Magazine Conventions


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I have analysed the conventions of NME Magazine covers.

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Magazine Conventions

  1. 1. Louise Shaw
  2. 2. What you get on front covers
  3. 3. 1. Masthead Web-links? Ears? 9. Tagline 3. Cover Line 8. Selling Line or Banner 6. Graphic Feature or Puff 5. Plug 10.Feature Article Photo 2. Kicker 4. Secondary Lead 11. Headline 12.Flash 14.Menu Strip 13. Anchorage 15. Bar Code 16. Date Line
  4. 4. How front covers are conceived and laid out
  5. 5.    The language used on the cover gives a relaxed, chatty feel, the tone is informative but feels more chatty than formal. The tone of the language feels positive and upbeat, making the reader enthusiastic about what the magazine includes. The feature article photo usually links with the anchorage in someway, whether it simply states who is in the photo or whether there is a catchy pun. The NME cover’s usually have a catchy phrase or pun, making it memorable to the reader. The image and text link, for example ‘Lady Gaga-unzipped’ the image then shows the artist wearing a revealing costume covered in open zips. The word ‘unzipped’ is a play on words, linking to the outfit she is wearing and linking to her revealing all in the interview and the idea of her not holding back and giving her opinion. In some cases, the anchorage will be a photo taken from the interview, the quote chosen is usually controversial or something that would be unexpected from the artist, this then prompts the reader to ask questions. The masthead and feature article photo are regarded as most important on the cover, this is due to the masthead obviously informing the reader on what magazine it is and by NME having a reputation of being a successful, popular magazine, this is then makes it trustworthy to the reader, as they know what type of articles the magazine will include. The feature article photo is also extremely important to the magazine cover due to the fact that this then links with the headline and anchorage, by just looking at the photo, the reader will automatically know what/who the main feature will include. Also by the main feature image being the first thing the reader will notice, then then impacts the cover massively, as just the image itself can contribute to the readers decision on whether or not they will buy the magazine.
  6. 6.    The taglines are kickers usually include a kind of laid back, relaxed feel, yet still informative to the reader. They kind of hint towards an edgy, no consequences lifestyle, making the reader feel curious, creating them to read more. The type of language again, gives an overall relaxed feel. The masthead is the magazines trademark, in which when the reader sees the font style they would automatically link it with ‘NME’. By the masthead being an acronym, it gives it a quick, punchy feel, making it memorable to the reader, However the meaning of the acronym is then made clear in the tagline of the magazine. Also by the positioning of the masthead being the same in each issue, this then makes it noticeable for the reader as they know where to look and therefore feel comfortable with the layout of the cover. Also by the masthead being in the same position but the conventions around it changing, this keeps a regularity to the magazine, yet keeps it modern and different. The plug is usually positioned around the top half of the cover and is usually quite small, therefore this is mainly noticed after the reader has read the other text on the page. The plug is a large part of the cover as contributes largely to the decision on whether or not the reader will buy the magazine.
  7. 7.   A colour scheme is used on the cover of the magazine, however it differs each issue, it switches according to the image of the band/artist on the cover. Each of the covers usually have a house style involving two colours, with the alternating between the kicker and cover lines, the colours chosen are mainly bright colours, which will attract the reader. With the colours chosen, mainly being bright colours, it gives a relaxed feel to the magazine and also attracts a younger audience. With the colour scheme circulating around white, red, yellow and blue, with other colours being an exception, it gives the overall magazine a house style, however it is not specific and set for every issue. It varies often and the two main colours used on the cover are often alternating, this keeps the reader interested. The basic colours are used extravagantly creating it attractive to the reader. The masthead of the magazine has the same font for every issue, this gives the magazine a trademark image, therefore if the reader were to see the font, they will link it with the magazine. The masthead is block capitals, this makes it prominent to the other font on the page, also it makes it clear that it is an acronym, which is then made clear in the tagline. The font is similar throughout the cover, it features block capitals in a distressed font ,kind of chunky, wide writing is used, making the font seem simple. A simple font has been used to create the reader to focus on what the text actually says, rather than the appearance of it. In some cases the cover line is in bold, making it seem more important to the other text. The flash is usually a completely different font, usually a more italic design, this attracts the readers attention to remind them that the magazine has more to offer.
  8. 8.    The magazine includes an individualistic style in which it uses strong imagery and creatively styled fonts to appeal to reader that are looking for alternative music, it also symbolises an edgy element, making it different to other music magazines. The magazine features a lot of iconography associated with indie/rock and the kind of light-hearted yet dark scene that surrounds it, the design of the magazine is image heavy, making the images extremely important. With the image being the main attraction to the cover, the image contributes massively to the overall feel, with the feature article photo usually involves direct mode of address, this attracts the reader, as they feel as they are being targeted. The magazine covers use the space very well, the covers do not look over the top and cramped, however still provide a lot of information, therefore the reader isn’t overwhelmed by the text but still has enough information to know what the magazine includes. The text is spread out, therefore this makes it clear for the reader, although the text overlaps the main image, it is still just as clear to read and makes it prominent to the image, highlighting that the text is more important. The magazine is designed around the typical magazine cover, however it is kind of a modern twist on the idea, therefore which each issue having the same conventions and colour scheme, yet changed in a certain way, this keeps the magazine’s regularity yet still keeps it different for the reader. The magazine cover does look rather busy, yet it still keeps the relaxed feel for the reader, making it so successful.