Designing a magazine is one of the most popular things people wonder about – how do I design a Magazine? In this 2-part video lesson, I’m teaching you how to design a magazine in InDesign.

  1. Part 1 | How to choose a layout
  2. Part 2 | How to create layouts in InDesign
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Let’s talk about how to create a magazine article. Now, last week we talked about how to create drop [caps 00:00:05] and that’s just one small part. Obviously inside magazine articles you usually have columns of text. Right now, sometimes what we’re doing is we’re just creating one huge block across and that’s typically what we think of when we think of lead magnets or content upgrades or course workbooks. They’re usually not set up as columns like a magazine and it does help to break the text up. It helps to make it more interesting. You can throw some images in there so let’s just talk today about the different layouts that some or most magazine articles have and how you can recreate that yourself in Adobe InDesign.

Hi everyone. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous and I help online businesses to create beautiful digital downloads using Adobe InDesign. So, if that sounds like you or is something you might be interested in, make sure to hit the subscribe button below and I post new videos every Monday and Thursday. Today we’re going to talk about the perfect magazine layout. When I say perfect, I mean the perfect magazine layout for you and your business because that could definitely vary depending on who you are, who you’re trying to attract and what you’re trying to accomplish with that online digital magazine.

All right, so that’s step one. The second step is figuring out your sections. So, this is really easy and I promise it’s going to make your magazine content creation so much easier. The next thing you should think about is are you going to make this an interactive magazine? So with online magazines, this is something I think a lot of people don’t think about is you can actually take that magazine and it’s online. You can make everything clickable. When I say clickable, you have actual links. So, you have a paper magazine that’s not clickable. You could insert videos. You could insert quizzes. Again, think too if you are going to leave this as a digital only or if you would like the option to make it digital and/or print. Now, if that is the case, then I strongly believe you should follow the rules for print magazine, not for digital. Don’t worry about making it interactive.

Plus, honestly that’s a whole different skillset with inside Adobe InDesign. So, if you’re just starting out, even if you have digital, maybe don’t go for the interactive. Put that out as something later as a 2.0 version of your magazine once you get some more subscribers and get some more momentum going. Now, how do you want those actual pages to be laid out? Now, page layouts are very different based on the type of information that you are sharing so let’s look at some pages together. First up is Glamour’s dos and don’ts. Now, I found some of these just by Googling and you can also obviously go to the store and buy some magazines. I would start bookmarking pages and page layouts that you like and what sections those correspond to.

Don’t just put post it notes. Put a post it note with this will correspond to my cookbook section. This will correspond to my fitness exercise section or something like that. So, over here if you’re doing fashion, this might be a good dos and don’ts. It’s kind of funny they crossed out her eyes. It’s obviously Gwen Stefani in both pictures, but this is just something that is kind of accepted. People like to see. Again, when I say stand out, I mean stand out by putting your own flair on things, but still kind of follow the rules on industry standards. Again, you can see that they put a then and a now. A then and a now so that kind of just helps people’s brains to understand very quickly what they’re looking at and it has a little caption here and then a takeaway over here.

Let’s go ahead and look at another one. So, over here, Street Style, this is a little different. Something else you should know too is how many fonts do they have? Typically on magazines, they maybe have three to four different fonts per page and that’s it. You won’t see a lot of script fonts even though they are beautiful and I’m sure you’re probably like me and you have so many because you can’t stop buying them, but really with script fonts, you should use those sparingly because they are very difficult to read. So, you’ll notice this has what looks kind of like Kodak moment pictures and over here, you have some text. This is offset over to the right. Maybe you like it maybe you don’t. Something else to keep in mind.

Here’s another section with pictures over here. Celebrities and their dogs. So, you can see this is probably 90% images, just 10% text or 5% of the text in the pictures and 5% over here as the title page. So, this would be a nice layout but you’ve seen that they have started to resize those images so that they are kind of off center so it doesn’t look like just a grid. So, it kind of makes it a little more interesting for your eye to look at. So, really again, when you think about magazines, sometimes it’s just train your eye to look for these different things. Same thing here with all of this text. This is, again, broken up into sections and it has blocks and the dos and the don’ts like we saw before. That’s a huge thing in magazines.

So, that’s how this is broken up. There was something else I wanted to show you. Okay. So, this is the biggest area and we’ll talk about this later on how to shape text around an object. This is probably the hallmark of what makes a magazine layout look so much more interesting than a typical workbook or an ebook or anything else. You can see the text is sort of flowed around her leg over here. Same thing. The text is flowing around her head. Well, these are just squares over here, but that is pretty much the hallmark of what makes magazines interesting and same thing over here with Selena Gomez. This is in Spanish, but you can see that the text has been written on to different parts of the furniture. That’s why people probably purposely used a monocolor or unicolor, I’m not sure what the word is but a solid color for furniture or props so that they could put text inside of there.

All right, so go out. Your first assignment is simply to go out, look at magazines within your genre. I shouldn’t say genre. Within your niche, your industry. So, let me recap. The first thing you need to do is decide what industry you’re in. The second thing you need to do is start researching magazines and the third thing you need to do is start creating these sections and the themes that you want inside your magazine, the major table of content areas. Then the fourth thing is finding the layouts to fit with inside each of those themes. All right. Once you do that, I will see you back here for part two and we’ll start talking about creating actual layouts for different pages.

Okay, I hope that was helpful and I look forward to helping you do a magazine layout in InDesign. Bye.

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