The front cover of a magazine is essentially to entice readers to buy the magazine, therefore it must stand out and have a clean, professional design. There are certain conventions that must always be used within the design of a magazine, the first being a ‘Masthead’, this is the name of the magazine, it must be large, bold and stand out. The masthead has been carefully designed by the choice of font, colour, size etc as different fonts/ colours can cause a misrepresentation of what the magazine is targeting its audience towards. Another key feature is the ‘Tagline’, this is located underneath the masthead and is tells the reader what the magazine is about/ who the magazine is aimed towards. The most important convention is the ‘Central Image’, the reason for this is because the reader is going to look at the image before the text as it is more appealing, therefore the image must be relevant to the magazine and aesthetically professional. The central image typically involves a ‘Cover Model’ in the image, so picking your model is very important, there are many celebrities that could be chosen however some celebrities have different connotations and from a designers perspective you don’t want to give off a negative view for your magazine. Therefore choosing a well-liked & well-known celebrity, with minimal dislikes/ conflicts is the best solution as it will entice more people to buy the magazine. ‘Anchorage’ is a key convention for magazine front covers, this is when there is text around the image which captions about a big story headline which is in the magazine, giving the reader more willingness to purchase the product as they know more about it. Finally, the payment method is to ensure that there is a ‘Barcode/ Pricing’, this is essential as the reader needs to know how much the product is being sold for. Barcodes are sometimes found on the back covers however it isn’t unusual to see them on the front cover for gossip magazines.
Below is a scanned image of a front cover from the magazine ‘VOGUE’ and is a very good example of a well-designed/ professionally made magazine front cover. It has a well photographed central image and a large masthead and in the anchorage mentions the model Victoria Beckham as an ‘Honour of Invitation’ and everyone else knows the male model as he is a well-known celebrity: David Beckham.
Below is a magazine front cover from the magazine company ‘Empire’. Empire are a magazine company that regularly create magazines about recent films that have been released and talk about reviews etc. In this magazine Harry Potter had recently been released and was a big talking point and so they advertised with a serious image of Harry on the front cover, immediately attracting the readers attention.They also include a tagline and use anchorage on the image to show other films that are included in this magazine and also have secondary images to show other characters from other films again showing what is included in there ‘amazing’ magazine. Finally there is a barcode present on the front cover allowing the readers easy access to find out the price of the magazine and also at the top of the front cover there is a price stating £3.90/ $9.99. The reasoning behind the two currencies is because Empire is commonly sold in both the UK and the US.