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Magazine Analysis Steven Staff


Front Covers

Kerrang!

The Word

Rock Sound


The Word- Front Cover ď Ž

The first thing I noticed about this front cover was it’s surreal and cartoony style. The lead image lets us know immediately that this is a music magazine, probably aimed at an older audience judging by the cartoon character and also that it not going to be too serious and will probably contain elements of humour. There is a fair amount of text on the page but it is broken down nicely into small sections so it is easier to tell that each bit is about a different subject within the magazine. They have made good use of the bottom left third here by placing a free CD there to entice potential buyers with the possibility of free music. There is a good use of colour on the cover as well, the background colour is a faded blue which is easy to put text on top of because most bright colours will stand out on it. However despite this the designer has still opted to place borders around most of the text just to make it that much easier to read. There is not a huge amount on the front cover which could suggest that this magazine is not trying to stand out and attract new readers but more likely it is just trying to cater to it’s present audience as much as possible.


Kerrang! Front Cover 

I looked through a lot of covers for this particular magazine because it is one of my favourite publications. I eventually decided to analyse this cover because it really jumped out at me over all the others. I think the main photo is what makes it special, it does a perfect job of conveying what the corresponding article is going to be about. Also when you combine the photo with the words “We’re excited…and frightened” you can really see both of these emotions in the singers face, which is why I think it was a smart choice of photograph. The cover also makes good use of the bottom left third by filling it with large, bold, eye catching fonts and also the word ‘Metallica’ has been cleverly placed here because it is a word that would be instantly recognisable to readers of this magazine and thus would draw their attention. I also like the choice of font for the smaller articles at the top of the page because they’re easy to read and all the same colour which means it is easy for interested customers to see what the main points in the magazine are going to be about, and the inclusion of the two smaller photos helps to fill the page out a bit and stop it from looking bare. Finally I like the way the main photo has been allowed to overlap the masthead, this gives the impression of the photo overtaking and engulfing the page so it is really noticeable. You could also say that the designers have allowed this because the masthead is so recognisable that you don’t need to be able to see the whole thing.


Rock Sound- Cover 

The first thing that caught my eye with this cover was the colour scheme, I really liked the red and blue contrast of the masthead and the background. I think this sort of colour scheme does a good job of subtly letting the audience know what kind of band is on the front cover, using light colours lets people know they’re going to be quite a happy, poppy kind of band. This theme is further drawn upon in the main picture which is a fun and silly band photo, showing that this band don’t take themselves too seriously. Also the accompanying text is very bold and brash, it’s almost like something out of a comic book and the words “We want to be the biggest band in the world!” When done in this sort of style connotes that the statement is quite ironic and meant to be seen as a joke. The only bad thing I would say about the cover is that it doesn’t make good use of the bottom left third, because all that is there is tiny text (which also doesn’t fit with the rest of the pages’ colour scheme) and that some of the text and photos at the top of the page could’ve been moved down too make it look less cramped and not so bare at the bottom. I like the dark blue glow that has been put around the main photo because I think it helps to separate the photo from the rest of the articles.


Contents Pages

Rock Sound

Kerrang!

Q


Rock Sound- Contents Page 

This contents page is probably what I would like my contents page to look like once it is finished because I think it has been really well done. The photograph is very appropriate and has been put to good use on the page as the main feature. Also the lighting makes it look like he is in a room on his own, which gives the page a slightly creepy, crazy feel to it. The text at the top is just there to give you everything you need to know about this issue and it has been positioned nicely out of the way, but the size and font make sure that it is still very noticeable it’s just not in the way. The contents have been laid out very neatly, with the page numbers next to each one and the band names in bold so you know who you’re reading about straight away. The colour scheme is simple and easy to read so the text stands out nicely against the black, and there is a funny quote at the bottom to add a little bit more humour to the page just to reinforce the fact that it isn’t supposed to be taken too seriously.


