by Cath Caldwell
Chapter 1 Editorial design 6
Chapter 2 Editorial formats 22
Chapter 3 Covers 40
Chapter 4 Inside the publication 76
Chapter 5 Creating layouts 108
Chapter 6 Editorial design skills 152
Chapter 7 Looking back, looking forward 204
Editorial Design will show you how to put the journalistic magic into page design by integrating your knowledge of typography and image making with the various channels of modern print and digital magazines. My aim in this book is to help you base your own design practice on a firm foundation of knowledge, so in these pages you will find inspiration mixed with solid practical guidance. Put simply, it will show you how to make images and text spark together on screen or on paper.
The second edition of this book heralds a return to creative editorial design after a flurry of nervous debate following the launch of the iPad in 2010. The debate about print versus digital is over and we are now part of a new golden age of magazine design, an eco-system of print media integrated with social media, events, campaigns and mobile media products. Underpinning all these wonderful communication design opportunities are the principles of type, art direction and layout design. So don’t throw away your design history books but add this one to your bookshelf to get a balance between the past, present and the future.
Use Chapter 2 for an outline of different editorial formats; Chapters 5 and 6 to develop your own design skills; in Chapter 7, you will find profiles of timeless design greats. Tried and tested briefs for students and tutors appear at the end of Chapters 2 to 6 to help you develop editorial samples for your own portfolio. Plus we show you the editorial formats and products that will inspire you to create your own great designs.
The great names that inspired me – Janet Froelich, Jeremy Leslie, Mark Porter and Simon Esterson remain light on their feet, they adapt and show an interest in new forms of editorial that keep our industry exciting. Connect your interest in the past to your present learning of software updates. In this new age of magazine design, anything could happen with new media, so keep one eye on technological developments and the other on this book and you will be prepared for the future.
What is editorial design?
It is impossible to begin an examination of editorial design without first defining what it is and how it differs from other forms of design. A simple way of defining editorial design is as visual journalism, and it is this that most easily distinguishes it from other graphic design disciplines and interactive formats.
An editorial publication can entertain, inform, instruct, communicate, educate, or be a combination of these things. It is not unusual to have varying opinions in a publication, although they may tend to be from one school of thought – newspapers are a good example of this. For the first time in history, publications can be interactive. Using mobile tools such as GPS (Global Positioning System), there is a new era of possibilities in how the editor and advertiser can interact with the reader. In this book, the focus will be on the common themes in editorial design across different media – those in print and those designed for the web and for use on personal devices.
The aims and elements of editorial
The vast majority of editorial has at its heart the idea of communicating an idea or story through the organization and presentation of words (arranged into display and body text) and visuals. Each of these fulfils a different function: in a magazine a headline will usually have been written and laid out to grab the reader’s attention, while a visual element will usually be there to clarify or support a point made in the body copy (story content). In digital publications, headlines and other graphic entry points serve as navigation links, and type elements invite you to touch and slide as well as to read.
The function of editorial design
The design of editorial matter serves different functions, such as giving expression and personality to the content, attracting and retaining readers, and structuring the material clearly. These functions have to coexist and work cohesively together to deliver something that is enjoyable, useful or informative – usually a combination of all three if it is to succeed.
At its very best, design for editorial for both print and screen is an exciting and constantly evolving research lab and launch pad for stylistic innovations that are often then enthusiastically taken up in many other areas of visual communication.
But editorial design does something else, too: it acts as a vivid cultural snapshot of the era in which it is produced. For example, 1960s magazines Nova and Oz not only brilliantly evoked the visual vibrancy of the decade, but also captured the spirit of an age that celebrated experimentation, innovation and new directions.