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Front Cover Analysis


The NME music magazine front cover really demonstrates NME’s attitude to music; very free, fun and up-to-date. They show this especially with this issue’s main picture of Dizzee Rascal; looking rather ‘fun-filled’ and free himself. The pull quote, “I’m spreading joy around the world, man!”, is definitely a great way to pull in a huge audience, through the happiness in which is presented. A good pull quote is definitely something I will use in my magazine. Nigh on the whole front cover is consumed by Dizzee Rascal, implying that he is definitely the biggest and main article in this issue. Even his name stands out, mainly due to the Size and style of the font used. This is definitely a good idea to attract attention to the magazine. The huge masthead, ‘NME’ really stands out from the rest of the front cover and is really in your face and eye-catching. Again another feature I’ll use when producing my magazine. The use of a flash is really complimentary to the front cover, it appears as a news flash, really serious and sensible. But the contrast to this is the language used in the flash really expands upon NME’s playful and fun side, using words like, “Wowee zowee”. That really put the sensible and serious look of the ‘news’ flash and make it what NME is. The use of big bold cover lines is also a really good and attractive feature for a front cover, especially being that the cover lines are there to attract the readers with a good base of articles within the magazine. Also a feature I shall be using. Then finally the use of a skyline to emphasise that there is some kind of exclusive in the magazine that will interest certain, if not all readers, because you would expect NME readers to be interested in gig listing s and making an exclusive for this specific interest is a huge selling point. A significant amount of these features have been placed in the left third of the magazine, for good selling points.


Q magazine is a more stylised and formal magazine compared to NME, still showing emotion in its work but keeps itself under control. Really this magazine is really aimed at the 20+ year olds, and is more about the more matured, longer lived and professionalised artists and aren’t really into any new acts, though they may talk lightly about anything new to the table it really steams forward more with what they know. You could say Q was the older brother to NME, the teenager. Even the Q masthead gives a more mature feel to it; event though this issue contains Muse’s, Matt Bellamy smashing it with his guitar. The huge font and style of font used in the cover lines is a brilliant way to catch an audiences’ eye. Especially if what is being advertised is something the readers take interest in. Interestingly Q has a slogo twinned with their skyline, which makes a good mix. This gives the slogo a more prominent look, like their slogo is a trophy. But when your slogo is ‘The UK’s Biggest Music Magazine’, you would want to flaunt it. Colour scheme is worked into the front cover really well also. The colour scheme allows everything to stand and not have pieces in the cover being shadowed by other features on the cover. The mix of red, white, black and grey, works really well and compliment each other. This front cover is fantastically put together and is really attractive to the eye. The colours, the placement of features, the slogo/skyline combination and the main picture of Matt Bellamy showing a rebellious, crazed and out of control side to match the article and the main cover line.


Rock Sound is what you would find if you crossed NME and Q magazine. It’s got qualities from both of the previous magazines’ front covers. For example, the flash. NME used this as a feature but made it to their style by using words like ‘Wowee zowee’, but with Rock Sound, they have taken the flash and stayed within sensible margins to just advertise that they have reviewed the new Muse single. The big, bold lettering for the main cover line, again like the previous magazines, to emphasise the main article in the magazine and an eye-catching pull quote. Together, the flash, main cover line and pull quote are all situated in the left third of the magazine cover, for a good selling point. Having the slogo, cover lines and exclusives situated on the right of the main image and more cover lines underneath is really affective, this builds up a type of picture frame style around the main image. The cover lines to the right and underneath of the main image are sorted out in a list style, a sort of contents page. Also with the ones to the right there are pull quotes, as a type of enticement to read about the different band articles, if the pull quote is interesting. One thing new to this magazine compared to Q and NME is that this issue of Rock Sound contains exclusives. Which equally is a good enticement to readers to buy the magazine if they believe they’re getting something for free. I may consider adding something like this to my own magazine.


Contents Page Analysis


The NME contents page follow really well from the style of the front cover. With the same kind of visuals and keeping the same text. Although the contents page looks rather more organised and clearer than what the front cover is. Having a contents section is incredibly essential for any magazine, as it allows readers to find certain articles throughout the magazine. The editor’s letter is made to be the first thing you look at as it takes up pretty much half of the page, and the image and the drop cap really show the letter off.The letter also gives an impression that the editor cares about the audience. Another good feature and marketing scheme is the advertisement to subscribe to their magazine. Both an editor’s letter and advertisement shall be used in my magazine.


