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Music Magazine Analysis

Masthead Skyline

Main Image

Cover Lines

Secondary Article Photo Strip

Left Third

Lead Article Bottom cover line

Kerrang have kept the masthead at the top of the page as is usually the case. However, interestingly they have decided to cover up nearly half of the masthead with some of the Main Image which could indicate that this magazine is already established so they can afford to miss out some of the masthead. The main image is of Parkway Drive, an Australian metalcore band. All of the band members have eye contact with the reader which helps to draw their attention to the cover and also establish a more personal relationship with the reader. The font and background used on the Main Article is unique to the rest of the cover and stands out well because of the different colours used and the fact that the red and yellow contrast well, but crucially not too much. There is some keeping with a left-third rule, with a cover line, some of the skyline, some of the bottom cover line and the beginning of the Photo Strip featuring within this area. There are 2 cover lines on the right hand side along with a second article which features an image of the band, unlike the other cover lines. This could indicate that the band are popular and hence meaning that readers will be appealed by their appearance or that the article is more important or appealing to their fan base. Overall, the cover tells me that their target audience are teenagers interested in rock and heavy music, predominantly due to the genre of the bands featured on the cover.

Masthead Skyline Main Image


Pull Quote Lead Article

Photo Strip

Left Third

Bottom cover line

This is another edition of Kerrang, and once again the masthead is at the top of the page. The main image once again overlaps the masthead indicating that this could be a permanent feature for all their covers. The main image is of Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour, which obviously links in with the Lead Article about them coming to the UK. The pull quote helps anchor the main image and also draws the reader in with it’s positive message. In this edition of Kerrang there is a lot more keeping to the left-third rule with the flash showing to the reader about the special feature within the magazine, and because this might be the first part of the magazine the reader sees it is crucial to getting their attention. However it is interesting to note that there are no cover lines on the whole of the cover, which could be an indicator that this magazine is very well established with a group of people buying every edition regardless of it’s content, therefore reducing the need for the cover to show off any articles inside. The bottom cover line shows off some of the bands detailed inside the magazine and above this there is the Photo Strip. Also present is the skyline at the very top of the page, and all of the images barring the main image are Halloween themed as this edition was released around Halloween time.

Masthead Cover line

The masthead for Classic Rock is at the top of the page, keeping in line with the majority of other magazines. This is also slightly covered by the main image, but not to the same extent as the Kerrang magazines. A pull quote is located at the bottom right of the page and a cover line towards the top left, however these are the only pieces of text on the entire front cover excluding the masthead. This is different from the previous two covers and could indicate an even bigger fan base, and also helps to bring more emphasis to the main image which is quite strong. The image is set in a Western theme, which backs up the fact that the content of the magazine will be based on music from many years ago. Whilst being quite minimalist in terms of text, the overall feel of the magazine is well shown in the cover. I feel that the intended audience for this cover are middle-aged and most likely male; this is because the title “Classic Rock� indicates that the content will be about rock music from several decades ago and this audience will have most likely grown up with this type of music and therefore have an interest in it. Also the presence of the 3 women, trying to appear in an attractive and sexual manner gives more weight to the idea that it is aimed at males.

Main Image

Pull Quote

This is the contents page of the first edition of Kerrang shown here. The top half of the page is dominated by the band My Chemical Romance in concert, with a page number next to their name indicating which page they’re featured on. Images of two other articles in this edition are shown in the top half also. The word “Contents� is located in the top left of the page along with the issue number and cover date, which just helps to orientate the reader from the front cover to the contents page. The bottom half of the page contains the majority of the text, with subheadings standing out due to their contrasting colours with the rest of the bottom half. The use of bold text throughout the contents page to highlight the band and then non-bold text for the details about that article helps to break up the text. A note from the editor is shown on the left hand side, which could indicate that the readers of the magazines have a more personal relationship with the magazine than in others.

This is the contents page of the other Kerrang magazine. Similar to the other Kerrang contents page the top half of the page is dominated by an image, with the bottom half featuring the majority of the text. Once again, the word Contents features prominently along with the issue number and cover date, and the layout of the entire page is nearly identical to the previous edition. The editors note to the readers is present once again in the bottom side of the page providing continuity throughout the different editions. However, the images used in this edition are themed around Halloween as was the front cover, which now indicates this will be a prominent theme throughout this edition. Also, the title of the magazine is shown again in the middle of the page, however this time uncovered by any image and serves as another reminder of the magazines name.

This is the contents page for the magazine Classic Rock. I feel this classic feel has been very well portrayed here with the use of colours that are easy on the eye, and the image itself gives off the feeling that it is set from several decades ago, most likely when Rock was most popular. Tying in these themes throughout the magazine will help keep the reader entertained and provide continuity. The page numbers and page details are clearly laid out on the right hand side of the page, with the numbers coloured red in order to make them stand out from the text alongside it. Reversed colours are used for the text located on the main image of the page which helps it stand out, but also blend well with the colours on the rest of the page. This part of the page is also labelled Cover Story so that it is easier for the reader to follow through from the front cover to the contents page. Dividers are used to separate the headings at the top of the page, and another pull quote is located in the top left of the page that is associated with the main image.

This is a double paged spread located in the first Kerrang magazine I analysed. It is predominantly picture-led but nevertheless there is still a good amount of text located in the bottom left hand corner. This text is laid out in 2 columns with both equal in size with each other. There is a box in the top right hand corner which features the band members describing themselves; this helps to give the reader more insight into the band members and creates a better personal connection.

