Textual analysis of Rolling Stone Magazine Front cover Mark Gibbs
Denotation: The magazine cover shows a photograph ofBritney Spears looking away from the camera and laughing. Itis a medium shot, showing her head down to her hips. Britneyis standing in a relaxed manor, though her legs are not visiblein the shot. Britney is wearing very casual jeans and T shirtwhich are quite dull grey and blue colours. This merges withthe dull grey/green background. The photograph covers mostof the magazine cover.The Rolling Stone masthead is behind the photograph ofBritney. “ Britney Returns” is written in large white print. Infront and to the side of Britney there are eight separatecoverlines which are in white and yellow. The main two are ina larger font. Each of these two coverlines are a mixture ofyellow and white with two horizontal grey lines separatingeach of them. Beneath these are six coverlines in smaller font.Each of the smaller coverlines are written in one colour only,alternating yellow and white which causes separationbetween each coverline. There are no lines to separate them.The Rolling Stones masthead is very clear as it is written inlarge, white, serif font with a capital letter at the beginning ofeach word with the remaining letters in lower case, joinedtogether. The magazine title “Rolling Stone” indicates to thereader that this magazine is about musicians and music.
The main coverline relating to Britney states ”Yes she can! BritneyReturns”. This connotes that Britney has returned to the world of mediafollowing the birth of her baby. It also connotes that her figure hasreturned following her pregnancy – this connotation is reinforced byBritney’s pose and revelation of her slim figure as this is clearly exposedwith Britney’s T-shirt rolled up. Britney is also pulling the waist of herjeans down slightly with her hand, showing the top of a tattoo. Thisconnotation is reinforced by the statement under Britney’s name whichstates “The Hot Issue” which is written in yellow font on a redbackground. The choice of simple, dull colour clothes allows the reader tofocus on Britney’s body rather than what she is wearing. Her body isclearly slim, toned and tanned which is making a clear statementfollowing the birth of her baby. It also shows that Britney is happy to beback and to have her figure back as she is laughing in the shot. This imageof Britney will appeal to the target audience of “Rolling Stones” who arelikely to be mainly men.The coverline is also making reference to a song which Britney did in 2007called “Why Should I Be Sad”. This shows that Britney has returned andclearly isn’t sad as she is laughing in the picture.The coverline tells us that the magazine focuses on a variety of musicgenres as Britney does not sing rock and roll and also concentrates onmore than the music produced, writing about at the musician’spersonality as well.The magazine also writes about people other than musicians; thecoverlines are advertising articles on actress Drew Barrymore andscreenwriter/ actor Mickey Rourke.The masthead has been written in a serif font for many years and is stillwritten in this font which shows that the magazine values tradition andthis can be appealing to many readers, especially those who read themagazine since it was first produced in November 1967.The target audience will consist of readers who have read the magazine asteenagers when it was first published who would now be in their 60s,through to people in their 30’s. The magazine appeals to both men andwomen, but it has a greater male audience. Rolling Stone appeals to thosewith an interest in a wide range of music, media and current affairs as themagazine offers information a wide range of subjects.
Textual analysis of the Q magazine contents page
Denotation: The contents page consists of amasthead, which is in a black background with largeuppercase white font stating “Contents” and it hasthe magazine’s date and URL in smaller font. Thisclearly tells the reader what the page is about. Thereis a large picture of The Courteneers who are themain feature of this month’s Q magazine. Thephotograph Is In colour with the four members of thegroup posing on top of a hill with a city in thebackdrop. The backdrop looks dismal and foggy, witha grey sky. The grass is blowing, which shows that theweather is windy, yet the four band members are alldressed in short sleeved shirts, despite the coldweather. This connotes that the members are strongand resistant. This connotation is also reinforced bytheir posture and facial expressions. The fact thatthey are positioned on top of a hill connotes thatthey are leaders both in their city and in the world ofmusic.The cover line which advertises The Courteneers is inblack font on a white background. The title of thegroup is in a larger font then the remaining script andis also in a darker shade of black which makes it standout and is clearly visible. The page number is in a redfont, which makes it very easy for the reader to seewhich page The Courtenneers are on.
To the left of the picture, there are thirteen coverlines, though five of these are related specifically toOasis. The Oasis cover lines have page numbers in agreen colour with each cover line’s heading writtenin a upper case large, dark font and the informationof the cover line written in lower case, smaller,lighter colour font. The Oasis cover lines are placedin a separate box with the heading “Oasis Special!”in the same green colour as the page numbers. Thisdraws the reader’s attention and makes it very easyto identify the specific features on Oasis. Above theOasis box are the other eight features in themagazine which are in the same layout and font asthe Oasis special. The only difference is that theheading of these cover lines is called features whichis written in a large, uppercase, white font on a redbackground. This makes it very clearly identifiableto the reader. The page numbers of these coverlines are also listed in red matching the backgroundto the heading just as the numbers in the OasisSpecial are the same as the font of the OasisSpecial.Because different size, case and colour fonts areused, there is no need to put lines between thecover lines to separate them, this is automaticallyseen as the readers eye. The choice of using red orgreen for the page numbering also helps todistinguish the cover lines.
Beneath the Oasis Special, there is a list of theregular monthly features of the magazine (thismonth there are three) and these are presentedin the same way as the eight features. To the right of the cover lines list and below thepicture of The Courteneers, there is a box with agrey background which is advertising reviews ofmusicians, music and musical technology. Thefont and layout is presented in the same way andcolour choice as the features listing with aphotograph of one of the musicians reviewed,posing for the picture. This box is headed“Review, the worlds biggest and best musicguide” which guides the reader directly to thereviews section.The contents page is clearly laid out on a whitebackground using black text. The various coverlines (Features, regular monthly and reviews) areeasy to distinguish as they have clear headings.The Oasis special feature catches the readers eyebecause the heading and numbering is in adifferent colour from the other cover lines and isalso in a separate box.
Denotation: The double page spread is featured on a white background with a colour photograph showing the threemembers “The Teenagers”. They are all looking directly at the camera and all appear very serious. They are dressed verycasually and their surroundings reflect their causal approach to life. The photograph is a long shot showing them sitting in avery relaxed way with a lot of photographs pinned to the wall behind them. the masthead sits on part of the photograph butmajority of it sits outside the photograph above the script on the group. The masthead simply states the name of the group.It stands out because it is a deep blue against the white background and has uppercase large font black writing. The casualapproach of the three band members and their surroundings connotes with the lives of teenagers in general who are usuallyviewed to have a relaxed, approach to life and their living conditions.On the lower left hand side of the photograph, there is a blue box with some key information about the group. It is clear tothe reader what this box is about as large black uppercase font states “Need to know” and in white smaller font theteenagers.
To the right of the photograph and below the masthead, there is a script describing life of The Teenagers. This is made moreinteresting by a small colour photograph of one of the band members on the stage. There is also a quote from Quentin, a bandmember, which Is placed on a blue background with a white font which is larger than the background font, which makes the quotestand out to the reader. Quentin’s name is actually in black font, which makes it easier to see who the quote is from. The NewMusical Express have used simple colours with a white background, black font for the script and the masthead and quote have acontrasting blue background which makes them quickly identifiable to the reader. The choice of limited colours causes the reader tofocus on the very busy long shot photograph of the group. The double page spread also uses the opportunity to advertise three other bands. This is done on the right hand side of TheTeenager’s script. To distinguish the advertising of the three groups from the information on The Teenagers, a black background box isused with three small photographs and white small font. The name of each group is in a large uppercase white font and forms thetitle of each small article. Lines are not needed to separate the three bands advertised as the titles are in large capital font and formsseparation of each article.