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Time and Heat: A Discussion of Two Distinct Magazine Covers - Essay Example

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While Time was, from the beginning, an innovator as the United States’ first weekly news publication, the same cannot be said for the other periodical under analysis. Heat was produced in 2000 by the already well-established publishing giant Emap (‘Heat’, 2005). …
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Time and Heat: A Discussion of Two Distinct Magazine Covers
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Download file to see previous pages This magazine doesn’t have a website and is dedicated to exploiting the expansion of the already long established tabloid fascination with celebrity news and foibles. These and other fundamental differences are clearly demonstrated in a careful study of the imagery, wordage and arrangement of their respective covers.
If a magazine is ‘just a collection of signs’ (Bignell, 1997, p. 78), then it stands to reason that the cover is composed to both reflect the signs represented in the pages and to attract the target demographic. That the cover of a magazine accomplishes this is essential to its success, especially as magazines tend to be displayed together and many options are available. Additionally, when a person is seen carrying a magazine, the cover effectually ‘serves to label its possessor’ (McLoughlin, 2000, p. 5). Almost like a logo on a t-shirt or a distinct pair of jeans, the type of publication one reads can determine what sort of person he or she might be, as it functions as a brand. All the specific components of that cover, from the font type and colour to the selection of photographs and other artwork and their placement to the texture of the paper to the layout of different elements, come together to create what Daniel Chandler calls ‘a complex sign containing other signs’ (Chandler, n. d.). Even though it is only a single page, a magazine cover is what Barthes would consider a ‘system of signification’ (Barthes, 1967, p. 9), with the potential for revealing far more than the most attractive contents of the pages within. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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