Analysis of Front Covers, Double Page Spreads and Contents Pages
Masthead – The title of the magazine. Displayed in a white sans serif font and contrasts with the background and makes it stand out. It looks formal and this is in relation to the genre of music that the magazine belongs to. It is aimed at a mature audience who enjoy all sorts of music, mainly pop music that is in the charts. The location of the logo is also a trademark for NME as this is where they always place the title. It easily attracts attention. Date line and price – displayed in a small serif font. This is a popular technique used by relatively expensive magazines to make sure the price is not exaggerated in order to keep themselves from losing potential sales. Puff – boosts the magazine or feature of this issue. In this case it is promoting a review of the popular music festival T In The Park. They have used the official logo of the T In The Park festival. This could make the audience feel like this is an exclusive review of the festival. Another aspect of the front cover that could help boost sales. Main image – this mid shot image relates to the main story. The subject is not looking at the camera which means approach is indirect. The story is about rapper Eminem ’s comeback performance at the T In The Park festival. The way he is dressed is often associated to hip –hop music with the cap with the hood over the top. It gives him that “gangster-rapper” look. This is also a photo from the T In The Park performance Main cover line – displayed over the top of the main image in sans serif text. Bordered on the name “ Eminem ” in red and appears as a banner to exaggerate the fact that the article is about one of music's most popular rappers. I think the way that the colour scheme is aimed towards an older audience in this issue Bar Code – placed in the bottom right corner so it is out of the way of what it going on on the main cover. Bright colours (text) have been used to make it stand out on top of the dark main image. All text is displayed in capital letters and formal language. Along with the consistent house style and choice of colours this tells us that the magazine is aimed at a more mature audience. Skyline – The text “Free New Music” is displayed in red to make it stand out. They have done this so that it will help boost sales as adding addition content to the magazine that is free makes the audience feel they are getting more than what they are paying for. Which is odd as this magazine is quite expensive. Cover Lines – Main titles are displayed in white text like the masthead and subtitles are displayed in a darker shade of red. I think the way that the names of the bands are displayed within the titles in sans serif white text, all in upper-case characters helps capture the attention of the audience. As soon as they see the name of a band or artist that they like/recognise their attention is instantly captured. This plus sign is used to represent additional content/artists included in this issue of the magazine. NME (New Musical Express) is a magazine that promotes new music and upcoming bands. As you can see the names of the artists are placed underneath the plus sign in serif text. The way they place the names of some brand new artists along with well known artists helps the capture the attention to aid in promoting the fresh talent. These are artists of all sorts of genres and the serif
Masthead – the title of the magazine. The choice of font style/colours is used wisely in Kerrang! Magazines. They are able to change the house style colours of the cover. In this issue they have used blue text and borders for titles. The logo looks like it has been cracked, and destroyed and this reflects the style of genre of rock music which stereotypically reflects anger. This helps us identify the target audience which is teenagers ranging from ages 16-19. Puff – boosts the magazine or feature of this week ’s issue. Appears in a blue banner above the masthead in order for its attention to be caught easier by the target audience. It also has a small image to the right to make it more eye catching. The image and banner both overlap the main image. Pug – appears as a sticker that looks like it has been stuck on after and is advertising a competition for the audience. This will help boost sales as the audience are offered the opportunity to win a meet and greet with popular rock band You Me At Six upon purchasing this magazine. Polaroids – appear as pictures that have been stuck on afterwards and are previews of the added content in this issue. In this case they are previews of the posters inside. The pictures have bright colours such as pink and white which have been used in relation to the title of the articles which is about love. Bar Code – placed in the bottom right corner so it is out of the way of what it going on on the main cover. The price is also displayed in small text within here, so it is hidden quite well as the price is quite expensive. Here is a second puff to the cover, and is there to boost another feature in this week ’s issue. It is displayed in pink as pink relates to the title of this article which is about love. Cover lines – The names of the artist that the article is related to is displayed in dark blue sans serif text. They appear as the titles, and the subtitles are displayed in small black banners with white text. The editors have done this because when the target audience see the names of the band it will make the want to read that page almost instantly. Especially if it is an artist or band that they like. Secondary features – additional content included in the magazine for this valentines day special issue of Kerrang! This plus sign is used to represent additional artists included in the magazine as a small symbol that stands out because of its bright blue colours and directs the reader to the text beside it. Which is the artist names. Main image – relates to main cover line and shows a mid shot of the two artists included in the main article. They are facing the camera which shows the story is a direct on approach. The main article is probably an interview with these people. Some people could say that this is an example of The Female Gaze and woman could be reading this because they find the men attractive. But we could argue against this and say that they are not and they are only reading this because they are interested in the music. The way they are dressed links to rock music. For example the guy on the left is wearing a black t-shirt with what looks like a skeletal body. Skeletons and dark colours are often associated with rock music. Main cover line – displayed over the top of the main image in sans serif text. The artist names have white text and a light blue border in order to stand out. Sub titles are in black borders with white text. Like the title of the magazine, it looks like it has been sprayed on a wall and looks a bit faded and distorted. This reflects the genre of rock music. Looking at this cover I have noticed that all content that is exclusive to this issue appears in pink such as the pugs, puffs and secondary features. And all content that would usually appear in Kerrang! Is represented with the blue borders.
