The house style of a publication is what makes it unique. This includes the attributes that create the identity of a magazine. Considering things such as a  editorial voice, political views and corporate identity. As well as writing styles, and editorial graphics.

Style guides are followed in order to make a publication consistent through out its copies. As well as to reflect what the publication stands for, in terms of its ideologies and corporate identity. This could include type face, headlines, colour schemes and the images used in articles and on covers.

“Mark Allen, an American Copy Editors Society Member, said variations in the English language, as well as differences in audiences, demand various style guides.” [1]

Here are 3 very different publications all with individual brand values, readerships, and house styles.

FRONT Magazine

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Front magazine is predominately a lads mag, this can be made apparent trough the images of scantily clad women seen on the covers. However Front magazine differs from other magazines of a similar bread in many ways. Most of this can be seen through the house style of the copy. Firstly Front focuses its brand values around being the Alternate  choice of lads mag, with the bulk of its articles being based around music, as a posed to women, fast cars and football. Its headlines and cover stories are often tongue in cheek and this humours writing style is reflected throughout each copy. Its readership is likely to be mainly male 18- 25,  interested in music, skate/punk culture and alternate fashion. The type face is consistent throughout, using the same bold font for its headlines. The fonts used rarely change but differences can be seen in one off articles, were the editorial graphics have been altered slightly, in order to make the article stand out.

Heat

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Heat magazine is strongly geared towards a female audience, its brand identity consists mainly of being a celebrity based magazine, with inside scoops on what todays celebs are doing and wearing. Its headlines seem to always be focused around some one famous, and are written in a big bold type face, in order to grab the eye of its audience. Its brand values seem to be materialistic, with articles such as (Top Ten Must Have Accessories). The publication also presents its self as fashion forward, with celebrity wardrobe do’s and dont’s printed in almost every copy. Heat seems to consistently use list articles, and appears to be very image based, with photographs taking up a large proportion of each page. Articles are also often written in a very judgemental manner. With strong opinions on what looks good and what dose not.

“For most magazines, house style is just an arbitrary set of local fetishes that matter to no one but those insiders petty enough to care.” [2]

MixMag 

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Mix magazines brand identity is rooted souly in dance music, representing its self as the know all publication for the dance music secne. Its aimed at 18-30 year olds that are not only interested in dance music but also the club scene that goes with it. Its political standing seems to be extremely liberal especially when it comes to the use of drugs. Its writing style is often very informative with well rounded articles and interviews. Articles often contain technical jargon when referring to music production or DJ equipment. Cover stories are often focused around interviews with famous Dj’s drawing the reader in by suggesting they may find things out about these musicians that they didn’t already know.

Each article has a unique identity created through its house style, and the way in which it represents its self. This can be identified through the way articles are written and the subject matter it chooses to touch upon. As well cover layouts, headlines, and editorial graphics.

[1] Jojo Malig. How Many Style Guides do Journalists Really Need. www.poynter.org. (23/05/11). Available: http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/132992/how-many-style-guides-do-journalists-really-need/ (05/12/13).

[2] Thomas Sowell. Some Thoughts About Writing. (2001). Hoover Press.

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