The masthead on the NME magazines has remained the same since the 90's - Same position on the page, same size, same font and same colour. This builds a brand which the audience becomes familiar with, and by keeping the masthead the same a certain loyalty is built. The masthead is actually behind the main image, but because the brand is so well known the audience will still know it’s the NME magazine. By putting the main image in front of masthead, it is implied that the music is more important than the magazine, and that it’s all about the music. Instantly, when looking at this cover you can see that it is appealing to a youthful audience (Teenagers). The use of bright colours, a scruffy layout and large texts all suggest a rebellious attitude which teenagers can relate to. The lead article reads: “Lily Allen takes on the world” – also rebellious – teenagers will want to join Lily in rebelling. The pull quote seen on this cover is being used as a lure – making the audience want to read on about lily’s problems. NME is a mainstream magazine. It isn’t appealing to a specific genre of music which means it will appeal to a larger audience with different music tastes, which ultimately leads to more sales. In comparison to a more specialist magazine such as ‘Rock Sound’, NME sells over 20,000 more issues. There are a wide variety of different bands bombarding this cover in the sky line, cover lines and the lead article. By having such a wide variety of music this magazine appeals to a large audience with diverse music tastes. The left third of the cover is taken up by the lead article, a pull quote (cover lines) and the masthead. When this magazine is in a store competing with other magazines, only the left third is visible. By putting these things on the left third, the buyer is lured in without seeing the whole front cover. The main Image of Lily Allen is confrontational, staring straight into the camera relaying the rebellious attitude of the magazine. Suggests your getting the best out of your money: loads of extra bands to read about
Rock Sound is a specialist rock/metal magazine aimed at a specific audience interested in this genre. The neat layout of this magazine suggests a more serious approach to music than a magazine such as NME – not so much gossip. This will appeal to an audience from late teens to late 20’s/early 30’s. Similarly to ‘NME’ the masthead of ‘Rock Sound’ stays the same. Although the colour sometimes varies to fit the theme of the main image. This builds a brand that the audience will become familiar with and trust. Unlike mainstream magazines ‘Rock Sound’ hasn’t completely covered the left third with cover lines - there is one cover line and the lead article. This is because ‘Rock Sound’ is a specialist magazine with a strongly built brand, and usually has loyal buyers that wont need a bombardment of cover lines to lure them in. The slogo is placed beneath the masthead and reads: ‘New music first’. This tells the audience that the magazine is always up to date with the latest music. The gritty font style used on the cover lines emphasises the rock/metal attitude of the magazine, and also implies a rebellious attitude that is often linked with this genre of music. The dark black background advertises the hard rock/metal music, while the halo above Oli Sykes (main image) indicates the softer intimate side of the artist which the magazine will expose through interviews. The main image is of lead vocalist Oli Sykes from the death-metal band ‘Bring Me The Horizon’. In the image we can see his tattoos which go with the hard rock attitude of the magazine, but then we can also see his hand on his heart, suggesting his innocence beneath his heavily tattooed skin. This again suggests the rockers innocent side which readers will want to read about. On the other hand, it could be seen as ironic as there is nothing innocent about this tattooed metal-head, and the halo and hand on heart only emphasises his hard rock reputation. Unlike ‘NME’, ‘Rock Sound’ has cover lines of many bands of the SAME genre. This is because it is a specialist magazine aiming towards one specific audience.
‘ Q’ magazine is a mainstream magazine, aimed at an audience aged 18 – 40. It’s sophisticated layout suggests the magazine is very fashionable which will appeal to an audience that wants to be in the know about the latest music. Because ‘Q’ is so well known, they can afford to leave the left third and not blitz it with cover lines. This also allows the magazine to have a more unique layout to other mainstream magazines which do have to mask the left third with cover lines. The masthead has remained the same in each issue, building a brand which the audience has become familiar with and now trust. The slogo beneath the masthead reads: ‘A different take on music’. This implies the magazine has a unique approach to music that the audience wont find anywhere else. The main image of Lily Allen with two panthers is completely different to how she appears in ‘NME’. She looks elegant, sexy and powerful. She is shown as a “sexy beast”, women will want to buy the magazine because they will idolise her, and men will want to buy the magazine because she is attractive. The neutral colours used on this cover make the magazine appear relaxed and fashionable - there is no cry out for attention by using bright colours. This will appeal to a sophisticated audience.