There is a pull quote located in the centre of the right-hand page, and the quote refers to something said by one of the band members. This is a playful quote and helps with the casual impression also shown by the main image. The journalist introduces the magazine by giving a brief history of the band which then links in with their recent ambition to move abroad. The journalist uses a good amount of quotes directly from the band, and covers all members in the interview.

The photo shoot seems to have taken place on a beach which could be a referral to the bands background in Australia. The band are portrayed in a playful and casual manner, as shown by the expressions on their faces and the clothes they’re wearing; this could be an attempt to relate to the reader and tell them that the article will be pleasurable and easy to read. Also, a storm seems to be taking place in the background of the scene which could be a subliminal referral to the band now making a storm in the music industry.

The effects I like from the Double Page Spread is the way that the colours of the text and image blend well together whilst at the same time standing on their own and blending in too much. I also like the styling that the interview is on, and the way the pull quote stands out well on its own and draws attention

This is a double paged spread featured in the second Kerrang magazine analysed. This double paged spread is predominantly picture-led, with the majority of the text on the right-hand page; this is different to the previous edition of Kerrang which was the opposite and indicates that this could be different in each edition. There are two columns of text, with several paragraphs setting the scene of the interview (which is also themed around Halloween as the rest of the magazine is) before it reverts to a Question and Answer format. The image used is interesting because it is both scary and funny. It tries to be scary because of the theme it is about, Halloween, but overall it comes off as funny because of the presence of the children and the obviously fake outfits and makeup. The image comes across well because it is a simple photo which doesn’t over complicate things and readers can automatically associate between the theme at the time and the photo. The journalist introduces the article by giving a background of Halloween and then contrasting that with modern day Halloween. The journalist then asks solely Halloween themed questions which also suggests that the entire article is more fun than serious, because if there was trouble in the band (such as being unsigned to a label or internal disputes) then the member being interviewed would be more likely to want to talk about the more serious things rather than having a more fun and casual interview. The intended audience of this double paged spread and the magazine as a whole are teenagers of both sexes. This is because the use of font suggests that things are kept casual, which is appealing to teenagers looking for an easy read, and because it provides an insight into the life and details of the band members by questioning them, which could be appealing to teenagers trying to create a personal connection between themselves and their idols. I like the fact that the masthead has been stylized to suit the occasion and that the image is uninterrupted and allows it to show itself off as strong and dominating in the spread.

The headline is Trick or Treat, but the “o” in “or” is stylized with a skull in the middle therefore building on the Halloween theme even more. The font used in the title is stylized and unique, and sans serif fonts are used throughout implying that the magazine is casual and not too serious. The only colours present on the double page spread are black, white and green (excluding the red used to highlight the flash in the top right hand corner) and this also gives off a haunted, Halloween theme. This all ties in well with the house style of the magazine and the use of capitals is common throughout. There isn’t a pull quote located on this double page spread and this could be due to the editor wanting the focus to be on the image and not to be distracted by a quote.

This is a double page spread from Classic Rock magazine. This time the balance between image and text is more balanced, with both assigned a page each. There are once again two columns of text which are broken up by a pull quote in the middle of the page and a feature box on the bottom right-hand side of the left page. There is another pull quote on the right page which suggest something sexual but the text underneath explains that it is nothing of the sort. This is an obvious but effective technique in gaining the attention of the reader.

The journalist introduces the article by describing the surroundings he was in whilst waiting to interview Robert Plant, before then describing how he and Robert walked around a park during the interview and giving a brief background on him. The article then reverts to a Question and Answer format, with reasonably long answers from Robert Plant. There is also a box to the bottom right of the left-hand page, which contains the opinions of Robert Plant about who he likes as artists. This helps to break the article up a bit and make it easier to read and easier for readers to pick out the sections they want to read. Also by gauging the opinions of Robert Plant it also encourages a better connection between himself and the reader due to the fact that he is sharing his thoughts with them. Through the article we also go from talking about his new album through to his future plans and also with detail about the recording process of his current album, which gives the readers insight into how a music legend actually creates the songs that many love. I think that Robert Plant would be happy with the way that the article portrays himself because he comes across as educated, sophisticated and knowledgeable. This would reflect well on the target audience of middle-aged males who will have seen Led Zepplin in their prime and will now be keen to see what one of their stars are doing nowadays, which also helps them to feel as if they have “grown older� with their idols.

The font used in the main body of text is in serif font which ties in with the earlier analysis which suggests that the middle-aged band of people will be reading it; this also suggests that they will be at least reasonably well educated and interested in a good, serious discussion with Robert Plant who was famously a member of Led Zepplin. This also ties in with the house style of the magazine which has prominently used serif fonts throughout. The photo used is a simple medium-close up of Robert Plant dressed in black against a dark background and this has been planned that way to keep the image easy on the eye as an older audience are unlikely to want a busy picture. This could also suggest the actual focus of the article is on the text and not the image. Some effects I like from this double paged spread is the use of arrows to draw the readers attention to the pull quote on the right-hand page, and also the way that the text has been wrapped around the pull quote on the left-hand page. I also like the simplicity of the photo and how it encourages the reader to read the text instead of analysing the photo, but at the same time it provides an anchorage by showing the object of the interview.

Music Magazine Analysis  

3 Music Magazines analysed using technical language.

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