Music Magazine Analysis • Front Cover • Contents Page • Double Page Spread
The Masthead is on the left hand side of The puff claims that Q magazine is the ‘UK’s biggest music magazine.’ This is used because itthe magazine, ensuring that the title will will persuade the audience to buy the magazine; they will not want to miss out on the bestbe seen even if the magazine is stacked; music articles. It gives the magazine a lot of credibility so people will be confident that inthe audience will still be able to identify buying it, they will be entertained by its stories.Q. The colour red is the colour thatstands out the most to the human eye, The buzz word on the cover, ‘2010 preview’ isso it will be sure to attract the attention a short, snappy phrase which is easilyof any browsers. identifiable near to the top of the page. This helps to attract the reader as they will want to The name of the magazine is covering a know the new year’s news before anyone else,portion of Cheryl Cole’s head. This so they can feel like they are on top of all thelayout shows that the magazine is moreimportant then the artist featuring on music acts; who will be important in 2010.the cover. Therefore suggesting that Qcould be helping to launch her solo The plug is used here to draw the audience’scareer; helping to separate her from the attention to the fact that there will be anpop group, Girls Aloud. article on John Lennon. It looks like a sticker which stands out against the magazine, andThe price of the magazine is £3.50, will appeal to any fans who will want to thewhich seems like quite an average price, read about this Beatles star.especially as it is only published once a In the splash image, Cheryl Cole’s dark redmonth. This shows that the magazine is lipstick looks demonic, relating to the silveraimed at many different groups, with ring that she is licking; symbolising fangs. Thismany different disposable incomes. It shows that Cheryl is making a transition fromalso seems more exclusive then some the good girl pop queen to an edgy rock star.other magazines; it isn’t published thatoften, which could help persuade the This is reinforced by the anchorage on bottomaudience to buy every issue. It is also line which says ‘rocks’ in capital letters, also inthe smallest font on the page, so a bright red colour. This word shows that she ishopefully the audience will see this last, becoming a rock star, re-inventing her musicwhen they have already seen all the and possibly changing her target audience. Thefeatures. red also connotes danger, suggesting that sheJust above Headline comes the strapline ‘3 words.’ Although Cheryl Cole Rocks is not just the safe, innocent person that she isis three words, it also happens to be the name of her debut album. This pun sometimes portrayed as in the media. Theand the intertextuality acts as a clever subliminal message to the reader; not address is quite informal, the word rocksjust to persuade them to buy the magazine to see why she rocks, but also to seems quite colloquial, suggesting that thebuy her new album so she can make a success of her solo career. magazine is not too serious.
• This front cover uses this image of Cheryl Cole to represent women as being a subject of the male gaze; Laura Mulvey’s theory. This relates to the readership of the audience, as around 68% of the readers are male, therefore they are appealing to the majority. The mise-en-scene of the image is overtly sexual, the rain could represent the idea that she is wet, which makes her more desirable to men. This is reinforced by Cheryl licking her ring, which acts as a phallic symbol; working to sexualise women. Cheryl Cole is shown as an object of sexual desire, suggesting that all women are gorgeous and are just used to appeal to men. This also appeals to the 32% of women that read the magazine, as they can aspire to look like Cheryl Cole; she can be their role model.• They have chosen to use a white, British female on the cover, therefore appealing to the majority of the UK; around 85%*of the population are white- British. This allows them to attract a grass roots audience and sell a large amount of magazines.• The average age of Q readers is 29, quite a young age. The image of Cheryl Cole appeals to them as she is current, appears in the charts and a similar age to them; so she is relevant to their lives.• The same font is used throughout the cover; a sharp, clean font all in capital letters. This appeals to a market as many are young professionals with a high disposable income, who would prefer a neat and tidy layout. They are a more sophisticated reader then some other music magazines. This stylistic font also makes all the headlines and cover lines stand out more, so they jump out at the audience and persuade them to buy the magazine. *http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/may/18/ethnic-population-england-wales
