The anatomy of a magazine-21/10/2016

“A study of the structure of internal workings of something”

Today’s lesson we focused on the anatomy of a magazine, focusing on what elements most or all magazines share and looking at examples of where these typical conformities are changed/different and whether they work well or not.

Magazine cover

  • Masterhead – The name of the magazine displayed in the typeface in which it is designed.
  • Date – Month and year of publication, often with the price and issue number.
  • Cover line -Information about whats featured in the magazine.
  • Bar code – Standard bar code used by retailers.
  • strapline-Short 10 word maximum summery of what the magazine is about.

Magazine inside

  • Contributors page– A page giving credit to all those who contributed to the making of the magazines and its content.
  • Folios-Page numbers.
  • Editors letter-Short piece by editor explaining whats in the magazine to readers/introducing the issue.
  • Contents page-Shows the reader the content of the magazine and on what page they can find it.
  • Special reports-Articles of themes.
  • Book-Centre section of a magazine (features, long articles)

We headed to the library after this to look at some interesting magazines, most I had never seen or heard of before. In pairs we were to pick out two magazines, one in which we were to analyse the cover and the other to analyse an article.

Hotshoe magazine cover

The cover of this issue of Hotshoe magazine is very simple and minimalist. As a photography magazine its cover features one large image from an article inside the magazine.Its has no strapline or coverline and only features the title of the magazine, the price, issue number and barcode. I think as a photography magazine this works well and they can get away with it as at the end of the day it is all about the Photographs and letting them speak for them selves. The spine features the masterhead, issue number, date and also the names of every photographer who is featured in the magazine this issue.

Frame magazine article

The article for Frame magazine seen above is more conventional and “normal” than the cover of Hotshoe is. It features a full page image of the person who is being featured/interviewed on the right and to the left is the text including the headline “blow by blow” the body text, a pull quote, body text and folio.

After break we came back to the studio where we was giving our last task of the day, To create our own magazine cover but with a difference. We were asked to make a subversive or genre-defying redesign of a conventional magazine cover for a traditional or prosaic newsstand magazine. I worked with Billy and we began brainstorming possible ideas. Finally we agreed that we  really wanted to take a food magazine like Goodfood or Gourmet and completely flip it on its head.

Standard popular food magazines

Our magazine cover


Our aim was to create a cover for our food magazine ‘Greed’ that was the complete opposite style to the commercial food magazine we saw whilst researching. Black and white photography featuring less than desirable food pilled on top of each other with a punk-ish newspaper typography masterhead and plain white background. A minimal amount of colour just the pop of red on the spine and underlining our article title, issue number and snappy strapline.

I really loved created this genre-redefining cover it was fun to take the normal conventions of a genre and completely flip them, making them much more interesting in my opinion. This lesson opened my mind and gave me ideas of the way in which I could create my zine cover and article in our upcoming project.


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