Have you ever flipped past an article in a magazine solely because the design didn’t catch your eye? The content could have been life-changing, but you’d never know if it didn’t look appealing enough to read. Design and formatting is everything. Here I have created a sample magazine article which spans over three pages. The text is from a talk titled “Walk With Me” by Henry B. Eyring, and can be found here.
Every good design has a specific audience. In my design above, my target audience is 20-24-year-old young men who are return-missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and studying at Brigham Young University-Idaho. It appeals to this audience due to its masculine color scheme, and its simple, clean layout. It is appropriate for the message given in the article, which is somber and respectful.
There are several basic design elements that every beginning designer should know before they get started. Some of the elements used in this magazine article fall under these three categories: photography, typography, and color.
In one of my previous posts I discussed the use of the Rule of Thirds. For this design I took a photo of a young man walking, and used this tactic. The Rule of Thirds puts the subject of the photo off center, which is pleasing to the eye. This also allows for a nice balanced look when placed with a second focal point – like text.
Another aspect of photography is alignment. On the title page of this article notice the alignment of the text with the photo. If you look closely, you can see how the bottom of “Walk with Me” lines up perfectly with the bottom of the man’s back foot. On the second page, the drop quote on top lines up with the top of the body text.
Typography involves the specific style of typeface used. In this design I used a slab serif for the title, and a sans serif for the body copy. These two typefaces work well together, because they are contrasting. There is also contrast in the size of font in the headings and body.
Color ties everything together. It’s important to choose colors that work well together, otherwise the whole design has the potential to be ruined. When dealing with color, look for repetition and consistency. For this article I used a dark blue for the background, which matched the blue in the cover photo. I matched the lighter blue to the hue of the sky in the same photo. The third color used is the pale yellow for the text. I took this from the hue of the sun in the cover photo. Also, blue and yellow are complementary colors.
In order to have an effective design, it’s necessary to have a target audience, and complementing design elements. These elements may include photography, color, and typography.
Photos used for the design in this post:
Photos taken by Ella Sampson