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Magazine Design: Exceptional Layouts and Covers

inspiration , Magazine Design: Exceptional Layouts and Covers

From arty, independent publications to expertly-pitched commercial efforts and high-end fashion tomes, there is a wealth of exceptional magazine design out there.

Get inspired for creating your own magazine designs with these creative and effective examples.

1. The Sanahunt Times

A fantastically-designed high-end newspaper/magazine for a Kiev-based fashion chain. Art Direction and Design from design studio Non-Format emphasises luxurious, monochromatic layouts with impactful introduction of rare bursts of color.

Why not contrast enlarged typography with dramatic photographs in your own designs?

inspiration sanahunt

inspiration sanahunt

inspiration sanahunt

inspiration sanahunt

 2. Influencia

Striking monthly trend magazine with designs from duo Violaine & Jeremy. Minimal layouts allow quirky illustrations to take center-stage, giving the whole publication a well-loved, notebook-like feel.

Try introducing illustrations as a focal point in your own magazine layouts.

influencia inspiration

influencia inspiration

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influencia inspiration


 3. Lucky Peach

A quirky, hip, and above all, design-led foodie magazine. It’s the publication’s striking covers that blend photography with illustrative annotations that really catch the eye.

Learn how to create your own foodie magazine with our series of tutorials.

lucky peach inspiration

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 4. iD

Probably best known for their winking-eye covers, iD Magazine is a brilliant source of inspiration for anyone wanting to create a high-concept but accessible fashion magazine. Their design ethos is simple, playful and strong. Though the covers take center-stage for their icon-status alone, the inside layouts are also well worth a look, with bold use of typography that still allows the photography to shine.

Why not contrast black-and-white photos against strong neon color in your next design project?


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 5. Bloomberg Businessweek

This publication continues to lead the way in contemporary, fresh and audience appropriate design for the current affairs genre. Though it rarely shouts, Businessweeks aesthetic is direct and always in touch, mirroring its cutting edge editorial content.

If you’re creating a more formal magazine, try to introduce understated design quirks and editorial appropriate images, such as infographics.

inspiration bloomberg businessweek

inspiration bloomberg businessweek

inspiration bloomberg businessweek

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6. Esquire

A heavyweight commercial title, Esquire has really upped their design game over the last few years. Their covers are crowded with text, yet utilise clever 3D effects to create a image-centric focal point. While most publications are sticking to flat design, Esquire embraces a dynamic, lively aesthetic. Their layouts are crowded yet restrained in use of color, creating an incredibly cool look and feel to the magazine.

Why not experiment with hand-written typography in your own magazine designs?

inspiration esquire

inspiration esquire

inspiration esquire

inspiration esquireinspiration esquire

7. Port

Another mens’ title, but with a decidedly more classic look, Port Magazine is a lesson in restrained and timeless design. The covers are subtle but impactful, with equally minimal inside layouts to match.

If in doubt about your own design direction for a magazine you’re working on, it’s a great idea to stick to classic, minimal layouts. Try using a classical-inspired typeface, such as FF Quadraat.

port magazine inspiration

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Inspired to create a magazine of your own? Check out our tutorial for creating a foodie publication.