The headline reads ‘Contents’, telling the audience the best things that will be featured They have given the issue number, which tells thein the magazine. The contents page allows browsers to see if the magazine will interest audience that the magazine has been publishedthem, by showing the articles that include the biggest names or the artists that the most for a long time. This shows that the magazine ispeople will be interested in. It is the biggest word on the page so it stands out and it is established and obviously very popular, to haveobvious what the page will be about. survived this long in a heavily saturated market.The masthead is at the top left handcorner of the page, one of the first The page number is enlarged in a bold font on thethings that the audience sees. This image of Matt Bellamy, which allows the audiencehelps to push the name of the to see that this number corresponds to the articlemagazine to the reader, all helping to about Muse, therefore they can flick straight toadvertise the magazine. the article quickly.The sub-heading, ‘Features’, drawsthe audience’s attention to the main The main image of Matt Bellamy is the mostarticles that will be in this issue of Q; prominent on the page, showing that he is themaking them seem quite exciting and most important feature in the magazine; he isspecial, as though they are delving probably the main reason why lots of the readersinto something that can’t be seen will buy the magazine. A long shot is used on Matt,anywhere else. A red box highlights it, so we can see that he is wearing a silver suit,which relates to the colour of the Q which has connotations of space. This could relatelogo, but also draws the eyes as red is to a lot of their songs as they are often spacea very bold colour. themed and they always go above and beyond with new musical techniques. It is a canted angleThe layout of the column down the which suggested that the article could relate toside is very neat and tidy, which could something out of the ordinary.represent the habits of the targetaudience, who would like to be able toread clearly what will be featured in The sub-image looks like a postcard that has beenthe magazine. It does make it easier to stuck on the page; the use of this Mise-en-sceneread so any person who is in a hurry to makes it very bright and colourful, and the manbuy the magazine will be able to see appears to be on a tropical island. This differs towhat artists are featured in this issue. the rest of the colour scheme of the magazine,This helps to sell the magazine as if it which shows that something exciting will bewas unclear what is featured inside, happening on this page. The man has his arms inthe audience might buy a different the air and seems quite happy, which entices thebrand. reader want to read this feature.
The banner at the top of the page is ‘Q Now.’ The sub-image shows Elbow sitting in the studio, presumably The mini fact- file under theApart from bring a pun that has connotations rehearsing. This makes the audience feel as though they are headline about the bandof cue the music, it draws the readers being given an exclusive sneak peek behind the scenes; gives the audience someattention; the word now suggesting that they therefore they will feel special and be more likely to buy the background knowledgewill be up to date with all the current news. magazine. They are all playing their instruments, showing the about Elbow. This isThe background colour is red which helps to band in their natural element; making the audience focusing effective as the audienceengage the reader, as it is the first colour that on the fact that they play their own instruments, unlike many may know nothing aboutthey see and it contrasts with the black and bands out there. This suggests that bands that write their them, or they may be morewhite font colours. own music and play their instruments are very important to likely to want to read about Q magazine. them if they know some ofThe main image of Elbow their history. It gives somecovers more then half the short snappy information,page, suggesting that the which allows the audienceimages of the band are more to quickly pick and chooseimportant for the readers to the details that they want tosee then the actual writing. know about.This layout shows that too There is also a captionmuch writing on a page can be underneath the picture,off putting to the audience, explaining to the audiencethey are more likely to read who the band members arethe article properly if it is and where they arespaced out. The picture relates rehearsing. This makes theto the strapline, as they reader feel more involvedappear to be in a studio, which with the band, which couldgives the article a context. essentially persuade themUsing the mise-en-scene, the to buy any of theirband members are all smiling albums/singles.and seem very happy,suggesting that their career is The By-Line here is in quite a The pull-quote here uses a code of enigma toa success and they are The headline of the magazine big font compared to the size draw the reader in. This is effective becauseenjoying the music business. is highlighted by a red in some magazines; its suggest that the article will talk aboutThey are also wearing jeans background. This ensures that suggesting that he could be Elbow’s inspiration for their song lyrics,and shirts, depicting that they the title stands out and does quite a well known journalist. which the audience will find interesting. Itare quite casual and not blend in with the This a convention of also helps to break up the text, so there iscomfortable in themselves, background picture; therefore magazines so the writer gets not so much copy that the audience willand their music. the audience can easily tell the credit for his work. become disinterested and not bother to read who the article features. the article.
