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Signs And Signifiers - Music Magazines

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Signs And Signifiers - Music Magazines

  1. 1. MUSIC MAGAZINES Signs & signifiers Analysis By Matthew Rimmington
  2. 2. Introduction • For my Music Magazine, I have chosen the genre of Rock. The genre has been around for a long time and was very popular in the 70’s and has inspired current music artists to include aspects of the genre in their music. So, in order to convey my magazine to my target audience, I need to include typography that stands out from other fonts as Rock can be very abstract. I also need to include a dark and bland colour palette (Red and Black) to connote Rock’s aggressive nature that a lot of people associate the genre with. The images will be dark and exaggerated as well, such as a close up of a musical act showing a miserable face to suggest an intimidating mood. These types of conventions make the genre recognizable and make it easier to identify the target audience.
  3. 3. FRONT COVERS • Kerrang is one of the most popular modern rock magazines, and a lot of genre conventions are included on this front cover, as well different signs being used. • The central image of Jared Leto, who is the lead singer of the band ‘30 Seconds to Mars’, is an Indexical sign because his posture and facial expressions suggest that there is a meaning to the shot. The close up and his facial expressions suggest a daunting mood, which suggests an aggressive atmosphere, which is what a lot of rock fans look for in that genre of music.. The quote ‘I could be your worst enemy’ reinforces this idea and is an anchorage as it relates to Leto’s facial expression. The dark clothing emphasizes this impression more as well. Leto doesn't appear to wear any makeup, which suggests that the article is up-close and personal and he has nothing to hide, which is hinted at in the caption ‘Jared Leto’s dark side exposed!’
  4. 4. The secondary images are all shots of the other rock acts that are mentioned in this issue. These stress the magazines emphasis on rock and it’s connections with popular and successful acts. Which makes the company more trustworthy. The typography used is a symbolic sign. The main cover line which uses the bands logo is presented in the same font but shown in red so it blends in with the front covers dark and bland colour palette. The imitation of the band’s logo makes it easily recognizable to the fans, which therefore makes it a symbolic sign. The majority of the other text used is iconic because it directly tells the reader what they will get if they buy the magazine. The Masthead is much more eye-catching then the other text used. The font and colour of the masthead is symbolic because the logo for ‘Kerrang!’ is recognizable to people who read the magazine or listen to the radio station. The ‘broken glass’ highlights rock’s combative and individual sound. The majority of the typography uses a ‘Sans Serif’ font which emphasizes the magazines informal element.
  5. 5. FRONT COVERS This issue of ‘Rock Sound’ suggests that the magazines are for a younger target audience, due to it’s brighter colours and informal layout and typography. The central image of the group ‘Fall Out Boy’ shows the group giving direct contact to the reader. This is an indexical sign because it suggests that the article about the group is intimate and personal, making it appealing to the reader. The groups clothes are dark which contrasts with the light blue background, which makes the group stand out more. Whilst the other members of the band appear quite intimidating, the main band member appears interested and fascinated, which suggests that the group has an interesting and mixed persona, appealing to other aspects of the rock genre. However, the main band member’s posture shows him leaning over, which makes him appear imposing and intimidating. This is an iconic sign because it is directly representing the ominous side to the band.
  6. 6. • The layout of the cover is very informal. It uses a bright colour palette (blue, yellow) but it also incorporates some dark colours, mainly around the bright secondary cover lines, which makes them more eye-catching. The colours are iconic because they represent a care free nature in terms of what the magazine includes. However, the bright colours and the central images intimidating look gives a mixed message, but this widens the target audience more. • The typography is quite informal, which highlights the untroubled feel of the magazine. The text is colourful and shown in bold fonts. The main cover line doesn’t use the bands official logo, but it looks similar to the other text at the bottom left of the cover, which emphasizes the rock genre. Therefore, it is an iconic sign. The cover line is also shown in a bright yellow colour, in contrast with the bands dark clothes, which makes it stand out. The masthead is presented in front of the central image which makes the masthead eye-catching. Because it is presented in a red colour, it reinforces the idea of the dark colours that are associated with the rock genre (red, black) but it is presented in a lighter red, which again highlights the positive and youthful atmosphere of the magazine.
  7. 7. Contents page • The contents page for this issue of Kerrang appears quite detailed, Sharp and not overcrowded with text, which shows a more formal look, making the magazine appear more sophisticated and reliable in terms of its content. • The top half of the page is mainly covered by a large image of a man playing am electric guitar, on his knees. This image is both an iconic and symbolic sign because it represents the stereotypical image of bands playing at live shows, but it is also recognised by fans of rock and gigs. The camera angle of the picture is at a low angle which makes it appear as if the reader has gained a front row seat, making it more appealing.
  8. 8. • The bottom half of the contents page is made up of text and secondary images. The magazine is broken down into sections and is clearly shown due to the larger text being inside a black box, in contrast with the white background. The text is an iconic sign as well as the puff/pug at the bottom right which is representing an offer of the magazine. The colours used are quite bland and simple, so the page doesn’t look too colourful and/or informal. This is an iconic sign because it is generally representing the articles the magazine has, but it also shows this in the style that people associate the rock genre with.
  9. 9. Contents page • This contents page is simple, straightforward and uncluttered. This makes it easier for the reader to understand what the magazine includes. • The image of Jacob Saddix shows him using direct contact towards the audience and he is putting on a amusing face, which perhaps relates to rock creative and unique side. His facial expression contrasts with his clothing and tattoos, which makes him appear intimidating. The image is both an iconic and symbolic sign. It is an iconic sign because it simply represents the artist, but it is also an symbolic sign because his dark colours and make up are symbolic of rock.
  10. 10. • The typography on this contents page uses a sans serif font, which usually suggests a informal style. Because the layout of the text is informal but the layout of the page is formal, it is a subvert use of text. The colour of the text is bland and not colourful, very much like other rock magazines.
  11. 11. Double Page Spreads This double page spread highly shows the codes and conventions of the rock genre. The colour used on the spread is very dark (black background, red and purple text) which is an symbolic sign because the dark colours are associated with the rock genre, due to the stereotypical idea that rock music is aggressive.
  12. 12. • The central image of ‘The All American Rejects’ shows the band bending over at a low camera angle. This perhaps suggests that the band’s music is quite intimidating, but there clothes suggest that it is quite creative and exciting at the same time. The image is a iconic sign because it is representing the band and their style of music. • The typography uses a sans serif font, so It is therefore informal, but the text is presented in a sharp, clear style, so it is therefore a subvert use of text.
  13. 13. Double page spreads This double page spread shows the central image of ‘A Day of Remember’ taking up the majority of the page, with text around the edges of the page. The central image of the band shows them screaming at the camera, which immediately suggests that there music is energetic and upbeat, suggesting a younger audience. The image is an iconic and symbolic sign. It is iconic because it represents the band, but it is also symbolic because it is representing a young, active audience.
  14. 14. • The spread uses a bland colour palette. The background is black which is expected, and it is contrast with the white text, so it stands out more. • The typography on the spread looks quite like what people would relate to an American high school. This suggests that the band is American and that their music is suited towards a more younger audience. The typography is a symbolic sign because the text is representing the colours that people associate rock with. •