Rhetoric on the Town: Web Site Analysis

Cosmopolitan Magazine

Rhetorical Analysis

Cosmopolitan online magazine claims to be the “Online Women’s Magazine for Fashion, Sex, Advice, Dating Tips, and Celebrity News.” That right there is the purpose of this online magazine. Cosmopolitan wants to keep women happy and up-to-date on the topics that women are most interested in. The audience is adult women. I say adult women because the magazine does discuss very adult topics when it comes to sex and dating, that isn’t appropriate for younger girls to read. They obviously market to their audience by including women on their site and stories that matter to women.  Probably readers would be women about the age of 18. Occupation, power position, and education don’t play a large role in the market of this magazine because it addresses topics that all adult women can relate to. There is a large range of positions that the audience may have before reading this website because we are all raised differently and all have different opinions on issues of sex, dating, and fashion. The image is prompting the reader to try the new tips, tricks, and advice that they are recommending on the website.

Design Element Analysis

Emphasis: Emphasis is used to create a sense of visual hierarchy. Cosmopolitan is big, bright and bold at the top of the page and the most important stories are bigger than the rest of the stories.

Contrast: Color contrast is used to break up the stories and wording on the page. Size contrast is also used to draw attention to important information such as the title, important articles, and various tabs to navigate through the website.

Balance: The page is asymmetrically balanced. They are fitting a lot of information on the page making it look cluttered and unappealing to the eye. They are attempting to show the most popular articles, promotional advertisements, various quizzes, and other information. Color is also used to balance the site (pink, black, and white) and makes it look more uniform.

Alignment: The alignment is easily to follow on the site because related information is group together in rectangles. The empty space on the webpage is necessary, but seems distracting because there is so much going on throughout the site.

Repetition: The repetition of of rectangular shapes is used throughout the website to group the articles together. They use this to put the articles that are related together. It also makes the page easier to navigate. The repetition of colors make the website look more cohesive.

Flow: Verbal flow is used throughout the site in the traditional Western culture from left to right, top to bottom. Visual flow is used on this website creates an S pattern. This is useful because it dictates what images the audience’s eye goes to first.

Design & Rhetorical Analysis

These design elements meet the needs of the rhetorical elements by providing an easily navigable website.  It utilizes the design elements to focus on their women audience. It is a very busy website, but since women are more likely to pay attention to detail, they are more likely to read the various stories on the site.

The website uses photographs from their own photographers and videos from outside sources who are not cited.


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