Taylor’s head is covering the Looking at the colour scheme, the colour red is used because itmasthead, showing that the magazine the colour that the eye sees first, therefore it will stand outis so well known the browser does not against all the other magazines on the shelf, and people will beneed to see the title; they already more likely to buy it. This colour red of the Rolling Stone magazineknow what magazine it is. This could logo has also become quite an icon; it is recognised all over thealso be suggesting that Taylor Swift is a world. Similar to Q magazine, the price is the smallestbigger star then the magazine; she is element on the magazine and most likely to bemore important for the audience to noticed last by the audience. This is because thesee. publisher will want the browser to have alreadyThe layout of the left column of text been persuaded to buy the magazine because offollows the shape of the image of the elements on the cover, so by the time they seeTaylor Swift; suggesting that she is a the price, it won’t be a factor as they will havevery important person and people will already want to buy it. It costs $4.50do their best to fit themselves round (approximately £2.80) which seems like a veryher needs. There are not many cover reasonable price to pay every two weeks;lines shown here, giving it quite a suggesting that this magazine is aimed at a genericminimalist feel, depicting that they are grass roots audience, who do not need to have tooonly highlighting the biggest articles in much spare money.the issue. The buzz word ‘hot’ is in a bold, bright red colour,The splash image on the cover is the connoting passion and lust. This attracts thephoto of Taylor Swift; the first thing audience as they will want to see who has made itthat the audience sees. She is sitting in to the hottest celebrity list; seeing if theirquite a provocative position, which favourite celebrities are classed as hot by thisappeals to the Male Gaze, attracting popular magazine. This is quite an informalthem to the magazine, as well as the address to the audience, suggesting that it couldfemale fans. Her eyes are narrowed be aimed at teenagers and young adults; it will notand she is staring straight into the take itself too seriously.camera, drawing the reader and The anchorage describes Taylor as being ‘theenticing them to buy the magazine. heart break kid.’ This draws the audience in The headline, ‘Taylor Swift’, comes underneathShe is also pouting, and her hand is as they will want to read all about Taylor the ‘Hot List’, suggesting that Taylor Swift willholding her hair away from her face, all Swift’s personal life, and they will feel like be one of the celebrities featured on the list.actions which connote seductiveness they are being let in to all her secrets. This will attract her fans as they will want to seeand make Taylor seem like quite a sexy Describing her as someone who breaks where she ranks. She is obviously the mainfigure in the music industry. hearts makes her seem quite cool and person featured in the magazine, due to her alluring; the reader could see her as an idol. prominent positioning on the front cover.
•The image of Taylor Swift is used to sexualise women, similar toQ magazine. Her hand is pushing her hair away from her face,which gives the audience a covert sexual message, making herseem quite inviting. She also has her hand between her legs,making her sit in quite a provocative position; also reinforcingLaura Mulvey’s idea of the male gaze. This also fits in with theirmarket, with 58% of the readers being male; so they are appealingto the majority. 42% are women, so they could see Taylor as a rolemodel and an icon to aspire to.•The average age of the reader is 32, 10 years older then TaylorSwift’s being 22. This could suggest that Taylor is trying to re-brand herself and appeal to an older age range, instead of just theteenage market. This magazine has a huge demographic, andolder readers, therefore she can appeal to people who might nothave previously acknowledged her; hopefully this edition willmake them start to buy her music.•Taylor Swift is a white American; using her on the front cover canappeal to the majority of the population, with 65%* being whiteAmerican or European. Similar to Q, this helps them to appeal to agrass roots audience.•The sub-heading, ‘the heart break kid’ incorporatesintertextuality; recently Taylor Swift has been in the news forhaving a string of very high profile boyfriends and break ups. Thisattracts the audience as they will have seen this news on the TVand in the newspapers, so they will want to pick up this magazineto see if Taylor confirms the rumours, and what she has to say onthe subject.•The font stays constant throughout, a bold font that uses serif.This could reflect the personality of the reader, who are quitesheek, and therefore prefer a more sophisticated font. It appearsquite simplistic, which also reinforces the idea that the magazineis aimed at a more mature reader; especially compared to other *http://facts.kff.org/chart.aspx?ch=364music magazines such as NME.