Masthead – the title of the magazine is displayed in sans serif and is all in lower-case, giving it a less formal effect. The term “Vibe” is a word used to describe the atmosphere of a place. This has connotations of being current and keeping in with he current vibe. Main Image – The main image is a medium close up of rapper Lil Wayne. The photo has been shot from a low angle and he is looking towards the reader and this helps him establish a relationship with them. But by wearing sunglasses he maintains the perception of power. The way he is dressed, his tattoos, his sunglasses, his hat and pose are typical conventions of a hip-hop artist. This reflects the urban hip-hop genre this magazine is about. This tells us that the magazine is aimed towards predominantly young urban followers of hip-hop and R&B music. Cover lines – contrast with the main cover line as they are displayed in serif upper-case characters. The artist ’s name is the first thing that captures the audiences attention as when they see a name they are familiar with their eyes are instantly drawn to it. Main cover line – displayed in slightly bigger text to the other cover lines and also displayed in serif lower-case characters. The cover line ’s lower-case characters may represent superiority over the other cover lines as they are displayed in smaller upper-case text. Which is an odd technique as upper-case text would usually represent more importance or power over lower-case characters. The main cover lines refers to Lil Wayne as “Weezy”, a nickname given to him over the years. This gives us a sense of familiarity with the character. This is supported by the sub story which questions “Still Hip-Hop’s leading man?”, confirming that one must have been familiar with Lil Wayne before before purchasing. Puff – Used to boost the feature of this issue. Use of the slang word “Reel” has a connotation of reeling in the attention of the target audience. Like bait. and gives the magazine a sense of exclusivity. Bar Code – placed in the bottom left hand corner and out of all other content that is on the cover. Date line – displayed in very small sans serif font at the bottom of the page. Usually accompanied by a price, however I cannot see the price on this magazine cover. Which was probably done intentionally providing the magazine could be quite expensive. If so this is a technique used so that the magazine will not lose sales due to a high price. Web address – the web address has been placed just below a bar code which can be scanned by smart phones to access additional Lil Wayne content exclusive to Vibe magazine. This has been displayed in smaller text as the bar code is quite visible on the cover and this could be used to attract the attention to this content. This is an example of cross media convergence. This magazine is targeted towards a more informal audience as slang is used quite a lot. This colloquial language provides shorter, more catchy phrases such as ’fly' and 'Reel' which the target audience can relate to and understand. This, therefore, in itself is a selling point as people of younger ages will be interested in purchasing it. House Style – The house style of this issue is very basic, I think this was done intentionally to make the main image stand out more. If more was going on in the background the detail in the main image would not be easily identified. Like the American flag reflecting from Lil Wayne ’s sunglasses. He is representing America. This tells us this is an American magazine.
