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AS Media Studies Music

Magazine Coursework

Analyze the front cover of NME, September 2009.

Denotation of main image its of Dizzee Rascal. He is using direct mode of
address to connect with the target audience and his facial expression is positive
which makes it more relatable and creates a happy atmosphere.
The vibrant red colours in the masthead are masculine and sans serif, appealing
more to men than women. Possibly connotes strength and masculinity.
Main image is anchored to the main
cover line his happy expression is
related to him spreading joy around
the world.
Background denotation is that it is
graffiti. Connotes that it is an urban
street setting, relevant to the genre
hip hop and is an artistic expression
It is also urban and modern/relevant
for today's youth. The use of the word
Joy in the main cover line also
anchors the graffiti as the magazine
tries to present that the graffiti is an
expression of freedom. Some
interpretations contradict, people
might view it as threatening.
There is use of slang in the main cover
line; man is informal, which also
relates to breaking the rules and
conventions and appeals to todays
toimage is a long shot; we know this as it
of frequently
shot used in
captures the subjects whole body, however the primary focus is from shoulders
up. This is achieved through strategic positioning from the photo shoot and
utilising rule of thirds. This has the effect of creating a theme of slanted imagery
on the cover.

The gold chain around his neck

connotes that he is a gangster since
its a popular convention for rap
artists or rap culture. It may also be
an expression of his wealth. The
tank top, joggers and sneakers are
all consistent and are
representative of the rap industry
and reflect the modern fashion. It is
informal and simplistic in design
and represents the target audience.
The masthead is sans serif, modern,
bold and vibrant, which helps draw
attention to it. It is also placed at
the top of the magazine with rule of
thirds so that the target audience
immediately sees the masthead.
Putting the typography on a slant
echoes or repeats the slant of the
main image. By not making it
horizontal it appears more informal
and creative. Breaking conventions
- not following the grid or rule of
Barcode is placed in the bottom right. It
is small and plain, unnoticeable so it
doesnt take attention away from the
prime features of the cover.

The banner at the top and the banner at the bottom do not relate to Dizzee Rascal. They are other musicians and groups. They
are separate from the main cover line and main image; placed at the top, and the bottom. The bands match the genre of the
magazine and it provides information about the magazine and what is in it. Blurr, and the puff are also separate from the
main cover line and main image. Follow a consistent colour scheme. The ones more relevant are at the top and slightly bigger

k 2b: Analyze the contents page from NME

The main focus is of the
touring special which is
supposed to resemble music
case with the use of the
metallic-styled corners and
matte black background. This is
an indication of good graphical
designing. The model in the
main image is also using direct
mode of address to create eye
contact with the audience and
in. cover of the

Furthermore, the use of mise-en-scene in the main image anchors it to

the cover line, as the model is pointing wards the coach/bus this is
commonly used by musical artists when travelling on tours.

The contents page does not follow

the same conventions and codes as
the front cover. The colour scheme
and layout is completely different,
except for the main image, which is
slanted in the same manner as the
main image on the cover.
Whereas the magazine cover was
bursting with colour, the contents
page is much more dull and
simplistic, keeping to a colour
scheme of red, white and black.
There is a rectangular puff in the
bottom right hand corner which has
a vibrant yellow colour, allowing it to
stand out and draw the target
audiences attention. It is
advertising the magazine and
encouraging the target audience to
subscribe, which in turn creates
profit for the creators of the

magazine, which does not follow

the typical codes and conventions
of grids, columns and rule of
thirds, the contents page is
structured in columns of three,
creating a grid format that utilises
rule of thirds. We can see this in
the way that the main image is
placed in the very centre of the
hotspots of the rule of thirds
where as the less important
aspects are in dead zones. Overall
it has a well structured layout. The
use of the masthead NME relates
back to the cover of the magazine
and establishes a brand for the
The cover lines on the right side of the contents page are deemed to be more important than the cover lines on
the far left; this is because the cover lines on the right have their own categorical titles with a differing background
and font colour to make them stand out as being more important than the others, whereas the cover lines on the
left use an extremely small font size and use the contras of red and black, which can be somewhat irritant to the
eyes. The page numbers help the target audience identify where the content can be found in the magazine.

Task 2c: Analyze the double page spread from NME

The double page spread
links us back to the front of
the magazine; it features
Dizzee Rascal as the main
image and the same urban
background with graffiti on
it. This represents the
urban, hip-hop culture as
well as the idea of graffiti
being interpreted as
artistic expression. I
believe its trying to fight
against the stigma of
young, troubled black
youth or the idea that
spray-painting is always a
As the main image, the
model is not making eye
contact with the audience
or using direct mode of
address. Instead, through
mise-en-scene, he is
looking somewhere else,
which creates curiosity in
the target audience,
wanting to know what it is
thats captured his

The title of the main cover line here also links back to the layout of the magazines
front cover, with bold, sans-serif font positioned at a slight tilt. It creates a
concurrent theme for the magazine. Its extremely bold, which draws the readers
attention to it, and the structure and layout of the double page spread appears to
follow the rule of three and column-like grids.

The manner in which

spacing is utilised with
the placing of text and
images in the double
page spread is
extremely clean and
simplistic; the article is
separated into four
nearly-identical columns
and none of the text it
squished together or
unidentifiable. This
creates a good overall
impression of the article
from merely looking at
it. It has a strong,
distinctive branding and
individual aesthetic.
The main image on the left dominates the left half of the double page spread,
placing a large focus on Dizzy Rascal as the model and anchoring that image to the
story of the double page spread. For the article its self, the first letter is much larger
than the rest of the font; this is to draw attention to the beginning of the article, this
is known as a drop cap. There are other secondary and tertiary images featured in
the double spread, much smaller and used mainly for aesthetic reasons to enhance
the content of the double spread; for example, the bottles denote alcohol whereas
the stereo denotes that it is related to the music industry.

Task 2d: Identify the elements that connect the 3 different

parts of the magazine.

Colour scheme: There is a continuation of colours established on the front cover of the magazine and extending
through the contents page and double page spread; these colours consist of black, white and red as the three
dominant colours.
Tilted/angled text: The effect of making the typography slanted or at an angle is that it creates a unique, edgy
and almost artistic theme for the magazine. As this breaks the usual conventions and codes of magazines, it can
be interpreted as being a symbol or representation of rebellion and individuality.
Main image + Content: The front cover and double page spread are extremely similar, whereas the contents
page differs slightly in terms of who the main image is and the content. On the front cover and in the double
page spread, both feature Dizzee Rascal along with the urban, graffiti-filled background which links strongly to
each other. The contents page between them has the effect of breaking up the continuation and providing
something new and interesting to get the target audiences attention.