Magazine Conventions


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  • Magazine Conventions

    1. 1. Holly Peacock
    2. 2. What you get on front covers
    3. 3. 1. Masthead 6. Graphic Feature or Puff 8. Selling Line or Banner 9. Tagline 2. Kicker 10. Feature Article Photo 3. Cover Line 11. Headline 12. Anchorage 4. Secondary Lead 13. Flash 5. Plug 14. Menu Strip 15. Bar Code 7. Caption Web-links? Ears? 16. Date Line
    4. 4. - - - - The masthead is quite bold and it usually follows the colour scheme of red. It stands out against the background image and is in capital letters which makes it eye catching to the public. This makes it a recognisable logo which people will remember after seeing it. It’s usually placed behind the cover image, but is still noticeable. Sometimes, the masthead changes style/colour depending on the cover image. Moreover, the mast head is the 3rd biggest thing on the cover of the magazine, after the cover and headline. This shows it’s importance on the magazine, as its reflecting the magazine brand etc. The meaning that is added with the interaction between anchorage and photos is that it gives you extra information. It informs the readers a bit more on what the issue is mainly about and makes the story more interesting, and shows what the image is showing. Moreover, it shows what kind of magazine it is and what it’s main focuses are. The lifestyles hinted from the taglines, language and kickers in general is that it is a laid back magazine for ‘cool’ people. It shows that the people who generally like this magazine, are not that formal. The language used sometimes includes swear words and other language, suggesting that it’s a magazine for generally older, middle class people. The music also reflects this kind of lifestyle, hence why the magazine follows a similar route. I believe that the most important thing on the cover is the main feature image. This is because, usually people will buy a magazine if it has an interesting image. They
    5. 5. see the image first. If it has a cover which appeals to people, then people who usually don’t buy the magazine may buy it. Moreover, the cover image reflects what is going to be inside the magazine. So instantly, you know if you will want to read this magazine or not. I believe this is vital, as if people judged the magazine not on the cover, then they may get mislead by the magazine and be uninterested. - The tone of language used on the magazine is quite direct and abrupt. It shows that the magazine is ‘loud’ and wants to catch your attention. Moreover, from the language you can get quite a sarcastic feel, as if the magazine isn’t all that serious about things. Words such as ‘monster’ is used to catch people’s attention as it is different from normal magazines. It appeals to people as it shows that the interview will be interesting and the magazine can get away with using this kind of language. Once again, the swear words can also show that it’s not very serious and formal again. It’s more laid back and can say pretty much what it wants to say.
    6. 6. How front covers are conceived and laid out
    7. 7. - - For NME magazine, there seems to be a general colour scheme for each issue, with other colours added depending on the cover image. The general colour scheme is usually red, yellow, white and black. These are colours which all stand out as they are bold and bright, catching peoples eyes when they see it. They all contrast from the background making it look very vibrant and interesting. The red colour is almost always used on the masthead on the magazine. This shows that when you associate the colour red with the magazine, you usually think of the masthead straight away, due to the repetitive colour used for it. However, sometimes the masthead changes colour depending on the cover image, if it’s a special issue or the image is actually red itself etc. Sometimes, if the image has a red tone to it, then the masthead sometimes has a black ‘stroke’ around it to make it stand out against it. This makes it bolder meaning that you still notice it despite similar colours. NME has been known to recently change the masthead to colours such as blue and yellow. Although they are different from the usual colour used, they still do follow the general colour scheme for the magazine. Furthermore, the colour white is usually used for captions and kickers. This is because it stands out against the background and the cover image. It is usually a bolder colour such as yellow or once again red which is used for a headline. So the white colour tones it down but also stands out at the same time. Roughly, there is usually 3 different fonts used throughout the magazine. The masthead has a font which is big, narrow and bold. It appears to be in capital letters to contrast from all the other things on the magazine. Moreover, the headline also seems to follow a similar route as it also is in capital letters, which is big and bold. Also, the kickers seem to have the same font too. This is because these are all key features on the cover and they need to stand out the most to get people’s attention. The secondary lead and plug have the same font for most issues. Its usually quite fancy and different from the rest of the theme of the magazine.
