When you set up a design publication up there is a lot of choices to be made. You are creating a brand so the whole style of the publication will vary depending on who it is to read it and why.
You need to decide what kind of audience they are, it will determine their needs and what your content is, could be geographical content, it could be based around the fact it is in London and around students. This will be what your target audience will be interested in.
In a local newspaper, you have to be strict in what content you are building because there is not enough space here for an in-depth discussion who buys and reads newspapers, but a quick look at the local newspaper will show up certain distinct markets. Local community news, the content could be local events, new cars, local gossip and local sport.
A newspaper is read fairly soon after it is bought. Newspapers, whether bought at a shop or delivered, are read while commuting on a break from work. or at home or in the evening often while watching television. Once they are read they might be passed on to someone else or they are throw in the bin to be recycled.
Tabloids are generally preferred by readers because they do not require the arms stretch to read them. However, since tabloids, limit how much can be written on one story and since requiring readers to turn pages to follow stories is a bad idea, those papers that carry more in-depth journalism prefer a broadsheet format, or at least a larger page format.
The tabloid, broadsheets, magazines it is going to be thick or thin paper, colour, spot colour, much cheaper to have spot colour because there are fewer colours used. The size of the paper also depends on the cost.
Magazines are usually fully printed in full colour, which requires a very white paper for maximum effectiveness. They also need to be relatively easy to store, while still being cheap on the costs.
Decide on how many pictures, how many stories, captions everything you choose should determine your audience. How you write certain words, how you use colour and what colours you use. Your headers and your footers, do you have subtle headers? Story count how many pages? are you going to have equal story count and the column sizing, how wide are the columns going to be and how many are you going to have? How many decks are you going to have, single, double or triple decks? Are going to run headings across columns? Are you going to run headings across two pages?
Pictures on a page, how many pictures are you going to have on a page, are you going to have captions where will they be placed, will they have a boarder?
Margins allow for there to be a certain amount of leeway about exactly where the fold and the center margins go and where the edges of the pages are cut.
Magazines these days are not normally run off at such speed as newspapers and are printed in a much more higher quality, in terms of both colour and the quality of paper, in terms of both colour and the quality of the paper. Magazines, therefore, can be ‘bled’ so that the ink runs over the edge of the notional page size, leaving it flush with the edge of the page after the magazines have been trimmed by an enormous and powerful guillotine during the production process.
If you are producing the work for a corporate customer, they may already have a house style, a certain font they always use, a colour or colours that always appear on their documents. If you are dealing with a customer who has never produced such work, you will need to discuss with them what fonts, colours and logos they intend to use throughout the publication.
Just as there is a house style for colours and fonts., there is also a house style for the way you use the text. What font should you see? Should it run justified or ragged left? Do you use bold? What is the headline style?
Most newspapers and magazines tend to call in specialist consultants when it comes to setting up the designs of newspapers and magazines. They will balance the technical requirements of a newspapers font against the design requirements.
Do’s & Dont’s
Do break your stories up into chunks, break it up into sections. You can break them up by putting them into a sidebar, makes it easier on the eye or even pull quotes which sum up the story.
Do put bullet points which will help break up the story.
Don’t try clashing with the adverts, be aware of everything that is on the page, a text-based advert by a picture or a picture based advert by text.
Do have white space between the headline and caption makes everything balanced.
When your story is coming to an end, make sure its clear what it’s coming to the end so that the readers understand this is how the story ends in a house style.
Don’t run headlines over adverts, always be clear when advertorial is used, whenever a product is mentioned because there is money behind the article. When an article is written should mention it is an advertorial but it happens more often than not. There is promotional value added to the article.
Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.