Editorial Design and in particular magazines always fascinated me. There are a lot of things you need to learn to be good at designing contemporary, stylish magazine spreads.

But today I want you to get familiar with some Editorial Terms which is a must if you are planning to design magazines. We will learn about kickers, stand-firsts, bylines, pull-quotes, and so much more by analysing the work of my favourite Editorial designers and art directors. In additional I will share tutorials on Typography and Compositional techniques that will help you create stunning magazine layouts. 

Free Guide on Magazine Anatomy 

Get familiar with 15 Key Editorial
 Terms you need to know
for magazines layouts.

Best Practices

Three most important features to engage readers to stay on a spread:

  • Layout
  • Main image
  • Headline
  • Most visible parts are outer, upper sections on the spread (use these to engage reader)
  • Never think of a page individually, always design spreads as a whole, even if there is an ad on one side
  • Plan the viewing direction (usually top left to bottom right) Don’t overcomplicate the flow

Principles of Design

Here are a few things to consider for your Magazine Layout

  1. Purpose: What’s the purpose of the magazine/layout you are working on?
    Is it image-based, story-based, formal, funny? etc.
  2. Balance: Make sure your content is evenly distributed over the page/spread. Don’t put too much in one part of the page/spread. Unbalanced layouts will feel uncomfortable and lose viewers interest.
  3. Hierarchy: Do the right pieces of information stand out? Establish what is the most/least important information for a viewer and indicate the levels of priority visually.
  4. Readability: Is the text easy to read? Watch out for your point size and the font you use. Colour choice is also crucial, making sure that there is enough contrast between the copy and the background.

Typography

Typography plays a crucial role in Editorial Design. An article that you design could include text in the form of a story, interview, opinion etc. so it is pretty vital to make sure the copy you use is easy to follow and understand.

  • Point size - Make sure the size of your text is readable for your audience and consider if they will be looking at a page or screen.
  • Line length - The ideal line length is between 50 and 70 characters per line. Shorter lines will break too often, causing the reader’s eyes to jump back and forth way too often, while longer lines will make it hard to find the next line at each break.
  • Amount of copy - Where possible break up big blocks of copy, they can appear intimidating and might put readers off. Use paragraphs, columns, threaded text frames, lists etc.
  • Entry points - Define clear starting points for your reader by using visual hierarchy and features like Drop Caps and highlighted text blocks (usually used for quotes or interesting parts of an article).

  • To conclude, Magazine design can be complex, there are tons of terms you need to get familiar with and so many layout rules you need to consider. Don't worry; it does get easier to learn them, the more you practice creating layouts!.

    I hope you found this blog post inspiring and excited to start creating awesome magazine layout! Be sure to tag us #yesimadesigner on Instagram if you create any designs using our tutorial!

    Confused where to start?

    Join our Survival Kit for Designers newsletter and start your creative journey!

    About the author 

    Shumi Perhiniak

    Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator. In 2012, she took an entire year off to study Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just 6 months, she started freelancing and became a Certified Photoshop Expert. She has worked as an in-house graphic designer for brands such as Toni&Guy, Renaissance Learning and Baker Ross.

    She also owned a physical stationery shop selling her art prints and now focuses on selling digital art prints online under the name HerDesignWorld

    Related topics you might be interested in

    Find out how to write a graphic design cover letter and land your dream job

    Continue reading

    Designers are a picky bunch and we can be very tricky to buy for (sorry about that.) This is something we are well aware of at YES so have decided to create this list.

    Continue reading

    We share 20 side hustle ideas for creatives!

    Continue reading

    The BenQ PD3420Q offers everything you can expect from a professional monitor whilst looking very stylish and classy.

    Continue reading

    The Huion Kamvas 22 is a fantastic multi-purpose device overall. Regardless of its entry-level price tag, it does not look, feel or function cheap.

    Continue reading

    Check out our 2022 Design Trends Predictions in Graphic Design, Illustrations, UX and Web Design!

    Continue reading

    Find out why most creative professionals love Milanote and cannot imagine doing their job without it!

    Continue reading

    Learn the pros and cons of using Justification and Alignment text and tons of tips on improving readability in your designs!

    Continue reading