The headline on this page simply says ‘contents.’ The simplicity used here shows that the The layout is very clean and simple, withmagazine is aimed at an older target audience, a more sophisticated reader. It is surrounded by a two columns down each side; one forred box which helps draws the reader’s eyes to the title; it is the first colour that the reader sees. pictures, and one for the writing. ThisIt also fits in with the colour scheme of the magazine, as red is the main colour. The writing is in again highlights the simplicity of thewhite, which enables the word to stand out against the red background. The font is also quite magazine; the do not need to add lots ofbold, so it is obvious to the reader what page they are on. bright colours and wacky fonts for the magazine to be popular. A moreThe sub-image is of a woman half hiding sophisticated audience is still portrayed asher face behind some sequins. The fact they will like clean, simple layouts.that her face is hidden could suggestthat she has some secrets; these could Each of the articles come under a group ofpossibly be revealed to the audience in headings. This allows the audience to beher article. This will attract the audience able to see quickly and easily the thingsas they will want to know all the latest that they are interested to read about innews. The page that the article is on is the magazine, so they can make a decisionwritten in a large front, so the reader whether they want to buy it or not.can quickly and easily flick through tothis article. The title of each feature is in a bold black font, which makes it stand out more thenThe main image is of a singer performing the small writing underneath each one.on the stage. There is no caption telling This grips the audience’s attention as it isthe reader who the artist is, suggesting more important for them to get a briefthat he is so well known that they will idea of what is in the magazine if they’realready know who he is. The fact that he flicking through quickly.is singing live on a stage conveys themessage that live performances are veryimportant to the magazine; not just This magazine is not just a musicpretty pictures. magazine; it incorporates other features which can make it appeal to a grass rootsRolling Stone have only included the audience. For example it includes politicalbest articles on the contents page. This details that relate to each American andis so the audience will only see the other readers around the world.most exciting features, and thereforebe more excited to read the magazine.
The sub-heading here is just Katy Perry’s The splash image of Katy Perry covers the whole of The Mise-en-scene of the imagename, which helps to draw the reader into the second page, suggesting that the images are just shows her standing in a kitchen,the start of the article. Her name is quite as important as the words in this article. The ratio of which could relate to thesmall compared to the size of the headline text to images is pretty equal, so the magazine want stereotypical images of women:and the picture, suggesting that Katy Perry to draw the audience in by the striking image, then the domestic house wife.is so famous that the audience will they will be more likely to read the feature. However, her items of clothingrecognise her from the photo; they do not contrast this background and tellneed to be told. the audience that Katy Perry is not an ordinary girl. She is The headline wearing very revealing clothing‘underneath her which fits in with Laura Mulvey’sbrassiness’, is theory of the Male Gaze;effective in drawing suggesting that Rolling Stone hasthe audience in as a large male audience that theythey will want to like to appeal to. She is staringknow all about her right into the camera, whichpersonality and her intensely draws the reader in tosecrets that she will the article; she also looks quitebe revealing. This provocative, which appeals tosuggests that there is the male reader. Her top seemsa different side to too small for her and the strap isKaty Perry that the coming down, helping toaudience are not accentuate her chest. Thisaware of, tempting reinforces the idea of the Malethem to read the Gaze. She is also wearing a crossmagazine and see necklace, which has connotationswhat is inside. of sac religion. This suggests that Katy Perry is a bad girl, who does not follow anyones rules apartThe ‘Perry is a good girl’ creates a pun as it contrasts the image of Katy Perry, she does not appear to be from her own; this could bea good girl. This creates a code of enigma for the audience as they will want to know who the real Katy appealing to a male audience.Perry is, so they will be more likely to read the article. She also admits to taking mushrooms at a show,which contrasts further the idea that she is ‘good girl.’ This makes her seem like a more interestingcharacter to read about, as she obviously has many different sides to her.