Masthead – The Billboard logo in very simple with iconic coloured circles in the sans serif lettering. It conforms to the rule of thirds as it takes up the entire space on the masthead, making it recognisable and easily spotted on shelves and makes it stand out against other magazines. As the main image overlaps the logo it suggests that it is already a recognisable magazine and connotes to the audience that it is a reputable magazine if they have not read it before. Main Image – the main image is a low angle mid shot of singer Beyonce. She is looking into the camera that is looking up at her which connotes a direct approach with the audience. The way she has her hands on her hips coveys power and independence. She is wearing red which is associated with energy, power, strength and determination. However it is also associated with love, which we could connect with Laura Mulvey ’s theory of the male gaze. Like the other magazines, the plus sign is displayed with the names of the artists underneath it and a number next to it. “70+ Finalists” is displayed in yellow and the artists names in the dominant colour white. They used the white because it stands out against the red background and they have displayed the names of the nominees who are relatively famous musicians because these are the most popular and when someone is flicking through and see a name they recognise they are going to stop to read it. Puff – Used to boost the feature of this issue. In this case it is an edition specially for the Billboard music awards. The text is displayed in sans serif font. “Special Edition” is in white to make it stand out. Pug - Here is an example of cross media convergence. T his issue was published before the Billboard music awards premiered on TV, therefore as this is a special edition they have used the official Billboard 2011 Music Awards logo in the bottom hand right corner. A nd below it the air date, time, channel and website are displayed. They have done this to promote the awards ceremony. T his gives Billboard magazine authority as they host their own awards ceremony. T hey are also in control of the American music charts. Looking at this cover I have noticed that the logo ’s main colour is white. A nd for the rest of the magazine they have used the colour white as the dominant colour on text they want to stand out. Main Cover Line – “Beyonce” is displayed in a white serif typeface. This is done to make it stand out from the rest of the text on the page as it all uses similar typography. T he quote below from the article is displayed in an italic white serif font. Also the text above that reads “Back to run the world” is shown in uppercase text like the rest of the cover’s text and relates to her comeback single “Run The World”. Background – the background is very interesting as it uses colours in relation to the main image. Also the way they have used a glow coming from right behind the subject connotes that she is of some importance.
This double page spread is taken from Q Magazine. As we can see in the bottom right hand corner right next to the page number . It shows the Q magazine ’s logo. This is an example of synergy . The date of this issue is also displayed next to the logo. The use of typography is very interesting here, as they have highly exaggerated the use of the drop cap in the background as it is a giant L that covers the whole article. Throughout the article there is use of more drop caps, however they are used in a conventional manner. The typeface for the main text is displayed in a very small serif font and conventionally in columns. Which could tell us there is a high expectation on the audience, they are expected to have the patience to read a lot of text, they are also expected to be well-educated. The target audience for this article is a mature audience, probably middle aged adults. The left hand page shows a medium close up of Lady Gaga herself in black and white. The greyscale colouring could symbolise seriousness in relation to article’s target audience. Usually Lady Gaga is known for having bizarre fashion and props incorporated into her photos. A lthough she topless in this picture and has her hands over her breasts she has a somewhat serious approach about her. It is still odd but not as odd as she could be. This image is also exploiting Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze. She is looking into the camera which connotes that she has direct approach with the audience. In the top right hand corner of the double page spread is the title of the article, which just says Lady Gaga. Although “Lady” is shown in lower case italic font and the editors have really emphasised GAGA by displaying it in uppercase. This contrasts with the seriousness and classiness of the article.
This double page spread is taken from Kerrang! Magazine. The article is an exclusive interview with rock band My Chemical Romance about their upcoming album. The logo for the magazine appears in the bottom left and right hand corners next to the page numbers. This is an example of synergy. The main image is on the left hand page of the double page spread and is a grey scale image of the band performing with a small caption in the bottom left hand corner which has a black border and white text. These caption boxes appear on each image in the same style throughout the whole article. There is another image in the bottom right hand corner of the main image which also shows the band performing. All text throughout the double page spread is displayed in a sans serif font. In the top right hand corner of the article there is a text box with a red border and background, this differs from all other text boxes on the page as the editors have wanted this one to stand out as it reads “Exclusive” . They have exaggerated the fact this is an exclusive article by outlining the text with stars. This will help increase sales and there was probably some sort of ad or pug on the front cover of this issue that mentioned the exclusive content too. When we look at the right hand page we see pictures of the band in the studio working on their album. The fact that all of the images are presented in black and white could represent a sense of seriousness about the article. Which we would expect as it is a direct interview between the band and Kerrang! Magazine. The title of the magazine is stylized in the same way as the magazine ’ s logo, it looks crumbled and old. The words “ The Best MCR ” are outlined by using a slightly bigger white text, where as the rest of the title appears in red. This has been done to try and boost the excitement of the fans of My Chemical Romance. To boost their expectations on this album. There are more images than text on the page so there aren't many high expectations of the target audience to read. The article begins with a drop cap that appears in red where as the rest of the text appears in white. Looking at this double page spread we can tell that the magazine’s target audience are younger teenagers ranging from the ages of 13-16 who are fans of the band. We can tell this from the style of the text, the use of dark colours and the mise-en-scene of the band‘s clothing.
