Magazine Comparison: Front Cover Kerrang and NME
Kerrang: Main Image Mast Head Left Third Right Third Cover Line Cover Lines Main Cover Line
NME: Selling Line Mast Head Main Cover Line - Kicker Left Third Right Third Explanatory Cover Images
Masthead - Kerrang The “Kerrang” masthead uses a grungy, sans serif font which appears distressed and cracked. This appeals to their target audience of rock listeners as it represents the stencils used by bands to spray their name on equipment. This supports the actual name of the magazine as it is meant to sound like a guitar chord. The font is also trying to subvert the bold, clean type faces used in ordinary magazines giving it an appearance of rebellion and being different. In a common magazine convention, the cover bands heads slightly cover the masthead so that it becomes included in the page and does not draw attention away from the featured band, who will be mainly responsible for selling it. It also gives the illusion of depth in the image as, combined with the cover lines in front of the models, it creates different layers.
Masthead - NME “ NME” is an abbreviation of “New Music Express”. By using this abbreviation, the name is shorter, catchy and more memorable but also adds exclusivity as not everyone will know its meaning. “NME” uses a sans serif font, but this time it is bold and clear. It uses the neutral, yet powerful colour red which appeals to the wide target audience of the magazine and is also bright in contrast to the black and white cover. Its connotations of danger and blood could link to images associated with a rock target audience. This makes the masthead one of the main focal points, presenting a sense of strong brand identity, and a reminder of the fame of the magazine. In contrast to “Kerrang”, the font is bold and clean, which makes it less genre specific. Because this particular issue is a special addition, they have added a reflection in the fill colour to make it seem shiny and therefore important.
Cover Image - Kerrang The model is using a pose commonly associated with the “emo” genre and also has hair and make up in fitting with that stereotype. This gives the impression that the model is the same as the reader and so we feel a sense of inclusion. Also, the gesture represents suicide and it is placed next to an unrelated article reading “I wanted to kill myself”. This creates a common theme through all of the elements of the front cover. The magazine is making reference to popular culture as the eye make up of the model represents the iconic image of the book “Clockwork Orange”. All the models are also making eye contact with the reader which makes a connection between them and attracts the reader. The model, Pete Wentz of “Fall Out Boy” is infamous as a teen heartthrob, therefore the photographer positioned him closest to the camera so he appears closer to the reader and to make him the focus. They have chosen to create three layers of the image to add depth and the illusion of three dimensions. Also, as the article is about the band splitting up, it makes the four members seem separate and fragmented.
Cover Image - NME This particular issue of “NME” is dedicated to discussing the last decade in music. They wanted to give an overview of all the most popular artists, and so have created a collage to portray them all. They have chosen some controversial images to use such as this photograph of Beth Ditto as they want to provoke feeling and interest from the audience They have decided to use an image of each Gallagher brother in separate parts of the page to show their famous split. They are featuring a current news story as it will be of interest to the audience. Similarly to “Kerrang”, they have used images of renowned heartthrobs as they will attract female readers to the magazine. In this special addition, NME are subverting their own conventions by using black and white images. However, they are keeping their brand identity by still using red and white for the masthead and explanatory text.
Main Cover Line - Kerrang The word “exclusive” entices the reader as they feel it is a special opportunity that they don’t want to miss. It also gives the reader a sense of importance as they think they have unique information. They have decided to use a quote in the main cover line because it gives a direct connection between the band and the consumer as it gives the impression we are being personally, directly, addressed. The use of this sans serif, bold font makes the important main cover story stand out on the page. This is emphasised by the use of the colour blue and drop shadow. This serif font combined with a black box in the background highlights the explanatory text and gives it a pasted together, “fanzine” quality.
Main Cover Line - NME They have decided to use tattoo like scrolls either side of the number in reference to tattoo art which is popular with the magazines target audience. Its also has connotations of love as they have most frequently used for the name of your partner in tattoos. This suggests an almost romantic love of music from the magazine. They used a shiny, metallic material for the number “10” as it is emphasising that this is a special addition of the magazine. It will also make it stand out from other magazines as it is not usual for a to have a different material used on the cover. The colours red and white contrast as white has connotations of good and purity whilst red has the oppersite of danger and evil. They have chosen to use red for “the heroes” and red for “the villains” as it represents this. They have contrasted the bold, sans serif font used in the kicker with a more decorative, serif font for the explanitory to distinguish between them and to make the explanatory text seem formal and therefore more informative.
Register Both magazine use an informal register to attract their audience as it gives a sense of familiarity with the reader. This attracts them as they feel that they have a personal relationship with the magazine and therefore want to buy it. It is also vocabulary that they are familiar with and so they feel they are part of an exclusive target audience, however they do not exclude other potential readers by using jargon on the front cover. They do not use direct address which means that the magazine appears more professional as it is delivering information in a direct and factual way.
Eye Flow - Kerrang As our eye flow works from top left to bottom right, the main cover line is left aliened so that after the masthead, the potential consumer will see it. This assists our natural eye flow.
Eye Flow - NME “ NME” are subverting conventions by having their main cover line in the centre of the page. As this is a special addition, “NME” are trying to look different from other magazines to stand out.