It’s no secret that proper editorial design is the cornerstone of any great internal communications publication. But there’s always more to learn.
With more than 15 years of internal communications design experience, much of it spent living and breathing 'magazines', it’s fair to say I've got some expertise to bring to the table. Here are my top Ten tips for editorial design and structure.
The front cover is the first thing your audience sees so make sure it’s eye-catching. Draw them in with a strong starter and make them NEED to read more.
Avoid placing heavy features at the beginning of your magazine. Don’t daunt your reader with the main course up-front. Ease them in with a lighter piece to start, and wow them with your long-form digestible (and delicious!) stories later on.
Keep your page layout grid well-managed as you work and even try experimenting with something more than three simple columns. Funky and modern page configurations can intrigue your audience and give your magazine a younger, sexier feel.
Hierarchy is key. Give your lead pieces the spotlight they deserve and keep your lighter items waiting in the wings. Using prime positioning and stronger imagery really tells your reader which story is the headline act.
Take some time to concentrate on the frankly heady concoction of letter spacing and funky fonts. These all make your magazine more accessible and keep your readers happy chappies.
Don’t be afraid of white space; it won’t bite. Sometimes blank space on your page can feel like something to avoid but it’s exciting to experiment with it in different design styles. Try starting your text half way down the page, and revel in the impact it has on the overall layout.
This one’s simple. Nobody wants to read something that makes their eyes ache so ditch harsh, loud colours and instead go for something warm and appealing to soften the overall look and give your audience a visual feast.
Break up long text with jazzy box outs, panels and concise tables. Your reader doesn’t want to be faced with long paragraphs of dense content so make consumption easy for them and they’ll engage more.
Make sure the images you choose actually back up the message in your writing and that they’re relevant to the overall theme. Every individual morsel should link to the next without a hiccup.
Give your final product a once over to check that neighbouring articles aren’t too stark in contrast. The magazine should have a natural flow to it, making it a complete joy to devour.