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Magazine Conventions

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An explanation of the conventions used in a magazine.

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Magazine Conventions

  1. 1. Magazine Construction Dan Porritt
  2. 2. Conventions What you get on front covers
  3. 3. 1. Masthead 8. Selling Line or Banner 9. Tagline 2. Kicker 3. Cover Line 10. Feature Article Photo 11. Headline 4. Secondary Lead 12. Anchorage 13. Flash 5. Plug 6. Graphic Feature or Puff 7. Caption 14. Menu Strip 15. Bar Code 16. Date Line
  4. 4. Masthead Selling Line or Banner 9. Tagline Kicker 10. Feature Article Photo Cover Line 11. Headline 12. Anchorage Secondary Lead 13. Flash 14. Menu Strip Plug Graphic Feature or Puff 7. Caption FREE – Bar Code . Live music downloads 16. Date Line
  5. 5. Conventions Notes      Connotations of masthead – ‘Kerrang!’ The font looks like glass breaking and infers that the reader will have an action-packed read. The onomatopoeia in the word ‘kerrang’ represents the noise a guitar makes whilst playing a power chord. The main image features the central character addressing the headline/anchorage with facial correspondence. This causes the reader’s eyes to be drawn to this area. Through the language used in the anchorage such as ‘their battle’ makes the mag sound aggressive which may reflect the style of music the character’s create. Possibly the most significant factor of the cover is the central character in trhe main image, due to his interaction with the headline and the fact that his head overlaps the masthead – normally, the masthead in the most important feature. Fairly informal language is used; for example: ‘hottest’ which is used to describe the band in the secondary lead. ‘Hottest’ may come across as fairly feminine so this may appeal to a female target audience rather than a male one.
  6. 6. Design How front covers are conceived and laid out
  7. 7. Use of thirds Most magazines have a general overall structure which makes them organised for the attraction of a specific target audience. The use of thirds indicates a space allocated for a certain convention, for example in this issue of Q has the cover/sell lines in the bottom left and middle third, the masthead in the primary optical area of the top left third and the skyline content in the top right and middle thirds. This layout will have been created for a certain effect; the masthead is in the primary optical area to emphasise its significance is comparison to the other content.
  8. 8. Indirect mode of address can be mysterious, lively, sombre… Or in order to infer a cool arrogance which comes across in an attractive manner, rather than off-putting. Direct mode of address can appear ‘in yer face’, serious, warm or questionable. The seriousness, generally creates a sense of involvement with the reader Creates a wacky, fun image, sharing an identity with the reader that offers the ‘independence’ of indie music. Enigma – what are they getting up to now? Quizzes the reader in order to cause intrigue
  9. 9. House Style & Design Notes      COLOUR – When a colour scheme is used, the reader feels the page is organised and this is attractive if it is maintained – obviously this depends on the genre of mag; for example a gothic magazine may consist mainly of black. FONTS – Generally, from analysing the NME Mag on the previous slide, the front cover will consist of about 5 fonts to account for the skyline and plugs/flashes which may be slightly off-topic. STYLE – A range of different photographic techniques are used such as medium shots, medium close-ups, close-ups etc. Most of the time, especially with music magazines there is one main picture which takes up the full page – in the Q issue we see an image of Brandon Flowers taking up the full page.. USE OF SPACE – The rule of thirds is normally used a lot in indie magazines as a way of categorising things well – the Jake Bugg front page on the NME issue shows a slightly different layout than the general ‘left thirds for kickers/cover lines’. The Plug on the page includes info which may normally appear in cover lines. Therefore this rule can be flexible. CONCLUDE – These magazines differ in their layout but are organised and address the reader personally, making them feel involved and/or intrigued. They each develop their own house style and through these conventions and in turn a stereotypical image.
  10. 10. House Style & Design Notes      COLOUR – When a colour scheme is used, the reader feels the page is organised and this is attractive if it is maintained – obviously this depends on the genre of mag; for example a gothic magazine may consist mainly of black. FONTS – Generally, from analysing the NME Mag on the previous slide, the front cover will consist of about 5 fonts to account for the skyline and plugs/flashes which may be slightly off-topic. STYLE – A range of different photographic techniques are used such as medium shots, medium close-ups, close-ups etc. Most of the time, especially with music magazines there is one main picture which takes up the full page – in the Q issue we see an image of Brandon Flowers taking up the full page.. USE OF SPACE – The rule of thirds is normally used a lot in indie magazines as a way of categorising things well – the Jake Bugg front page on the NME issue shows a slightly different layout than the general ‘left thirds for kickers/cover lines’. The Plug on the page includes info which may normally appear in cover lines. Therefore this rule can be flexible. CONCLUDE – These magazines differ in their layout but are organised and address the reader personally, making them feel involved and/or intrigued. They each develop their own house style and through these conventions and in turn a stereotypical image.

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