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Magazine Design Tips For a Professional Publication

If you’re thinking about starting your own boutique magazine, then it’s important your product is professional and well planned, regardless of whether it’s a printed or online only publication.

Australian Birdkeeper Magazine Proudly Printed in Australia By Printcraft

According to Roy Morgan research*,  magazine readership is up, with a total of 15 million Australians over the age of 14 consuming content both online and in print. These include the well know ‘independent’ staples like Vogue, New Idea and Better Homes & Gardens, but also the growing surge of magazine from brands like Coles, Bunnings and Choices Flooring. 

It’s a saturated and growing market, so here are a few design and print tips to help your magazine look and feel (for the printed editions) more professional.  

NAIL THE COVER. Grab people’s attention for the right reasons. Make sure the cover photo is a good quality, eye catching image. Keep your branding consistent and unobscured, and always consider how the magazine will be displayed. Even if it’s a free publication, you still need to attract your audience.

KEEP FONTS CONSISTENT. Choose two or three easy to read fonts and keep them consistent throughout the magazine, as well as the editions. This might seem restrictive, but don’t forget these fonts can be displayed as bold, italic and a whole lot of different point sizes.

Lifestyle Queensland Magazine Proudcly Printed in Australia by Printcraft

LAYOUT. All of the regular magazines our design team produce stick to a relatively consistent layout, as we humans like a degree of what is ‘known’. Changing your format every magazine will only create frustration in your readers, no different to Coles moving the coffee to a new aisle every time you shop.

MARGINS & GUTTERS.  A quick and easy way to a professional layout and better reader experience is to ensure you margins and gutters are an adequate distance from the edge. 10mm from the left hand edge, and 15mm from the centre gutter is a good guide.

WHITE SPACE.  Leave some room to breath. While we appreciate the need to include as much as possible, higher end, more professional looking magazines tone it back just a little. White space gives a better flow and visual experience for the reader.

PRINT VRS ONLINE.  This is probably the most valuable piece of advice we can give if you’re planning to produce a hard copy of your magazine. What you see on screen is unlikely to be the same result when printed. Your screen is a RGB (red, green, blue) light source. Colours look vibrant, a grey text with the solid black background will be easy to read, and all your images will look crisp and clear.

Print is a whole other story. Images will look flatter, presses will have a hard time holding the ink of a dark grey text against a black background, and low resolution images will be pixelated and fuzzy.  While we don’t want to scare you off printing your magazine, we do encourage you to involve us early on in the design process. After all, we’ve printed more magazines than we can count over the past 35 years.

Printcraft is Queensland’s largest privately owned printing company. We specialise in the design, print production and mailing of boutique magazines. For more information on our services contact us or request a quote.

Crush Magazine Proudly Printed in Australia By Printcraft

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Great post, very informativem thanks! When I think about publishing my essays, I recall how hard writing them was. Nursing essays required a delicate dance between medical knowledge and eloquent prose. Professional examples like this one waltzed in, guiding my steps. Now, my essays showcase a choreography of precision and clarity.

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