Kerrang!- Contents Page 

The thing I initially liked about this page was the layout. Everything on the page is laid out in squares with a little information displayed underneath each. The main image we see is of a band (Youmeatsix) who’re dressed up as zombies, this implies that this is probably a Halloween edition of the magazine. The other faces we see on the page are lots of people with guitars, sunglasses, leather jackets etc and only one woman. This may suggest that this weeks issue or possibly the magazine in general is aimed at a primarily male audience and is definitely aimed at music fans, most probably alternative rock fans, punks, metal heads etc. The contents page is very picture driven, there isn’t a lot of text which implies the magazine designers are relying a lot on image rather than information. By this I mean they’re allowing each individual to display their own style so it’s easier to pick out a target audience for each band/artist. Finally the colour scheme on this page has done a good job of keeping the same as the front cover and allowing the magazine to retain a consistent style.


Q- Contents Page 

The first thing you notice about this page is the main image on the right hand side. Judging by the way the band in this photo are dressed this magazine is probably going to be aimed at young people between the ages of 16-30 also their dress along with the location and weather in the photo suggest that they’re an English band and probably an Indie band which means this is going to be quite a mainstream magazine with a large fan base/audience. In terms of gender representation there are only men in the photos on this page, and in the main image they’re standing on top of a hill which connotes a feeling of power and dominance which suggests this band is having a good spell at the moment and they’re on the rise and doing well. In terms of fonts they have gone for serif fonts which are very modern and computerised suggesting again that this is a publication aimed at a younger audience and is very much rooted in the 21st century.


Double Page Spreads

Kerrang!

NME

Q


Kerrang!- Double Page Spread The main thing I really like about this page is the way the colours, the font and the overall style of the page really reflects the identity of the band. I think that is something that is really important when trying to show what kind of a band you’re writing about. The main image is interesting because it is a group of men but it is very sexual and has a slightly feminine feel to it. I think this is a really interesting example of gender representation because it is men using their sexuality to attract the audience, something that usually is seen with female artists. The main headline is incredibly bold and brash and in your face, this implies that we’re reading about quite an intense band who’re going to appeal to a very specific audience. However that point is tackled within the article. Both the headline (A twist of fate) and the pull quote (Things are gonna change I can feel it) both carry a similar theme, they’re both concerned with change and a new direction so before you have even started reading you know what the main discussion points of this article are going to be. Also the article uses a san-serif font and the text has been laid out almost so it is out of the way because the main pulling mechanism here is the picture. 


NME- Double Page Spread 

This is a double page spread out of NME. It has been done in a fairly typical style for the magazine, it’s very smart and casual but still done in quite a fun way. Also the NME is traditionally quite a lads magazine and is aimed at young people, they have fulfilled both criteria with this article by including the stars of The Inbetweeners which is a very popular TV sitcom aimed primarily at young male adults and teenage boys. On the left page there is a large full body shot photograph of the four stars. There is no

names on the pictures, this is probably because their names are included in earlier parts of the magazine but also because these faces would be instantly recognisable to the target audience. A lot of large fonts have been used. I think the choice of fonts mirrors the characteristics of both the interviewees and the show they’re from because both are very loud, rude, brash and in-your-face, however the choice of the colour purple lets people know it’s still going to be a fun article.


Q- Double Page Spread 

The thing that immediately caught my attention with this spread was the use of the drop-capital, it is extremely oversized and can easily be mistaken for a part of the page design rather than an actual letter. I like how it has been used to fill the large amount of empty space on the left hand side, it is a good solution to what would’ve been quite a problem stylistically. The article uses a serif font and contains a lot of writing, something that implies the magazine is more concerned with information over

style. The serif font connotes that this maybe quite a serious or factual article/interview rather than just an album plug or a new trend this article will be dealing with the personal lives or problems of a very well known band. The photograph at the bottom tells the audience that this band is going to be very brash and loud and that they have a big reputation as ‘bad boys’ or ‘troublemakers’ and also it could maybe be saying that this band are in the middle of a comeback because the megaphones could connote a feeling of trying to make themselves heard.


End


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