A guide to

magazine design

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Everyone loves a magazine. It’s colourful, glossy, enticing and tactile. Perfect for flicking through or browsing slowly when you have the time. Plus, they are great for educating and informing, raising morale, showcasing projects/people, demonstrating expertise and increasing brand awareness. So why with these incredible benefits, don’t more businesses do them?

The main reasons seem to be focused in three key areas. Lack of dedicated in-house resources, insufficient time and/or budget, and occasionally an absence of energy where your initial enthusiasm may wane! Let’s look at each of these in turn.

A magazine doesn’t just happen. There are various stages that need to be completed before your concept can become reality. And you need to think and act several weeks/months ahead.

In-house resources

What your magazine looks like is vitally important. To be seen as credible and professional you need to have the right team working on it. This can often include some, or all, the following:

Designer(s)

Artworker(s)

Editor(s)

Writer(s) - word counts, writing style, grammar etc.

Photographer(s) - resolution, image quality

Print/distribution/fulfilment teams

Production manager

Advertising manager

Social media manager

Marketing manager

 

But if can’t provide this expertise, then often your great idea remains just that! An idea which unfortunately never sees the light of day.

Time

A magazine doesn’t just happen. There are various stages and processes that should be completed before your concept can become reality. For this you must think and act several weeks/months ahead and you need to have the flexibility and time to be able to repeat the following tasks every month, quarter etc:

Creating the initial concept

Designing each edition

Writing all the copy – sourcing the stories and briefing the writers

Providing the images - either finding the images or briefing a photographer who will then take the images

Editing and Proofing

Distribution

Promotion/publicity

Marketing and promotion

It’s essential that you also think (well in advance) about the title, sections, topics, stories, articles and features. Plus, don’t forget the cover – it’s got to be amazing to persuade people that they should pick it up and look inside, so don’t leave it to the last minute, or opt for anything bland or completely unmemorable.

Budget

Most magazines pay for themselves through advertising. But whilst more adverts mean more money, you need to ensure that there is enough content to draw people in. You also must decide at the outset your goals and what returns you are looking for.

Outsourcing

Obviously, you can do it yourself, there are lots of online systems and templates with existing software to enable you to create a magazine. But if you are realistic and know that you'll struggle to maintain momentum and enthusiasm beyond the first issue, then there is another way. Partner with a company like Pixooma and not only will you get the best results possible, but you will also benefit from the very best project management experience.

Visit our dedicated magazine page for more information on the “Secrets to a great magazine” and ways in which we can help make your ideas come to life.

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