Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (2024)

Design ideas and design process

I was set the task of creating effective layouts in InDesign, to which I would create two magazine layouts and then choosing a final design that I was most satisfied with (Design 1) that I felt demonstrated the best and most effective layouts for a magazine.

Creating this design, I had to use typefaces that I had no prior experience to using, Suisse Int’l Book and Bembo. When forming ideas and my inspiration, I used an album cover as my main inspiration for my second design, as I had a particular interest in it as I loved the colours and typefaces that it used. I also believed the idea of using aspects from an album cover design (Figure 1) was something that wasn’t in trend nor had been explored much in the design world. The topic of the magazine has no relation to the album cover, I used it simply for inspiration in my design.

Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (1)

Having collated my inspiration for this design, I began by setting the grid and format for the document (Figure 2), opting to use a three column grid for this layout. In my previous experiment I used a two column grid that I thought felt too much like a book rather than a magazine (Figure 3). The three column grid allowed me to experiment with my text much more and allowed for an easier and smoother reading experience.

Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (2)
Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (3)

I would use my knowledge of using paragraph styles in InDesign to typeset the text appropriately (Figures 4-6). Making it easy to differentiate between a header and the body text. I would also explore creating appropriate styles for different aspects of the magazine, such as audio links and titles for the books. By the end of my design, I would finish with around nine different paragraph styles that were used for my typesetting.

Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (4)
Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (5)
Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (6)

Software Tutorials

As well as having inspiration for my design, I had support from many online tutorials to assist me in my work. A tutorial that I found most useful was a video that guided me on how to create a grid in InDesign. I wasn’t too familiar with the following process so I thought following a tutorial was the best route forward.

I would begin by creating a new document, exact to the standards set by the brief, turning to the ‘Layout’ tab at the top of the screen and setting a colour in the ‘Ruler Guides’ section. I would then return to the ‘Layout’ tab, then to ‘Create Guides’ where I would start setting the number of desired columns and rows, as well as the measurement of distance between these guides using a gutter. Before finalising my grid, I made sure to set the grid to align to the page.

I felt this tutorial was very beneficial to me in creating my magazine layout and solidified my knowledge and understanding of knowing how to use InDesign professionally.

Online Tutorial Used:

Design Resources & Articles

Along with the tutorials and inspirations used when creating my design, I found other resources in my research that I found useful to creating my designs. I looked at magazine design layouts that I could find online that were effective and that I felt demonstrated what was an effective layout. These helped me to develop a better idea of what a magazine layout actually looked like, and how they were handled by a user.

I would also use Pinterest for mood boards to generate ideas. I feel its a great and effective website tool to source inspiration for designs and I have used it in previous projects. I felt it very useful here as it gave me near endless amounts of inspiration, demonstrating different techniques of formatting images for a magazine layout, as well as different styles of grids and columns which I found very useful as I struggled to come up with ideas for designing an interesting format.

Online Resources Used:

Learning Throughout the Module

Having now used InDesign for this task, I feel so much more confident in creating formats using grids and guides when setting up my document. This was something that I had explored in this task and I feel I can use this in my other modules, especially when creating work files for any upcoming projects. I also covered other softwares such as Illustrator and Photoshop which I feel much more comfortable using.

Specifically for Photoshop, I learnt how to use adjustment layers more effectively, and how they can be used to alter the colour and brightness of an image. In Photoshop I learnt also how to remove certain aspects of an image using the select tool, and then the content-aware fill. This was one of the more useful skills that I learnt across the module and feel I can apply it in my works, whether it be personal or works related to the course.

In Illustrator, I got more comfortable with using typefaces and creating an outline to alter the design to my own needs and requirements. Though this was useful, I feel I still need to develop my skills further in Illustrator as there are many skills I am unfamiliar with.

Experimenting with Magazine Layouts with InDesign - Typography & Graphic Communication (2024)


What is the most important element of a magazine layout design? ›

Headline: Article headlines are the most critical elements of magazine design. Readers typically judge articles by the way their headings are presented. Headings should be typically larger than the body-text and should be meaningful and impactful enough to attract the attention of the readers.

Why is InDesign the proper program to use for page layout? ›

InDesign includes customizable grids and guides to assist with layout and typesetting. With the Master Pages feature, editors can create templates you can use across different sections, chapters, and publications.

How do you work efficiently in InDesign? ›

Using Aristotle's words, if you do something well at the beginning, you are halfway to a successful end.
  1. Create a Style Sheet for your styles. ...
  2. Use InDesign templates. ...
  3. Use primary text option. ...
  4. Data merge. ...
  5. Use “Next Style” ...
  6. Learn how to use Anchored Object. ...
  7. Use book files. ...
  8. Use conditional text.

What are the 10 key elements of a magazine layout design? ›

If you are planning to publish a magazine design layout for you or your client's business then you will need to understand the contents of this article.
  • Headline. ...
  • An introductory paragraph. ...
  • Body / Body Text / Body Copy. ...
  • Subheadline / subheading. ...
  • Pull Quotes. ...
  • Captions for Images. ...
  • Section head or running head. ...
  • Box copy.
Jun 30, 2021

What are the basics of a magazine layout? ›

As mentioned above, the main elements of a magazine layout are the headlines, subheadings, images, body copy as well as any ads. When put together, they should each serve their own purpose but come together for a cohesive message.

How do you organize a magazine layout? ›

Position articles and images on the page. Add elements such as shapes and colors. Magazine layout is about creating a harmonious relationship between text, images, and white space. If you use a graphic design tool such as CorelDRAW, you'll find it simple to drag and drop elements into place and make edits as necessary.

Is InDesign used for magazines? ›

Set up a modern magazine layout in Adobe InDesign from scratch as you add bleed guides, create columns, adjust margins, add placeholder content, and more.

What are two advantages of InDesign when working with layouts? ›

One of the primary advantages of Adobe InDesign is its robust layout and typography capabilities. Designers can access various tools and options that give precise control over design elements.

What are advantages of using InDesign? ›

Indesign brings all your design pieces together. Think of it as the glue of your design, allowing you to take advantage of the strengths of each program. It is best used for pieces that are text heavy. Brochures, informational pieces, ebooks, ect.

What software do magazines use for layout? ›

Adobe InDesign is the top design software for all sorts of PDF use cases, including print magazines, brochures, flyers, menus, posters, e-books, and more. Most graphic designers are well-versed in Adobe InDesign.

What is InDesign best at creating? ›

Use InDesign when creating documents that are graphically rich with highly designed layouts combining text and graphics. It is useful to use InDesign for creating flyers, brochures, magazines, newsletters and other documents with complex layout needs that go beyond the capabilities of standard word processing tools.

How quickly can you learn InDesign? ›

It takes 12 hours of classroom time to learn InDesign foundational skills, and another 12 to 24 hours of time to gain advanced InDesign skills. The exact amount of time required to learn InDesign depends upon projects you wish to create.

What are the three most important elements of a magazine cover? ›

Three most important features to engage readers to stay on a spread:
  • Layout.
  • Main image.
  • Headline.
Jul 6, 2020

What are the basic elements of layout design? ›

The Basics of Layout Design

It encompasses the organization of text, images, shapes, lines, and white space to create a cohesive and visually appealing composition.

What elements are most important to focus on when creating the design? ›

The main elements essential to any design are line, direction, color, value, texture, shape, scale, and typography.


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