Category: Rhetoric on the Town


The website I am going to do an analysis of is the website for the Game Informer Magazine.

Rhetorical Analysis:

The purposes of this website are to provide the general gaming community with extended information from what is in the actual Game Informer Magazine and to promote the sale of both their magazine and the video games the magazine/website feature.

The audience, as I indicated in the previous sentence is the large community of gamers that subscribes to the magazine. The probable readers/viewers of this page are more than likely men between the ages of 16 and 30, based on the content, language, and the way in which games are promoted and displayed on the website. Most readers are probably either high school or college students, or they are casual older gamers who either aren’t married or have jobs which allow them enough free time to casually play. You can tell this because the home page promotes games that look like they are going to be the best-selling games of the month. For instance, right now, the home page’s primary banner features a game called “Batman: Arkham City” and the game, being a re-imagined Batman adventure, is definitely going to be a popular title and who like the thrill of adventure will be more inclined to peruse the website’s archives for more information on that game for sure. There are several other feature stories on the website’s main page that are relevant to gaming culture and are possibly points of interests for gamers. The basic value that readers will share with the website is the idea of holding gaming to a high standard and a primary or secondary hobby. The website definitely encourages readers to seek more information about games that they are eagerly waiting to be released and from that information given, desire to own the upcoming game even more than when the readers began to view the website.

The plethora of information available to consumers covering a variety of topics helps build the website’s credibility in the consumer’s mind. Not only is this information available, but several articles link out to interviews with game and console developers and console websites that have released the information that is covered in the various articles on the GameInformer website, which adds to the authorial image of the magazine and builds its credibility. The articles also directly cite developers and companies when mentioning information about titles that have yet to be released.

Design Analysis:

The website’s design in terms of the seven elements is relatively even.

Color: The website’s use of color is quite interesting because the background, as one can see from the above image, is gray and the body of the website’s background is white with black text, in many cases bolded. This monochromatic color scheme allows for easy contrasting and emphasis on links, important information, or noteworthy article highlights. An interesting feature of the website is that next to the search bar, there is a switch that allows the viewer to change the color scheme of the website from the above-mentioned scheme to a black website background with a black body text background and gray font.

The page as it normally is.

Push the button!

The same page, after the color scheme has changed.

I think this usage of color both adds to the appeal of the magazine’s website and changes the color palette in such a way that the information is more appealing because the website looks better because of how much sharper the colors are against the black background.

Balance: The website is fairly balanced in its layout at the start. The magazine’s homepage, at the top, very contained, but as the viewer scrolls down, the website’s articles just seem to go on forever. On the “News” subpage, the same problem is present, only the page isn’t balanced throughout because at a certain point, the news stories stop and the other features on the right side of the page keep going.

And there's still more to the page...

I think that there is a significant need to condense the information on the right side of the page so that the page has a more orderly look. The editors’ blog links don’t need to be there, as they have their own headline heading at the top of the page, and the Facebook “Like” button can be the blue Facebook icon like on so many other pages.

Contrast: The site’s use of contrast is quite brilliant because, as I’ve discussed earlier, the color scheme changes, and yet the site still retains its sense of contrast. On the “News” page, there is a scrolling news feed which features top stories. Each story has its own number, which viewers can keep track of because the number of the article that the slider is on is highlighted in blue, contrasting it against the featured articles the viewer is not on.

Contrast is also used in the webpage’s headline bar with regards to using the color orange to highlight what section of the website the viewer is on. The orange provides a stark contrast against the monochromatic scheme of the website’s background so that the viewer never needs to wonder what section of the website he or she is on.

Right now, you would be on the “Home” page.


Alignment: The website’s alignment is fairly consistent. All text is aligned on the left side of the page or article. There is a clear “alignment border”, if you will, on the homepage that separates the larger article thumbnails from the various featurettes on the right hand side of the page. All images are consistent with one another, underneath the “Featured” banner, in that they are all relatively the same size and aligned on the left hand side of their respective boxes, as one can see in the image below.

