- Slides: 5
Media ISP Week 9 By Rachel Dean
How Can the Front Cover of a Magazine Establish the Genre? • One of the features of a magazine cover that can establish the magazines genre is the colour scheme. The colour scheme can tell the audience a lot about the magazine, such as the genre and the primary target audience. For example, a children’s magazine produced for girls will have a colour scheme of pink, pastel colours or other ‘soft’ colours. This is because girls are stereotyped as gentle and delicate. On the other hand, children’s magazines produced for boys will have a colour scheme of black, blue, red, camo or other ‘hard’ colours. This is because boys are stereotyped as violent and hard-core. • Another genre-identifying feature of a magazine front cover is the main image. If the main image is of a sports team, the magazine is most likely of a sports genre. If the main image is a close-up of a celebrity or model wearing makeup, styled hair and accessories the magazine is most likely a beauty one. Finally, if the main image is a long shot of a celebrity or model, the genre of the magazine is most likely fashion or gossip. • Moreover, the layout of the magazine can say a lot about the genre of a magazine. For example, a teen magazine often has a hectic layout; diagonal text boxes, text overlapping images and more than one images are typical features of a teen magazine’s front cover layout. On the other hand, a sophisticated magazine for adults will have perfectly symmetrical, horizontal text boxes, typically surrounding the main and only image that is in the middle of the magazine front cover.
Examples of the Difference Between Magazine Front Covers and their Genre This sport magazine is clearly identifiable as being a magazine in the sports genre, from the name, fonts and main image. These two magazines, both made for children, are clearly intended for different genres. The left cover has ‘soft’ colours to appeal to girls whereas the right cover has bold, intense colours to appeal to boys. This is an example of a teen magazine. The colours are bold and the text boxes look messy and unorganised. This fashion and beauty magazine is identifiable by the ‘girly’ colour scheme, the long shot used in the main image and the tag lines that focus on beauty tips and sex.
How Does the Contents Page of a Magazine Establish a House Style and Brand Identity? • The contents page of any magazine is carefully written and edited to give the audience information about the genre of the magazine, the magazines primary target audience, the type of information that the audience will gain from reading the magazine, and more. Because there is no large piece of text in a contents page (apart from the editorial letter, which is only meant to give the reader information about what is in that edition of the magazine), the writers and editors have to encode this information through things such as the house style and the brand identity. • A house style is the way that the text has been edited. This includes use of punctuation, bold or italics, mode of address, abbreviations and more. For example, teen magazines develop a brand identity by using vibrant and bold colours. This is emphasised with the house style of ending multiple sentences with exclamation marks, emphasising a point or drawing attention to a sentence by highlighting it, and an informal and direct mode of address so that a bond between the writer and the reader is created. • A brand identity is how the magazine identifies itself to make it easy for regular readers to find it amongst similar magazines. This can be done through colour schemes, fonts and layout among other things. For example, the layout of a food magazine is symmetrical and organised to reflect the organisation and careful presentation that is key in food preparation. Furthermore, the colours used often vary in colour and are very intense to reflect the rainbow of colours that one meal can contain.
Examples of the Difference Between the House Style and the Brand Identity, and Genre. Highlighting text, direct mode of address and intense colours is what makes a teen magazine’s contents page different from the others. This contents page is clearly from a food magazine. The clues, apart from the main image, is the bold colours in the background used to reflect the bold colours found in food, and the simple font to not distract the attention from the contents of the magazine.