    8. 8. - - The style of the magazine is very much reflected via the cover image. The feel is that the magazine is a ‘care free’ magazine based on various similar genres of music and sometimes even some TV shows. However, the TV shows also reflect a similar attitude. Usually the techniques used on the camera is that on the cover photo they often do a medium close up. This takes up the whole page and dominates the cover. Moreover, another photo technique is that often, they place the front man of bands in front of all of the other members. This shows how each member has different roles in the band and the importance of them. If the lead singer is more central and larger on the cover, then people who like the band often notice this person anyway, so it catches peoples attention more. The cover image is vital when showing the style of the magazine. On each cover, it has people often looking away, with serious facial expressions or just even having fun. The mode of address of the magazine is usually serious, lively or mysterious. These seem to be the main themes of the magazine. These help to create images which are different and ‘wacky’ in comparison to other magazines. This shows that the magazine, and also the band featuring on it are different to all of the others. Therefore, this attracts people into reading it as it is interesting. The enigma of the magazine usually makes people question what is happening on the photo. For example, why are they doing what they are doing? Or, what are they laughing at? Etc. This also makes the public want to read the magazine to find out what the people are actually doing. On various occasions, the rule of thirds has been applied. This is meaning that the left side of the magazine dominates the rest, with information and photos. People notice this side more and the most important information is usually listed here. However, occasionally, NME does not follow this rule. Sometimes, the cover image is completely dominating the cover without very much text. This can be because NME sometimes do ‘special’ editions of their magazines and also because they have this laid back feel applying to their magazine anyway. Sometimes, the right hand side of the magazine has the feel that it dominates more. The listings appear on the right side sometimes and not on the left. However, the information that features here is usually of quite minor importance with the main
    9. 9. Information on the magazine. In some ways, the use of space of the magazine is quite typical. The masthead is always on the left hand top corner. This is because people recognise it here most, so it’s quite important. It also represents the magazine too. On the other hand, the same rule does not apply to the headline. The headline usually features on the mid third of the magazine. With each issue of NME, it changes where the headline is, depending on the whole cover. For example, on the Amy Winehouse cover, you can clearly see that the headline is on the left third of it. This is following a different rule from the other magazines, showing that it is quite unique in comparison to them. It also shows once again that the magazine can do what they want, as this is the approach they have. The only time that there is white space on the magazine is when it is done on purpose, for effect on the readers. It emphasises the cover image, or the purpose of that certain issue. Therefore, instead of it looking boring, it actually enhances the image as it contrasts and catches attention from the readers. Moreover, the use of space is quite chaotic. There is no set scheme which NME follow when editing their magazines. They do it based on each issue, which is useful for the readers as they are always brought something new every time. Bits of information, plugs, flashes, kickers, images etc, are often placed all over the cover in different places, depending what they are talking about. However, this works effectively as it always applies to the colour scheme and works with all the other parts of the cover and the theme of them. They always catch peoples attention as they are different, but still noticeable. Sometimes, the layout can appear in different blocks. This can be shown on the left side, the right side of the magazine and also often like a banner across the bottom of the page. It seems that the magazine always want the cover image to be the most important as it is never really covered up that much. - Overall, I believe that the magazine is designed in this way to emphasise the cover and what the magazine is all about. The feel that you clearly get from the magazine is that it a cool magazine and quite informal at times. It challenges the typical conventions of other magazines, as you can never predict fully how the outcome of each issue will look. This is exciting and interesting for the
    10. 10. Readers, as it leaves them wondering how it will appear each time, building up tension. It is quite poster-style sometimes, also fun and loud too. This draws attention from people and makes them want to read it. Magazines usually have the typical headline in the mid third of a magazine, the main information dominating the left side, but this doesn’t apply to NME. That’s why it challenges the typical conventions. It shouts out to you and especially for people who enjoy the genres of the magazine, applies to their interests. The magazine always looks stylish and that the cover stars are comfortable doing what they want, being themselves. You always get what you see from NME which is unique to them, as other magazines aren’t like this. The design of the magazine show how they are quite independent and also the bands featuring are too. It is a very successful magazine and I think that it is very effective in the way that it is designed and shouts out to the readers every issue.