If you’re new to the publishing world or just never put a name to what you were already doing, you might ask yourself what is editorial design? If you publish content regularly, try to maintain a creative unity across all your content and have a strategy to share this content with your readers then you’re already practicing editorial design.
What is editorial design?
So let’s see what exactly is editorial design. Editorial design encompasses quite a few elements, from smart compositions, creative typography to editorial layout and suggestive imagery. All this is meant to create a unity in transmitting content to readers, this is why during this process, certain guidelines and rules need to be followed. Therefore, editorial design is closely linked to a brand’s ethos and is a huge part of the success or unsuccess of a publication since a clear communication and storytelling is based on rigorous applications of grid layouts and visual elements. After all, what publishers want is to keep readers entertained while consuming their content because as we all know, a happy reader is a returning reader.
Standing out from the rest
But keeping readers entertained is quite hard, especially in the digital space. Designing magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books and so on has become rather challenging since technology is changing at such a fast pace. In a sea of publications is hard to stand out from the rest and bring something new to the table. The process of creating a magazine, for instance, can be an overwhelming one with so many details to take into account and when it comes to the editorial design one can feel a bit lost since there is so much that can be done. The “less is more” rule might not be applied as a general rule here with so many options to choose from regarding editorial design. And gaining your audience’s attention is not exactly a stroll in the park these days, but if there is something that I have learned is that going back to basics never gets old-fashioned. Because you can always add your personal touch and make it a brand/ whole new thing.
Double page layouts
Here is where good old “double page layouts” or “double page spread layouts” come into the spotlight. They have been used since forever, however what’s nice about them is that they never get old. You can always add new elements, use new techniques, and create something fresh. A simple definition of a double page spread states that it represents two pages treated as one in a publication, with images or text extending across the binding. The whole image (meaning both pages) has to be unitary and suggestive. Even though a double page layout is meant to break the monotony of a publication, it also has to be in perfect harmony with the rest of the editorial layout. You might say “easier said than done”. So, I’ve asked Cristina, one of our designer colleagues to kindly share some of her tips when creating a double page layout. Here you have a small checklist:
Look at the spread as a unit
Always use a grid
Maintain a consistent internal margin
Pay attention to kerning (the adjustment of space between two unique letters)
Use the same fonts, color tones on both pages
Don’t forget about readability for aesthetic reasons
Find photos with the same vibe and characteristics.
Creative double page layouts
There are plenty of double page layouts examples to draw inspiration from. The Internet is packed with them and you can find hundreds of websites with all sorts of examples to get your creative juices flowing.
We recently created Flipsnack’s User Guide and our designers opted for double page spread layouts to spice things up:
You can also use the double page layout to present the table of contents like in the examples below:
Double page layouts are also useful either to mark the beginning of an article, chapter, present recipes or to break the monotony of a long article.
Double page magazine ads are also frequent and a good source of inspiration:
Arcor: Bubble Gum – Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Bic Soleil Clic – Advertising Agency: Dragster, Gothenburg, Sweden
Depilatory Strips: EPILDOU – Advertising Agency: Lg2, Quebec, Canada
Awareness Campaign about modern day slavery – The International Labour Organization Ad by AlmapBBDO
They say “two heads are better than one” but I would go further and say “two pages are better than one”. Double page layouts just have this way of bringing life to any piece of writing and since they can be created in so many different ways, they never really get old and somehow manage to enrich any editorial design.