Language Field Notes: Essence Magazine

When women pick up Essence Magazine, they are searching for something that is a representation of their inner and outer “essence.” The title of the publication alone shows that its focal purpose is to show the world all aspects of what makes the black woman a gem. The Essence name is the window to what readers can expect through the publication. The bold typeface and vibrant colors without words reveals to the readers that they should expect bold and fun through each page of the publication. The heds within the publication carry on the tone that is set in the nameplate. It is bold and of few words (5 words maximum). The deks are longer (no more than 2 sentences) that briefly describe the purpose for the article.

Essence uses pull quotes in their stories and usually those pull quotes are empowering and can be used to sum up the moral of the story. For example, in their February issue, Kiki Layne (actress in the movie “If Beale Street Could Talk”) has a pull quote that says, “I’ve learned to tap into my own vulnerability to trust myself more and to know that what I’m bringing is enough.”

The title sections are “scene, beauty, style, issues, lifestyle, and in every issue.” They titles are straight forward and does not leave readers in the dark on where they can find information.