that is associated withteenagers/young adults which is the target audience ofthe magazine.
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). There are only three members actually looking into the camera (eye-level) which suggests these are the ones the audience will identify with more. The other three looking away gives symmetry but also keeps the element of mystery about the band. The clothing the band members are wearing are all black to fit into the colour scheme. The image itself is lowColour Scheme: The colour scheme of the double page spread is mostly black with white writing contrast and muddy, once againand a yellow logo placed next to the band‟s name. The black background gives the page a connoting sadness andmysterious, eerie, ominous feel with the colour having connotations of death. The white juxtaposes depression, somethingthe overwhelming colour of black because of the seemingly mixed message the page is sending. stereotypically associated withLooking at the quote at the bottom of the page, "Im back to a place where I can enjoy this again” people who enjoy the rockthis suggests that the white is used to connote hope and moving on, because the band member genre. The image is also a longhas obviously had a trouble enjoying being in the same place in the past. The yellow logo catches shot, showing all of thethe eye as it‟s the only bright colour on the page and therefore draws the viewers eye. Yellow has members as well as a fittingconnotations of happiness and hope, which once again link to that people who enjoy the rock background (old and decayedgenre often listen to bands‟ music to get themselves out of a bad place or situation. building).
Writing Style: The writing style on both pages is colloquial, with profanities being used in the interview by the band members in the first sentence and throughout. This gives the effect that the band is more real and can be themselves without having to be told what to say unlike many pop artists. The interview is also fairly personal, discussing Steve Hewitt‟s former band and how the lead singer became “more and more controlling”. This is also a pull to the audience because fans often want to hear about things that happen behind the scenes. Text/Picture Ratio: There appears to be a largerFont: The main font on the page is an old font that looks like Celtic ruins, linking image therefore it stillinto the title of the band Love Amongst Ruin and making the audience feel more dominates the page evenconnected to them and it also makes the page appear more personal. though there is only one. However, the writing of the interview is small and seemsOverall Look: The overall effect of the double page is that the audience pretty detailed. This still fitsautomatically recognise that the interview will be about the band‟s struggle into the convention that thebecause of the dark colour scheme that is highlighted with white suggesting a rock genre often has morehappy ending. pictures than text.