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Front Cover Analysis

This essay discusses a detailed textual analysis of


a magazine cover from ‘Huck’. I will be focusing on
the key conventions such as mis-en-scene and
what messages and connotations the text is
conveying.
Firstly, the main image of this ‘Huck’ magazine
manoeuvres an unspecifiable gender, which
depicts as if they’re isolated and hugging their legs
like a vulnerable child would do when they’re
either in trouble or feel forsaken. This might
connote that ‘Life in Transit’ comes with distress
and sorrow. This image is not taken in a studio
but, seems to be taken in a contrived setting as it
looks almost staged. However, the eyes of the
bare-faced person in the taxi cab seems to be
directly at you when looking at the magazine due
to the eye contact with the camera. The costume
is one of the first things which readers look at
when reading a magazine cover. Therefore, the costume being worn in this magazine
is a punk like outfit. I could tell this from the spikey hair and heavy clothing such as the
big boots, black jeans and the voluminous black jacket. In addition, you could apply
rule of thirds to this magazine cover as its divided into three different sections.
Moreover, the Masthead ‘Huck’ is written in all lower-case letters which portrays the
brands is not conformed. The typography is in sans serif font which might convey
simplicity and modernity. The letters c and k have a rounded serif which could connote
a more significance side to the magazine. The word ‘Huck’ means to throw something,
this could then suggest the people living in transit are being treated like objects or
rubbish to be thrown into a cab to travel from place to place. The word ‘Huck’ could
also be used as it’s a short and catchy word which will allow the readers to perceive
the magazine each time a new one is produced. Below the masthead, there is a small
text which says ‘The journeys issue’ in all uppercase letters, which is the magazines
name. This text could be in small to show that the magazines name shouldn’t be
important to the readers.
Furthermore, the main cover line is all in upper case letters which says, ‘Life in transit’.
This written code gives the readers a clearer understanding of what the magazine is
about. The text is a yellow serif font which makes it more revealing to the readers as
the main image of the magazine is in black and white so therefore, the yellow font
almost makes it more striking to the readers when they first view the magazine. The
short sentence ‘life in transit’ might connote the discriminatory ‘life’ which the person
on the main image is living. I know that transit means to move from place to place so
therefore, this could signify the person in the main image could be domestically moved
from place to place which triggered the terror-stricken facial expression which is made
by the punk like person on the graphical image. However, ‘Life in transit’ could also
signify the responses given to people who are transgender. People who normally
transfer from a gender to another gender are often mocked and victimized. Therefore,
the word ‘transit’ could refer to transgender as you are moving from a gender to
gender.
The demographic audience for this Huck magazine is fairly young people who are
politically engaged and interested in both politics and culture. The small cover lines
which is really close to the main cover line could connote the target audience for this
magazine as it says ‘London fight club’ which perhaps implies this magazine is for
people wo live in London. The psychographic audience for this magazine are explorers
and reformers due to the global nature of the magazine as well as the political content.
You can easily apply Van Zoonen’s theory of feminism to the main image of this Huck
magazine as Van Zoonen states that woman in the media are always repeated as
objects to be appreciated for their revealing body but rarely an active spectacle. This
woman on the main image challenges this as the costume being worn is not revealing
at all, but instead masculine.