Presentation on theme: "Magazine Case Study “Acoustic” Magazine (Published by Blaze Publishing Ldt.) December 2014: Issue 99."— Presentation transcript:
Magazine Case Study “Acoustic” Magazine (Published by Blaze Publishing Ldt.) December 2014: Issue 99
Background Information Acoustic magazine was originally published bi-monthly, but is now published every month. Acoustic magazine is the only magazine in the United Kingdom that focuses specifically on the acoustic genre of music. Acoustic magazine describes their magazine as: “UK magazine dedicated to the acoustic guitar, the acoustic guitar market, and artists.” Acoustic magazine is published by a company called Blaze Publishing Ldt., which is a company based in Great Britain. This is why the magazine is based in and sold across the UK and not other countries.
Design and Layout The general layout of the contents of Acoustic magazine is normally always the same. There is a letter from the editor, the contents page and news pages at the front of the magazine. The interviews of artists normally come around the middle of the magazine, and any seasonal articles/ “special features” come towards the end of the magazine (e.g. Gear Of The Year and the Christmas Gift Guide). I also found there are several forms and conventions that the magazine generally sticks to. These include the positioning of the masthead and scrolls on the front cover (and the font colours), and the way some of the regular pages in the magazine are put together, for example the contents page, the editors letter, and the news page at the front of the magazine. I also found that in the corner of the majority of pages reads “ DECEMBER 2014 ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE 10 ”. This is true for most of the magazines pages, excluding those with adverts on them, these simply do not have any other text on them that what is said in the advert, and this is true for all issues of Acoustic magazine. The same and similar fonts are also used throughout the magazine in order to magazine the magazine flow, and fit together; this adds the air of sophisticated and class that attracts a slighter older primary audience to Acoustic magazine, and I think that it fits this genre of magazine quite well. I will look more into the different pages in the magazine, and I want to go more into the mode of address and colour scheme used in this issue of Acoustic magazine, so I will look further into them as I go along in this case study. I think that looking into the photography of the magazine will be useful as well, so I will expand on that point in a later slide.
Colour and Convention I found that this issue of Acoustic magazine used many different colours in sections of their magazine but the three strongest and most reoccurring colours were white, black and red. I found these colours are very common for a lot of magazines, especially music magazines, e.g. VIBE and MOJO. More natural and autumnal colours, especially browns, yellows and reds, are used regularly through-out the magazine as well, especially as this is a common colour for acoustic guitars. Also, different shades of blue are often used, these can be seen on the “NEWS” page, and on the page with the editors letter on it. This is another colour, along with bright reds, that attract attention straight away. Blue is a colour which stimulates and awakens the mind (hence why most social networks uses shades of blue for their layout and logos), which means the colours attract and interest the reader instantly. I think that these colours fit really well with the magazine and it’s genre, as they both represent colours related to acoustic magazines, as well as attracting the attention of the primary audience and potential readers. The colours of the text always related and links in with the images on the page, e.g. the artist Tony McManus is shown wearing black and white, and the text used for his article is white, (with some red to draw the reader in), while the background is black; this demonstrates colour cohesion very well, and the colours in this issue are a good example of it. The three main colours of red, black and white continue through the whole magazine through text, images and layout. Red is often used for highlighting the important parts of the article, while black and white are mainly used for background and text, alternatively. Looking at lots of articles of Acoustic magazine, I found that the scrolls used at the top and bottom of the front cover are commonly in red, black and white. The small puffs on the left hand side of the scroll is usually in red, and the scroll is usually in black, with the font being white. I also found, especially looking at this issue in particular, that Acoustic magazine often changed the colour scheme to fit with the season/ specific time of year. This issue is a good example because the colours are very autumnal/ wintery and the background shows snowflakes, again linking to the fact this issue is December 2014.
