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Report of Presentation on Economic Magazine Covers<br />Subject: LE 314 Introduction to Semiotics<br />Instructor: Dr. Har...
Semiotic Analysis On Economic Magazine Covers——Veiland
Semiotic Analysis On Economic Magazine Covers——Veiland
Semiotic Analysis On Economic Magazine Covers——Veiland
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Semiotic Analysis On Economic Magazine Covers——Veiland

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Semiotic Analysis On Economic Magazine Covers——Veiland

  1. 1. Report of Presentation on Economic Magazine Covers<br />Subject: LE 314 Introduction to Semiotics<br />Instructor: Dr. Harald Kraus<br />Student: Wang Fang (5174-80015)<br />Semiotic Analysis on Economic Magazine Covers<br />Economic magazines are specified on economy and current affairs, so they highly demand in powerful reasoning and popular topics changing with time. Besides, as its readers are such a comparatively stable group who are interested in economic topic and they may have related background knowledge, so they pay much more attention on the sensible and deep analysis rather than simple display of a series of superficial topics. Thus, its specific topic and readers conspired with the myth that economic magazines should be impartial, rational and sharp lead to the most obvious features of economic magazine covers----concise layout which directly shows containing topics and highly projects the most prominent theme at its issue time.<br />The basic elements of magazine covers include: masthead, selling line, left third, cover lines, dateline, barcode, main image, and main cover line. But on economic magazine covers there are only masthead, dateline, barcode, cover lines, main image and main cover line which are syntagmatically combined in a spatial order. Selling line is unnecessary because that it persuades consumers by its sophisticated content instead of a simple logo. As it’s sold in a selected, upmarket outlet where it is usually shown full-face on, and in order to project the main topic, so left third is useless either. Dateline and barcode are displayed in the same way as other magazine covers.<br />Now let’s see how the main syntagms are displayed on the cover to accentuate the characteristics of economic magazines.<br />The masthead is usually a name which shows its economic theme directly ( for instance, ‘The Economist’, ‘Business Week’) and connotes its rational rather than emotional feature. Its color is conspicuous and conservative so that it can be easily noticed from its competitors and it also connotes that it’s a prudent and reliable brand without bias or prejudices. Its font size is much bigger than others so that it is recognizable, at the same time it connotes the brand’s self-confidence as well. It is usually put on left top of the cover as most covers do so that it can be easily found from the news-stand.<br />The cover lines on economic magazine covers are limited on most popular and concerned topics which are syntagmatically distributed around the main image in a small font size without detracting from the main topic too much. In order to highly project the main topic, cover lines can be limited to only two or three or even none topics which can hardly found on other magazine covers. Besides, colors used in cover lines are united with the whole tone. In such a way, it connotes the importance of the main topic.<br />Main cover line and main image are two supplemented parts to project the main topic. Main cover line is usually brief words with a big font size and obvious color to stand out against the main image as the background. Sometimes main cover line is complemented by a subsidiary line to illustrate the main image; sometimes it is even a part of the main image; and it can even be the only image itself. Main image can be photographs, illustrations, and even only words as mentioned. <br />Photographs are usually images of well-known figures who are crucial people involved in the main topic or just a semiotic sign but not who reflect how the target readers feel or want to feel on other magazine covers. Photographs tend to connote a factual sense which is intertextually related to the realistic world and the protagonists also connote their time and situation as well. The protagonist’s postures, facial expression, the background, the main cover line, the photograph’s angle and the way in which they are syntagmatically combined come together to construct a certain myth in which the magazine’s stand or perspective is demonstrated.<br />Illustrations usually use paradigms which are intertextually related to other texts or myths and they are syntagmatically combined in a rhetoric way such as metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche and irony to construct a certain myth in which the magazine’s stand or perception is cognitively displayed.<br />Linguistic presentation used as the ‘main image’ against a background connotes an intense emotional mood which is intertextually related to a certain context----and this can be interestingly found in dateline. In such an incisive way, the myth in which the magazine’s perspective is shown has been constructed.<br />Summarily speaking, economic magazine covers feature a brief layout with a projected main topic which is intertextually related to its time background; myths are subliminally constructed through display of linguistic presentation, the main image and the way in which they are combined syntagmatically.<br />

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