This double page spread is from Billboard Magazine and is an article about pop singer Rihanna. The use of the drop cap is odd here as the first half of the first sentence of the article appears in a large upper-case sans serif font. It almost acts as a title as the text suddenly changes into a lower-case serif font and then the text gets even smaller and then separates into columns. The dominant colour scheme is black, white and pink. The pink gives both the artist and the article a feminine touch and the black gives a darker and more edgy side to her personality. The spread features a quote from the article, used to grab the reader's attention. The editors have done this by using a larger, bold serif font similar to the opening of the article. The content from the article they have chosen to quote is quite striking and adds slight controversy to the artist claiming she can only do certain songs. The most striking bit "ONLY I CAN DO" is in pink, compared to the black of the rest of quote, this is to emphasise this part of the quote and make it even more striking in it's design and appearance. The main image in the top right hand corner dominates the double page spread and crosses over into both sides of the spread. It shows Rihanna riding a tank that has been painted pink. This contrasts against the destruction and war that tanks are often used for. The mise-en-scene of her clothing gives the picture a very mixed representation. She is wearing glittery military boots with fish net tights on and has a lot of skin showing. This exploits Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze. Rihanna is also wearing a helmet that features "Mickey Mouse" ears, an iconic headpiece representing childhood and Disney, this contrasts childhood and innocence against violence and war. It also adds a fun and playful element to her personality. The target audience of the magazine would probably be those of a mature age, probably middle aged adults. The expectations of the audience would be someone who is prepared to read a large amount of text as there is more text than there are images in this article.
This double page spread is from Rolling Stone Magazine and the article is about singer Katy Perry. The layout of this double page spread is quite interesting. The artists name appears in the top left hand corner of the page in upper case serif font. The text on this article is divided into two sections, the top and the bottom and six columns. The title and subtitle appear in the middle in a serif font. The title is slightly bigger and appears in all upper case characters. The subtitle is quite controversial and shocking as it reads “Perry is a good girl” followed by a quote from her that reads “I took mushrooms at a Daft Punk show”. This could cause people to question what her idea of a “good girl” is. The editors have done this to capture the attention of the reader. The colour scheme is simple, all text is black and the background is white. They have also used a drop cap, but only in the bottom middle column. The main image covers the right page of the double page spread and is a mid shot of Katy Perry. The picture shows her wearing nothing but a bra and denim shorts and she is in the kitchen. The lighting is coming from behind her and her face and body have a slight shadow over them. This could represent the bridge between her “good” and bad” side in relation to the quote.This contrasts against what the magazine said about her “being a good girl”. She is looking into the camera so this connotes that she has a direct approach with the audience. Again, this is another image we could associate with Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze which stereotypes women and suggests that they are seen as sex symbols.
