Rolling Stone uses a wide array of image modification for its magazine. On its front pages it uses a combination of cropped circle photographs, silhouettes and rectangular photographs. Some larger pictures have text overlaid and others use pull boxes to show text on the side.
The images for section heads like “Rock and Roll” have full photographs with overlaid text. The image will be cropped over the title of the section. For example, Gwen Stefani’s head is placed over the “Rock and Roll” title but does not cover enough of the title to confuse readers.
Some images are shown in their normal, rectangular size but have the main subject of the photograph extend past the constraints of the box shape.
Rolling Stone uses mostly photographs because the magazine relates directly to celebrities, artists, etc. In its National Affairs section it uses an illustration for the cover photo but proceeds to use photographs throughout the article. The illustrated cover appears to look like a hand drawn caricature. Additionally, the Reviews section includes an illustration that appears to be computer drawn. The style change does not confuse readers because it remains consistent with the information within each article.
The feature articles begin with one large cover photo and continue to include montages of images later in the story. Some pages may be full text and others include singular or several images.
Size of the images ranges greatly, from small photographs of album covers to full bleed photographs. All images within Rolling Stone are photographs of people. Many are artists or celebrities that the articles focus on, but others show deeper content like an image of the Taliban in the article “Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State”.
Rolling Stone uses very few icons or other graphic elements. The magazine consistently represents its content visually through photographs or illustrations. Although these are all treated very differently in terms of placement, size, cropping, etc, by sticking to two types of images Rolling Stone is able to create a constant for readers to attach to.