What are Codes & Conventions?
Codes are systems of signs, which create meaning. Codes can be divided into two
categories:1) Technical Codes:Technical codes are all the ways in which equipment is used to tell the story in a media
text, for example the camera work, light effect, editing techniques, camera shots and
2) Symbolic Codes:Symbolic codes refer to anything in the media text that has a symbolic meaning. For
example, a character's actions show you how the character is feeling.
Conventions are the recognized ways of doing something related to the style, content and
forms etc. They are the techniques used by media to communicate the codes.
Text Font & Sizes
Masthead is one the most prominent text on the front cover of a magazine which is
usually in a separate font. Apart from the masthead on the front cover of a magazine the
second most obvious text on the magazine cover are the COVER
LINES, PUUFS, BUZZOWORDS etc. We can see that these texts are presented in
more than two or three different fonts and sizes due to which the text stands out.
Different sizes of texts is a very common feature on the magazine cover.
In the following magazine cover, both serif and nonserif fonts are being used. The size of the text also
varies between the cover lines and the sub cover
lines. However the main cover line “Modern
glamour” is the second largest font on the cover.
Another feature code and convention is the masthead itself. In most of the magazines
the masthead is can be seen at the top of the page in a big and bold so that it could
capture the attention of the reader towards the particular magazine. Certain magazines
have the masthead lapped over the main image whereas in some magazine the head of
the main image covers part of the masthead.
Main Cover Images
The main cover images of magazine are the key features that over shines the front
cover. These images are mostly medium close ups. Sometimes this main cover image
covers part of the masthead but is always in direct address with the reader. The main
image is captured and presented in such a way that it immediately grabs the attention of
the reader. Most of the magazines have one figure as the main cover image.
Main Cover Line & Cover Lines
The main cover line on the magazine cover is usually associated with the main cover
image e.g. some cover lines are just the name of the actor/model that is featured on the
magazine cover. The cover lines on the other hand gives the reader an idea about what
information they can find in the magazine. The cover lines are followed by sub lines
that give a little information on the article itself.
On a magazine front cover the barcode is usually placed at the bottom right corner. In
some magazines the barcode is also found on the back of a magazine. The symbols of
the barcode represent various factors, such as the issue number, price and magazine
A puff is another eye-catching phrase that attracts the reader to read the magazine. A
puff includes special gifts to attract the target audience. Puffs include special gifts like
winning free concert tickets, or a lottery prize etc. Puffs are mostly presented like a
round sticker on any side of the magazine.