AS Media Analysis – “Q” Contents page Header The header is one of the major features of the contents page. The recognisable logo is used in the top left third (tying in with the idea of the rule of thirds so it is one of the first noticed aspects of the page), thus establishing a house style and emphasising the brand identity. Its vibrant geometric shape is contrasts with the white spacious background, therefore adding a more intriguing element to the layout. The contents are clearly labelled in an uncluttered manner so it is aesthetically pleasing. As it is the largest use of text on the page, it helps display a conventional title that audiences are familiar with. Also, the exclusive addition of the issue number helps create a clear, ordered appearance. It carries many purposes: to an avid fan of the magazine, it could be useful and encourage them to collect as many magazines as possible – this would help their interest by listing the sheer amount of publications they have to collect. Also, it contributes to the positive reputation of the band by displaying to a reader that it has lasted this long with this many issues in publication. This makes the magazine appear more reputable and trustworthy as it has survived for a lengthy amount of time. Colour scheme The colour scheme is simple yet effective. Three main colours are utilised: red, white and black. A conventional approach has been used by having a white background, black text and vibrant accent colour. The red accent is vibrant and eye catching, while also symbolic due to its use in traffic lights and signs. Immediately, the reader has an inbuilt desire to stop and read what it is saying. This is a common feature of publications in newspapers such as The Sun however by utilising this palette throughout the magazine the periodical is able to differentiate itself from other brands. The white background with black text is a tried and true effective pairing, while the red helps break up the monochrome that could be seen as boring. The white background appears spacious and clean, while the black text is legible and clear. It is conventional but very successful. Layout The mise-en-scene all help contribute to creating a minimalistic, sharp and clean tone. Due to this, the information is displayed as simple to digest and will therefore be alluring to an audience who appreciate the magazine’s ease of use. Columns are exploited to create a fresh, ordered style, while plugs and page numbers add to this organised viewpoint. Category headings at the top of these columns are useful to a reader as they display the features common and unique to this magazine – different readers can use this feature in different reasons, thus making it useful. It clearly displays aspects of the magazine unique to this issue which would be useful to a fan of the magazine who often read it – it displays exciting new content in a fast manner that they can easily digest. However, it does not alienate a new audience and quickly introduces them to the regular facets of the magazine so they can gain a feel of what the product is like. Features such as plugs and sub headings help give insight to the articles and type of music genres Q is reporting on, though there is still an element of mystery due to the vague wording that help create that interest that will cause a reader to want to continue further into the text. In general, I think the layout is efficient, uncluttered and useful to both new and old readers – a significant thing to consider when thinking about creating a loyal readership. Images As is conventional in a contents page, the layout comprises of a variety of images to help break up the large amount of text and to make it a more stimulating and attractive page to view. The largest photograph contributes to the rugged, more anarchist portrayal of the indie rock genre. This is the primary genre of music that Q reports on, therefore it makes sense that the largest image conveys this evidently. It defies tradition by having the focal model facing away from the camera, therefore avoiding direct address and giving an air of self-importance. His outfit and visual appearance has connotations of military and the army – a typically hardened, violent profession. This helps sell the “bad boy” stereotype frequent in the rock genre, thus appealing to this primary target audience. Despite this, there is a variety of images and photographs scattered across the pages. With the square shaped boxes aligned with the texts’ columns it gives a more crisp and intentional layout; this makes the images appear as if they cohesively fit on the page and have been well thought out. The inclusion of several images display the diversity of the music genres that Q reports on, consequently capitalizing on an interested target audience that the contents can appeal to. It exhibits the
AS Media Analysis – “Q” Contents page diversity of the music genre – this is potentially alluring to an audience as it shows a wide variety of people represented therefore many people can relate and associate with its ideas. Minorities of different races and gender are presented and can be relates to – this is inspirational to a diverse audience and will entice them to read on as they can relate to the different voices and stories from assorted people. Typography As stated earlier, the typeface and colour scheme of the text body is readable and comprehensible. Only 4 different fonts are used, hence appearing cohesive and establishing a house style. Sans serif fonts are utilised to appear sophisticated and more formal. This appeals to an audience who are interested in more formal, highbrow journalism. Tying in with the established house style, the fonts are similar with the cover style. To a person allured by the front cover’s style, the familiar appearance is clear throughout the contents. An additional touch to the contents page is that the bands and artists mentioned all have capitalised titles – this displays their importance to the publication, as if highlighting that they are the driving force of the magazine. As these category headings and columns are justified and capitalised it is sharp against the white background, legible and appears more dignified. Footer The black line helps give a cohesive end to the bottom of the page, contributing to the organised layout and separating the footer’s elements. They stand out and help fill the blank space – this creates an ordered, thought out design. The page numbers are in blocked out text with a Q logo, therefore standing out against the white background for ease of use. The inclusion of the date helps appear informed and help emphasise which issue this is on every page, therefore adding to convenience for a reader. In addition, the presence of a website link appeals to a younger, more modern audience – it creates synergy and intertextuality between an online presence and the magazine, consequently increasing the reachable audience and appearing more reputable.