Semiotics of a Magazine

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Studying semiotics:
When we are looking at the study of semiotics it means we are to analyze the use of signs and symbols that the magazine cover uses. When studying a picture, advertisement or magazine cover you can take almost anything as a sign or symbol, anything can represent anything at the discretion of the writer or editor. It is for us to interpret what each sign or symbol is representing to the best of our knowledge. Semiotics are important in a work as they give us a better insight into the content, the ideology and what to expect within the magazine. After a close analysis of the semiotics of a magazine we can find out more about what it is about and can understand it more. By reading the signs and symbols it gives us a better sense of the type of magazine.

“In Barthian visual semiotics, the key idea is the layering of meaning. The first layer is the layer of denotation, of what, or who, is being depicted here? The second layer is the layer of connotation, of what ideas and values are expressed through what is represented, and through the way in which it is represented?” (Van Leeuwen, 2001)

“The first step of the semiotic deconstruction of the cover is to “identify relevant signs and their dominant aspects” (Van Zoonen, 1994, p.78)

From a first glance at the magazine cover we can see that the masthead is in big and bold capitals as to stand out to the audience. People will look at the masthead and automatically recognize the magazine from the colours and font. The tone of orange and pink they use are colours that are represented as stereotypically girly colours.

The sell lines on the left and right of the magazine are used to tell the audience what’s included in the magazine or who is in it. It will also give an insight to the genre of the magazine by showing what kind of articles are included and what kind of artists or people they interview or talk about. They include words such as “World exclusive” to make the audience believe they...
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