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Textual Analysis Rhiannon Jenkins

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  • Textual AnalysisRhiannon Jenkins

  • Textual analysis Kerrang! MagazineCirculation - 44,013Readership - 396,000

  • Kerrang!s Mission StatementKerrang! will ensure that we are constantly appealing to our spectrum of readers. From the younger teenage readers who are more open to different genres of rock music from emo to thrash etc, to the readers who respect Kerrang! as an authority when it comes to our scenes heritage bands. Each issue will include a balance of bands and scenes to guarantee that were providing for our readers need for variety and their passionate appetite for their favourite bands as well as their desire to be introduced to NEW MUSIC within our world. We will focus on the BIGGEST things that are going on in our world each week, as well as guaranteeing that we are giving our main base of younger readers everything they need to get into, on top of this the interest in older, harder bands, cementing our role as an educator.

    Nichola Browne Editor

  • Kerrang!s Reader ProfileJim, 22, lives and breathes rock music: it informs his choice of friends, his hobbies, leisure time, attitudes, fashion sense and lifestyle. Above all he is fanatical about THEIR music. He engages with music 24/7, from the minute he wakes up til the minute he falls asleep: when he is not listening to music or watching music TV, he is talking to his friends about music, attending gigs or playing instruments and dreaming about rock stardom. He is plugged in, sharp, has a strong moral code and rejoices in his individuality. He is a fashion trend setter in his peer group but he is heavily influenced by musical icons and scenes. Like the bands he supports he is extremely loyal to the brands he trusts. The way he looks and the clothes he wears is integral to communicating his identity to the world.

  • Kerrang! - ColourThe colour scheme of Kerrang! is red, white, black and yellow. Red is the colour of fire so connotes danger, energy and passion; something that will appeal to the readers because it could ignite their passion for music and the energy that they get from it. The danger of the colour red also ties in with the mystery of the colour black, used in the background. Black is also widely associated with death and evil and usually has negative connotations but the use of the colour yellow represents sunlight and happiness, juxtaposing the two colours and creating a neutral combination. The colour white also works in the same way as yellow as it connotes innocence and purity, creating a complete contrast between the blood-red colour and the virginal white. The use of these juxtaposing colours could represent to the audience the idea of hope and happiness (white and yellow) always shining through the cracks of sad or stressful time which the colours of black and red may depict. This hope could represent a solace that many people find in music, which is exactly what the magazine is trying to present.

  • Kerrang! Layout & Design The masthead is in a font that is made to look battered and rough, the exact image that is associated with the genre of music that Kerrang! portray. All of the fonts are bold and easy to read, which could connote strength and perseverance, something that is associated with a lot of bands and the themes included in their songs. This creates a strong house style, meaning that the main image could cover up part of the masthead but the audience would still recognise the magazine as Kerrang! because of its well known layout. The banner along the top of the cover grabs attention, especially with the alliteration of Cracking Christmas. All of the text featured is red, white or yellow on a black background which creates a colour scheme and house style. However, the three inserts WIN!, 88 page giant issue! and 20 best albums of the year revealed use a different colour background, making it stand out more to the reader and presenting something unlike the rest of the magazine, instantly arousing interest. The words All New and Ultimate create the a feeling of excitement and anticipation, drawing the reader in more.

  • Kerrang! ImagesThe Male Gaze (Mulvey) has been used here because the main image of Kerrang! represents the target reader or what they aspire to be. The musicians on the front are pictured in normal, everyday clothes, making them seem as if they are not that different to the audience. None of the musicians are smiling but the picture is in no way morbid; the varying facial expressions and poses made create interest and make the reader want to pick up and see exactly why they are doing what they are doing. The rule of thirds has been used to draw attention to the singer in the middle at a first glance, but on a second look the eye is also drawn to the other 4 musicians as they are all positioned on the same level to establish that they are also important. It is also used to present the main feature of the magazine as it has been spread across the entire page, and the other images used have been placed near the bottom of the cover so as not to draw too much attention away from the main story. The images have been used to show the posters that can be found inside the magazine. Again they show typical conventions of the rock genre with the moody looks and the unique dress sense.

