Saturday, January 29, 2011

My Magazine Comparison by Kathleen Vogel




For this project I chose two popular magazines on running. These two covers share several things in common in that their topics are similar, the central image the same, and the general set-up is the same. They also have plenty of differences as well since one magazine is geared towards a more specific group than the other.

Let’s begin with what these two covers have in common. First and foremost, both people on the covers on the magazines are in a running position wearing athletic clothing. The next most noticeable object on the covers are the nameplates which are both eye-catching. The Women’s Running magazine uses bright magenta lettering against a white background which really stands out. The Runner’s World magazine uses white letting against a dark gray background which creates the same pop-out effect. Immediately under the nameplate is the headline to what is probably the biggest highlight of their issue. Both headlines are in lettering that stands out by color and size, but not in such a way that it overtakes the whole cover. Also notice that the font sizes of their articles’ titles decrease as you move left to right and top to bottom. This is way a person would probably first look at and move naturally across a magazine cover. That means that the most important or biggest article of the magazine should be advertised in the upper left space of the cover. The barcodes of both magazines are also in the same location; the lower left corner. This is an area of the magazine that will probably take the least amount of damage and won’t sacrifice prime space for article advertisements. If it were on the right, it could be torn, and if the barcode is torn it won’t be able to be scanned in a store. The barcode itself seems to be removed on the Runner’s World magazine probably for privacy or security reasons. It would normally be the area where it says “magazines.com!”

The differences in this magazine lie primarily in what audience they are targeting. Women’s Running is obviously intended for female readers. The color choices are more feminine in choice (magenta, purple, light blue, etc.). The white background also softens the image as a whole as well. On the Runner’s World magazine, the lettering and coloring has more of a hardness to it but still remains neutral. This magazine is focused for all groups of runners. Keeping it more neutral means that both men and women will pick up the magazine because it’s not portraying itself more for one group than another. If you look at the runners on both covers you’ll notice that they also have different facial expressions. On the Women’s Running magazine, the runner is smiling and happy, while the one on Runner’s World has a more nondescript expression. This is another example of a more feminine image versus a neutral one.

Knowing how to set-up your magazine cover appears to be affected by a few select things: the importance of articles, headlines, targeted audiences, and overall topic of the magazine. Articles and headlines must be placed in order of importance, the audience should be targeted usual subtle visual cues, and the topic must made clear from the cover as a whole. Following these few rules, one can create a visually effective magazine cover.

12 comments:

  1. Great comparison! I work at the the publishing company that designs Runner's World! :-)

    Great point about the colors being either gears toward both genders or just woman!

    Women's Running makes running look fun, while Runner's World has more of a serious look and feel.

    Good write up!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the point you make about the bar code. It certainly makes sense keeping it in the lower left corner where it won't get damaged. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like how you noticed the target markets for these magazines in your comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  4. These two covers really do have alot in common and you did an awesome job in literating that

    ReplyDelete
  5. I liked the comparisons you made between the two magazines as well as the differences that make the magazines directed toward a specific group of people.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like how you ppointed out that in both magazines it is not only towards one gender more then the other and how the magazine producer's decided to put the barcode in the corner. I personally hate when the barcode is in the middle of either a picture or a headline for the magazine.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These two mags may have been a bit more of a challenge than most. while both have many similar qualities you did a great job on dissecting their differences. nice work on recognizes the name plate color palettes on both.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great insight as to noticing the color usage for the target audiences - feminine vs unisex. Also, a good observation on the barcode positioning - I did not think of that before.
    I notice how a lot of magazines organize their headlines similar to the way you describe - Biggest to smallest/ "most important" to "least important".

    ReplyDelete
  9. GREAT job I like how you point out that the two girls are running on the magazine cover.

    ReplyDelete
  10. At first I thought this was the same magazine twice, good choices.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, I think runners world show a more serious competive look and womens running looks more fun

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think its funny when the magazine matches the colors of what the person is wearing with the color of the font. But both of them are matching, they have the same content (maybe I dont know), but they are not competing drastically though they should.

    ReplyDelete