MAGAZINE ANALYSIS BY
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
The colour scheme for this cover is very neutral, with lots of greens, browns and greys. In addition to this, black is the only colour used for anything that wasn’t in the original photo. This colour scheme suggests that the contents of the magazine and the article it is related to is very home-made, original, and could be achievable by the reader. The lack of colour on the text may make the reader have to look closer to read it, however.
NME is a long-running weekly British music magazine focusing mainly on rock, alternative, and indie music. The magazine is published by Time Inc UK, who publish a variety of different magazines such as InStyle, a fashion magazine, and WorldSoccer, a sports magazine. In 2015, NME’s paid circulation had dropped to just 15,000 from 250,000 at its peak. To keep the magazine running, NME became a free magazine in 2015, with a circulation of 300,000 per issue, with copies being available both digitally and physically at one of 500 “pick-up locations” in shops nationwide. The paid version of the magazine is no longer sold in the UK.
The cover image of this particular issue matches the usual conventions that we would expect to see in a magazine; the photo is a medium-long-shot image of somebody related to an article within the magazine, and they are making eye contact with the camera. The image depicts a young black man wearing a white shirt, smiling and making eye contact at the camera, and standing on a British suburban street. This location was used because, for many readers, it is a familiar location, suggesting to the reader that Kano comes from this type of area, making him relatable to the reader. The fact that he is wearing a white t-shirt also suggests this, because it shows that he isn’t particularly rich as he isn’t shown with expensive products. The fact that a black rapper from a London suburb is featured on the front cover represents NME’s as being very diverse and inclusive. This could also inspire readers.
This cover uses a very “home-made” style, with anything added on top of the photo being hand drawn with a black marker pen. This suggests to the reader that the artist on the cover, who has a feature within the magazine, has a musical style and background that it very urban and has the connotation that he might produce, create and distribute his own music. In this sense, this style does not fit the normal conventions that you would expect from a music magazine, and therefore would intrigue somebody to pick up the magazine to see what relevance the design has to the artist and the article itself. On the contrary, the design does fit in with conventions as it features a masthead, a puff, an medium-long shot image related to an article, and the date of the issue. If it wasn’t for the use of these conventions, the product may not be initially recognisable as a magazine and fewer copies of the magazine would be picked up.
POSE, STYLE, HAIR ETC.
WORDS & LANGUAGE Whilst there are not many words on the cover, they are still used very effectively. The masthead is located in the top-centre of the page, making it quickly visible to the reader if the magazine is stacked in a rack. Above the masthead is the date that the issue was released, as well as a strapline saying “Free every Friday”, This strapline is very simple but it quickly informs the reader about two things: 1. The magazine is free, and 2. It is released every Friday. Again, its location at the top of the page makes it stand out to the reader. Written on top of Kano’s tshirt are the words “Kano: A life of grime”. This is a play on words as it relates to the genre of music, but also suggests that Kano may have some sort of criminal background, making the reader intrigued. The puff reading “Music, Film, Style” effectively tells the reader what else is in the magazine.
In the photo, Kano is making eye contact with the camera, smiling and standing towards the camera with his hands by his side. This body language represents Kano as being very approachable and welcoming, making him suitable to be on the front cover of a major music magazine as readers would feel these effects and become interested in reading the magazine.
CONCLUSION In conclusion, I think that this front cover is quite effective, but it could be improved by using more colour on the text to make it stand out more. Other than this, it matches conventions to the point where the magazine is still recognisable, but it also goes against conventions by using a hand-drawn style for everything added on top of the original photo. The use of simple yet effective text gets information across very quickly and tells the reader everything that they need to know about the magazine. However, I do think that the addition of cover-lines could have been a good idea as there is only one specific article mentioned.
The colour scheme for this contents page is very basic, with black, white and red being used for text. The background is white, making the black writing stand out. The use of white space also makes the magazine look very neat and clean. Red is used for the folios in the “Features” and “Regulars” sections. This allows readers to differentiate between the titles of the articles and the pages on which they are located. This also makes them stand out against the photo of the Gallaghers behind them. When other colours are used on the page, they are very bright and vibrant and don’t necessarily follow a colour scheme as they may be related to a specific article. An example of this is the folio for the “RADAR” article. Green, red, blue, yellow and grey have been used for the logo, but haven't been used elsewhere on the page. This might intrigue a reader and make them decided to read the article.
The hand-drawn NME logo has been carried over from the front cover, linking the cover and the contents pages and suggesting to the reader that this style has a wider relation to the magazine. The background of the page is white, creating a clean looking aesthetic for the page. This also links in with the hand-drawn logo, making it look as if it has been drawn directly on paper. The rule of thirds has been used on this page, making it easy to differentiate between the various sections of the page, and also making it look neat. The rule has also been used again in the “Features”, “Sections” and “Regulars” section of the page. This section is arranged into three rows and three columns. Again, this keeps the page concise, neat, and doesn’t overload the reader with information that they aren’t interested in.
