Here lately we’ve been talking at length about page layouts and design. There’s a very good reason for this, though, as we ourselves know of the struggles to produce really knockout numbers. As such, we felt the rest of you could use a few pointers (not that we’re some kind of design Gods, or something) and you’ll find a few choice tips focusing on how to effectively layout and brainstorm a design before actually sitting down to create it. This is a vital step, especially for multiple pages:

  1. Layout All the Pages: Remember that, when working within print media like a magazine, you’re going to need to take several pages of content and text into account. This means that you should always have the specific number of pages you’re dealing with in mind when brainstorming. Imagine what these pages will look like, and ask yourself if there’s anyway you can share elements between these pages. Continuity isn’t just fluid, it also looks bloody cool and will really satisfy your clients. With that out of the way, let’s hit the next one.
  2. Sketch in Shapes: When laying out the designs themselves, be sure to sketch them out only as shapes. Don’t worry about details, just layout the whole thing and then give it a good looking over. Do the shapes weight equally? In a wireframe display mode of your layouts, do you get the sense that everything flows together and works as a unit? If not, try changing some of the shapes you’re working with. If you do this right, you might not even need to know what content will fill what shapes. You might be able to, in fact, juxtapose text for graphical content, instead. Just some thoughts, really.
  3. Have a Central Element: Also, ask yourself what the central element of each page is. Do you have a central element? If you don’t, or it isn’t very obvious, you should redesign to include such a thing. This gives the reader something to anchor themselves to, which will go a long way toward producing a more quality design than the one you’re currently using. When in doubt, use a graphic to tie the whole thing together.