This alignment gives off a sense of order and organization, although the website is a bit information-heavy. The alignment helps to control the clutter that might be perceived by the reader upon his or her first glance at the website.

Repetition: The color blue is repeated throughout the website and it is this use of repetition that keeps the website’s layout from looking bland or unseemly. The spots of color against a monochromatic background/layout provide the reader with enough visual stimulation to keep him or her engaged. The blue color also allows readers to make a connection between important links and articles with that color because most of the headlines on the website are that sharp blue color. Basically, that color is repeated so much in such an important context that readers will immediately associate the color with important and noteworthy information, even if the blue is found in an article and it links readers to another article.

See all the blue?

Emphasis: To say that the blue is used to emphasize aspects of the website would be an obvious statement; however, other aspects of the website use different ways to employ emphasis in the design. For instance, on the homepage, screenshots or artwork from the games that featured articles give details about, are used to draw the reader’s attention, such as the screenshot below.

The bold purple against the white background is an instant eye-catcher, while that blue entices the reader to read the article completely. Also used to emphasize articles, as the reader can see, is the significantly larger headline text. This further draws the reader’s eye to the article and entices him or her to, of course, read it and comment on it. Comments are tracked by the speech bubble with the number 4 in it and I know a lot of people are obsessed with being one of the first to comment on posts like this, so I think emphasizing the number of people who have commented on an article is good for two reasons: 1) They feel like they’re a part of the article and 2) Who doesn’t want to read a really popular article? I’d feel like I was missing out.

Flow: Based on the above analyses of the different design elements used in this website, I would say that the website’s overall flow both works and doesn’t work. The website’s design is consistent throughout the different pages and articles on the website, so that aspect is beneficial to viewers. I just can’t get over the way that the website is so out of balance with that huge block of white space after the main articles on the home page. That kind of design flaw is maybe overlook-able on a different page within the website, but I think it is extremely disruptive to the flow of the webpage. Other pages, however, have a good sense of flow because they are very consistent with the way in which they are designed and use the spaces in which they occupy wisely. Articles have a basic format: 1.) Game image 2.) Body 3.) Comments/Likes and even though featurettes fill the spaces next to the articles, both sets of information (articles and featurettes) are aligned in such a way that it is not cluttered and they do not compete with one another.


Design and Rhetorical Analysis:

Going back to the balance problem, I think that readers are less inclined to scroll all the way down the page to “Like” the website on Facebook or follow it on Twitter, or even click the Staff Blog links that seem to take up the majority of the space on the right hand side of the webpage. I think that this hinders the rhetorical needs from being met by just causing the reader to be bored with the website. That’s not something one wants to achieve on the home page of their website. Other than that, I think the other design elements help the rhetorical needs to be met. The emphasized texts connect curious readers to information of interest and related posts, and by so doing, maintains the viewer’s interest. 

Copyright and Attribution:

Anytime information about game development is given, the website directly cites developers and the developers’ websites so that readers who want confirmation on facts, if they feel like they need it, can go directly to the website or search the name of the person cited for the direct quote to that information. Video interviews are also implemented to give viewers information about upcoming games and statistics concerning those games. Most interviews are with Game Artists, Graphic Designers, or Developers who work on the game projects that are featured in the articles, thus solidifying the website’s credibility within the gaming community.

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Rhetoric on the Town: Flow

Source: www.memorabilia.bidstart.com

Rhetorical Analysis:

The purpose of this particular ad, which is in the form of a poster, is, clearly, to promote the show Absolutely Fabulous and highlight what makes it a good show and to sell posters to people who have seen and loved the show.  I think that the intended audience would be primarily people who know and appreciate the show, and secondly, people who have never heard of the show but like to watch dysfunctional television shows. I feel as though these people are being targeted because of the fact that the poster/ad highlights key elements of the story’s plot that makes the show so comically dysfunctional, both in text and in graphic. The ad shows people what they can expect from the show and gives viewers a taste of the kind of hilarity they can expect from the show’s main characters. The taglines also enhance the comedic value of the ad by offering viewers a sample of the actual dialogue that is in the show (the characters always use the terms “sweetie” and “darling” in a condescending and ironic way).

