Magazine Cover: Choosing the font…

Posted: March 27, 2011 in Media

Well, after analysing different film magazine covers I realised that most of the time, the font is kept quite simple to make sure it is not too over complicated- and thus makes it look more professional in general. So, now that I had chosen the name for my magazine cover, I needed to choose a suitable font…

I narrowed it down to the following choices….

Font choice no.1…

Why I liked this font…

Well I like this font because it has a ‘fancy’ style. It kind of looks as if it is promoting something stylish and professional. Despite this my only problem with this is, although this is a nice font, that it looks a bit feminine and perhaps would be more suited to a gossip of women’s magazine than a film magazine.

Font choice no.2…

Why I liked this font…

I like this font because it is naturally bold, like most fonts chosen for film magazine titles/names as it therefore catches the reader’s attention. And as this is one of, if not the,most important aspect of the film magazine cover this is an aspect I am likely to consider when finally choosing a font to use.

Font choice no.3…

Why I liked this font…

Well I liked this one because I think it looked, well, stylish and fitted well to my film (trailer) personally, as it has a sort of thriller-ish style. But I may be focusing a bit too much on my film with this font than magazine covers themselves…so I’ll want to consider this before I choose it or not.

Font choice no.4…

Why I liked this font…

I liked it and initially chose it because it reminded me of the ‘Empire’ font used for the name of Empire magazine on their covers. The fact it was tall made me think that it’d be helpful for catching the audiences’ eye but I think that it may not be bold enough for a title and could easily be glanced over perhaps with the cover’s other distractions (such as images and puffs etc). Also, if my image was superimposed over the top of this font, it could quite hard to read due to its style.

Font choice no.5…

Why I liked this font…

I liked this font because it was compact - thus meaning it’d leave space for the other more important aspects of the magazine (like the main image). Whereas it is also quite bold, meaning it would still be easy to read and for audiences’ to recognize. My only concern was the fact it has a ‘western’ theme/style and being used for a magazine called ‘Brit Flicks’ might somewhat contradict this.

Font choice no.6…

Why I liked this font…

I liked this font most of all because it is easy to read and overall, plain and simple- thus it doesn’t draw attention to itself too much and therefore doesn’t take away from the other aspects of the magazine cover. If I were to choose my favourite font, I would choose this one undoubtedly.

Although I generally did have a specific favourite amongst these font choices (no.6 clearly), I thought I would ask for audiences’ preferences to see which one they liked the best (as the audiences’ opinion is generally the most important, and not mine). Thus I created a questionnaire and handed it out to 20 people to get a varied and wider opinion on which font would be the best choice for my magazine cover…

Q: Which of these fonts is your favourite (in general)? Why?

Design no.1- /// (3 votes)

Reasons Why…

(various answers)

‘I like it- it looks fashionable and stylish’

‘looks fancy and nice’

‘generally looks good’

My thoughts…

 Well, I gathered that many might like this font- specifically female respondents to the questionnaire, because as I have stated before, I feel despite how nice the font is, it would be better suited to a female ‘gossip’ or ‘celebrity’ magazine (such as ‘Heat’ ot ‘Take a Break’). But specifically for a film magazine (and for an important aspect at that- the magazine’s name itself), the font may not work as well as others possibly could.

Design no.2-// (2 votes)

Reasons Why…

(various answers)

‘it’s bold and impactive’

‘It’s a nice style and is eye-catching’

My thoughts…

 Well, all in all I thought the font was good, but on a personal note it is a little plain. And I gathered that if asked their personal opinion on which they liked better (not which would work better on a film magazine cover) I didn’t view this font would get very many votes, which it didn’t. Though I do agree that it does have a little bit of an interesting feel about it- as it has a style, but it’s just quite limited/restrained.

Design no.3-///// (5 votes)

Reasons Why…

(various answers)

it looks cool’

‘it’s different and looks quite unique’

‘I like it- it’s interesting to look at’

My thoughts…

 I had a premonition this would get the most votes, as I have to agree, it is the font that is most unusual and interesting (as the others are quite plain in style). But, the bigger question is not of personal opinion and of whether it’d work on my magazine cover…

Design no.4-/ (1 vote)

Reasons Why…

‘it’s quite quirky and different- it sticks out’

My thoughts…

 I didn’t think this would get many votes either. Just because it’s stylish but somehow still quite plain- it’s stuck in the middle somewhere I think. But I don’t think it’s very nice-looking in general (as I can gather from the response from audiences’ here) nor would it work very well on my magazine cover, so I think I’ll rule it out for now.

