Like advertisements, magazine covers are skilfully and purposely crafted to tempt and lure consumers into buying the product. It is in the best interest of the producers (sender) to aim their text (message/sign system) towards their desired target audience (receiver). Using the techniques of semiology, I will analyse the types and components of signs and codes, with which the media communicates through magazine covers. This method of textual analysis is the breaking down of images, texts and language to find the text’s layered meanings and its underlining ideological messages.
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Ideologies are sets of social values, ideas, beliefs, feelings and representations by which people collectively make sense of the world they live in. (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler 2008: 176). It is these mutual values through which we unconsciously act upon in our respective societies. The communication of mass media plays an essential role in building ideologies. This essay seeks to analyse a GQ South Africa magazine cover, by using the techniques of semiology.
The GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) South Africa magazine cover is from the February/March 2010 edition.
GQ is a monthly men’s magazine. The magazine’s slogan is, ‘ The world’s best-selling quality men’s magazine’. According to the SAARF (South African Advertising Research Foundation) website, in 2008 GQ drew in 270, 000 readers- 0. 9 per cent of the total adult population. However GQ’s rival magazine, FHM, scooped up 619, 000 readers for their publication in 2008.
2. 0 per cent of the total adult population. Although, one may argue that FHM is not of “ quality’ as it is considered a lad magazine.