Design Analysis:

The design element that is being utilized in this ad is that of Flow. The poster/ad specifically exhibits visual flow in that the text, while awkward with its sizes, actually has a cohesive sense of flow to it. The word “Chain” is the only word on the left side of the page that is larger than its right-side counterpart, which indicates to the reader that they should start there if they want to comprehensively understand the ad. The typeface itself seems to lend the adjectives it is being used to spell out a hand in exhibiting the dysfunction it spells out. The different sizes used also helps the visual flow by being an exhibition, almost, of what the text reads and helps shape the reader’s idea of what the show is about and what they can expect from viewing it. The graphic of the two main characters, Edina and Patsy, also helps with the visual flow of the article because their sizes somewhat mirror what the advertisement did with regards to the text (i.e. one smaller and one larger). I believe that the poster/ad does meet its target audience because it adequately boasts features of the show that people who have viewed it have come to enjoy and expect from it and it also piques the curiosity of those who haven’t viewed it by giving the reader just enough to make him or her wonder what goes on in the show.

 Source: www.gamersblock.com

Rhetorical Analysis:

The purpose of this particular ad is, clearly, to sell the game “Dead Island” for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC to gamers who enjoy zombie-apocalypse type games, making them the primary audience. This ad showcases what sets “Dead Island” apart from other games of the genre in that from the picture, the viewer can see that the game is actually set on a beautiful utopian paradise of sorts–the only problem being the island is infested with zombies. I feel as though these people are being targeted with this ad because it emphasizes the ironic contrast between the undead who populate the island and the tranquil beach setting of the advertisement itself, with the only hint of danger or the need to fight being in the tagline of the ad, the machete in the background, and the name of the game.

Design Analysis:

The design element that is being utilized in this ad is that of Repetition. What is being repeated here is the concept of the imposing threat of the undead on the island. The layout of the advertisement is what allows this repetition to occur. The tagline is laid out just so that the letters “D-I-E” are underneath the letters “D-I-E” in “Paradise.” The repeated emphasis on “Paradise” and “Die.” The machete in the background seems to link the last syllable of the word “Paradise” and the word “Die,” thus creating emphasis on the repeated word and sound to further highlight the concept of death and the undead. This concept is first introduced at the top of the advertisement with the red “Dead Island” title and logo with it. The design and message is simply further enhanced by the repetition of the words “dead” and “die” and the syllable in “paradise.” I believe that the ad does meet its target audience because it adequately depicts the seriousness of the undead aspect of the game with the game’s plot being ironically set in an island resort.

Source: www.gamespot.com

Rhetorical Analysis:

The purpose of this particular ad is, clearly, to sell Playstation 3 systems, and this ad showcases the cool features of the Playstation 3 that sets it apart from other gaming systems. I think that the intended audience would be primarily gamers who may be struggling with the decision of purchasing an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3. I feel as though these people are being targeted with this ad because it showcases the seemingly limitless potential of the Playstation 3 gaming system, specifically stating that it does “everything” that a gamer could possibly want from a system. This ad shows gamers specifically what they can expect from the Playstation 3 system, probably its more advanced and “nerdtastic” features. Among these features listed are the words “Free” and “Online”–arguably the “Holy Grail” of gaming because most systems, the Xbox 360 for example, require for players to pay a monthly fee in order to enjoy online gaming. This truly emphasizes the “everything” that Sony claims the Playstation 3 does. The ad seems to beg the question “Would you rather have a system that does everything or a system that does some things?”

Design Analysis:

The design element that is being utilized in this ad is that of Alignment. It is clear from the layout of the advertisement that the designer used a grid system to place everything on the page in perfect alignment, although it is more of a diagonal grid than anything traditional that is described in the textbook. All of the graphics are placed along an axis that suggests a certain flow to the ad and it makes the ad look more visually appealing with big graphics on one side/column and large text on the other side/column of the ad. Speaking of which, the text is aligned flush-left in the right column and the Playstation 3 graphic is perfectly aligned with the top row of text in the “features” column (the word “DVD” is somewhat cut off). This alignment helps construct the border between the text and the graphics in the ad. The fact that the ad campaign slogan is built into the “features” column, aligned just like the regular features, is significant because it seems to enhance the message by saying “Hey this is a key feature, too.” I believe that the ad does meet its target audience because it adequately boasts features that are specific to the Playstation 3 and not other systems, which balances out the extra price one has to pay for a Playstation 3 because, why not pay a little extra for everything?

