Designing for a Magazine
There are certain elements of an editorial design that are consistent in order to make a multi-page document look cohesive. Different magazines have certain audiences and thus have a certain look. People Magazine looks significantly different than Forbes Magazine, for example; and the Ensign of the Church looks significantly different than Fast Company. However, all issues of People, or Forbes, or the Ensign look similar to their respective brand image and issues.
Looking for and identifying the consistent content in a given issue helps to reason why the magazine is laid out the way it is. For this assignment, our class looked for similarities in the Ensign. We noticed that running footers are always consistent. Placement and alignment of article titles varies, but is significantly similar enough to look like an Ensign title. There are other similarities as well, body copy is always a serif typeface, text wrap is applied to images, the author is sometimes pictured, and all photos have been given proper credit. These are but a few of the things that the Ensign handles their issues to insure consistent hierarchy and display of their issue.
Religious Freedom and Photography
The assignment called for each of us to choose an article to design for a spread at least 3 pages in length. Additionally, the article needed to contain photographs within the content to supply visual unity and variety. These photos were to be taken by ourselves. I chose an article about religious freedom contained on lds.com, and proceeded to take some photographic images that would visually illustrate the content of the article. These are my images:
As written in the assignment parameters, the editors of the Ensign have hypothetically hired me to design this article for an upcoming issue of said magazine. Therefore, my audience is LDS, adults, and generally English speaking. However, the audience might also include adults of various other faiths and ethnicity. My images were taken in an effort to appeal to a large general audience.
I used the principles of color, photography, proximity, alignment, contrast, and variety to express the article in a visually appealing way. I designed the two page spread with a large image spanning the width of both pages and included an additional image within the body copy content which also employs the principle of big, medium, small in the layout design as well. I further used some contrasting typography to engage the reader and help them find interesting reasons to proceed reading. I decided to include a color within the subheads of the article, and by doing so, found a repetitive element and contrast to the neutral layout of the article.
I found the image of Elder Christofferson here, all other images were taken by myself. I don’t consider myself to be much of a photographer, so I’m quite pleased with these happy accidents!
I have enjoyed putting these principles to good practice and look forward to doing more. I learned a great deal by using a template under my layout to help me decide on leading and sizes of subheads, etc. I now know that I need to practice doing that and redesigning other articles to develop the eye to see the subtle differences and strengthen my decision making skills in editorial design.