The front cover of Mixmag follows general and layout conventions of a standard magazine front cover in the placement of things such as sell lines, the strapline and the masthead; the straplinebeing located directly above the masthead, the masthead beinglocated at the top of the page and sell lines being located on the left and right hand side, going downwards in columns. The cover also looks similar to many of Mixmag‟s other magazine covers, reinforcing and maintaining Mixmag‟s brand identity in its layout, the use of vibrant colours and sell lines in the same font. Although it looks similar to other Mixmag covers, this particular front cover has an individual and unique look to it; the sell lines are placed at an unusual angle (they look slightly rotated to the left angle whereas on other Mixmag covers they are normally straight) andthe colours are extremely vibrant - although they usually stand out on Mixmag front covers, the pinks, yellows and whites catch the eye and will differ to any other magazine on the stand at a newsagents.
o The masthead is the Mixmag logo, and is always on the front cover of Mixmag as the masthead, helping to create a symbiotic link between all the Mixmag covers and the Mixmag franchise. The masthead is also covering the artist on the front‟s forehead suggesting that the magazine isn‟t very established, however, it may be due to the 2006 revamp that Mixmag had, which would have been recent when this particular magazine was released, therefore it suggests that Mixmag is trying to re-establish themselves, and create a new representation to the magazine. The name „Mixmag‟ suggests that the magazine focuses on dance music – the idea of a DJ mixing on turntables spings to the audience‟s mind and as they like dance music, they will be interested as to what the magazine will have in it. The masthead is also written in display font, with a curvy typeface in a large size) making it look sophisticated yet simple, thus appealing to the audience of males in their late twenties. It is clear and bold making it stand out – this is added to by the use of bright pink as the colour of the font. The font used for the masthead reflects the fun, euphoric freedom of dance music and dance culture. The „dot‟ on the „I‟ also resembles a CD or vinyl disc. The main image is of Calvin Harris – the featured artist – who is a internationally successful dance music artist; the audience will know of/about him and will know the majority of his songs. He is represented as being very cool and slick through his use ofcostume. He‟s wearing red sunglasses, a yellow t-shirt and a white blazer; an odd combination which, in everyday life would go together and wouldn‟t look cool yet Calvin seems to lookeffortlessly smooth. The image reflects the genre that it celebrates(dance music) through its use of colour scheme; the fun, light and vibrant colours reflect a party/summery atmosphere, whereas if the magazine were to use dark colours such as black and grey,the reader would assume it was a rock music magazine. Therefore the colour scheme helps to make sure that Mixmag attracts the
correct target audience. The way Calvin Harris also looks extremely cool, trendy and slick would attract the audience too – as males, they may find they desire to be like him and so, if they buy the magazine too, they may feel that they will be able to fulfil this desire. The image also helps to influence the readers musical preferences as it is an image which not only dominates the page,but, an image that is memorable and will stick in the readers mind for a while, therefore, even if they don‟t listen to Calvin Harris usually, they could remember that, as he is on the cover of Mixmag, it means he is a trendy and established artist and of course as the audience is young males, they will have a natural desire to want to fit in and be on trend. Although there is no cleargenre specific iconography on the cover, we can see through the reflection of Calvin‟s glasses that he is stood above his turntables/decks, so iconography signalling genre is subtly hinted on the cover, making sure again that the right audience will beattracted. The way it is subtly hinted also suggests Calvin Harris is a big enough artist who doesn‟t need to have blatant iconography signalling his genre of music on the cover; the audience should know and recognize him, therefore it makes Mixmag look more appealing – they haven‟t just got a random underground DJ onthe cover, they have infact chosen an internationally known charttopping DJ to be on the cover, attracting more readers. The cover also follows Mixmag‟s own front cover conventions; it has no feature article photographs and the sell-lines are presented in acolumn format on the left and right hand sides of the page, giving the cover a more sophisticated edge and maintaining Mixmag‟s brand identity. The sell-lines are also key in attracting and enticing the targetaudience of Mixmag; they will make the reader want to purchase and read the magazine as they will want to find out the storybehind them. In this instance, the sell-lines use mode-of-address to draw in and entice the reader. This is seen through the use of slang/colloquial language which the target audience will
