Thursday, 12 January 2017

Tips and Advice on Layout from Clive Edwards

Below are a series of tips on how a successful magazine should be set out. When analysing magazine front covers evaluate which of these tips they follow.

The first colour is white. The second colour is black. The third colour is red. Calligraphers and early printers grasped this over 500 years ago and experience has proved them exactly right. White for background, black for text, red for accent and excitement. These three colours are the best . Be very careful with all other colours.
Roger Black (designer of Newsweek, Time Out, Esquire, National Enquirer, Rolling Stone)

A cover should be a poster. A single image of a human will sell more copies than multiple images or all type. Always has, always will. Think about why.
Roger Black 

Never set a lot of text type in all caps. After a while, it’s just too hard to read.
Roger Black 

Use only one or two typefaces. Italian design is the model: a strong sense of a few things that work together. Avoid a free for all of multiple fonts/colours.
Roger Black 

Get lumpy! The trouble with most design is that it has no surprise. If you want normal people to pay attention, you have to change pace in your presentation. Monotonous rhythms of picture, headline, picture, text, ad, headline, picture, ad, etc. Is like a pudding without raisins – a stew without lumps.
Roger Black 

Break up type to add interest
Chris Frost – Designing for newspapers and magazines

Don’t use too many typefaces. Too much variation will end up looking a mess. It’s best to limit yourself to one font, and variations of it.
Chris Frost

Emphasise your entry point, with larger intro type, bold faces, drop letters, etc. Choose your entry point with care, and make it the focal point of the page.
Chris Frost

Even mediocre photographs attract an audience and a good news picture, even on an inside page, may attract 80% of the readership.
Harold Evans – Pictures on a Page

Just switching type face from serif to sans can result in massive differences in reader comprehension, and response, to advertisements
Colin Wheildon – Are you communicating, or just making pretty shapes? (2005)

There are few major newspapers in the English speaking world today which use the sans serif type for the body text. Conversely, many major magazines choose sans serif. Serif faces have long been regarded as highly readable. One theory is that the serifs acted as tram lines, keeping the eyes on target. Another was that the modulated thick and thin strokes of serif types provided greater opportunity for individual letters, and hence words, to be distinguished and read.
Colin Wheildon

Responses to text in printed colours showed a considerably lower level of good comprehension.
 81% said they would prefer to read the page of coloured type because it was more attractive. But the test results clearly show that in practise, they found coloured text more difficult to read. It was attractive to look at but did not make a good reading environment.
Colin Wheildon

Editors and designers are the missing link between the ape world and man.
Colin Wheildon

Every picture should have a caption. Readers get very irritated if they cannot find the caption. But the caption must not state the obvious. A picture of a vicar pouring a cup of tea, should not have for its caption: Vicar, pouring cup of tea. Captions should add to the information in the photo, not re-state it.
Many music mags use witty, tongue-in-cheek  captions.

Type size for the body of an article should be between 9-14.  (not the headlines, standfirst, crossheads etc). Some newspapers go down to 8, and many would consider that anything above 11 is too large, wastes space, and patronises the reader. 9 is the most common size.

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