Publication Design Inspiration

Business owners and publishers looking to release engaging content need to create eye-catching publication designs. These publications produce amazing covers, unique infographics, and stunning visuals. Check them out to inspire your publication design projects.

Publication design, like editorial design, is a subset of graphic design that focuses on creating eye-catching pages and screens for publications such as newspapers, magazines, books, and websites. 

By carefully designing images, typography, layouts, and graphics, publications can create visually appealing pages that make people want to read their content. 

Whether you’re a business owner looking to publish on-site content, a blogger, or well-known print publication, how your pages are designed can impact how well people understand your content. 

Generally, good publication designs feature: 

  • Stunning covers. (People say don’t judge the book by its cover, but they still do. It’s what grabs the reader’s attention and encourages them to read your content.)
  • Color 
  • Unique infographics 
  • Visual hierarchy
  • Carefully chosen typography. (While big, unique fonts are great for titles, stick to simple serif-style fonts for large chunks of text.)

Here are several publications that followed these rules carefully but were still able to develop a one-of-a-kind look:

  • Magazines
  • Books 
  • Newsletters
  • Digital Platforms 

Publication Design For Magazines 

The New York Times for Kids was recognized by the Society of Publication Designers for their issue about phobias. 

Earning first place for their design in the 55th Annual SPD Awards, The New York Times for Kids used eye-catching graphics and a yellow and green color scheme to make their layout stand out. 

New York Times Kids

Source: SPD

The cover is yellow with a green monster. The color scheme emphasizes the topic as well — yellow and green represent sickness and jealousy. 

The second page features a two-page infographic highlighting different types of phobias. Each box provides a definition and explains why people are afraid of certain things. The central image, however, is a brain and the skeletal muscles inside someone’s head, emphasizing how some phobias stem from how your brain functions.

The third spread utilizes classic columns and boxes for most of the spread’s content. This ensures that the article is well-organized and easy to read. 

However, they added some unique details that may have helped the design stand out to the awards panel. Notice the eye peeking between the columns on the second page or the spider dangling from its web on the first page. 

These details continue to display things people fear. As a result, they’re more likely to read all of their content and flip through the magazine. 

Publication Design For Books

Although the Handmaid’s Tale was released in 1985, the 2017 book cover does a great job of portraying the main themes of the book and catching the reader’s attention.  

The red and white silhouette stands out against the black background, catching readers’ eyes scanning the shelves. 

Handmaids Tale 2017 Cover

Source: Creatopy

At the same time, the minimalist approach allows readers to focus on the main image – the red garments and white bonnet. 

Inside, it’s important that books use simple, sans-serif fonts such as Garamond, Janson, and Times New Roman. These fonts are easy to read. Additionally, adding enough space between lines. 

Both fiction and nonfiction writers also use headers and new chapters to break up the text and provide time for reflection. 

Publication Design For Newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to connect with customers and build a business’s credibility as a leading expert. 

You can either send newsletters as monthly emails or send print materials directly to your customers. 

To keep your audience engaged with your newsletter, here are a few design tips that are sure to make your newsletter stand out: 

  1. Write attention-grabbing headlines 
  2. Use images to break up blocks of text 
  3. Brand your newsletter with your logo and brand colors 
  4. Feature call-to-actions

InVision, a prototyping tool, does a great job of this in their weekly newsletter.

InVision Newsletter

Source: HubSpot

They feature bright call-to-actions, videos and images, as well as short snippets of content. 

Publication Design For Digital Platforms 

On-site content, such as blogs, is key for search engine optimization and thought leadership. 

Whether you’re a well-known business trying to attract sales or a food blogger trying to get off the ground, your blog’s look can impact the amount of time your readers spend on your page. 

The best digital publications use: 

  • White space to draw readers to the most important information 
  • Navigational features so they can easily find information 
  • Descriptive headers that are optimized for SERPs
  • Images that emphasize the text’s content 

Budget Bytes, a food blog dedicated to affordable — yet very tasty — meals, is very well designed. 

BudgetBytes Homepage

Source: Budget Bytes 

Their homepage features their logo as well as a search bar and a horizontal navigation menu. 

Additionally, they highlight feature recipes with the name of the dish and a thumbnail image. After all, people eat with their eyes first. 

Great Publication Designs Feature These Elements 

Great publication designs draw attention to your content and can help you grow your audience. Whether you’re designing a new blog, a book cover, or blog, these publications designs can inspire your graphic design team

Notice how these publications have eye-catching covers, unique infographics, meaningful colors, and typography. By combining these elements, they can increase readership and grow their thought leadership. 

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