IMAGES Two images have been used on this page; the first is an small image of Mike Williams, the editor-in-chief, next to the flannel panel written by him. The use of this image adds a bit of personality to the page as the reader can see the kind of person that the text is coming from. This makes the magazine seem more human and welcoming, and therefore possibly relatable to the reader.
For a majority of the page, a black or white sans-serif font has been used. The advantage of this is that the writing is not distracting and looks more inviting to the reader. The use of white or black for most of the text means that the text does not clash with the white or black/navy backgrounds used on the page, making the writing readable.
The second image is a medium-long shot of the Gallaghers, linking to a feature about them in the magazine. They are wearing dark black/blue clothing, which contrasts against the white background, making them stand out to the reader. Their body language makes them look strong and confident, which may be traits that readers of the magazine would like to associate themselves with. The Gallagher brothers are also famously associated with British music, which is a strong theme within the magazine, and therefore it may attract readers and persuade them to read the associated feature in the issue.
POSE, STYLE, HAIR ETC. The Gallaghers are pictured wearing affordable clothing such as a jumper and a tracksuit, creating the impression that they are just normal people and come from an average background, making them relatable to the reader. In addition to this, they are also wearing expensive looking accessories such as gold watches and sunglasses, which contrasts against their clothing, which may make the reader interested in reading the article associated with them to find out how they became rich enough to afford luxury items such as these. The brothers are pictured as being tied to each other, representing their famously negative relationship with each other, suggesting that this may be covered by the Oasis film upon which the article is based.
WORDS & LANGUAGE One of the first words that the reader will see when they first open the magazine is the word “Hello”, instantly making the magazine seem casual and welcoming to the reader. The flannel-panel that follows it is written in a very conversational and anecdotal style, which further contributes to the casual style. The language used in the “Features” and “Regulars” sections of the page is very short and snappy, using various techniques such as buzz-words (“hilarious”, “supersonic”) and rhetorical questions (“What’s On Your Headphones?”). This keeps the page interesting to the reader, whilst also enticing them to read the articles.
CONCLUSION To conclude, I think this is a very stylish and functional contents page; white space has been used effectively to make the page look un-cluttered, and a simple colour scheme has been used to make the writing stand out and easy to look at. All of the standard conventions that you would expect to see on a contents page are present; there are folios paired with relevant details, a flannel-panel in which the Editor-in-Chief welcomes the reader to the magazine, and a large image relating to a feature within the magazine.
POSE, STYLE, HAIR ETC.
When people read magazines, their eyes often look straight at the left-hand side of the page. This DPS makes use of this by including the beginning of the title, an image of the articles subject, and a Stand-first, all on the left-hand page. When combined, these elements quickly introduce the reader to the article and tell them what they can expect from it.
The artist is pictured wearing very non-descript black clothing, suggesting that the article on the DPS is not about his style, but is more about the man himself. He is posed with his arms out, which has several connotations. For example, his arms could be seen as wings, suggesting that his career is taking flight or that he is in control of his life (linking to the “Kano Is Able” title. Another connotation of this pose is “Jesus”, which could suggest that he is powerful and well respected.
This design also creatively uses the image as a base for text. For example, Kano’s shadow in the image is used as a background for a fact-file about him. The placement of a fact-file on his shadow creates a link between these two elements, showing the reader that the information relates to Kano.
WORDS & LANGUAGE
Multiple variations (regular, bold, italic) of one font have been used on this page, with the font used being a very simplistic sans-serif font. A connotation of this style of font is the word “modern”, suggesting that this is the style that Kano’s music takes.
A grey-scale colour palette has been used for this DPS, creating a contrast against the bright colours of the rest of the magazine. This suggests to the reader that Kano is unique and worth reading about. It also suggests purity and that Kano is very human and relatable, making the reader interested in reading the full article.
The title for the article is spread across the entire DPS, making it clear to the reader that it is the title of the article. The title “Kano Is Able” is very non-specific but represents Kano as being very strong and respectable. This title is the first aspect of the DPS that readers may see, so it will entice them to read the full article to see what relevance it has.
All of the writing is either black or white, depending on the background. For example, white text is placed on a darker background, and black text is placed on a light background. This creates a contrast, making the text stand out to the reader but also creating an eye-catching design.
A single medium-long shot image has been used for the page and covers the entire page. It features Kano, creating a link between him and the article, and giving readers visual prompts as they read the article. The use of a high-quality image of the subject of the article is a key convention of double-page spreads in music magazines.
To conclude, this is a very creative design that uses various elements to represent Kano, the subject of the article, the kind of person he is and the style and genre of his music. This is done through the use of a grey-scale colour palette, pose, and the fonts and colours used for the text. When combined, these elements suggest to the reader that Kano is very modern, respected and powerful, but also has a slightly classical and pure quality to him.
Kano is represented through his pose (see the “Pose, Style, Hair etc” section) as being very strong and confident, which are both personality traits that readers may aspire to have. Readers may pick up these traits from the image and be intrigued to read the full article.