Magazine Cover: Design Ideas…

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Media

Well to begin this process I began a spider diagram (or mind-map) as to what could feature on my front cover and why, most of the ideas springing to mind from my research on existing magazine covers that I have analysed…

As you can see, I found this process very helpful, mainly because it helped me rule out certain characters and get a basic idea of what I wanted to create before I’d even started drawing out any designs.

With a rough idea of what characters I wanted on my magazine cover and how I wanted them to look, I then created the following various designs and ideas for my magazine cover…

Design Idea no.1:

Explanation of design…

In this design I would choose the character of Alice to be put on the front cover of the magazine. This is because she is the protagonist of the film and features regularly in the trailer- thus linking to the trailer nicely and reinforcing the idea that Alice is the main character of the feature. The fact she is positioned with her back to the audience also would connote that this character is perhaps being watched  (thus making the audience wonder who is watching her and why) or is maybe even rebellious/illusive/mysterious. It would also lead to audiences’ wondering who this character is, what she is looking at and why- therefore capturing their attention and enlarging the chances of them buying the magazine (if it were real). Her costume would perhaps be something that would reinforce this notion- perhaps a leather jacket, or ripped jeans that conventionally connote a rebellious or troubled character. Having the film name ‘Tainted’ in the centre with a bold font would also help to capture the audiences’ attention. And then anchorage text beneath the title of the film would explain the image and also give audiences’ key signifiers about the film, which would persuade them to go and see it as well as to read the magazine itself. I think this design has mainly been influenced by the magazine cover promoting the film ‘Inception’ as I thought it was a simple yet effective layout that caught the audiences’ attention quickly and sustained it with its interesting/persuasive text.   

My Thoughts…

I like this idea as it’s a simple and a design that would be easy to do. Having the main image quite subtle in terms of getting across ideas about the character of Alice could be effective- as it would get the audiences’ attention with clothing such as the ripped jeans, but would leave it to them to make up their own minds about what this means/signifies about the character. I also think that having a direct mode of address (with Alice looking over her shoulder at the reader/audience) would help catch the audiences’ attention easier and thus would be doing what the purpose of most magazine covers is to do- which is to persuade audiences’ to read/buy it by gaining their interest and connecting/reaching out with them.

Design Idea no.2:

Explanation of design…

I then thought about perhaps alternating the character on the front cover of the magazine- using the character of Kitty instead of Alice. Having her in a position where she has ‘Do it’ written on her wrists, would connote the idea of her being tormented/tortured (as she is in the film itself) and would also link nicely to my already existing trailer (as this scene is featured in the trailer itself). Having Kitty’s character looking distressed/upset/scared would also make the audience instantly wonder who she is and why she is conveying these various feelings to us- is she crying out for help perhaps? Is she a victim?. The entire purpose of this positioning/pose/costume of character trying to convey to audiences’ that this character is a victim, which would make audiences’ even more shocked when they come to learn in the actual film, that she is in fact a villain (which is one of the main intended purposes of my trailer). Unlike the previous design, I’d put the title of the film (‘Tainted’) more in the very centre of the cover, so as to convey absolute importance and make sure it is not easily looked over or missed.

My Thoughts…

Hmmmm…it may just be me but I don’t really value this idea as much as the others. Although I think it’d help to carry on the deceitful notion that Kitty is a victim within my film (as I did in my trailer…hopefully) I don’t think it’d look that good on a magazine cover. Although I do like carrying on the theme of the ‘do it’ on Kitty’s arms which links nicely to the trailer, I don’t think a long shot of her character would work that well on a magazine cover as it really wouldn’t get across her feelings of torture/torment.

Design Idea no.3:

Explanation of design…

Having a mid shot on the front cover I felt could convey more raw emotion on the character of Kitty’s face- as this would get across to the audience exactly how she is feeling- and so they can be led to wonder why she is feeling this way and thus will be interested in finding these things out. She would still have ‘do it’ written quite clearly on her arms (linking to the trailer and the character’s inner as well as physical torment/torture), but it would be slightly concealed by the fact she is grabbing her hair in distress, and thus could connote how she is trying to hide or conceal her fear/distress from others (which will lead to audiences wondering why this and what it could lead to in the film itself etc).  This will all help to convey hopefully that Kitty’s character is a victim, and if it does, I will know that I have successfully deceived my audiences through the magazine cover as well as in the trailer. Anyway, if I chose to get this across so devotedly in the trailer, why demolish these ideas within the ancillary tasks? It would be like revealing who the killer was, and in effect, would ruin the film’s mysterious aura- thus ruining what is ultimately- in my opinion- what leads to audiences’ wanting to see the film itself(because they want to find out more).  Again, the puffs would be smaller and to the side, away from the main image, text and anchorage text, so as to show how they are separate and are not really as important as the other aspects of the magazine.

My Thoughts…

I think I like this idea best of all. Mostly because the main image, being a mid shot instead of a long shot like the others, would capture the audiences’ attention better. Also, this would get across Kitty’s feelings and emotions in an easier and clearer way to the audience, as they would instantly see she is upset/scared/tormented and would thus wonder why this is (leading to them becoming more interested in the magazine itself). Thus I think this will be the deign I’ll choose and then experiment with, as it looks like it has the most potential and is carrying on the same messages/themes as my trailer (my main task).

Design Idea no.4:

Explanation of design…

 I don’t really like this design as such. I just thought it was an idea. Basically to portray Alice’s rebellious nature I would have her leaning against a wall with her arms crossed, looking directly to the audience (a direct mode of address- good for grabbing audiences’ attention). All of this conveying that Alice is a bold, confident and daring character- perhaps even rebellious or troubled- and thus makes the audience think she may be the hero (or even reluctant hero) of the film she is being linked to. Again, the puffs would be smaller so as to connote that it is not of as similar importance and also that it is basing itself on the subject of something else – and is not linked to the main image of the cover.

My Thoughts…

As I stated before, I don’t like this idea. Mostly because it appears a little basic and perhaps is not intriging enough to truly capture the audiences’ attention successfully- as at the end of the day it is a basic picture of Alice leaning against a  wall. It also doesn’t really link well to the already existing trailer I have created, as although it does reinforce Alice’s character, which of course is vital to the film itself and is explored a little in the trailer, it isn’t carrying on any existing themes or signifiers as the other cover designs are (such as the ‘do it’ written on Kitty’s arms, which featured in the trailer and I’m thinking about featuring on the front cover of the magazine too…)

In conclusion…

I’m going to choose design idea no.3. mostly because I think it’d work better as a cover for a magazine and also, I think it helpfully carries on themes previously displayed within the trailer- especially the notion that Kitty’s character is a victim within the film. And I think it is vital to carry on this idea as then I will be deceiving the audience within the trailer about Kitty’s character and also in the magazine cover aswell. Therefore, if my film were real, it’d shock them even more, to learn in the film itself, that Kitty was in fact a villain- and quite opposite to a victim. So I’ll do a photoshoot with the actress who plays Alice and then start creating the cover and experimenting with it over the next few days…

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