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Analysis of two Drum and Bass magazines

These are two examples of drum and bass music magazines Kmag and Atmosphere magazine. The purpose of a magazine cover is to portray the appropriate genre through font, images and colour etc and give the reader an idea. Its purpose is to attract the reader and make it stand out from the other magazines. The more appealing and attractive to the human eye the more enticing the magazine is to buy. Magazine institutions vary the way they portray their magazine through representation to show what the target audience is. For example, A magazine featuring pop singers and boy bands would be aimed at young girls due to the attraction of the pop genre. I have chosen to compare these two magazines because they differ massively however they are representing the same music genre. Kmag Genre: Drum and Bass First issue: 1994 Online publishing since: 2009 Publisher: Phoenix Publisher Ltd Circulation: 22 000 Readership: 100 000 Target audience: 16-24 year old males A, B, C1 Profile: 60%


Relationship status of Kmag: 85% single, %15 married or in a relationship ATM Genre: Drum and Bass No website – Has been removed Editor: Mark O Donnell Publisher: Planet Media Publishing LTD.

The masthead of Kmag is a shortening of its actual name, Knowledge magazine. Knowledge connotates that reading the magazine will increase the knowledge of what it is about. Kmag is in a rather handwritten font. This is because the magazine is quite laid back and relaxed. This shortening is similar in the masthead of ATM as it is short for Atmosphere magazine, Atmosphere connotates that the magazine is atmospheric and is enjoyable to read. The shortening of the names also imply that the target audience is aimed at young people as well as this is often seen on social networking sites. ATM is written in an unidentifiable font. It appears to have connotations of technology, possible relating to techno music and music created on technology, for example dubstep/drum and bass/dance music, which is the uncoincidently magazines genre. It is a white text bordered by red making it stands out from the green background. Kmags front cover has the tagline of “Happy 2nd Birthday from


Madgalena Frackowiack and Edward Dwurnik”, This denotates that it is the second release of the magazine. Madgalena Frackowiack and dward Dwurnik are famous singers so this would appeal to the audience as they are featured on a new magazine. There is only one cover line, “P24-25 Saturday Night Fever”. This also relates back to the target audience of the stereotype “Party Animal” as it talks about Saturday nights. ATM’s front cover has the tagline “high contrast” which is the name of the dj featured on the front cover. This would immediately catch the reader’s attention, as the name is recognisable and appealing for his fans. Also, following that there are a series of other artists on the front of the magazine. This would also appeal to readers as many famous artists are incorporated into this magazine and readers would want to know about them. There is the text of “15 years of ATM”. This would appeal to the reader because the magazine has been around for 15 years and so is therefore successful. Lastly, “Free mix CD with every issue this month” are puff words to entice the reader to buy the magazine. Free is a particularly important word as it entices the reader into receiving something without paying.

The colours used in the two magazines are incredibly different. In Kmag, the basic colouring used is black and white with a flash of red. These are conventionally used in other genres of music too, like rock and metal magazines like Kerrang. On the other hand, atmosphere magazine is completely different. The basis of the colours is green, red and white however there is lots of other colours present too. This gives the magazine


a multicoloured, vibrant look. This is also seen in magazines like mixmag, which feature dance music. Rock and Dance music are two sub-genres of drum and bass, which implies that they are the same genre but the subgenres are different. However, there are some similarities between the two magazines. For example, the text and the masthead are all in white font and some of the text is highlighted in red.

The main image in the two magazines is the main feature. In Kmag, the main image denotates as a woman in a mid to long shot. Her hands are on her head in an outgoing manner and her facial expression mirrors this. It is a shocked expression but it connotates an confident and fun loving demeanour. This implies that the target audience is teenagers or young adults; it could be associated with the stereotype party animal. She is famous and therefore makes the magazine more appealing and the genre of the magazine more recognisable. In Atmosphere, the main image denotates as a close up of a man. He is smiling and has direct mode of address with the camera which connotates that he is very easy going and likeable. The similarity is that both of the main images are of famous people. Also, the images infer that the target audience age brackets are very similar as they are both aimed at teenagers or young adults. This is because the genre itself is aimed at this age bracket. The effects on these two images differ. On atm magazine, I think that the image may have been altered simply increasing contrast and brightness.


However, in K mag, it is clear that the magazine image has been clearly altered massively. Typical to most magazines with woman on the front, the image has been clearly altered to make it look perfect, removing all blemishes and imperfection.

In Kmag, the layout is extremely unusual. The masthead is usually at the top of the magazine in big bold clear letters, the bar code is placed in the bottom left corner and cover lines usually surround the image in the middle. However, in Kmag the masthead takes up two thirds of the cover, it is in big bold white lettering to make it stand out and the font is distorted to make it look edgy. There is only one cover line and the bar code is unusually in the top right corner. In ATM, the layout is slightly unusual but still follows the conventional layout. The masthead is in the top left corner and the tagline is big in the middle of the page. Again, there are no cover lines and the bar code is in the bottom right corner vertically. This goes to show that neither magazine wants to follow the magazine guidelines, as they want to subvert the conventions to make it stand out. ATM magazine is clearly a drum and bass magazine. I think you can see this particularly in the colour scheme. Red, green and yellow are colours often associated with Jamaica and Reggae music, and reggae music is closely followed my drum and bass music. Also, high contrast being the main artist is a very well known drum and bass artist. Lastly, I think it is


clear in the use of font, as it is quite a bold and vibrant choice. I think it is less clear that Kmag is a drum and bass magazine because it has a slight fashion look to it. The female subject looks more like a model than an artist. ATM follows a conventional magazine layout almost perfectly with its centered close up of an artist and the strap line identifying them. As usual, the masthead is in the top left corner and is accompanied by text such as the date and website. However, it subverts usual subheadings surrounding the image by only having one list of artists accompanying it. This gives the front cover a USP. K mag strong subverts conventional magazine layouts. The masthead takes up most of the front cover and there is just one strap line, no indiciation of what is included in the magazine. The only convention is follows is the subject being someone famous and being a centered long shot. Personally, I think that ATM magazine is better because it still has the conventional magazine layout but it does subvert it slightly. This is effective because it still looks like a magazine but still stands out from others. On the other hand, I think that Kmag is also very good as it is extremely unique and enticing to look at but in my opinion it doesn’t look like a magazine. Also, ATM are more successful at catching the readers attention as it centres the celebrity name in the middle of the magazine and incorporates a free CD when purchased.


Analysis of two drum and bass magazines