Today at Fresh Aspirations, Keith Snowdon from Today Type and Design came in to talk to us about magazine design. He was very informative and gave us lots of interesting and helpful tips to help us with how we would go about designing a magazine.

He said that the very first thing you should decide on is the size and style. A5 booklet, A4 magazine, A5 leaflet, whatever it is you want to use, decide on that first. This will allow you to fit the content around your publication and retain the look you want.

He also told us that one of the main necessities of designing a magazine is to work out who you want to target your production at. Once you know that, it’s much easier to decide on what content to have.

The next thing to do is to decide on roughly how many pages you want. This will give you an idea of how much content to put into your print. For example, A4 leaflet style (just one page) publications will only have enough printing space for a certain amount of text and graphics. This would mean you need to be very careful about what you choose to put into it. Word counts are excellent ways of limiting your content as they give you a clear representation of how much content there is, so that you don’t bore the reader.

Remember, lots of text can be heavy on the eye.

Two other really important things are graphics and paper type. Do you want a glossy fashion-style magazine with lots of pictures or do you want something with high quality paper and more text? The font and colours you use are also important as they allow you to build up a brand around the magazine, readers will then recognise it.

These are all important factors in deciding on your magazine type.

Another important point is the front and back covers. You could have your logo on the front, but is that what you want to convey? Or do you want to have a big picture of what you’re all about on the front? The front cover is really important as it’s what you reader will see. If your front cover is boring, no one will pick the magazine up.

Your back cover is also important because a lot of readers automatically flick to the back before starting at the beginning again.

Keith told us that using social media before a magazine is released is a great way of drumming up support for your publication. Mentioning companies online is a great way of thanking them for any support, especially if they have provided you with a prize for a competition or something similar. You could also put a copy of the magazine online which would allow lots of readers to view it if they don’t have a copy, people might even link to it for reference or to make an important point.

Thank you very much for your time Keith, we all learnt a lot about designing magazines and really hope we can speak to you again soon.