Rock Sound doesn't have a specific colour scheme exclusive to itself, rather it changes its colour scheme depending on the featured artist. It generally uses quite bright colours such as orang, red, purple, green etc. as opposed to limiting it to blacks and reds.
Most of the artists on the covers are pulling a face rather than just smiling or standing still. This makes the magazine look more exciting and interesting and draws the reader in right from the moment they see it on the shelf in the shop
They generally follow the normal conventions, utilising the left third, main sell line etc. This makes it look neat and pleasing to look at as it avoids looking like a jumbled mess.
Rock Sound contents page
The contents pages have a much simpler layout than Kerrang! and NME. They fill the majority of the page with an image and have the contents neatly tucked down the side. They may also have a few smaller images along with the main image but largely they are quite simplistic.
Rock Sound double page spread
The double page spread tends to have longer articles than NME which tend to fill around half of the page and shape the article to fit the image rather than having, for example half and half.
In the interviews they use a question-answer type layout, stating what each individual person each said, which is quite a unsophisticated way to set it out. Instead of weaving it into a flowing article they have it so the questions and answers are explicit. This layout does, however, allow the reader to see the questions at a glance and pick out ones they don't want to read. It also breaks it into chunks which makes it easier to read.
Freeway Press Inc.
AP Cover, AP Cover
AP tends to prefer picturing the whole band on the front of their magazines rather than just one of the members. Also, much like Rock Sound, they use a whole spectrum ofcolours for their mast head rather than sticking to one colour or the typical reds/blacks. Despite this they do more often than not use darker colours for the background and they mostly stick to having the background as one colour instead of the artists being pictured against a backdrop that is busy with lots of colour. This makes the text easier to read and is less off putting.
They generally have quite neat and minimalistic covers rather than having lots of cover lines like the other three magazines. They may have a few cover lines but the cover is mostly taken up by the main image and main sell line. On some of their covers they merely have the mast head, main image and band name on the front.
Alternative Press double page spread
Much like Rock Sound, AP uses very little space in the way of actual text in their articles. The rest of the space is take up by and image/images and the title and pull quote.
Alternative Press Magazine Inc.
Kerrang! generally follow the main conventions of a magazine using the rule of thirds etc. They have a main sell line, cover lines in the left third, pull quotes etc to draw the reader in. Unlike Rock Sound and AP their mast head is always white and is always consistent however the background colours do change but much like AP they generally one colour to keep from interfering with the text.
Kerrang! Contents, Kerrang! contents
They use two different layouts for their contents pages. One is where they have a main image on the right which takes up about three quarters of the page and have the actual contents down the right of the page. This is a good layout because it means the contents is the first thing the reader sees when they open the page which is important because that is the whole purpose of the page. The other layout they use is where the contents takes up the bottom half of the page and an image takes up the top half. This actually gives them more space to include a bit of detail about each page and over the image they tend to have adverts for competitions etc. I think this way is better and more efficient on space. It looks neater and actually gives them more room for the contents.
Kerrang! double page spread
A popular convention that Kerrang! like to use is to link the title of the article to the image being used. IT makes the article more interesting to look at and makes you question why it is the way it is. For example the article titled "Smashing it" with a picture of the subject punching what appears to be glass and the article titled "My Dinosaur Life" has the subject looking angry and in distress. Also, unlike AP and Rock Sound they like to fill more of the space with text instead of filling it almost completely with just the image and title.
They mostly use medium close ups of the artists, showing the head and shoulders however this example in a exception as it is showing most of his upper body. This allows them to include his guitar which links to the article about their gigs.
The mast head is always in the top left hand corner and generally has the subject's head over the top if they happen to overlap.
NME contents page
NME's contents pages have a very similar layout to Kerrang!'s old contents pages. They have the main listof articles down the right of the page and an image next to that which takes up about two thirds of the page. Below this is a competition and a small bit of text.
Having the main contents down the right of the page means that this is the first thing you see as you open the cover which is important as it is the main purpose of the page while the large image draws attention to the competition.
NME double page spread
An image tends to take up at least half/ two thirds of the page while the article itself only takes about a quarter.
They also use a very large title or pull quote which draws the reader in and makes them want to read more.
Due to the smaller amount of text it makes it appear less 'scary' to the reader as people tend to ignore very large chunks of text which means they are more likely to want to read it.