Further Magazine Research

I wanted to do some further research on magazine layouts and look at DPS magazine layouts and some that are 4 page spreads if possible. This would be helpful in giving me examples at how I might achieve an effective editorial design that runs through out several pages.

Since I chose my theme to be architectural photography I wanted to look at architectural magazines mainly and some other magazines that I think have interesting design layouts.

This spread uses an 8 column layout through out with wide margins on the outer sections (left and right), the top and bottom margins are slightly more narrow. Next to the title, sitting in a bold sans-serif typeface is an interesting design device, an illustration of the author. I thought this was a nice way of crediting the author. Below that sits a small introduction of the author in a one column structure (combination of 4 total columns), larger type size that the text body and with the name of the author in bold, this section is divided off by two horizontal lines running top and bottom of it. There is an image that runs through the entire second page and a bit less than half of the first page. The main body text is laid out into two wider columns (combination of 2 columns for each). There is a smaller image below the main body text that is the same width as the two columns, further more there is two smaller captions below that image that sit on the original 8 column structure.

The second image is from the same magazine following the same 8 column layout structure. It also uses the design device of having an illustration the author and having the introduction of them sit just bellow with the authors name in bold. Both the DPS follow the same text hierarchy by reducing the type size according to its importance (less important the smaller the text). This DPS has three images instead of two, two of them the size of the two column body text and the other running across the center of both pages, though unevenly utilizing 2/8 of the first page and half of the second page. The only major difference in this spread is the use of a quote on the second page as a design device, it’s placed at the same column width as the body text but the type size is larger and in bold. They both only have two different type faces and are kept quite clean and modern with the use of white space running through out, they are not overly crowded and allow for the most important information to stand out the photos and the author or subject with a simple colour scheme. On the bottom outer sections of the DPS left and right corners is the date in bold, title of the magazine and the page number.

Key features:

  • Illustration used to credit the author
  • introduction of the author
  • simple colour scheme
  • images used to connect pages
  • text hierarchy
  • 8 columns


When designing a layout look at incorporating design devices that can crediting the author or subject of the article such as the illustrations, they make for a more dynamic layout. Keep the number of typefaces to just two or three typefaces and the colour scheme simple allowing the images to be the main focus.

This is a four page article, I like the simplicity of this layout and the large image as the primary focus. The first two pages consist of one large image running across both of them with out margins. The title of the article sits on the second page on the top right, spreading across horizontally about  3/4 of the page in bold large white san-serif typeface. The title is a small description of the article in itself and directly relates to the background image, relating the ‘learning process’ to the kids apparently studying or working. The introduction paragraph also relates back to the image and sits just below the heading in a serif typeface using one column at about the same width as the heading itself utilizing about 1/4 of the page vertically. On the third and fourth page the structure becomes more clear and it becomes apparent that a 6 column structure is in use. There is a caption on the top left of the third page placed in a narrow column and one on the bottom left in the same narrow column but in a larger blue type face with the name and location of the school in the image. There is a narrow margin on the left of the third page and an image runs across 5/6 of the page and across the entire fourth page with out margins.

Key features:

  • image focused, large images.
  • bold heading/ placed on the second page
  • utilizing three type faces
  • minimal colour scheme, only colour used was on a small blue description of the image third page.
  • minimal, clean and balanced
  • 6 columns


Think about how to balance a design, where and at what scale the photography might be. Then combination of text and images working together. Once again think about the effectiveness of using different sizes of type to show the importance of the information. 

This four page spread looks minimal, shows off the photos and has a small amount of text which is ideally the kind of layout I want to create. It has the title and subheading sitting left aligned on the middle of the the first page. The heading is set in a large sans serif type face about half way down the page taking up about 1/3 of the page in width counting the top and bottom margins (as seen on the 4th page), the subheading sits in a smaller typeface about the same width as one of the header words, so 1/6 width of the page. The subheading is a small introductory paragraph to the article that is specially helpful to introduce what the article is about as in this particular case as it’s not too clear what is being communicated through the just the heading and photo on the second page. The second page consist of a large image and like the first page they don’t have any margins. On the third page an image runs across the full page and a third of the fourth page. The column structure on this layout is made up of a 6 column grid, the main body text is set on a wider column (combining 2 columns of original grid). The body text is set in a serif typeface and it’s interesting to note that the body text is the very last thing on this article. The body text its self is has a heading and authors name at the top, the heading ‘criticism’ is more of a reflection of the kind of article it is, it’s set in a light beige sans serif type, this and the authors name are sectioned off by three thin lines the width of the column, The authors name ‘Rob Wilson is set in a bold sans serif type face making it stand out. On the middle section of the page are sits smaller captions set in the original 6 column structure at the top on the left is a a caption of the image in orange sans serif type, the caption to the right is a description of the previous DPS, it is set in black smaller type. At the bottom of the middle section is a small square map the width of the body text column. The layout has wide margins on the top and bottom and on the left of the body text.

