These magazine design basics are relevant for any magazine, newsletter or brochure, from internal newsletters to mainstream magazines.
Where does your eye go?
The idea is to make the page as easy to follow as possible, encouraging the readers eye to go where you want it to.
Looking at a magazine spread – when two pages are next to each other they are viewed as one and need to work together.
With reference to the image above, bear in mind where the eye will go first. The top left and top right are the most visible areas. This is where your important information – heading, images need to go. Bottom centre of the spread is the least visible, ideal for text where the eye is forced to go while reading.
How not to do it…
Make it easy for the eye to follow.
How not to do it…
Using a grid
I would always suggest using a grid system for your columns. Wether it be a simple three column grid or something more complex.
Don’t be afraid to have a number of grids to mix the number of columns throughout the magazine or indeed the width of columns on a page. Just be aware that the more complex the design the more difficult it becomes to make it look ‘right’. Oh, and always use a baseline grid to make sure your columns line up horizontally. All the columns need to line up at the top and bottom of the page.
Things not to put up with from your designer
Columns not lining up at bottom, varying column and gutter widths. Both of these were in a recent magazine being designed by a ‘professional’ designer. The client contacted me to ask why it didn’t look right.
View more Graphic Design tips:
File Types – Know the difference between jpg and eps and when to use them.
Artwork Basics – RGB vs CMYK, bleed and trims.
Typography – The forgotten skills? Kerning and quotations
Magazine Design Basics – A few thoughts you might want to consider if you’re thinking of designing your own magazine. They are also relevant for newsletter and brochure design.
The Eyes Have It – Leading the eye in graphic design