There are four buzz words above the The splash image is of Rihanna, relating to The plug on this cover is the circle with theMasthead, ‘gossip’, ‘fashion’, ‘boys’ and the Headline. Her hair is perfectly styled pictures of all the latest fashionable clothes. This‘uncensored.’ This suggests that these are and her make-up perfectly applied, yet she edition was obviously brought out aroundthe elements that are the most important still manages to look quite natural. She is Summer (the pictures of shorts and sandals) soto the audience, and these will be happy and smiling, which will appeal to the this magazine is obviously looking to attract aprominent inside the magazine. younger target audience, who can aspire young audience who will want to look their best to look and be like their musical idol. for Summer. This will attract the browser whoThe Masthead of the magazine is in a bold will want to make sure that they are wearing theblank font; contrasting against the white latest trends for the season.background, which is the first item that thebrowser’s eyes are drawn to. The address of The barcode, a convention of every magazine, isthis is very informal, suggesting that the situated right at the bottom of the cover;magazine is aimed at a young audience, and following the Z reading pattern. This ensure thatthe ‘we’ includes the readers who will then feel the price is the last thing that the audience sees,compelled to buy the magazine. A heart icon is and by this time the rest of the features will haveused instead of the word love; depicting that persuaded them to buy it. A new issue is releasedthe target audience would rather see pictures approximately every month, costing £2.99. Thisthen a lot of words. It also makes the title shows that it is aimed at an audience whosnappier, so it stands out more; it is easier to possibly do not have a lot of money to spare, sorecognise and remember. It is in a rounded they have made the price cheaper and number ofrectangle speech bubble which has times that it is released less frequent so it isconnotations of MSN, Facebook and texting, accessible to them.showing that this audience revolves around A pull-quote is shown from The Wanted, readingtechnology, and probably all have a phone, ‘I weed on a hamster.’ This is quite a shockingiPod or a laptop. The layout of the speech revelation, and will attract the audience as theybubble is placed so it is next to One Direction’s will be intrigued to see why the band have donepicture. This makes it appear that it is the band this, so they will be more likely to buy thewho are saying ‘we love pop.’ This gives the magazine.magazine credit in the audience’s eyes as they The headline is in the biggest font on thebelieve that this very popular boy band cover, telling the audience that the main The banner at the bottom uses the buzz wordapprove of the magazine. The word ‘pop’ says feature will be on Rihanna. It also follows the ‘exclusive.’ This appeals to the audience as theystraight away that it is a music magazine, main colour scheme, the principle colouring feel like only they will be receiving the latestbecause pop is a mainstream genre of music. being pink. This shows that the target gossip. A pun is also used which could soundThe strapline, ‘don’t bore us, get to the audience of the magazine is younger girls, rude, appealing to the audience who will findchorus,’ (as well as being a pun) suggests that possibly between age 13- 15. They will be these kind of jokes quite amusing.the magazine will be full of entertaining interested to read about Rihanna as her musicarticles that the audience will want to read. is popular and she could be a role model.
•We Love Pop is a relatively new magazine in the market,only celebrating it’s first birthday on the 25 th July, 2012. Themagazine’s target market is girls aged 13-15. Rihanna is asuccessful pop artist and is used because all of the targetmarket will have heard her music. Age wise, she is veryyoung (only 24), so the younger market can relate to her;she can act as a role model to inspire then. Rihanna isportrayed as being very happy and laid back, as shown byher wide smile and hands held behind her head. Thisrepresents fun and confidence, so it will attract the youngeraudience.•The main colour on the cover is pink, which reflects themarket of the young girls; pink being a stereotypicallypopular colour. Yellow is also used a lot because the bold,bright colours stand out on the page and will attract thetarget market. Neon style colours are very fashionable atthe moment.•The fonts used on this cover are very simple and bold. Thisappeals to a younger reader who would not want to bebombarded with a lot of words, they would rather just beshown a few of the main cover lines; too much writingwould just put them off. This is reinforced by the layout,there are more pictures on the cover then text.•Intertextuality is used to relate to other famous pop stars;the subheading reading ‘on wild nights with Katy Perry andwhy she’ll never go Gaga.’ This will further attract theaudience as these two names will be familiar to them andthey will want to buy the magazine to see how they featurein the article. They will have read articles on the internetthat are about these other two readers, so they will alsohave some previous knowledge about about the artists.