recognize and understand, for example, phrases such as „mouthto mouth‟ or „go ga-ga in ZaZa land‟. By using expressions like this, the audience will feel as though the magazine is on the same level as them, a bit like a friend that uses the same vocabulary and phraseology as them; this will lead them to recognise a shared affinity with the magazine and to be more likely to purchase it. In addition to this, the readership will experience a feeling of pride and accomplishment upon identifying and understanding the terms that appear on the front. Target audiences can feel clever knowing that they „get‟ the references that are made, and may even feel they belong to an exclusive club of „in the know‟ readers. The sell-lines are also presented in Mixmag‟s signature layout; with alternating colours for each individual sell-line and a bold font. Although this cover doesn‟t feature the common convention of direct address, it featuresmany other key language devices such as the rule of three (“how to get there, where to stay and how to loose it in style”), rhyme (“go ga-ga in ZaZa”) and alliteration (“Berlin to Brazil”). This willhelp them to stick in the readers mind as they are catchy, fun and make the magazine appear friendly. The colour of the sell-lines is also important as it helps to draw the readers attention to the magazine; each sell-line is the colour pink with small textunderneath being black, and it follows this routine throughout. This helps to create the colour scheme on the front cover and also acts as a magnet to draw in the audience; rather than the sell- lines being a plain, boring colour such as black or grey, the sell-lines bright colours help to catch the readers eye, maintaining the focus/attention of the audience. The bold typography and block capitals add to this, as they also help to make the sell-lines stand out, especially against the white background. The typography of the sell-lines also reinforces the brand identity of Mixmag, as thissame serif font appears to be used on all the sell-lines on Mixmag‟s covers.
The layout of this cover specifically, follows key conventions that Mixmag have created with the layout of their front covers, so that the magazine upholds brand identity. It has a similar look to all their other front covers; this is due to the fact that all the sell lines are placed in lengthy columns on the left and right hand sides, in the same font, with the masthead being at the top of the page, again in the same font. The date-line and the barcode are also in the same position as on other front covers (bottom right hand corner); the main sell-line is also placed in the top left hand side of the page, slightly near the centre; a convention once more that is commonly featured in Mixmag. The audience will recognise these conventions and so will know without even looking at the masthead that the magazine is Mixmag – it will make them feel comfortable and secure; they are familiar with the magazine and know it won‟t change the layout/confuse them, thus putting the reader at ease. The simplistic aspect of the layout also draws in/reflects the audience; young males do not want a front cover which is confusing or tacky as it could make them feel ashamed of their favourite genre. They will want a simple yet sophisticated layout which is clear and readable, and Mixmag demonstrates this. The layout also appears spacious, appealing to the reader asit isn‟t bombarded with information on the front cover – they won‟tfeel intimidated by the magazine, therefore they are more likely to buy it.Various fonts also appear on this front cover; the masthead is also seen as the Mixmag logo which is conventional of music magazine front covers. It is a display font and so this also adds to the magazines eye-catching elements on the front cover, however the bright pink colour exaggerates it that little bit more. The curvy font that the masthead and main sell-line appear inalmost give the front cover a fun and youthful feel, however, this iscontrasted highly by the block capital serif font which appears on the smaller sell-lines beneath them. The fonts, therefore, are used on this magazine cover to reflect the audience that will be
reading it; they like to have fun but when it comes down to thenitty gritty in dance music, they take it seriously. They also maintain brand identity too, as extremely funky fonts tend to be used for the main sell-line, with the smaller sell lines in the same, normal font.In conclusion, the Calvin Harris front cover of Mixmagis effective in drawing in the audience, as it has many elements such as a vibrant colour scheme, a dominating main image and effective use of mode-of-address to appeal to the reader and make them want to purchase the magazine. It will be successful in drawing inthe target audience as it has created the front cover with them inmind; every inch of detail on the front cover somehow appeals to the audience in one way or another. Also, the elements stated above as well as many other elements on the front cover, combined together means that the audience will definitely be attracted to and interested in the magazine.