  • Kerrang! Pose, style, hair & make-upThe pose of the subjects create the stereotype of what an ideal rockstar should be. Branston and Stafford claim that stereotypes emphasise some easily grasped features such as the typical moody glances and the use of the devil horns sign being made: a widely used convention of rock music. This could lead to an evaluation of the group and in this case, negative stereotyping may occur. Four of the men are wearing the colour black, making it the dominant colour of clothing. Three of the men have visible tattoos making them seem like an almost natural part of the body in relation to the music genre. The red coloured hair and the tattoos make two of the men stand out predominantly: This could symbolise that at least one part must be noticeable, another example being Corey Taylors hat. However, the other two dont have any particularly extravagant features, meaning that standing out does not have to be for everybody. In relation to the poses they are striking, the only staged pose is really that of the musician in the middle. This could have been done to attract initial attention from the reader who would then take another look at the more naturalistic poses of the others.

  • Kerrang! Composition & FramingThe images are all mid-shots of each artist which have been digitally manipulated to fit onto the page. They have all been take separately and have been cropped away from their original background and layered onto the black background and just overlapping each other. The plain background could be there to show that it is not really that important and is just a base on top of which the musicians are placed. The rule of thirds has been used so that my view is first drawn to the man in the centre and then moves across to view the other people. I then find myself looking down at the writing underneath and then at the images and inserts that are around the page. This seems to be a good way of looking at the magazine because the eye seems to move downwards and left to right in a natural way until it has taken in most of the magazine. Afterwards I then find myself scanning each corner for the inserts, meaning I have taken in the cover as a whole.

  • Kerrang! Written codes & LanguageWords such as ultimate and special suggest that the magazine provides the reader with something exciting and unbeatable, making them more likely to buy it. The coverlines suggest what the readers are interested in by listing a range of bands that can be found inside but by adding and more! at the end, it is suggested that even if a particular reader is not a massive fan of any of these bands they are very likely to find something that suits their taste inside. The main coverline reads 2010 which would immediately attract attention from afar, not only because of its size but because this magazine was issued right at the very end of the year and suggests to the reader that something explosive is about to top the entire year. The language on the cover addresses the reader with an effect almost like a shotgun; once it has fired its first brief bullet of information cracking Christmas presents worth over 1000! it then quickly moves on to the next 88 page giant issue!. These sentences are short but attract attention and make the reader want to know about them more in depth.

  • Kerrang! - Contents page. The colour scheme has been kept the same, but the lack of red which is widely associated with danger and blood could suggest that the reader is safe and secure now that they have bought or are reading the magazine. The colour white is used as the background which represent hope that is found within the magazine. The black text is also easily read against the white background and the yellow is always placed with black, making it easier on the eye. The layout is simple, with the first half of the page being used for a picture which will initially attract the reader. The picture is of a man wearing all black (a typical rock convention) but also has giant metal wings, representing him as an angel but with the rock genres own twist. This could make him almost a role model for the younger readers and an aspiration for the older audience, showing them that rock can have a positive image. However, all of the models on the top half look posed but in some way, still natural, showing the audience that they can look good but are not completely faking it.

  • Kerrang! Contents pageHowever, the second part of the page is dedicated to the written contents of the magazine. Although this part also contains images, along with the text it looks a little messy. This could suggest that Kerrang! is a less intellectual read, which reflects the actual content of the magazine.The note from the editor gives the magazine a personal touch, and means that the reader is being spoken to in an informal manner. The use of informal language means that the reader is being addressed almost as a friend and in this case as an equal, meaning that they feel important and valued. At first glance I am drawn to the main image which is interesting and makes me want to find out more about it. My gaze is then drawn down to the actual contents which I firstly scan to see if there are any articles that catch my interest. I do not usually read the editors note. I think it should be bigger or dedicated a different page so I can focus on just that in more depth.

  • Kerrang! Double Spread13The colour scheme of the double spread is very similar to the front cover and contents page of the magazine, giving off a feeling of perseverance and continuing. The design of the spread uses the rule of thirds because attention is initially drawn to the singers face, and his name and band, which is the title of the article. The way the quote Getting to grips with being a dad was amazing is placed on his arm could be associated with the phrase wearing your heart on your sleeve, which could suggest that he is honest and expresses his emotions openly, again using the male gaze by making him a suitable role model for the target audience.