This contents page is from Q Magazine. As the masthead appears in the top left hand corner next to the title that reads “Contents” this is an example of synergy because Q magazine’s logo is easily recognised as they use the simple letter Q in a serif typography inside this red square. This makes it easy to place their logo within the banner. The typography for the title appears in sans serif upper case lettering. It appears within a black banner that appears at the top of the page. The issue number/date as well as the magazine’s website and MySpace URL also appear within this banner. The Page numbers and contents appear in a column at the left hand side of the page and are divided into categories such as Features and Every Month which appear in white sans serif upper case text within small red banners. The editors have used these colours as they match the colours of the logo, allowing house style to look consistent and easily recognisable. Looking at this double page spread can probably easily tell that it belongs to Q magazine. Within the two categories are the page numbers accompanying the captions which are also displayed in sans serif upper case letting similar to the title. This helps make them stand out to the audience. Underneath this, in a lowercase serif font appears text giving a brief description of the story above it. One of the captions and page numbers overlaps the main image relating to that story. The main image is a low angle wide shot of the band The Courteeners. They’re standing in a V shape in an open field and the camera is looking up at them. This makes them look powerful. Also the fact they’re standing there and the field is in the background gives the picture a very British look. The band are dressed is a casual attire, wearing jeans and plain t-shirts/shirts. This is a conventional dress code of an indie rock band. But an unconventional choice of clothing to wear in a field. Also, there is a section within the contents that has a title that reads Oasis Special in a red upper case serif font and a border that outlines this along with a number of pages away from the rest of the pages and makes them stand out. They have used red again, to keep this house style consistent and professional looking. Below this we have another section which reads Review. It is stylised the same way as the title of the whole page as the logo appears next to the next again. Next to this text which is slightly smaller that reads “the world’s biggest and best music guide” which boosts the confidence of the review section. It gives the audience confidence in this and captures their attention. The image to the left of this appears to be a man stood next to a pillar. It gives it a very classy look. The guy is wearing a purple silk suit, we can tell this is an important person with authority. Below shows the page number relating to this picture and it overlaps the image. Overall this contents page is a simple design and has a consistent house style. The page is not too cramped and keeps straight to the point.
This contents page is taken from American chart magazine Billboard. The page is divided into two columns. On the right side appears all the main content and conventional features of a contents page. The layout for the contents page uses three images at the top, just below the title and another picture below, this is the consistent house style for their contents pages throughout all of Billboard’s magazine issues. In the top right hand corner of the page appears the title – Contents, in a black upper case sans serif font that contrasts with the white background. The text is in a very unique font, it looks very modern and edgy, this connotes that the magazine is bound to feature content that is up-to-date and ‘hip’ right now. Underneath the typeface is the a blue bar with the issue number and date. This blue bar also joins the blue bar that runs horizontally down the page and divides it in half. The three images at the top are pictures of artists related to the inside stories underneath in the columns. In order to help the reader distinguish who the artist is and what page they are featured, the page number they are featured on is displayed in white on the bottom left hand side of the image. This is a clever way of navigating the reader to their pages. The colour has been chosen purposely and the white allows the number to stand out against the dark background of the image. The main image shows a wide shot of a girl kneeling down. The image is positioned at the bottom right hand side of the page appears next to the captions for the contents. The page number relating to the article of the main image in displayed directly below it with a small black border around it. The mise-on-scene of the girl in the picture shows her tight leather trousers, high heels and a t-shirt. Although most of her clothing is black apart from a little waist coast she is wearing she doesn’t look like the stereotypical rock star. She looks like a young pop singer, we can tell this by looking at her pose and her facial expressions. This gives her a sense of innocence and makes the audience sympathize with her. Similarly like Kerrang! Magazine, the pages are split into categories with subheadings. The subheadings are displayed in upper-case serif typography. The serif font creates a traditional feel. Some of the inside stories are shown in an upper-case sans serif light blue font, this makes them differ from other captions. This could connote they have more importance over the other stories. There is also more information provided under the titles of these stories in order to give the reader an insight into what the article are about. As opposed to the other stories which have little detail on the stories they are related to. At the bottom of the page is another section called ‘Home front’ which is presented in the same font and colour as the title to create continuity on the page. In this section there is information about online exclusives which can be found on the online version of the magazine, which include upcoming events and Latin music. Billboard have their own exclusive feature on the left hand side of the page. This is consistent throughout all their contents pages. It shows what is at what position in the charts at the time the magazine was published. The title – ‘No.1 on the charts’ is presented in white against the black background and the letters are in capital letters, however the ‘No.1’ is larger than the ‘on the charts’ which represents the ‘No.1’ as more important. The column is split up into sections showing the positions of each song/video/album. The subheads are in yellow again against a black background, which follows the title. The yellow used for the subheads is the only use of the colour yellow on the page. This shows its importance and shows how that is the only place where the information will be. The name of the magazine is positioned at the top right hand corner of the ‘No.1 on the charts’ title box this is an example of synergy as this is the official logo for Billboard’s magazine, their charts and even their awards ceremony that they host. The chart positions table and the use of images of a variety of different types of artists help us identify that the target audience is anyone in their teens interested in music that is in the charts.
