A commonly used colour in music magazines, red can connote many things.
• Red can connote power and, in turn, can convince people to buy the
magazine. Red is a colour of dominance, possibly suggesting that the
magazine is dominant within the market.
• Red can also connote aggression. This makes red a popular colour with rock
magazines, where aggression is an important stereotypical representation.
• However, red has connotations of romance and passion too. Therefore, it
could be how diverse its connotations are that make it a popular colour to
Again, black is a commonly used colour in music magazines, however it is
often used sparingly, with white being used more frequently.
• Black connotes quite dark ideas such as death, evil and angst. This is why a
lot of rock magazines (e.g. Kerrang) use a lot of black, as these connotations
are quite strongly related to the genre.
• Pop rock magazines tend to use black as part of a 3 colour scheme. This
allows the magazine to use the colour without using enough that would
cause too negative connotations.
• Conversely, black is a colour used frequently in the fashion industry so, if used
in a particular context, can instead connote high fashion.
The third of the three most common colours used in music magazines, white is
used predominantly as a background colour.
• There are common associations to the colour white, such as purity and
innocence. However, these are not the connotations of the colour white
when featured in music magazines.
• In music magazines, the colour white is commonly used to connote feelings
of space and minimalism. Furthermore, the colour white makes the look of
the magazine appear to be more organized and fresh.
• The colour pink (all shades – from hot pink to baby pink) is used in the
majority of magazines aimed at young teenage girls. This is because the
colour is a symbolic signifier of femininity.
• The lighter shades of pink generally target younger girls, whereas a darker
shade of pink (possibly neon or hot pink) is likely to target older females.
• The brightness of the colour means that it is likely to be featured in a dance
magazine, but the target audience will most definitely be female.
• Blue is a symbolic signifier of masculinity. All shades of blue (from baby blue
to navy) are associated with males.
• Again, like pink, lighter shades of blue will be likely to target a younger male
audience, whereas darker shades are more suitable for an older audience.
• Though blue is associated with males, it is less of a deterrent for women than
the colour pink is for men. Therefore, a music magazine is able to use the
colour blue without alienating a portion of their audience.
• Purple has long been a colour associated with wealth and luxury.
However, this is not necessarily the main connotation of the colour purple
when featured in a magazine.
• The colour is fairly gender neutral, though lighter shades of purple (lilac) are
going to appeal more to a feminine audience. However, dark purple is likely
to appeal to both men and women.
• The colour’s association with wealth and luxury continues further into the
idea of creativity.
• Another connotation of the colour purple is the idea of magic and mystery.
Purple is a colour used often by magicians, and is associated with an
element of fantasy.
• Purple does not often appear in music magazines. This could be because
the colour’s connotations are fairly out-dated, and therefore would not
contribute to the modern feel music magazines want to create.
• Green is instantly associated with nature and the earth. It connotes rural locations
and landscapes. Green is commonly seen with the colour brown, as these earthy
tones are seen within nature.
• Green (and other earthy tones such as brown) is a commonly used colour by
bohemians and hippies, as both of these cultures place importance upon nature.
• Green also connotes luck, as this is the colour of a four leaf clover.
• Again, Green is not often used by music magazines. This is likely to be because
Green is seen as quite a traditional colour and, like purple, will not promote the
modern feel they are trying to create. Furthermore, many people do not find the
colour green appealing, particularly in certain shades.
• Again, this is not a common colour for music magazines, but yellow has quite
• Yellow is most obviously associated with the sun. For this reason, it also
connotes sunshine and summer, which in turn allows the colour to bring
associations of happiness.
• This bright colour is not often used in magazines, however you would be most
likely to see this colour in a dance magazine, due to its brightness (when in a
similar shade to the one portrayed). For this reason, the colour yellow could
be associated with light, neon and partying in this instance. This is even more
likely to be the case when combined with neon shades of other colours.