  • 14Kerrang! Double SpreadThe font used for the masthead of the article is the same as the masthead on the front cover and looks rough and battered. However, this juxtaposes the content of the interview which is actually quite truthful and could be used to show that a rockstar may have a tough exterior but is still caring on the inside. The same could be said for the actual design of the page: the corners look grubby and blackened which could suggest that the singer has committed some sins throughout his journey. As well as this the red could represent blood lost along the way, both of these things suggesting that he has been through a lot but has turned out well and successful in the end.

  • 15Kerrang! Double SpreadThe image used is the same as the one on the front cover apart from it now being black and white which could represent the honesty of the interview because there are no grey areas or anything to hide. However, the singers hair is still the same colour as usual which could be again using the male gaze making it a visual pleasure for women, especially because the colour is red which is related to love and passion. A mid shot is used to allow the reader to see the facial expression of the subject but also his body and the clothes he is wearing so that the audience can model themselves on him and achieve their aspirations of being like him inside and out.

  • 16Kerrang! Double SpreadThe image has been digitally manipulated and put onto the background of the article so that it fits in better and is easier for the eye to look at. For example if the image was on a plain white background and was in colour it would not look like the image goes necessarily with the interview whereas having it black and white and with a different background it fits in with the colour scheme and house style of the piece. The language used is informal and at times when it could be used, is sarcastic and funny.This could be used to make the reader feel at ease and as if the stars and the magazine itself is actually being friendly towards them.

  • 17Kerrang! Double SpreadThe pose the model is taking suggests that by opening his jacket he is literally opening up in the interview. However, it could also be seen by female readers as a more provocative symbol. Branston and Stafford claim that stereotyping categorises and evaluates a group. Here the stereotype could be that male members of a band are assigned a negative stereotype of having groupies. By this stereotype most people will assume that this applies to all bands. In this case it is proven wrong because the content of the interview talks about the singer maturing and becoming a father. A mid shot is used to allow the reader to see the facial expression of the subject but also his body and the clothes he is wearing.

  • 18Kerrang! Double SpreadWords such as happy, pleased and enjoyed grab the readers attention by suggesting that it is a positive interview and could be telling them how happy you could be when you succeed and reach your dreams. Alternatively, words such as rumours, death and breaking show the sometimes hard times of a stars life.Only around half of Kerrang!s readership is ABC1, meaning that the other half would find more intelligent language and sentence structures too difficult to follow, which could discourage them from buying the magazine. For this reason Kerrang! have to find a balance within their language so that it will appeal to everybody regardless of their class or age.

  • Kerrang! - OverallKerrang!s strengths are its consistent colour scheme its layout in the double spread. However, the layout of the cover and contents page are too crowded and is sometimes too hard on the eye because it is hard to take everything in. The image used in the double spread has been digitally manipulated and placed well because of the use if the Rule of Thirds. The way the subjects are posed and styled in each picture is something that I may take for my own magazine because I think it represents the rock genre well. The use of language and vocabulary is good because it appeals to all ages and intelligence levels but I have considered that more mature readers may find it too simple. However, my magazine is not aimed at an older audience so I can take influence from the way the articles in this magazine have been written. 19

  • Textual Analysis NME MagazineCirculation - 56,284 Readership - 411,000

  • NMEs Mission StatementThe NME is the longest published and most respected music weekly in the world. Every week it gives its readers the most exciting, most authoritative coverage of the very best in contemporary music. The award-winning www.nme.com, launched in 1996, has grown to be the biggest commercial music news site in Europe.

  • NMEs Reader ProfileMark is 25 and believes that music is an incredibly important part of his life. He enjoys listening to new bands, specifically those of the indie genre and enjoys listening to live bands in the studio as well as seeing them live in concert because he believes the atmosphere of a live performance is amazing.

    Mark works full time but is becoming more and more interested in taking a music-related course. He spends most of his extra free time on the internet researching the latest bands and purchasing their albums and singles via iTunes. He also visits NME.com every few days to check any news or updates that may interest him.

