Design is a very personal thing. It can be a statement or a means to attract a specific target audience. Finding the right balance to make sure your personality comes out in your magazine design and attracting the right readers is a tough one. There is no right or wrong way to approach the subject of magazine design just be aware of your market reaction to your design efforts to ‘stand out’ and always maintain your branding throughout your magazine series this way your audience should immediately recognise it.
All magazine designs must:
- Relate to the target readers with quality imagery
- Have clear and concise text that readers can relate to
- Be able to grab attention when sat on a table or stand to get potential readers to pick them up
- Maintain branding from previous editions for previous readers to relate
From the get go your magazine design should have a strong identity, so make sure you have a distinctive logo and style, you may use specific imagery or styles of imagery to highlight the subject matter of your magazine i.e. Cartoons, photos or maybe just a strong headline drawn creatively. Over our time dealing with magazine publishers they all are very aware of the value of the front page image selling so much and aiding the ”pick-up ability’ they will all tell you that to find a balance on an image to get attention and to tell people about the content inside the magazine is an art in itself.
Have your thought about the fonts you use for your magazines look and feel? A font can dictate a style and feel about a magazine, the cleaner the font the more contemporary looking the magazine can look. Gone are the days of self publishers using scripty fonts for headlines as they personally think they look attractive. People hopefully have become more socially aware and the impact of of more social media should give any publisher or magazine designer more ideas on how to layout or design their publication.
One thing often not thought about enough is the paper stock used to print your magazine design on. You may want to enhance your image colours by which you should be thinking about a coated paper stock like a gloss or a silk, the later is normally a bit more tactile to the touch which gives an added perceived value. Do not discount uncoated paper stocks, although they flatten images and make colour look more dull, they do add a rustic feel that with the right design, can enhance your readers experience, we like the look of uncoated recipes books and the way the imagery looks on the completed dishes can look very good.
A professional graphic designer will be able to make your magazine flow and read fluidly with each issue using the same branding for your readers to relate. The art of magazine design is to engage your readers and to make sure your target audience feel that the articles they are reading are clear and relatable. If your budgets cannot stretch to a professional design service there are lots of design forums online that can help give inspiration and training on the packages.
One of the first rules of design is not to be afraid of white space. You do not have to have print on every part of the page, think about your readers an how they will see the page. Try not to get text too close to the edges of the page as it may be trimmed off by us and if its too close to the centre it will be hard to read once collated and bound.