Principles of Magazine Layout Design

In this age of online advertising and being sold new products it seems from every which direction, the one piece of ephemera that harkens back to pre-internet normalcy are print marketing and magazines.

Presenting services in a format we all seemed to grow up with before digital ruled our lives, is a great way to continually market your services in new and engaging ways!

It seems simply flipping through a magazine without the worry of ads popping up or being sold in the traditional sense is the way to go!

No matter if you’re a novice to the world of desktop publishing and graphic design, or meddled in a class before, having a few basics down can take your work from amateur and clip art to full blown cover art with these handy tips to guide the creative process.

The principles of Magazine Layout Design

I should start off by saying knowing the Principles of Magazine Layout Design is a great starting off point when creating any kind of printed materials. They serve as the building blocks and one builds off another until you finally have a piece that looks “put together.” For example, lying out your magazine with a grid is great practice, but without applying typography best practices your reading experience won’t be nearly as great.

So let’s review a few basic fundamentals so you’re aware what influences great print design:


The headline sets the tone of the content below it – much like web design it should pop a bit so varying text sizes to add emphasis is a great rule of thumb in ensuring the content below is read.

Introductory Paragraph

The introductory paragraph introduces the reader to the article. While the headline sets the tone, the introductory paragraph supports it and carries the reader on a journey further and connects them to the main article.

photography magazine templates - by stephanie design

Body Copy

Alot of magazine layout artists will actually start formatting the body copy first, as it takes up the most space and extends across multiple paragraphs. With this in mind, it’s great to factor in readability by breaking up content into rows and enforcing the right margins for beautiful typography that enhances the readers experience.


Sub-headlines are used to break an article into various sections or compartments and lead naturally into the paragraph its alluding to.

The grid

A grid is useful in guiding the viewer to the information they want.

A clear grid means less time updating and adjusting the layout once dates, prices, time and images change. When the  basic structure all flows and feels related, chances are a solid grid was established!


Typography is arguably one of the most important elements of your project. It’s really important your eyes are naturally guided along the page and the text is broken up to contribute to a much easier rhythm.

Something I see a lot in Web Design is text that is justified, meaning text is aligned along the left margin, with letter-spacing and word-spacing adjusted so that the text falls flush with both margins, also known as fully justified or full justification. This is usually not a great idea or best practice as it decreases the users reading speed. You wouldn’t want to hinder the user’s ease of reading!

bad typography

The example above illustrates this point.

Pull Quotes

In graphic design, a pull quote is a key phrase, quotation, or excerpt that has been pulled from an article and used as a page layout graphic element, serving to entice readers into the article or to highlight a key topic


This one’s a no-brainer – you wouldn’t want to send a couple hundred dollar marketing order to press only to find it ridden with grammatical and spelling errors! You should expect your Graphic Designer to spell-check to weed out any errors before heading to print!

senior photographer magazine template


Adobe Creative Suite is the industry-leader in publication design, with InDesign being the software many use for desktop publishing and page layout design.

For printing, MagCloud is highly recommended!


Make a bold first impression with your clients with a professionally-designed and stylish photography magazine template! Perfect for any newborn, wedding, or boudoir photographer, these welcome guide templates are easily customizable to match your brand and showcase your stunning work. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just getting started, these magazines will help you stand out and show off your creativity. Let your clients know that they are in the right hands with a one-of-a-kind photo experience!

February 12th, 2023


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By Stephanie Hamilton