…and Interviews Looking at the interviews with various artists in the magazine, they are normally written up in third person and they are reported what was said, and recording what the artist has to say. There are bits written by the interviewer, and the interviewee. The parts of the article written by the interviewer are normally background information and context for the article, whereas the artists words are normally what they have said, e.g. recounting a story. The majority of the article is normally from the artist, and the interviewer chips in now and then, explaining this or making a joke about that, in order to keep the attention of the reader focused. The language used is normally quite formal, especially the writers, as the magazine is aimed at older people so the magazine tries to be more sophisticated and smart about what they write and how it is written. Some of the artists quotes and stories are more informal, as they will have been quite relaxed and laid-back whilst speaking about and telling them, this could also link to their accent and dialect, depending on the culture and country that they come from. In the articles I read in this issue, there is no slang or swearing. I also couldn’t really find anything that indicated the artists regional identity, such as hints of a foreign accent or phrases from different countries/ cultures. I found a quote in an article about Lucinda Williams, “I bash the hell out of my guitars with my belt buckle on the back and my metal finger picks. I’m not a purist and I don’t like having something that’s too delicate.” I really like this quote because it’s very ‘raw’ and ‘organic’, it’s pure and real, not watered down to fit in with society and the media, it’s the truth and Williams is not afraid to say it. This quote was picked out my the magazine and made larger, in order to attract the attention of readers and hook their interest onto the article. This quote is meant to draw them in and make them intrigued, so that they read further on in the article. This also makes the article feel more personal, and helps the reader relate to the artist. Mode of Address…
Front Cover I like the front cover of the magazine and I think that it is really effective in attracting the eye of shoppers, especially those who fall into the target market group/ primary audience of their magazine, and the acoustic genre of music. I really like the colour scheme, as the burgundy background colour is very autumnal and seasonal, as it is a December issue. The pattern in the background looks like snowflakes which is also in-keeping with the cold and wintery theme. I like the image used on the front of the magazine. Although it is not an acoustic artist, the same rules of photography apply. The covers the whole width and height of the cover, and bleeds off of the right hand side. I like the subtle lighting, as it does not create a lighter and darker side, and only creates a slight shadow underneath the guitars. I like the fonts used on the front cover. A yellow is used for smaller, more detail information and a bold white is used to make the masthead and main feature article stand out on the page and draw the attention of the primary audience to the magazine.
Contents Page The contents of the magazine is shown across a double-page spread. The left hand side page consists of mainly images, with captions and page numbers referring to articles in the magazine. Whereas the right hand side page is mainly text, it shows lists of what to expect in the magazine and shows a few images relating to these but they are much smaller than the images shown on the previous page. On the right hand side there is a list of what can be expected in the magazine, however this does not include everything, it just picks out and highlights certain articles, advertising the most interesting pieces on some of the magazines pages. This is put into sections, e.g. “Special Features”, which means the reader can easily find the page number for an article of specific type of article that they want to look at in the magazine. The title of each article, and the page number of that article are written in bold text, with different sized piece of text underneath that is giving a brief explanation what that article is about. The page number is highlighted in red text to make it stand out, and it is in a different font size and in bold to add more emphasis.
Editors Letter Page I looked at the editors page as I found it very interesting, especially the colour scheme. The colouring on this page is very subtle; a plain white background is used a very little colour is shown on the page. Colour is used only for making the title stand out, the logos for companies and the words “Subscription Hotline” are written in a dark blue puff, the same colour as the title to make the page flow. The page consists of a letter from the editor, Guy Little, as well as information relating to the magazine, a list of writers, columnists etc., what social media the magazine can be found on (advertising synergy), as well as information about important people for making the magazine, and the publishing company and the MIA. At the very bottom of the page, the social media for the magazine is advertised. The logos for these are in colour, so that they catch the eye of the reader. This draws their attention to the subscription hotline too, which means more money can be made and they can gain more popularity. A QR code is also given, which is in-keeping with current technology. Two images can be found on the page, and these are of the two main focuses and most important pieces of the magazine; it’s front cover and the editors himself.
News Page The bottom 1/3 (approximately) of the page has advertisements (relating to the acoustic theme) for acoustic guitar strings. This is quite a good idea because, as well as being another way of making money from companies, it means you are advertising products to your primary audience that they may want or need, which they will be happy about. There are a few images to fit in with the pieces of new on the page, this makes the page more colourful and interesting for the reader to look at because it engages them and keeps the interested on the news articles over the double-page spread. The advert also helps to make the page more interesting. NEWS is written is capital lettering and is the biggest typeface on the page. The font is in a bold blue colour to attract attention to it, and draw the reader in. This is also used for an article name, also to catch the eye of the reader. A black text box is used at the top of the right hand page so that the colours are not too repetitive and the pages doesn’t look boring.
Photography Excluding Hudson Taylor, in this issue of the magazine, the photographs of artists in the magazine nearly always show them holding their guitar, or singing and playing, so the photographs are often less posed and more natural, which I really like. This means the focus is on them, but is specifically on their music and music career. The photographs of Hudson Taylor seems to represent them differently. They’re not holding their guitars, and they’re more posed and the position is quite model-like. The photographs and well-light and bright and they’re both wearing lighter, smart clothing. They body language seem to portray then as quite shy and awkward, as they’re not really smiling and are stood in a quite relaxed way, but it makes them seem sort of unconfident.