The plug on the front cover is at the top The headline, ‘we love this’, relates to the The main colour on the contents page is blue; withleft hand corner, reading ‘for your eyes title of the magazine, being ‘we love pop.’ some of the writing in a yellow/orange colour. Thisonly.’ This attracts the audience as they This is clever as it reinforces the magazine is effective because these two colours arewill feel that they exclusively will be told name to the reader, and they will be more opposites, creating a clash which stands outall of the celebrities secrets. It has a bright likely to remember it. It is the biggest writing brightly on the page. This will easily attract theyellow/ orange background which on the page which ensures that this will be reader’s attention. The colours are very bright,contrasts with the black writing; making the first thing that the audience sees. which will appeal to the younger audience whothe plug stand out more. stereotypically like bold colours. The main image on this page is the picture in theThe pull quote used underneath the middle of Kelly and Tulisa. As well as breaking uppicture is quite an inspiring quote, the text so there isn’t too much to read, it givesgiving the audience the idea that the browser an idea of who will feature in thisnobody should every stop them edition. There are two of them, suggesting thatdreaming. It suggests that the there either one will talk about another in the interviewwill be an interview of the X-factor or they will both be interviewed. They both havejudges as the quote comes perfectly applied make-up and hair, which isunderneath their picture. This will something that the audience will aspire to be like.appeal to the audience as The X-factor The page number is also in bold on the bottomis a very popular TV show. right hand corner of the picture, ensuring that the audience can quickly flick through to the correctIn relation to the layout, there are a lot page without a struggle.more pictures on the page then there At the bottom of the page they have included theare words. There is a column down the magazines website. This means that any readersleft hand side of writing, but it covers who want more gossip can log onto their websiteless then ¼ of the page, and the writing and search through any other articles or galleries.is tiny which suggests that it isn’t very The magazine is using multi-platforming to gainimportant, and the audience will focus more business; more people can interact with theon the pictures. features.The page numbers are also given to Similar to the top of the magazine, at the bottom there is another yellow sticker to advertise thesome of the articles. The magazine have free posters included inside. This secondary plug helps to persuade browsers to buy the magazinechosen to include the articles that will as they will want the free posters of their idols to put on their bedroom walls. The banner alonghave the most appeal, and the page the bottom also gives a sample of every poster that will be included in the magazine. This willnumbers are in a large font so they can attract the audience as they will be able to easily see if one of the artists that they like is featuredbe easily scanned through by a browser. inside, and with a wide range of artists covered there is bound to be at least one poster that will apply to them.
This main picture has beenA pull quote is used as the The plug tells the audience that The headline actually takes up half of taken in a studio, with just aheadline, giving the readers a this story featured on the front the page, before the interview plain white background;taste of what will be in the cover of the magazine, actually starts. This layout shows making Cher look clean cutmagazine. This draws the therefore it must be an that the target audience do not want and quite unnatural. Her hairreaders in as they chosen a important story. This will make to be phased by a lot of words; if and make-up is perfect,quote that creates lots of more the audience want to there was too much writing then suggesting that she spentquestions for the reader; so read it as they will not want to they wouldn’t bother to read it. many hours in hair and make-they will want to know why miss out on any gossip. There is also a picture in the middle up. This makes her seemshe was the girl who was of the first page which breaks the perfect, which relates to theblamed. text up: reinforcing this point. target audience as the can aspire to be like their idol.Half of the article headline is She is also pulling a pose thatin the colour pink. This shows could seem like quite athat the target audience is teenage style; especiallyprobably girls aged from 10- holding the fake camera15, who are most likely to prop. This along with thelisten to the pop genre of shocked look she is pullingmusic. This will attract them relates back to the sub-to the read the article as it will heading suggesting theprobably be their favourite audience does not knowcolour. everything they think they do about Cher Lloyd; herSome of the main article is surprised face could alsohighlighted in yellow, a bold show that there may be somebright colour that makes shocking revelations in thecertain bits of the writing article, making the audiencestand out. The readers eyes more likely to want to read it.will be drawn to the thesebits of text as they are The Sub-heading suggests that the main article The picture of Cher Lloyd takes up the whole of theobviously quite important. will tell the audience something that they know second page of the article, suggesting that the target already; revealing a different side to the X- audience are more interested in photographs then factor runner up Cher Lloyd. This entices the reading the words. This could also be a freebie to the reader in as they will want to know all the reader as a poster, which probably influenced their exciting secrets that Cher Lloyd, it makes them purchase of the magazine. feel that their life is more exciting.