Part 5 Exercise Magazine Pages [Level Unit 1]

Brief : It is required to select a magazine, newspaper or a journal and to study atleast its four pages, for observing following –

  1. To find out the grids they have used and applied to the layout.
  2. To measure the size of the pages, the margins, the text columns, the number of columns, the gaps and gutters between the columns.
  3. To identify the fonts they have used.
  4. To find whether any similar font is available in one’s own collection.
  5. To study the use of photos or illustrations in the selected layout.
  6. To study the use of white space on the pages.

It is also asked to draw a two-page spread using the same grid as of the studied layout, indicate the text using Lorum Ipsum and indicate images by filling a picture box with a tint 10% tint or use a picture from the collection, Checkout whether the grid can be developed any further. Select a title and images and try variations in it by altering headline font or body font and images. It is required to study how these variations affect the appearance and feel of the layout as well as its effect on the readers. It is also necessary to study if the images reflect the need to design differently. It is also required to note down which ones work best altogether.

Research : I have been living in a small town, far away from city, where access to good printed magazines is not much possible. Especially, the magazines in English, are not easily available.

I have seen some examples of printed magazine layouts shared online like these and have marked out the margins, grids, etc. as much as possible –

Layout 1

The two-page spread of the magazine layout is arranged with a block of text arranged as a title on the top left, two well-balanced paragraph text blocks with a narrow gutter / gap between them and left paragraph is aligned with right while the left column is aligned to left of the respective grids. There is an image created by colourful photomontage / collage spread diagonally across the top right of left page, continuing through the top left of right page and upto bottom right of right page. The image placement creates an asymmetrical appearance of the overall layout.

Layout 2

The left page contains a title of the article created using bold and regular sans serif font placed dynamically in white colour on the black background that forms the part of the image on the right, catches attention immediately to the overall monotonous appearance. There is small paragraph on the left page hanging upon the two of the total three paragraph text blocks which are almost evenly placed on left page. There are two small paragraph text blocks arranged with enough gutter space making the text legible on the mid left of the right page. The Grid is used to place three images on the top of the right page in a significant way that the title on the left page and these three images on right page align well horizontally, making the appearance of overall layout unique one. The grid has helped to place and use the background image as a part of grid too by use of negative space throughout the design. The image of a car is used by text wrap on the bottom left of the left page.

Layout 3

At the beginning, focal point moves to the brightly coloured red block with white coloured text on it and moves to the title of the article which is arranged by using grids and is in bold sans serif with less thickness applied on the first line than the remaining two lines of the title. There is small paragraph text arranged below it and is placed using the grids that crosses horizontally through the left page. There is a drop cap at the beginning of the paragraph text blocks on the left page. The paragraphs are evenly spaced and legible as individual text blocks but the gutter space between both paragraph text blocks is less than considering the overall volume of the text. There is one large photograph with text block immediately placed below it and thee are four photographs placed next to it using grids but there is less gutter space between on all of them, thus, making the appearance of the layout as tightly aligned throughout. Can’t even understand the intention of the image going beyond the grid to reach the border of the page as that photograph could have been aligned by scaling to the edges of the other photographs and to the grid.

I have also studied a local tabloid’s layout –

The layout of the tablet is basically consistent and almost uniform. By use of grids, some of the elements and objects like name of the tabloid, name of the author, title of the article, page number date, are set up. Also there are text blocks with same width, arranged with same gutter space on each page though there are images / illustrations / photographs place using text wrap. The whole two-page spread (Width 54 cm x Height 34 cm) with gutter space is 0.5 cm and the width of text blocks is 6 cm each.


9_6_17 10_40 PM Office Lens

9_6_17 10_41 PM Office Lens

9_6_17 10_45 PM Office Lens

9_6_17 10_50 PM Office Lens

For a detailed study, I have selected a book named ‘Pencil Techniques’ by Artists Rahul Deshpande and Artist Gopal Nandurkar, with a magazine styled layout of pages –

The page size is 21.5 x 28 cm each. The grid alignment and arrangement is similar for some pages but not same throughout the book. So, I have worked out the grids and guidelines with purple marker on some of the pages and measured the width, height as well as the gaps and gutters created by the intersection of the grids on these selected pages. The book contains images and illustrations / sketches created using graphite pencil. I have created same layouts using same grids for each page in CorelDRAW as it is not just a vector software, but also used for page layout designing. It is easier to set up grids and guidelines in CorelDRAW and therefore, I have placed grid as 1 grid per centimetre horizontally and vertically by X Y axis. The font style is bold and slab serif.


Layout With Sizes –

Magazine page 1 with msizes

Layout with Margins, grids and guidelines –

Magazine page 1 with guidelines, grids and margins


Layout With Sizes –

Magazine page 2 with sizes

Layout with Margins, grids and guidelines –

Magazine page 2 with guidelines, grids and margins


Layout With Sizes –

Magazine page 3 with szes

Layout with Margins, grids and guidelines –

Magazine page 3 with guidelines, grids and margins


Layout With Sizes –

 Magazine page 4 with sizes

Layout with Margins, grids and guidelines –

Magazine page 4 with guidelines, grids and margins

After studying these all layouts, with pen on paper, I have brainstormed and sketched some layout ideas, as much as varying in different styles to compare which ones will look good as a two-spread magazine layout –

magazine layout 2

Magazine layout 1

I have compared them all and considered the layouts no. 3, 10 and 15 but finalized 15th to create the magazine two-page spread layout as follows, by keeping the grids and guidelines as well as the dimensions same for all three [Width 43 x Height 28 cm total dimension of each spread and margin of 1 cm for top, bottom and outer sides while for the inner margin, I have kept the distance as 1.5 cm each] –

(1)Final Magazine two page spread layout 1 with grids, guidelins and dimensions 1

Final Magazine two page spread layout 1 with grids, guidelins and dimensions

Final Magazine two page spread layout 1

I have used photograph for the background of the title written in a bold slab serif font called ‘Clarendon BT’ and ‘Arial (Bold)’ for body text, The drop cap has made the paragraph text appear professionally written. I have kept the illustrations on right page same on all the spreads. The rounded corners of those images make them appear amicable. Enough leading made the paragraphs legible. The gutter space of 1 cm horizontally and vertically between paragraphs and the illustrations maintains the tidy appearance of the overall layout. Thus, the readers will find it attractive and legible, without feeling bored or tired to read voluminous text.

(2)Final Magazine two page spread layout 2

Here, I have used a script font called ‘Dancing Script’ paired with the clipart of pencil, and ‘Arial (Bold)’ for body text along with a drop cap. The contrast provided by the script font paired with sans serif font The use of clipart of pencil facilitates the understanding of the reader visually to know what the article is about. The script font looks like handwritten, cursive, thus appearing reader-friendly and less formal.

(3)Final Magazine two page spread layout 3

I have manifested totally different approach for this design and made it appear very formal yet reflecting the highest quality of minimalism. I have used black background with white coloured text on it. I have used no clipart or image other than the illustration on right page of the spread. While using a bold slab serif form called ‘Bookman Old Style’ for the title with differently styled double underlines having different widths but same lengths. The use of serif font ‘Times New Roman’ for the body text pairs well the font of title and carries on the consistency of appearance throughout the design. The elegance and exquisiteness of the appearance of the layout overall is surely visually appealing for the readers.

Change in fonts, legibility, placement of the elements, use of limited colour palettes and illustrations / photographs, well-balanced paragraphs and text blocks, sufficient space of gutters and margins, can surely visually affect the readership.