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Rock Street, San Francisco

The magazine that I am analysing is called ‘KERRANG! ‘. When the magazine is first opened there is a contents page. This is very brief but explains what news; features, reviews and regulars are in this week’s issue. This is laid out so it is very easy to read and it mentions everything included. The contents are written in a small, white font on a black background, this is to make the writing stand out and be easier for the reader to read. Also on the first page is the editor’s column. This is column usually involves him either describing the content of the issue, or him answering a popular question that has been posted in.

This is usually in a small box situated in the top right hand corner. This is not necessarily supposed to be read as it is written in very small, white copy. I think it is written this small as most people skip through the opening content page and just flick through the magazine. This page also has a very big picture of a famous artist and what page his/her interview is on. The layout for this page is very well done as all the contents are put in a straight vertical column in a medium sized font, which makes them very easy to find and read.

The page is designed so that it is easy to read and to make it easier for the target audience to find what they are looking for. The first twelve pages are about news of live gigs and forthcoming albums from the artists that are featured in the magazine. These are for the readers of the magazine who are likely to either buy the bands albums or go to their gigs. Usually on the first page there is a huge picture of an artist(s) with a largish section about what projects they are working on and what they are planning to do. This is usually written in a lot of smallish paragraphs.

The words are written in very small characters, which means young children shouldn’t read the magazine, as they might not be able to read such small print. Also the language in the magazine is quite complex and there maybe some expletives involved in the writing. This is because the target audience is older teenagers to young adults and the language involved is usually relevant to them. The magazine is laid out so that the artist is recognised straight away as there is a photo taking up the whole page. This is good so the reader would know exactly whom they are going to read about before they read the article.

The rest of the news pages are just a selection of news columns that have being going on that week. These are designed so that they are just skimmed over and so that the main news can be found in a matter of seconds. This is a good design, as otherwise the reader would get another magazine, to find out this information quicker. After the news section there is quick section on up and coming bands that the magazine rates quite highly. This is laid with a picture of a band and then a small section of text explaining where they come from, what genre of rock music they play and when their album/EP is coming out.

This is to make sure that the information is short and snappy and so that if the reader hears that band’s name again they will remember all of what was written down in the article about them. The design is mainly a big picture of the band so the reader can remember them. Next there is a big section of features about some really famous bands. These usually have a photo of the band, which takes up a page, and then there are other pictures of the band during a live gig or relaxing.

This is laid out well as the photos show the band how they really are and would make the audience feel as if they are there when the interview and the gig is taking place. The main interview takes up a few pages and is written in small, detailed, white script on a black background. This is so the writing is easier to read as it is a very small font. There is usually a theme to the interview, normally about the singer’s private life, or something they have done many years ago. The interview is designed so that it has to be read more than once to get the whole gist of it.

This is because some of the themes may be quite complicated or something very difficult for the person who is talking to describe. The layout is to put the photos above the text so the reader quickly glances at the photos, goes back to reading the article and then looks at the photos properly afterwards. This is so the reader isn’t distracted when s/he is reading and that they don’t lose their place in the article. After the main feature there are usually a couple more features involving some bands that are promoting an album or are on a tour.

These are laid out with big photos of the artist with small, detailed text underneath. This is so the artist is recognised before the reader starts reading and so they know whom they are reading about. The articles have to be read thoroughly as they have a huge amount of information about the artist, which the reader would never have known. These features are usually trying to cram as much information as possible. This is a bad design because there ought to be bigger text boxes to make the sentences together as the sentences don’t always make much sense.

The layout is quite well done, as the reader doesn’t have to struggle to read the writing because the colours don’t clash or make the text hard to read. After the features are the reviews of gigs that have happened in the last couple of weeks. The reviews are laid out with a couple of photos of the band playing at the gig. Underneath the photos are a very brief review of some of the songs, and how good the gig was. The text is in a small, white font, which is the same as the rest of the magazine, and is very easy to read on a black background.

The photos always show the band enjoying themselves, and the photos show gigs as enjoyable places, with energetic bands that like to play music. This is to help advertise gigs to the reader and make them want to go to a live show. The review section is designed to give a very large amount of information in a very small space and it does this very well by including puns and witty remarks about the band and some members of the audience. The live gig reviews is then followed by a review of albums and singles released that week. The review consists of the band, the album title, the mark out of five ‘KERRANG! ‘ gives the album and the review.

The reviews are very short and do not always describe the album, but the band’s previous work and what the reviewer thinks of them. This means the review may not be all that reliable, as it is only someone’s opinion. Also on the page are various photos of bands, with short, witty captions placed underneath. Usually featured is a full review of an album done by a really famous band. These are placed under a big photo of the band involved. The review is very detailed and the reviewers mostly know what they are talking about and are designed to be read thoroughly, so that the reader can get a good idea of what the album sounds like.

This works very well as the reader gets a very detailed description of the album and the reviewer can give them a very good idea of what it sounds like. After a huge amount of adverts for gigs and albums, the reader comes to the letter page. This has a wide variety of letters talking about very different subjects going on in the world of rock. These are placed on a white background and are written in black. The letters are placed in columns and are written in short colloquial language, which involves slang. It is designed to be read in order and thoroughly as otherwise the reader could miss the point of the letter.

Also on the right hand side of the double page is a swag which gives out free gifts if the reader phones up. There are photos of the objects on offer and a funny description next to it. On the last page of the magazine there is an interview with a member of a band. The interview is written so the interviewer is just asking questions, and the band member is answering them. There is a photo of the band member on the top left hand corner, with the name of him/her and their band located above it. On the other side of the page the interview is written in columns and is very easy to read as it is written in pub speak.

Underneath the interview is a text box with the interviewee’s five favourite songs written inside. The interview is designed well because the photo doesn’t get in the way of the text and it is written clearly and the text is very easy to read. After that there is a page explaining what is going on in the next issue, this is just a big picture of the main band feature and names of some other bands who are featured in the magazine. It is effective as it gets the point across of who is in the magazine and what they are doing.

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