Textual Analysis

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  • TEXTUAL ANALYSIS For my Foundation Portfolio, I am going to be making a front cover, contents page and double page spread for a magazine. So, one good way to prepare myself for this is by looking at ones that are already out there to see what they use to make their magazine as good as possible. I will focus on the same three magazines that I looked at for my Market Research. These were Q, Kerrang! and Mixmag. I will start by looking at Q. Four of their most recent front covers look like this:

    We can see that there are many similarities between the covers. For example, the colour

    scheme. In each of the four covers here, the main colour scheme is reds, blacks and whites.

    This shows the consistency between the magazines and gives Q a sense of identity. Having

    a regular colour scheme will make the Q readers think about the magazine subconsciously

    whenever they see a mix of the three colours. The mixture of calmer, lighter colours (red &

    white) as well as the harsher, darker black makes Q more accessible for a wide range of

    people and would make more people want to buy the magazine.

    I am going to analyse one of the magazine covers now in more detail and will choose the

    September 2015 version, which features The Libertines on the front of it. There are various

    features that I can focus on to analyse:

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  • 1. MASTHEAD In every issue of Q Magazine, the logo is featured in the top left hand corner of the cover. The consistency gives the magazine identity, because you know its Q Magazine as soon as you see the red and white logo. It embeds an image in the mind of the reader of what Q Magazine looks like. 2. SECONDARY LEAD We can see it says Weller, Foxton & Buckler speak! which gives the reader the impression that they should already have pragmatic/pre-existing knowledge of who these three people are. This is a good selling technique, because if the reader does know who they are, they will want to read on to find out what they have said. And if the reader does not know who they are, they will want to read on into the magazine to find out. But also, its primary purpose is simply to inform the reader of what will be inside the magazine and hopefully make them want to buy it. 3. COLOUR SCHEME The main colour scheme of this magazine is red, white and black, similar to the other issues featured above. The red and white are Qs colours as they are the only two colours on the logo, but the black opens the magazine up for a wider range of readers, for instance the gothic/rock fans because black is a colour often associated with these genres. Another reason for the use of black could be because it is a colour which goes well with white, so it really balances out the mood and feeling of the magazine. The people in the feature article photo are also wearing colours that fit this colour scheme. 4. SECONDARY LEAD PHOTO The people in the secondary lead photograph also wear black to fit with the colour scheme. The point of the secondary lead is obviously to show the reader what else is in the magazine, but it also serves the purpose of providing something for different audiences. For instance, if the reader had no interest in the lead article, they may be tempted to buy it if they like what they see in the secondary lead photograph. 5. FEATURE ARTICLE PHOTO The feature article photograph aims to convince the audience to buy the magazine. The idea is that if they like what they see on the feature article photograph, it will make them want to buy the issue. Here, the people in the photo are looking straight down the camera to give the effect that they are looking directly at the reader and making eye contact with them. The fact its a medium close up tells us that we are going to be getting to know these people in a personal way. 6. HEADLINE The headline The Libertines serves the purpose of letting the reader know whats inside the magazine. Usually the headline refers to the biggest story in that issue of the magazine. The idea of putting this on the front in big, bold writing is to convince an audience to buy the magazine. If someone is a fan of The Libertines, then advertising it this obviously on the very front of the magazine will hopefully convince an audience to buy it. 7. ANCHORAGE The anchorage line is used to support the headline. As the headline is so large, there isnt room to write much detail, so they just use the two words The Libertines. The anchorage is there so that people can see what about The Libertines is in the magazine, because just those two words are very vague and could be absolutely anything to do with them. The anchorage leaves it on a bit of a cliffhanger, which makes the audience want to read the article and find out the answer to the question the anchorage leaves us open with, But can they survive each other? 8. MENU STRIP The menu strips primary purpose is to inform the reader of what is in the magazine. However, there is a connotation to the menu strip as well. This is that if the feature article or the secondary lead dont appeal to the reader and there was nothing else on the front of the magazine to suggest there was other things in there too, what reason have they got to buy it? The idea is that the strip can work together with the feature article and the secondary lead to hopefully provide something that will appeal to all ranges of audience. 9. SELLING LINE The selling line is also to tell the reader of other articles that might appeal to them. But usually in the selling line, its slightly smaller articles. For example, we know that because The Libertines is the feature article photo and appears large on the front cover, it will be a larger article in the magazine than Chvrches for instance, who are

  • mentioned on the selling line. The only thing to suggest that there is something to do with Chvrches in the magazine is the one word Chvrches on the selling line. Theres no anchorage or photo, just that one word. But these one words could appeal to a variety of different people who the feature article, secondary lead and menu strip dont appeal to, persuading them to make the purchase. 10. KICKER The two kickers feature the names of two big artists in the current music world, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. This provides a complete contrast to the feature article The Libertines, because they are a much older group. This shows that theres something for everyone as it focuses on the old and the new in the music industry. 11. WHITE SPACE USE There is a very limited amount of white space left on the page because the magazine is making a very big thing of the feature article, therefore there isnt much room left for much else

    Just like most magazines, Q Magazine features a contents page. This is an example of one that Im going to analyse:

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  • 1. ORGANISATION OF CONTENTS From the contents page, we can see that it is spread over two pages so that they can get as much information in as possible. From looking, I can guess that the ratio of images to text is about 2:1. They have organised it so that the text is on the edge of the pages and the images can take up the centre. 2. TITLE OF LIST Features. This shows that on the left hand side contents is a list of the featured articles, special for this issue. The articles on this list will not be on the contents of other issues, because they are only from this issue. The reason they are on the left page is because they are the ones that the audience will see first and are the articles that will attract the audience to the magazine most, especially if these articles have been featured on the front cover as well. 3. HEADINGS Every single headline on the left page is simply the name of artist as opposed to being detailed analysis of what will come in the article. It simply says who the article is about and if the audience is not interested theyll move onto the next item on the list and if they are interested then they will read onto the description. 4. DESCRIPTIONS The descriptions essentially provide what the heading doesnt. They go into small detail on what the article will be about featuring that artist. Its used to make the reader want to read about it, as if it just said Nicki Minaj, the audience would want to know what it was about her before they read it that was the focus. 5. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPH From the feature photograph, we know that this man is going to have a big feature somewhere in the magazine. Hes obviously got a key role to play in the enjoyment of this issue of the magazine. The big page number next to him suggests that this is where you need to go if you want to find out about him. 6. BANNER This banner is featured at the top of every Q Contents Page. It gives it a sense of identity as it has the logo on and it is consistently there in every issue. 7. DIRECTIONS TO A PAGE There is a lot of emphasis on page numbers on the contents page unlike the front cover. The purpose of the cover is just to get you to buy the magazine by telling you whats in it, but the contents serves to direct you to where you want to go in the magazine. The large number 72 next to the man with the guitar tells us that page 72 is where his feature is. 8. IMAGES The images are used to provide colour to the page and make it exciting to look at. The other purpose of them is just to obviously tell the reader what will be in the magazine and provide entertainment. The images take up the majority of the contents pages. This is because if it was all text, then the reader might get a bit bored and not like the look of it. 9. REVIEW It has a mini review of this issue of the magazine on the contents page so that its one of the first things that the re