  • NME - Colour23NME has a colour scheme of red, black and white which work well and are commonly used together. However, the background is blue in colour which creates a calming feel unlike that of Kerrang!. This colour is juxtaposed with the fiery, passionate red which brings energy to the peaceful background. Blue is also a masculine colour which works well with the cover image of a man and appeals to the target audience and reader profile. The background looks as if it was once black and now has a blue mist crawling over it, creating an air of mystery which suggests that if you open the magazine the mystery will be revealed. NME is a popular British magazine, so the colours red, white and blue have been used to represent the British flag and to suggest that British bands are the best in the world.

  • NME - Layout & Design24 NMEs layout is a lot less cluttered than Kerrang! which could suggest that it is a more intelligent read. The font used for the masthead is also used for the coverlines and straplines. This could be because it creates an atmosphere of continuity and also means that the reader focuses more on the words than the style of the text. There is no serif used on the text which makes it look more masculine, appealing more to the male-based target audience. There is a clear house style which allows the words and images to fit together in a way which is appealing to the eye. The layout uses the rule of thirds by placing the singers face directly on a crossover which helps keep the cover remain balanced and proportioned and allows it to be viewed comfortably by the reader. The text is also placed so as to leave some breathing room around the sides of the image allowing emphasis to be placed on the main feature which is the photograph of the musician.

  • NME- Images25The main image would advocate the male gaze (Mulvey) because men would aspire to be the man featured, not only because of his looks but because of how successful he is. In this way it represents the target reader by gender and also by the small age gap and the musician and the target readers passion for music. On the other hand women would want to be with him, making the musician equally attractive to both genders. This magazine uses significantly fewer images on its front cover than Kerrang! which helps to keep it more orderly. The only other images used are three smaller ones all in a line which are three of the most significant bands featured and those which will attract the audience more. The main image reflects the content of the magazine mainly because the artist shown on the front is the basis of the main story featured in the magazine. This gives the readers a clear picture of what will be inside.

  • NME Pose, style, hair & make-up26Branston and Staffords Representation and Stereotype theory state that some easily perceived features are what leads to an evaluation of a certain group. In this case the singers dangerous pose with his fist in his hand could create a negative evaluation of rockstars, making them seem violent and dodgy. This could also be interpreted by the black leather jacket worn by the singer, a piece of clothing often assumed to be worn by tough people. The poses of the artists in the smaller pictures are all shots taken from a live gig, symbolising the importance that NME puts on regarding live music and concerts and suggests that this will take up a large part of the inside content. The subject of the image is posed but in an interesting way that could tell a story, meaning that in no way is it fake or boring.

  • NME - Composition and Framing27The background looks as if it was once black and now has a blue mist crawling over it. This seems as if it has been digitally manipulated and creates an air of mystery about the magazine and subject of the image himself. The image is a mid-shot which allows the facial expression and emotions to be easily seen but also lets the reader see the style and clothes that the artist is wearing; something that can influence the audience in how to be more like their role model. The rule of thirds has been used so that the eye is first drawn to the coverline reading MUSE and the artists face; the main feature of the magazine. The eye then moves down to the three smaller images and then across in the natural left to right fashion and so on until it reaches the bottom of the cover.

  • NME Written codes & Language28Words such as unveiled and revealed make the magazine seem mysterious and that if you read the content the mystery will be shown, making it more appealing to the reader. The word last is also made prominent by being a different colour than the rest of the text and ties in well with the threatening pose of the singer, making it seem dangerous and almost sinister which immediately makes the reader want to find out what is going on. The most important words are made clear by being a different colour or being bolder/bigger than the rest and it is these words that will easily be seen on a shelf and will attract the readers attention. There are less straplines and coverlines than on Kerrang!, which leaves space for them to be bigger and more easily noticed from afar.

  • NME Contents Page29The contents page uses a simple colour scheme of black and white which could connote elegance and sophistication and could also imply that you either love NME or you hate it, there is no grey area. As well as this, black on white is the most common way to print text and is easy for the reader to concentrate on. The layout is quite simple and the images along the side fit in well with the words but the main image in the middle looks slightly disjoined, however, NME may have done this to suggest that although the magazine is tamer than others like it, it still has that rock n roll edge and shouldnt be underestimated. The main advertisment on the page is in blue which makes it stand out to the reader and look appealing. It has also been deliberately placed on the bottom right hand side so that it is the last thing the reader will look at and will therefore play on their mind and may convince them to subscribe.

