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Signs & signifiers Analysis
• For my Music Magazine, I have chosen the genre of Rock.
The genre has been around for a long time and was very
popular in the 70’s and has inspired current music artists to
include aspects of the genre in their music. So, in order to
convey my magazine to my target audience, I need to include
typography that stands out from other fonts as Rock can be
very abstract. I also need to include a dark and bland colour
palette (Red and Black) to connote Rock’s aggressive nature
that a lot of people associate the genre with. The images will
be dark and exaggerated as well, such as a close up of a
musical act showing a miserable face to suggest an
intimidating mood. These types of conventions make the
genre recognizable and make it easier to identify the target
• Kerrang is one of the most popular modern rock
magazines, and a lot of genre conventions are included
on this front cover, as well different signs being used.
• The central image of Jared Leto, who is the lead singer
of the band ‘30 Seconds to Mars’, is an Indexical sign
because his posture and facial expressions suggest
that there is a meaning to the shot. The close up and
his facial expressions suggest a daunting mood, which
suggests an aggressive atmosphere, which is what a lot
of rock fans look for in that genre of music.. The quote ‘I
could be your worst enemy’ reinforces this idea and is
an anchorage as it relates to Leto’s facial expression.
The dark clothing emphasizes this impression more as
well. Leto doesn't appear to wear any makeup, which
suggests that the article is up-close and personal and
he has nothing to hide, which is hinted at in the caption
‘Jared Leto’s dark side exposed!’
The secondary images are all shots of the other rock acts that are
mentioned in this issue. These stress the magazines emphasis on rock and
it’s connections with popular and successful acts. Which makes the
company more trustworthy.
The typography used is a symbolic sign. The main cover line which uses
the bands logo is presented in the same font but shown in red so it blends
in with the front covers dark and bland colour palette. The imitation of the
band’s logo makes it easily recognizable to the fans, which therefore
makes it a symbolic sign. The majority of the other text used is iconic
because it directly tells the reader what they will get if they buy the
magazine. The Masthead is much more eye-catching then the other text
used. The font and colour of the masthead is symbolic because the logo for
‘Kerrang!’ is recognizable to people who read the magazine or listen to the
radio station. The ‘broken glass’ highlights rock’s combative and individual
sound. The majority of the typography uses a ‘Sans Serif’ font which
emphasizes the magazines informal element.
This issue of ‘Rock Sound’ suggests that the magazines are for a
younger target audience, due to it’s brighter colours and
informal layout and typography.
The central image of the group ‘Fall Out Boy’ shows the group
giving direct contact to the reader. This is an indexical sign
because it suggests that the article about the group is intimate
and personal, making it appealing to the reader. The groups
clothes are dark which contrasts with the light blue
background, which makes the group stand out more. Whilst the
other members of the band appear quite intimidating, the main
band member appears interested and fascinated, which
suggests that the group has an interesting and mixed persona,
appealing to other aspects of the rock genre. However, the
main band member’s posture shows him leaning over, which
makes him appear imposing and intimidating. This is an iconic
sign because it is directly representing the ominous side to the
• The layout of the cover is very informal. It uses a bright colour palette (blue, yellow) but it
also incorporates some dark colours, mainly around the bright secondary cover lines, which
makes them more eye-catching. The colours are iconic because they represent a care free
nature in terms of what the magazine includes. However, the bright colours and the central
images intimidating look gives a mixed message, but this widens the target audience more.
• The typography is quite informal, which highlights the untroubled feel of the magazine. The
text is colourful and shown in bold fonts. The main cover line doesn’t use the bands official
logo, but it looks similar to the other text at the bottom left of the cover, which emphasizes
the rock genre. Therefore, it is an iconic sign. The cover line is also shown in a bright yellow
colour, in contrast with the bands dark clothes, which makes it stand out. The masthead is
presented in front of the central image which makes the masthead eye-catching. Because it
is presented in a red colour, it reinforces the idea of the dark colours that are associated with
the rock genre (red, black) but it is presented in a lighter red, which again highlights the
positive and youthful atmosphere of the magazine.
• The contents page for this issue of
Kerrang appears quite detailed, Sharp
and not overcrowded with text, which
shows a more formal look, making the
magazine appear more sophisticated
and reliable in terms of its content.
• The top half of the page is mainly
covered by a large image of a man
playing am electric guitar, on his knees.
This image is both an iconic and
symbolic sign because it represents the
stereotypical image of bands playing at
live shows, but it is also recognised by
fans of rock and gigs. The camera angle
of the picture is at a low angle which
makes it appear as if the reader has
gained a front row seat, making it more
• The bottom half of the contents page is made up of text and
secondary images. The magazine is broken down into sections and
is clearly shown due to the larger text being inside a black box, in
contrast with the white background. The text is an iconic sign as
well as the puff/pug at the bottom right which is representing an
offer of the magazine. The colours used are quite bland and simple,
so the page doesn’t look too colourful and/or informal. This is an
iconic sign because it is generally representing the articles the
magazine has, but it also shows this in the style that people
associate the rock genre with.
• This contents page is simple,
straightforward and uncluttered.
This makes it easier for the reader
to understand what the magazine
• The image of Jacob Saddix shows
him using direct contact towards the
audience and he is putting on a
amusing face, which perhaps relates
to rock creative and unique side. His
facial expression contrasts with his
clothing and tattoos, which makes
him appear intimidating. The image
is both an iconic and symbolic sign.
It is an iconic sign because it simply
represents the artist, but it is also an
symbolic sign because his dark
colours and make up are symbolic of
• The typography on this contents page uses a sans serif font,
which usually suggests a informal style. Because the layout of
the text is informal but the layout of the page is formal, it is a
subvert use of text. The colour of the text is bland and not
colourful, very much like other rock magazines.
Double Page Spreads
This double page spread
highly shows the codes and
conventions of the rock
The colour used on the
spread is very dark (black
background, red and purple
text) which is an symbolic
sign because the dark colours
are associated with the rock
genre, due to the
stereotypical idea that rock
music is aggressive.
• The central image of ‘The All American Rejects’ shows
the band bending over at a low camera angle. This
perhaps suggests that the band’s music is quite
intimidating, but there clothes suggest that it is quite
creative and exciting at the same time. The image is a
iconic sign because it is representing the band and their
style of music.
• The typography uses a sans serif font, so It is therefore
informal, but the text is presented in a sharp, clear style,
so it is therefore a subvert use of text.
Double page spreads
This double page spread shows the central
image of ‘A Day of Remember’ taking up the
majority of the page, with text around the
edges of the page.
The central image of the band shows them
screaming at the camera, which
immediately suggests that there music is
energetic and upbeat, suggesting a younger
audience. The image is an iconic and
symbolic sign. It is iconic because it
represents the band, but it is also symbolic
because it is representing a young, active
• The spread uses a bland colour palette. The background is
black which is expected, and it is contrast with the white text,
so it stands out more.
• The typography on the spread looks quite like what people
would relate to an American high school. This suggests that
the band is American and that their music is suited towards a
more younger audience. The typography is a symbolic sign
because the text is representing the colours that people
associate rock with.