Design no.5-0 (no votes)

Reasons Why (it didn’t get any votes?)…

 NO votes? Quite Harsh. Well, actually, as I said, it’s a bit weird choice of font for something that is promoting ‘British’ films. So, maybe audiences’ picked up on this and therefore didn’t choose it for that reason alone.  Also, I have to say, even if my audiences’ did like it personally, it wouldn’t work extremely well on a magazine cover anyway as it’s not conventionally what we usually expect to see on a magazine cover and I wouldn’t use it on that reason alone.

Design no.6-//// (4 votes)

Reasons Why…

(various answers)

‘it’s not trying to be something it’s not’

‘It’s easy to read’

‘It’s plain and not too over-complicated or complex’

My thoughts…

 Well, I’m happy this got a lot of votes (well, a few) as I personally think it is the best choice of font. The best reason for this being happily what one respondent picked up on- that it’s ‘not trying to be something it’s not’ and it’s this which I think makes the font overall, a better one. It’s not trying to be over-complicated or complex, it’s just telling it like it is- which I think (from my recent research in this area) most magazine cover fonts tend to do.

Q:Not considering your favourite personally, which font do you think would work best on a film magazine cover? Why?

Design no.1-0 (no votes)

Reasons Why (it didn’t get any votes?)…

 Well, this wasn’t much of a surprise to be honest. As I noted before, this font is nice, but it just wouldn’t look right on a film magazine. It doesn’t really connote anything in its style about films at all and therefore, not being plain enough to cancel this out, I have to agree with audience feedback and say this font wouldn’t work for the magazine name.

Design no.2- ///// (5 votes)

Reasons Why…

‘Because it’s an interesting font’

‘it’s thick and bold like most fonts for magazine cover’

‘Because it’s easier to read than some of the others’

My thoughts…

 Well, I do agree with the amount of votes this font got as I do view it as one of the best- mainly because it has the attributes that magazine name fonts should have- i.e. easy to read, bold & eye-catching. Yet, it is still an interesting font and is not boring in the slightest to look at so, considering this and the amount of votes it got, I may want to think about using it as the actual font.

Design no.3-/ (1 vote)

Reasons Why…

‘It might fit in with a certain *type* of film magazine. So this font would stick to the theme’

My thoughts…

I knew this would happen too. Audiences’ clearly feel that (like me) this font is too complex to be put on a film magazine. And although my film magazine is specified for ‘British’ films (being called ‘Brit Flicks’) I don’t think this font would help it in any way. It could even draw attention from the main image or key signifier of the magazine cover, which would probably be a bad move. Thus, I don’t think I’ll be choosing this font (though it is the best looking…)

Design no.4-// (2 votes)

Reasons Why…

‘because it’s still interesting but not too complicated’

‘it’s not too thick but is slim and tall- therefore it’d be easy to read’

My thoughts…

 Yeah, I think I’m kind of indifferent on this font. Because although I do like it for most of the reasons audiences’ gave for voting fo it (as stated above) I don’t think it’s that amazing either. I think this is mainly due to the fact that I believe that because it is not as large as the other fonts, nor as bold, it may not be easy to read if I superimposed an image over the top of it. Thus I don’t think I’ll use it… 

Design no.5-0 (no votes)

Reasons Why (it didn’t get any votes?)…

 I think generally it wasn’t a very good font- especially in terms of a ‘British’ film magazine. And I think audiences’ may have picked up on this fact and therefore not have chosen it. But also, it wasn’t very big or eye-catching like the other fonts and therefore may not be as easy to read (which is essential for this aspect of the cover really) and therefore I think I’ll pretty much rule out using this font….

Design no.6-///// ///// // (12 votes)

Reasons Why…

(various answers)

‘Because out of all of them it is the easiest to read’

‘it’s plain and simple- which is good as it’s not too complicated’

‘It’s a plain font so it’d fit well on a cover that was promoting different types of film’

My thoughts…

 Well, I’m very happy with this result as I could agree more with the feedback I’ve been given. I have to agree totally with the audiences’ choice, that being that design/font no.6 is the best choice for my magazine name. This being because it is the biggest, easiest to read and also is simple in terms of style and design- meaning it is not too over-complicated that it takes away from the magazine’s main image but still gets the main message across.