  • NME Contents Page30The text used for the masthead of the contents page is big and bold but also has serif: this could suggest the magazines softer and more mellow side, reflecting some of the music featured in it. However, most of the text used is the same font which keeps it straightforward and matter-of-fact, allowing the reader to easily scan through the page. Another thing that shows the magazines gentle side is the main image used which is of two people who clearly care about one another; something that opposes the promiscuous stereotype of a rock star. NME is therefore trying to break the mental and emotional parts of the stereotype. However, all of the people in the images used look and dress conventionally as a musician should. This could be done to show that a rock star is only skin deep and what is inside is what really matters. Many of the subjects in the images are posed because it allows the magazine to portray the artists in whatever way they chose, consequently influencing the audience.

  • NME Contents Page31All of the images have been manipulated by either cropping or re-sizing in order for them fit the page. However, unlike the front cover, all of the images still have their original background to create an atmosphere of honesty and purity so as to make the read feel like they are being told the truth throughout the magazine. The quotes that have been picked out are interesting and funny, instantly drawing the reader in and making them want to read on. E.g. I hired a live wolf and covered myself in pythons this is nowhere near a normal circumstance and evokes interest from the reader. The unnatural circumstances presented via the quotes make the artists seem almost as if they are not human which will instantly make the audience admire and adore them, however, they will often try and find things that they can relate to from the artists which can often be found in the actual articles.

  • NME Double Spread32The colours used are very much like the contents page black and white. This shows that there is a constant house style that is kept throughout the magazine. These colours have been used for the text because it is easy to read. The words and images fit together well: the interview is in a nearly opaque text box, creating an almost dream-like atmosphere which reflects the pose of the artist in the image. Although he is wearing sunglasses, it is obvious that he is gazing into the distance as if he is remembering something. The pull quote has also been placed as if it has been transmitted directly though his eyes and onto the blinds creating the feeling that the reader can see into his mind, making them feel as if they are just as important as the artist himself.

  • NME Double Spread33The artist is wearing white in the picture which connotes peace and tranquility; this juxtaposes the pull quote which is talking about being lost, desperate and there being paramedics, creating an underlying sense of urgency. The words all I remember initiate an uncertainty about the article, making the reader want to carry on and find out what exactly happened. The fact that the singer is wearing white could also represent an angelic figure, symbolising how close he came to death. The image could represent the target reader because of his gender and age and could allow the readers to sympathise with his story more than ever. The image still has its original background and because there has been no manipulation this suggests to the reader that the story is completely true and has not been edited making it trustworthy and reliable.

  • NME Double Spread34The language used in the main article is informal but is very matter-of-fact unlike Kerrang!s jokey side. However this may be due to the subject of the article. Although the language is serious, in no way does it makes the reader feel uncomfortable or as if they are being spoken at rather than spoken to which is very important as undermining the reader would probably be the most unattractive thing to do in a magazine. The pull quote grabs the readers attention by using the word paramedics because it is something associated with danger, accidents, being hurt and coming close to death. This is instantly an attention-grabber because the reader will want to know the entire story and if it really is as dangerous as it is made out to be.

  • NME - OverallOverall the cover was very appealing to look at and I think I will take its layout into consideration when I am creating my own magazine. The colour scheme used on the front cover is something I think I will use for my magazine, however, I would maybe use more colours on the contents page and the double spread to make it look a but more exciting. I liked parts of the layout on the contents page but if I were to re-create it, I would put the larger, main picture on the right hand side rather than in the middle as I think it would attract more attention and also make the page a little more aligned. I liked the way the double spread was laid out, with the main picture being the entire background and I would like to try it out for my own magazine if I decide to do a similar article. The language used in NME was a lot more precise and eloquent than Kerrang!s,but on reading other articles in the magazine the humorous flair was still there. However, as my audience have chosen to be spoken to in an informal manner I have decided to stick with that, but still taking influences from the funny quotes and way of writing things. The only thing I didnt really like in the magazine was I thought it was a bit bland and because my audience is around 8 years younger than NMEs target audience, I have decided to add a splash of colour here and there to excite my audience that little bit more. 35