Q’s contents page, as expected, is in the exact, formal, mature feel that Q project throughout their magazine. Though not full of images, the contents page is rather image based page. Which is rather a good motive to attract readers towards certain articles if they see an interesting image to go beside it. Also underneath the contents,there are little captions giving insight to the article and explaining certain interesting points in the article. They’ve kept the masthead as a main feature on the page and also showing the issue number. Giving the main article a massive contents page number really shows that they want you to read this article if nothing else, a really affective attention grabbing feature.


And once again Rock Sound has a merge between the previous two magazines’ contents pages. Following the tradition of the previous pages by featuring the masthead in at the bottom right of the page and having Oli Sykes from their main article behind the masthead is a brilliantly affective feature. It is kind of a way to remind the readers what they should really be looking at. Including the issue number and date. This will be a feature I’ll associate with my own magazine contents page. Having captions underneath the contents appears to be a popular feature used in magazines, as it is used in Rock Sound and has been used in NME and Q. Being a popular feature, I shall definitely consider using this kind of feature in my magazine. The main image behind the contents is really well put together the way the band in the image are positioned to make room for the contents. But their position also allows for a pull quote to be introduced with out any obstructions to any of the main areas of the image.


Double Page Spread Analysis


The NME DPS is laid out to be mainly text lead with only a moderation of pictures of Dizzee Rascal’s life. The text set into many columns and made to bend around the images and not overlap. The headline is humongous and really is eye-catching and really defines Dizzee Rascal before you even read the article. Kind of explaining his type of designer, and labelled life style thanks to his success as a popular artist. The photos of Dizzee Rascal that are used really show his fun side and party side and that really matches with the image you get from the front cover. Dizzee Rascal’s pull quote in the article also really relates to article and his road to being a celebrity, saying that he now classes himself as a celebrity because he cant seem to walk down a street without people recognising him. Though not heavily employed, Photoshop techniques have been used like little hints of Photoshop brushes show up, I can easily achieve what has been produced here with Photoshop. All-in-all, some very good techniques that I can use for my own in this DPS.


Q magazine’s DPS yet again follows their formal and organised look, ironically though the articles on how Muse are a band of misfits and their crazy times as a band. The article is set out as previously said, very organised, there’s no need for text to be wrapped around any pictures etc. Drop caps are seemingly used quite a bit through the article, in some ways give a hierarchy to these bits of the article meaning that nigh on all of this article is important and shouldn’t be skipped. The pull quote used, “It can’t be a coincidence that we’re a band of misfits.”, really links nicely with the article and also gives an insight of how the band sees themselves. This article is definitely not picture lead but definitely text lead, even though the text is rather small, it fills up two pages pretty much. The images though, don’t really co-exist with what the article is originally about. The pictures are rather ordinary of a band; being in a studio and being on stage. There isn’t really any headline to this article apart from the band name, so I have chosen to play this as the headline because in a way it introduces the band anyway so no headline is really necessary. Q magazine isn’t really a magazine to fill an article with Photoshop, and this is true of this article, as there is none to be seen.


And finally, Rock Sounds DPS is what you’d typically see from a heavy rock orientated magazine. Sticking to it’s design but at the same time being very rock with the way they have used that certain type of font. The layout is like the previous, very text orientated. Being covered with very much more text than pictures. Having only two pictures in an article seems a bit minimalist but in this case it works rally well as the two pictures used show who the lead singer is and really his type of I don’t care attitude. The headline and sub-header are really prominent, obviously to grab the readers’ attention to the article. Along with the Photoshopped image of the of the lead vocalist with a rough white background/outline. Rock Sound have started there article with a drop cap, as I previously said to gain readers’ interest and add some importance to the article. Oli Sykes pull quote really defines him as a musician and a classic rock artist with a ‘I don’t care’ attitude, but adds that just to make sure he never has to care what people think of him or the music the better the album the music so people cant complain. One other thing to say though, is that even though the rock attitude look is there for the article, it is rather organised in how the columns of text are laid out. As there is not real text wrapping around images apart from the first few paragraphs. Which is a good sign to say that Rock Sound, even though giving the classic ‘I don’t care’ look, when the one thing do care for is their magazine.


Analysis of Music Magazines and their Features