How to Make a Magazine

Magazines are still relevant, and print and digital publications can live side by side. An example of a large, historic newspaper that has created an appealing iPad-native experience is La Presse in Montreal with their La Presse+ application. Don’t you want a platform that is just as comfortable in print as it is in digital?

Lucidpress combines tested desktop publishing capabilities with state-of-the-art digital magazine creation tools.

Layout of your magazine

Traditional magazines are laid out as 8.5” × 11”. Magazines for the web come in a variety of sizes, but are typically smaller (6” × 8.5”) and offer more interactivity through image galleries and videos. Our Lucidpress magazine templates default to these sizes. Here are the nuts and bolts of what you’ll want to include in your magazine: Cover, Table of contents, Callout boxes, Author bios, and a Back page.

1. Add compelling photos and graphics

Appealing images are essential to capturing your audience. Make sure they are high quality: at least 300 ppi for print magazines, and 200 ppi for digital. What if a magazine creator isn’t a professional photographer? You can access free stock images, with sites like Free Range Stock, or paid services like Shutterstock. Lucidpress has image editing options to help you perfect your shots to achieve striking quality.

2. Printing considerations

If you print your magazine, consult with a professional printing service. Image quality needs to be higher than it would be for a newsletter or newspaper, and you will want to use a thick, glossy paper stock. Since magazines are often folded and stapled, getting the pages in the right order can be complex. In Lucidpress, the magazine templates are laid out in cover to cover order. Work with your printing company to specify what kind of binding you want.

To achieve the classic magazine look, use full bleed in your document. The bleed is the area of your magazine to be trimmed before shipping to your readers. Set the bleed to 0.125 or 0.25 inch so there isn’t a white margin around your images.

3. Find the right message and typography

The way you write your magazine articles and visually present your text will depend on who your audience is. Different typefaces have different connotations, and in general, serif typefaces are optimal for print viewing, while sans serif typefaces are designed for the web.

Different sections of your magazine call for different presentation styles. Use variants of one font family to give a consistent (but unique) feel to individual sections. Don’t sacrifice legibility for variety—by using different font sizes, weights, and upper and lower case, you can get good mileage from a single font family without looking too busy. Verify that your text is easily readable, will encourage your audience to share your articles, and that the words are complemented by the images.

4. Determine the purpose of your magazine

Different types of magazines have different purposes. Some are heavily informational, while others aim primarily to entertain. Here are some goals to keep in mind as you put your magazine together:

  • Inform—Articles should add value for the reader. The text of the magazine should be accurate, thoroughly researched, and well-written.
  • Entertain—People subscribe to print and digital magazines because they’re fun. The combination of photography, graphic design, and human interest articles should draw your readers in.
  • Entice to buy—Magazines and catalogs are ideal showcases for goods and services. With the advent of digital magazines, your audience can be directed immediately to the point of sale.
  • Spark debate—Journalism should expose readers to a variety of viewpoints. When magazine articles go viral, you have the opportunity to drive cultural conversation.
  • Persuade—Both short- and long-form writing ultimately have the goal of persuading readers to a given point of view or course of action. Make sure that your writing is clear, concise, and is tightly focused.

Ready to make your magazine?

A well-designed magazine can stop you in your tracks. With Lucidpress as your magazine layout software, you can combine stunning graphic design with the latest in cloud-based storage and collaboration. Get started with our customizable magazine templates now.

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