Rhetoric on the Town: Balance

IMAGE FOUND AT: www.sharpie.com

Rhetorical Analysis:

The purpose of the billboard ad is, clearly, to sell Sharpie pens, but the genius of this ad is in the highlighting of the fact that Sharpie pens can be fun for everyone. I think that the intended audience would be primarily parents, with young children being a close second target audience. I feel as though parents are being targeted with this ad because it showcases a potentially mundane parental duty–making lunch for kids before school. This ad shows parents how much fun they can make their kids’ lunches with a simple drawing made by not just any pen, but a Sharpie pen. It also gives them a way for their kids to think of them while they’re at school because what better way to say “Have a good day, son/daughter” than a funny face on one’s lunch? For this reason, I feel like young kids are being targeted by the ad because of the potential fun that having Sharpie pens can cause. The funny face on his or her lunch is something that the kid can look forward to, or even make themselves, if their parents let them. The image prompts the reader to, if anything else, think about how useful Sharpies can be, not just for drawing on kids’ lunches, but also with the labeling of lunches, and why stop at lunches? Things need to be labeled all the time, so why not get a whole pack of Sharpies to organize your living space?

Design Analysis:

The design element implemented here is that of Balance. The ad is symmetrically balanced–although it seems that not everything is exactly centered/balanced on either side of the graphic, if you draw an imaginary line down the middle of the graphic, there are equal elements on either side. The elements of the graphic seem to be in a diagonal, with elements in the opposing corners of top-left and bottom-right in the overall graphic. The red Sharpie is still the focal point because it is so close to the middle of the graphic and because it it bolder than any other color used in the ad, except perhaps for the yellow highlight. Speaking of which, the ad balances itself out by having two parts of the corner elements highlighted with the yellow and with the white text in either corner. I think that the ad reaches its target audience because of the fact that it highlights the fun aspect of Sharpies for both parents and children. It sends a little message, almost, like “add come color to your life with Sharpies.”

Rhetoric on the Town: Contrast

IMAGE FOUND AT: www.donttextdrive.comRhetorical Analysis: The purpose of the billboard ad is, clearly, to urge drivers not to text and drive, as the act of doing so could be and is often dangerous. I think that the intended audience would be primarily teenagers who have just gotten their licences to college students who frequently text and drive (so ages roughly 18-22). I feel as though seasoned drivers and adults would (or should) know better than to do so, and it is a Trauma Center who sponsors the ad, so perhaps the center wants to use the ad to deter young adults from doing any texting and driving so that they don’t end up at one of their trauma centers for having been in an accident, wrecking their bodies and the cars they just got, because they were texting. The image prompts the reader to, after reading the message depicted on the board, to probably put down his or her cell phone and drive carefully. Some people believe in signs and are superstitious, so I feel as though if I were such a person and I was texting and driving and saw that sign, I would put my phone down immediately and be like “Ok you win this one.”

Elemental/Design Analysis: The design element implemented here is that of “Contrast.” Within the image of the billboard, the concept of contrast is used to send a double message to the consumer. On the one hand, the text reads “Don’t Text and Drive” but because of the way that the dark green color works against the black asphalt in the background, the text also reads “Don’t Text and Die.” The fact that the D, I, and E are white also contrasts with the black asphalt background in such a way that it seems a though the “D–I–E” is somehow emboldened, and I think that this effect is also caused by having the R and V the dark green color because it seems as though those letters are somehow secondary to the D, I, and E. This element reaches the target audience, I think, because a lot of people our age are really appreciative of puns and optical tricks such as this. I think that the target audience would, or should, appreciate the frank cleverness of the billboard and how the message is both hidden and direct.