Art Direction

The Art Directors Handbook of Professional Magazine Design is a great book on how to do magazine design, with many great examples. It’s helped me think deeper about how I go about designing magazines, which I hope to apply to my design and art directing.


  • It’s important to sketch ides and layouts, but it helps to read the text your designing for and have a precise concept too.
  • Things to think about when using photography: which pictures should you put first, is there a logical order, will they be grouped and how, do the colours go together, is the sequence too repetitive, does it add something new???

Layout variations:

  • The choice of opening picture sets the mood for the rest, and the typography has a decisive influence on this mood. (Important to remember!)

Grid systems:

  • The number and width of columns influence the character of a magazine.
  • The right layout of columns is immensely important for the structure of a magazine page.
  • Lines should have roughly sixty characters = better readability.
  • The content should also influence what layout you chose.
  • Here are examples of how different magazines have used grid systems well in various ways (page 19):

Scan 84


Source: ‘The Art Directors Handbook of Professional Magazine Design: Classic Techniques and Inspirational Approaches’ – Horst Moser (Thames and Hudson, London)

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