This contents page is taken from urban hip-hop/R&B magazine Vibe. In the top left hand corner the first letter from the Vibe logo appears with various lines next to it. Which is an odd design as it looks like it is a bar code. Within this bar code appears the magazine’s website in a small yellow sans serif font. All of the text is conventionally positioned in a column on the right hand side of the page, half way down. All of the text is placed on top of the main image which takes up the whole page. The main image shows a medium close up of rapper Eminem in a suit. His pose and the way he is dressed gives him authority as he is dressed smart and formal. It matches the theme of the magazine which is elegant and neat. There is a little amount of lighting that emphasizes Eminem’s importance. Eminem appears just within the rule of thirds. The text is very small which shows sophistication and organization within the magazine, following the theme of the image. The editors have carefully chosen this text as makes the magazine look elegant. However, the main text is barely readable. This was probably done so that our main focus could be on the image on Eminem. They have chosen this picture to give the magazine exclusivity, because looking at the contents page, there are no other images on the page. Also, he is looking straight into the camera, this represents a direct approach with the audience which means this could be an interview with the artist. At first glance of this page the target audience is not easily identified as the mise-en-scene of the main image does not follow the regular conventions of an urban picture. Usually we would expect the stereotypical rapper to be wearing a hat, sunglasses and lots of jewelry. Where as Eminem’s attire in this image appears classy and neat. He looks like a business man. The type of language affects the way the reader receives the message. Looking at the text in this, the only conventional type of language that gives us an idea of the target audience is the use of slang terms and sentences such as “Who’s Got Juice?” and “buzzing”. Which gives the audience the feeing that upon reading this its going to give them an insight into what’s “in” right now within the urban music industry. So this connotes that the target audience are probably teenagers between the ages of 14-19 that are interested in urban music. But reading through the text we see that they mention a lot of popular urban music artists. Also, dramatic language is used to attract the reader’s attention. Dramatic words such as “dying” which are quite striking make the audience look at it instantly. They have used a mustard yellow colour on the titles of each page to make it stand out to the audience. Overall this contents page is very interesting and quirky as well as odd. It breaks the conventions and does not look like a usual contents page because of the small text, the use of a huge image and the fact there is no identical title on the page. Also there is no editor’s letter on the page.
This contents page is from rock magazine Kerrang!. The contents page appears in two halves, the top and the bottom. In the top left hand corner of the page appears the title which uses a similar typeface to the Kerrang! Logo. It appears in a yellow upper-case sans serif font that looks broken and old and underneath this appears the issue number and cover date in a slightly smaller and white text. This has been placed here so it is out of the way of everything else on the page and does not draw our attention away from the main features on the page. Pictures of two of the double page spreads within this magazine appear as polaroids overlapping the main image in the top half. They have captions accompanying them by overlapping them and showing the page number relating to that image. Then the dominant image to the left of the top of the page is a medium close up of rock star Slash. A caption and page number overlaps his image. The mise-en-scene tells us a lot about the artist in this image, he is wearing sunglasses which suggests he has authority. He is looking over the glasses and into the camera which gives him a direct approach with the target audience whilst maintaining the perception of power. He is also wearing a leather jacket, leather gloves and a top hat. This is a conventional dress code of a stereotypical ’ 80s rock star. This reflects the genre of music this magazine is about. The bottom half of the page shows a banner in the middle that divides the page in half. Within this banner appears the logo for the magazine and text next to it that reads “This Week” which is in a similar typeface to the title of the page. Again, the text looks scratched, broken and old, keeping the house style of the contents page consistent. To the far bottom left hand side appears the editor’s note. It shows an image of the editor which is a medium close up shot. Giving off a direct approach with audience. The editor’s signature appears below the note too, this could make the audience feel like it has been written personally towards them and give them a sense of familiarity. In the bottom right hand corner appears the subscription deal. Which is a generic convention in contents pages. It shows a member of a band to give people an idea of what will be featured in next week’s issue connoting that it is up-to-date and definitely worth buying. The use of vibrant colours across the page such as black, yellow, white and red give the magazine a rocky/rebel mood. We can quite easily identify the genre of music this contents page belongs to and its target audience which is teenagers from the ages of 13-17. There is a lot going on on this page, it is all very cramped together and along with the use of vibrant colours, this makes it quite an interesting contents page.