Magazine Design: How to Design a Magazine

Designing a magazine is an art. It requires the designer to be versatile, creative, and skillful, in order to produce something that is both unique and attractive. A design's overall appearance or concept determines how it can be defined. This includes not only how it looks, but also how it works.

A successful design will allow the audience of the publication to understand what they are looking at, whether that's through text or imagery. In this article, we dive into guiding you on how to do magazine design.

What makes a good magazine design?

To ensure a consistent design style, be sure to use similar elements throughout your magazine, which include its color, shape, and typography, to make it look professional. Plan the spreads, not the pages—create an immersive design by designing your magazine in two-page increments and allowing the content to spread across the spine.

How to design your magazine's cover

A good magazine's cover design can assist you in selling out your magazine. For this reason, every magazine designer ought to be knowledgeable enough on typography, the psychological profile of their readers, placement, and aesthetics. Follow these steps to design your cover:

  1. Text placement: dark on light, or light on dark. A photograph or an artwork normally serves as the foundation for most magazine covers. Visually appealing images include a lot of contrast between light and dark areas. The text must, of course, be light and set against a dark background in order to be readable.
  2. Complement and match the color of the text. Subtitles and other tiny text are often in black and white, but the larger, bolder text components on a magazine cover are a perfect location to use color.
  3. Apply 3D text for both sides of the image (behind and in front). This use of an artwork or photograph to obscure some text while also appearing behind another text is a popular strategy.
  4. Use backdrops, bold, italics, and other techniques to emphasize certain points.
  5. Use photos and drawings together. To stand out, you can blend a designed and photographic element that hearkens back to the basic doodle.

How to design your magazine's spread

A good magazine spread design should appeal to the eye, be provocative, and make the reader glued to the page. Here are a few pointers on how to make a better magazine spread:

  1. Color-block your spread. You may create a visually appealing composition by juxtaposing opposing color blocks and adding secondary colors to your text.
  2. Use big quotations. Many stories have characters who have said something. Why not make their utterances as visible as possible? Obviously, you should be clear in writing to maintain a faithful relay of the message at hand to your readers.
  3. Go all-in on a minimalist or maximalist approach. Looking through magazines, you may have noted designers often lean on either of the two sides. A minimalist approach has a focus on white space, tranquil photographs, and plain typeface. A maximalist approach, on the other hand, relies on large fonts, attention-grabbing headlines, and bright colors.
  4. Apply vertical thinking, which emphasizes displaying infographics differently, or height, or highlights vertically oriented photography.

How to design your magazine's table of contents

Want a killer table of contents for your magazine? Here are four secrets you should consider:

  1. Make use of colors. Infuse personality into every piece of your design to accomplish a creative table of contents. Whether you use colors for text or the background, they will undoubtedly add more life to the content.
  2. Apply different fonts and sizes.
  3. Make use of images as content previews.
  4. Align your content in an unconventional manner.


The magazine industry is evolving rapidly. Traditional print magazines are being replaced with digital versions, and marketers are facing new challenges when publishing their content. With the help of CorelDRAW, you can create a robust magazine filled with engaging content that will engage your target audience. Download the software today to give it a try.

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