Good magazine design can be the making of your publication. Your target audience respond to your articles and imagery as much as the paper stock your magazine is printed on.
This is not taking into account individual tastes as this is a very subjective view. Here is a few things that we like and we think makes great magazine design.
1. Do not be afraid of white space
One of the first rules of design that gets broken a lot is one of overcrowding your message. Your readers will only be less reactive if you giving them essays to read. Make your magazine design clean and easy to read, white space is not dead space.
2. Consistency of imagery
Your target audience will respond to you better is your imagery in your publication reflects the mood and the industry. Your articles may be of a serious nature but to gain further interest in the subject matter make sure you keep the images relevant and/or eye catching in order to get the reader to engage further.
3. Manage your copy correctly.
Your wording in your magazine has to be easy to read make sure that the colour size and font of the text is not faded into the background and sat on an image that may distract the reader. You should also look at the way the text falls onto different lines as it makes reading easier if there are less ‘widows’ (split line words) and the next paragraph are easy to find on the page. Use justification wisely, left, right or just centred your text can be set to work around or over images but make sure you get others to read your articles on the page before going to print to ensure ease of reading.
4. Font selection
Depending on your target audience the font your use should be easy to read and in a size that your audience are comfortable with. Be mindful of older audiences and the size of your text this can put people off. Did you know that Helvetica has been proven as the easiest font to read in the English language? And newspaper fonts on most broadsheets are set in 8 point font size? For some design flare try using ‘illuminated’ or large letters to highlight the start of pages or paragraphs try using different fonts or colours. It’s these little accents in your magazine design that make your publishing efforts look professional.
5. Think about your advertisers
You may sell advertising space to make your magazine work but do you think about where the adverts get placed? Did you know that page 3 is the most valuable page in your magazine next to you front cover? This should command a premium from your advertisers. Have you thought about placing your adverts in places that have relevant articles in your magazine? i.e. Spring publications that talk about getting in the garden may want to have flower suppliers or landscapers pay more to be part of the article. What about trying to help your advertiser to get the most ROI for their spend with you? You could help them with some advertorial about their business to boost your magazine content but help promote.
6. Your Front Cover design
The first impression of your magazine, it is the reason that people pick it up in the first place try to make it bright and inviting with its imagery. Rule of thumb is to promote your main feature article using a related image or headline to grab attention. Being a little controversial unless you are a well established and your magazine has a following because of your brand itself people picking up your magazine are interested in your content and your headline articles. So why not lean your design towards the content rather than a massive Magazine Logo…
7. Pick your paperstocks correctly.
As a printer of lots of publications we all agree that the tactility of the paper has a big factor on how your graphic design is perceived. It may be worth noting for those looking at printing for the first time that gloss paper will make the images stand out but if not produced properly will cheapen the look of your magazine, silk papers will flatten your images but give a nice silky feel. Uncoated papers have become very fashionable recently, they offer the most tactile approach for a plain paper stock but they will make all images look dull but this can look very effective in the right circumstances. You may want to highlight certain elements of your cover or publication, think about further finished like laminating, foiling or spot UV to make logos or images stand out where needed.
8. Digital vs printed design
If you are producing an Ebook version of your magazine think about how your articles and text fall over multiple pages as we see lots that feel a little disjointed when reading. Make sure your imagery works on all resolutions and your advertisers are aware of your ebook version as they may want to up the quality of their adverts. The two design methods are very similar in production but the application of the reader can be very different. We find that the electronic version of the magazine has its readers look at the contents pages a lot longer and the reader tends to flick straight to the pages they want rather than flicking through the publication as they would do with a printed one.
If you need any further help with your magazine design or ideas on what you could do to attract the right readership then drop us a call or fill in the enquiry form below we would love to hear from you.