Technological developments have impacted our lives in all spheres. Everything, from studying to shopping to reading, has witnessed a huge change, especially in the past decade. Magazines have been subjected to many reformations as well. Earlier, the paper and ink quality was different, a separate font family and writing style were prevalent. The entire look of the magazines has now transformed for the better with some really innovative magazine layout ideas. However, as technology has progressed, the number of magazines and newspapers being circulated has drastically increased and there is an increment in the level of competitiveness that all magazines face.

magazine layout design principles

Magazines have always been beautifully designed information booklets with graphical presentation in it, in the forms of images. They have been a source of information; technical, political, social and fashion etc. Many wonderfully written articles and useful ideas can often be put forth by magazines. As much as we say that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, a magazine’s design layout still needs to be attractive enough to engage more and more users as each day passes. Hence, a magazine cover layout design has to impress the reader and make him want to come back for more!

Contrary to popular belief, the future is not bleak for print media. However, as the success of a magazine is the result of well utilised designs, graphics and pictures, magazines have been updating their layout to stay relevant in this age where the digital industry is growing as well.

We understand the importance of a well laid out magazine design. Accepting the fact that it might look too easy and straightforward at first, the deeper you get into designing a magazine layout, the more intricate it gets. A well designed magazine layout guides the reader to a path following which he can make the most of the published content.

All magazines follow a carefully set up structure and magazine layout design principles. The first page is the cover and the one following that typically is reserved for advertising, and is tagged in flatpan as C2. This is the second most exorbitant ad page. It is followed by C3 but it the last cover page, called C4, that is the costliest page marked for advertisement. C3 is followed by an index, a list of all the people who are working on the magazine, called Impressum, and the Editor’s letter. The rest of the contents vary according to the type of the magazine.

Every page in a magazine contains various crucial elements including magazine layout typography. Below, each element has been expounded a bit to increase your understanding with regard to laying out a magazine design.

  • Headline: The header text of an article is called a headline. It tells the reader what the article is about. Hence, it is important that the headline is bold and bigger than the text size of the body of content. A good headline compels the reader to go through the entire body of the article.
  • Introduction: There are many interchangeable terms used for this element. For instance, intro, deck, introductory paragraph and stand-first. It is the main body of the content which subtly but firmly provides the reader with the introduction to the article. It carries on the impact created by the headline. As the introductory paragraph sets the tone of the content, it should be well written. Ideally, the text size of the introduction is smaller than the headline.
  • Body of the text: This forms the major part of the magazine page. As the body of the content takes the maximum space on a page, you need to commence with designing it first. A well laid out article is one that facilitates easy reading. The format of all the articles, in terms of the size of the rows and columns, should pretty much be the same.
  • Bylines: Giving due credit to the author is what by lines are for. It is pertinent to mention that giving credits to the creator is not only the standard norm but it is also appreciated a lot. All magazine layout templates are normally crafted keeping this in mind.
  • Sub-headline: Sub heads are a gap in the body of the text to give the reader a small break. This break sheds some light on what the reader can expect from the remaining text. It denotes a fresh chapter. The size of the subhead needs to be a little bigger than the body of the text, or it could just be highlighted with the help of bold and/or italics. For instructional guidelines, it should be mentioned that subheads should not be inserted below graphic images, in the first or last 3 rows of a column or at the top of a column because then, it serves no purpose.
  • Image Captions: They describe a picture in short phrases. So, there needs to be a clear connection between the image and its caption. Steer clear of using captions above the image as that indicates a bad layout. The text size of the caption can be the same as the text or even a tad bit smaller.
  • Pull quotes: Pull quotes are fun and help break the monotonous tone of the body copy. When used well, pull quotes attract the reader’s attention and help in exuding the idea of the article in a direct and interesting fashion. Pull quotes work best when they are used in a font different from the rest of the text.
  • Running head: Even though a running head is not required by every single magazine, it is needed by some. They carry out the function of navigating the reader through the article smoothly and it is present at the top of all the pages. As it can be found on all pages, it needs to display stunning visuals that make the page look even better.
  • Folio: A folio is a sheet of paper that is folded to form four pages of a magazine. Ideally, pages should be properly numbered. Folios need to be put on the images where they are clearly visible and not on pages that house full bleed images.
  • Panel: A panel is a box that consists of facts that are relevant to the article. It helps a reader gain basic knowledge about the article and this aids him in understanding the article better.

When it is about designing magazine layouts, intricate details need to be paid attention to. If you can manage it by yourself, more power to you! However, if you are struggling with creating a good layout, you can always engage professional magazine layout designing services from experts for the same.