The Dark KnightMagazine FrontCover AnalysisCharlotte Page
Purpose Magazine Front Covers • The front cover of a magazine is essential in gaining consumer attention. If the cover is attractive and eye-catching enough, it is more likely that the magazine will be bought by the consumer. • The style of the front cover will allow the potential buyer to gain a feel for the magazine overall from its appearance, tone and the articles that feature on that particular issue. If the coverlines on the front cover are appealing to the target audience, this will help to gain audience attention. Similarly, the image also helps to attract the specific target audience. • Conventions of a magazine front covers include a striking image, a masthead with the title, price, date, and perhaps a website name with bold colours, a main coverline, coverlines, straplines and an insert. These all help the magazine gain a professional look and gain a sense of verisimilitude.
Empire Magazine• Empire magazine is one of the best selling film magazines worldwide. It is respected for featuring smaller budget films alongside big blockbuster and also covering of various genres which appeal to different audiences.• It is extremely popular due to content it covers including film industry news, latest releases, DVD reviews, as well as cast and character interviews, competitions and more.
Masthead• The masthead includes the typical conventions of magazine front covers such as the title, date, price and also the website address for the magazine.• Empire is such a successful brand that they can afford for the image to cover the title slightly and the magazine still be recognised when on display.• The Batman logo has been included as a strapline above the masthead, by including this iconic symbol will hopefully entice audiences to pick the magazine up as Batman is such a popular, well-known figure.
Image• The front cover image is of The Joker, a character of The Dark Knight film. This image is particularly striking because the long shot allows the consumer to see the whole character including his facial expressions and body language.• Firstly his facial expression creates an uneasy feeling for a consumer as he appears to be smirking and this typically is associated with negative connotations which suggests there is a darker side to this character as his smile is not genuine. Also, the way the character is looking directly at the camera enforces the uncomfortable atmosphere as he intimidates the reader.• Furthermore, the real identity of The Joker is hidden through the use of make-up so this makes the reader question who The Joker really is and this encourages them to buy and read the magazine as the main coverline suggests “Meet The Joker.”
Costume & Setting• The Joker wears a suit which is a unique choice as this is often linked to a formal business like image therefore in this prison environment, The Joker appears to be out of place. This also creates a sense of confusion as the true identity of the Joker becomes unclear.• Similarly, his costume and make-up appears worn, and this highlights that there is a history to this character.• The image shows the Joker being in a prison as there are bars positioned behind him. This instantly creates a sense of danger as prison is associated with violence and crime. This is emphasised through the scars of the Jokers face as this suggests that he has been involved with crime or troubling situations.• However, it is interesting that the bars are positioned behind the Joker rather than in front and this suggests that the consumer is in the cell with him as they have the opportunity to meet him in the magazine.
Language a feeling that the• The language style creates consumer of Empire are gaining an unique and one off experience.• Firstly, “Meet the Joker, One-on-One” suggests that readers are individually being given the opportunity to directly meet the Joker therefore Empire is individually meeting consumer needs.• Similarly, language such as “World Exclusive!” and “World-First looks” connotes that the consumer is receiving information exclusively before anyone else and this will hopefully entice audiences to buy and read the magazine. Using the word “Plus!” also implies that the reader is gaining even more information than they would expect.• The short summary under the main coverline, “he’s a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown” appears quite shocking as clowns are traditionally used to entertain young children yet clearly this is not the case so this may intrigue audiences they are likely to want to know more about why he is like this.
Text Style• The main coverline “Meet the Joker” appears to be written in the lettering from newspaper cuttings. This is typically associated with ransom notes and therefore highlights how dangerous and criminal this character is.• The short summary under the main coverline is written in a font that looks like it has been scratched or scribbled down. This choice of font can be seen to reflect the childlike side to this character and his instability.• The coverlines that are aligned to the right hand side are written in capital letters which is a convention of magazine front covers as usually all coverlines are written in capitals to ensure that they stand out but do not take attention away from the main feature.
Colour and green on this front• The use of purple cover is a unique choice as these are both bold colours which would make the magazine stand out when on display against other magazines. The colour of the text matches the colours of the characters costume.• The colour purple is often linked to mystery and this is most fitting to the character of the Joker as his true identity is ambiguous.• Purple can often be associated with arrogance and this too is relevant to this character as his smirk suggests his proud and arrogant of his power. Purple is also linked with power in which in this image, the character dominates the front cover.• Furthermore, the green used here is quite a sickly colour and connotes the idea of mental illness which is suitable as this character is mentally unstable.• Finally, the darkness surrounding the character may not only create fear of the unknown but could be a reflection of the darker side to this character.
Layout• The layout ensures that maximum attention is drawn to the main character as he is central on the front cover and even though the front cover is busy with the main coverline and other coverlines they do not draw attention away from the main image.• The main coverline is aligned to the left whereas the coverlines are aligned to the right hand side of the page. Again, to highlight that the centre image is the element that is aiming to gain audience interest.
Target Audience• Empire magazine suggest that their target audience is 76% male and are likely to range between the working and higher classes. Similarly, they understand film and are keen to read more into the latest releases. The target audience is always kept in mind and this is reflected in the front cover.• For example, the insert chosen “The Complete Coens” implies that the audience already know that this is referring to the Coen brothers who have directed several films. Therefore this is communicating on a level which is relevant to the consumer.• Also, the coverlines all feature films which are relevant to the male audience. Films such as Wanted and I Am Legend are likely to appeal to this audience and as a result they are more likely to pick up the magazine.
Influences• This textual analysis has been useful in seeing how a product outside of the Woman in Black and Paranormal Activity merchandising promotes their film using various elements to communicate a message to an audience.• This Empire magazine front cover is extremely unique in the choice of colours, and the fact that the image is aligned in the centre is different as typically images on a front cover are aligned to the left or right so that the text wraps around it. Here we could aim to create a front cover that is unique and perhaps does not conform to all the expected conventions as this will make our magazine stand out when displayed against rival magazines.• The text style used here has been particularly influential as the newspaper cutting style reflects the psychological state of the character. Therefore, we should carefully consider when selecting a text style what message is portrayed to the consumer.• Also, our magazine will be aiming at both males and females therefore we need to ensure that our coverlines appeal to this audience. Empire successfully appeals to their male audience by ensuring that their coverlines will be of interest to their consumers.