Key features:

  • minimal
  • larger images
  • 3 typefaces
  • 6 column structure
  • title and subheading taking up 1 full page


Create layouts that effectively distribute information by importance, in this instance the images where the main focus introduced by a large bold heading and subheading. Find ways to credit the author and create subheadings if needed.

I really like this layout out in its use of white space as it makes the article flow and breathe. In the first page a large image runs through out without margins, the second page is set with same sized margins on all sides of about 1 cm width, on the top of left of the page sits a page number with a line underneath (page number of the of a set of articles), this is not the same as the page number at the bottom left because this is was in a set of articles running through several pages. Because of this being part of a set of articles the main heading is quite small sitting in a bold sans serif typeface the just below sits in the same size and typeface the authors names (credits) in width of 3 columns of the original 7 column underlying grid. Below that sits the subheading in a light grey also in the same size as the heading but is made of secondary importance by the choice of a lighter colour, it sits in a wide column combination of 4 columns. All together they consist of about the top 1/4 of the page, in the middle sits a wide open space. The use of this white space helps it breathe nicely makes the layout clean and effective in its use of space. The main article sits on two columns but the original structure is made up off 7 column grid. A caption of the image found on the first page sits on the left of the body text at the same height. At the bottom sitting parallel to the page number sits a small subheading of the article (this is not the usual ‘page and magazine title’ caption found on the bottom corners usually) it sits on the same columns as the body text. The third page is divided into two sections the top half consist of two images and the bottom the rest of the body text sitting in the same 2 columns mirror image of the previous page with a caption sitting on the right. The fourth page has one main image with an equal margin running around it, the top image is smaller more rectangular but the remaining space is filled with a small caption.

Key features:

  • use of white space and margins running between images
  • only one typeface in use, different variations (bold, colour size)
  • more images being displayed


Incorporate white space into layout out, it helps the article breathe and look modern. This in contrast to other layouts I have analyzed has more images displayed but they are not crowded and each sit in their own allocated spaces. Wide margins also help it flow similar to the Creative Review articles I have analyzed on an earlier project.

I looked at this article in a Creative Review issue. As I have found that Creative Review is very good at displaying images, specially large images. They use wide margins and a lot of white space to create a clean and modern layout. This is a 5 page layout it is using a 6 column structure, with a large margin at the top. The layout is split into 3 vertical sections with the bottom 2 thirds using large images. I like how the first two pages have an image running through out both pages but with the main focus of the image still in the bottom 2/3 of the layout. The body text in the layout is separated into its own section by a light blue section, giving the layout a bit of colour as well as helping the text stand out and be able to incorporate a few smaller images on that section. Creative Review is good at having large images as a background and in this case having the images set in a white background help them become part of the article.

Key features:

  • large images (white background or sky on the images)
  • body text sectioned off (stands out/ adds colour theme running through out)
  • Header and subheader (placed on top of header) runs through two pages, utilize custom kerning.
  • large margins and white space

Conclusion: Experiment having images become part of the layout and not separate with boarders, and also look into having a colour theme running though out helps connect the article. Use wide margins and use white space to create a simple, minimalistic design.

I also looked at this Vice magazine, it’s a magazine focused on arts, culture and news topics. I like the layouts used in this magazine and they are also very good at working with images. I found a couple spreads in this issue that I think might work with the layout I intend to create. The first one has large images running through one page and about a third of the second, I like the way this connects the pages. The images also bleed off the page from one side, on the second page the image uses a the third page and 2/3 of the fourth. It utilizes a simple 3 column layout, through out. For the second article it uses 2 wide columns to place the body text. The layout is divided into two sections vertically the top half consist of images and bottom of the body text, in this layout the images are all connected with out borders, I like how this looks and helps the images become one. The bottom left sits an image of the person being interviewed as well as bellow the sub-header sits the credits of the article. Both articles use wide top and bottom margins similar to the ones in CR. They also have large pull out quotes which take up a large section and help break up the body text.

Key features:

  • images connecting pages
  • wide margins
  • credits placed under sub-header and image of person being interviewed on the far left
  • subheading, captions and pull out quotes sit in a sans serif typeface while the rest sits in different weight of the same serif typeface.
  • pull out quotes


Like the previous spreads I have looked at look into using images to connect the pages together instead of sectioning in off the images. Incorporate wide margins and experiment in connecting the images together without borders as I think this might work well with abstract architecture. Experiment with the use of combining sans serif and serif typefaces and reverse the order. Also try adding design devices such as quotes to help spread out the body text and at the same time help connect the body text on other pages working as ‘subheading’ introductions.


These were just some of the editorial spreads that I have looked at. I think that they all work well to successfully demonstrate the architectural photography and will be the kind of layout I intend to create for my editorial spread. With my main focus on creating a clean, modern layout out that works together with my photographs and effectively displays them. These magazines have been ideal to giving me ideas for my layouts but I think I want to create a combination of these and take the Creative Review use of wide margins and white space that I think works very well, specially at displaying images.


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