 These answers having led to me ultimately choosing font no. 6 I then decided to play around and experiment with the layout of the name/title of the magazine to make it fit on the cover well. As it is two words long, unlike ‘Empire’ for example which is just one, it is therefore a bit harder to fit on the magazine without taking up too much room or looking un-professional. Thus I came up with these variations of layout…

Layout design no.1…

My Thoughts…

Although I do like this layout design – as the little ‘Brit’ fits in the ‘F’ just right and leaves enough space for more on the actual magazine cover, I think it does look a little too much like popular film magazine ‘Total Film’s name (as they put the ‘Total’ the ‘F’ of the word ‘Film’ for more space presumably). And as the audience for my magazine is generally people who have a keen interest in film, they’d probably know this, recognize it and (metaphorically obviously) not buy it because it looks like I am simply stealing that existing design.

Layout design no.2…

My Thoughts…

I do like this design as it manages to keep the title looking professional as well as making it compact- thus meaning it can fit on the front cover of the magazine better and also leaving more space for the more important aspects (such as the main image etc). I also like it because it’s clear and easy to read (and unlike the previous one, doesn’t look like I am simply stealing the design/layout from an existing one).

Layout design no.3…

My Thoughts…

Although I do like this one, I think it could be a little misleading/ hard to read…because the previous one was easy to read as it was obvious which word came first in the title (as ‘brit’ was placed above ‘flicks’), but in this one, with the word ‘brit’ is inside the word ‘flicks’ and therefore could be possibly misleading to audience members about what the name of the magazine really is…

Layout design no.4…

My Thoughts…

Well I like this one quite a lot actually- as it’s plain and simple- as well as being easy to read. Pretty much all the attributes the title of the magazine needs. The only worry that is if this one is chosen, and I superimposed an image over the top- could some of the words, or even whole words be covered up due to this design??

Layout design no.5…

My Thoughts…

I really like this one, as I think it really evokes an atmosphere and links well to the theme of the film magazine (promoting primarily British films) with the use of the union Jack. It’s also quite easy to read and eye-catching also. My only problem is whether it is perhaps a bit too over-complicated…

Layout design no.6…

My Thoughts…

Well, I do like this one, as it is very similar to the 1st- but my problem still stands at whether this a bit too much like the existing design I mentioned before…

Layout design no.7…

My Thoughts…

I think this one is one of my favourites- mainly because it is different and very eye-catching. My only problem was whether audience members will immediately know what the name of the magazine is from this and whether it could be a little too complicated and therefore perhaps somewhat misleading…

Again, stuck with the choices of layout/design and not knowing which to choose, I asked 20 people which design they thought would look best ona film magazine cover and why…

Q: Out of the following designs of fonts, which do you view would work best on a film magazine cover? (please specify reasons for your choice)

Layout no.1- /// (3 votes)

‘ It looks quite stylish yet simple’

‘It’s easy to read’

Layout no.2-////// (6 votes)

‘Out of all of them it is the easiest to read’

‘Not too complicated- easy to read and bold’

Layout no.3-/ (1 vote)

‘It looks neat and tidy’

Layout no.4-/// (3 votes)

‘Looks professional and what you’d normally see on a magazine cover’

‘Simple and easy to read’

Layout no.5-//// (4 votes)

‘It’s the most eye catching- because it uses colour whereas the others don’t’

‘The design links well to the name’

Layout no.6-/ (1 vote)

‘It’s bold and plain- but not boring’

Layout no.7-// (2 votes)

‘It’s the most interesting design’

‘It looks like it was hard to make- and is much more interesting to look at’

My thoughts??:

Hmmm…well even though there is a clear winner from these results (that being design no.2), I think it’d probably be best to experiment with a few of the designs of the font instead of  sticking with just one (perhaps choosing the ones that got the most votes and then experimenting with each of them when I go to actually create the magazine cover) . This way I am not possibly limiting myself to just one design- and am keeping my options open so that I can experiment with each of them and see which works best. But at least now I know which my audience prefers…

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