Magazine Page Designmagazine-design-page-elements.png

Magazines are everywhere—just look around!
There is magazine for every topic you can think of, and probably even more than that.
Somebody has to create the design for all theses magazines, and it may as well be you!

Project: Magazine Page Design

Create a magazine page design for the WHS magazine:
"The Talon".
The design may include 3 different "events"
(articles, cartoons, spotlights, etc) or one major story.

Group Project:
With 2- 3 students per group, each student will need to contribute their ideas, strategies and work ethic in order to finish the page design. The page design can include comics, photography and artwork, articles and points of view, anything the students can imagine in a magazine, with a focus on the target audience (in this case, high school students).

  • 8 x 10 inches / .125 bleed / .5 margins
  • One page or a two page spread.
  • Black, PMS 200 text with full color images - Gradients are acceptable.
  • Body Copy font: Palatino, no larger than 10 pt
  • Sub-Headings: Arial (Any Style)
  • Headings: Any Decorative or Script font

You must include your name next to each article written. You must also include the names of any students who contributed in anyway, including photos, drawings or sculpture, etc.

Step One: Write the Articles

Yes, you must write! AND, you must read! Follow the design process using this worksheet:

Choose a topic that interests you, and write 100-250 words (around 3 paragraphs max) about the topic.
Have a member in your group read your article.

Have your English teacher check out your writing!magazine-layout-3a.jpg

Remember, your target audience is the community at The Waltham High School,
choose a topic that you are interested in reading, and others will be too.
Consider these magazine article ideas:
  • What it’s like being part of a after school group, band or sport team
  • Playing an instrument, creating art
  • Favorite game or game system contrast article (are you PlayStation or Xbox?)
  • Write an article about being in school; your favorite class or school group
  • Write your own story about an event or fictional story
  • Interview someone in the school; student, teacher, custodian...
  • Include one of your drawings, and then write about the drawing.
  • Include one of your photographs, and then write about the photo
  • Write about your neighborhood or family

Step Two: Collect Images

Start collecting images to enhance your magazine article.
The image could be a photo taken by you or someone else in the high school (please no Internet photos!).

A drawing, illustration or painting, a photo of a sculpture, or even a scan of some texture or pattern. Consider collecting as many as possible—you may not use them all, but they may inspire your design in some way!

Step Three: Set-up InDesignmagazine-layout-7.jpg

Create the page layout in InDesign, remember the margins and bleed setting!

Keep “facing pages” checked on when creating a two page spread.

Create separate layers within the document to keep things organized (text layer, photos, graphics)
Create the PMS 200 swatch.
Start laying out the design.

Step Four: Adobe Photoshop

Use the leading digital imaging software to crop images, make selections and remember the resolution!
300 res / .Tiff

Step Five: Design! Design! Design!magazine-layout-11a.jpg

Try different layout on copied pages. Each student must create a page design idea with the exact same articles and images.
Pay close attention to Advanced Typography features, including; leading, kerning, widows, rivers and orphans.

Objectives (students will learn)
  • Page Layout using Adobe InDesign
  • Advanced Typography including: Leading, Kerning, Widows, Rivers and Orphans. Column Guides and Text Wrap
  • Pantone Matching System color swatches
  • File Extensions and Printing Considerations


Check out these websites for information and inspiration:

Behance Network: The Creative Professional Platform

Best Design Options: Design Ideas and Tutorials

Magazine Art from the Golden Age of Illustration

Print Magazine

HOW magazine

Fast Company: Years best magazine design