A Look Into Why Magazines Sell

Today an adventure unfolded in the magazine aisle of a drug store. It was possibly the most perfect place for me to research effective design and marketing – the very subject I was thinking about earlier in the day after seriously evaluating my blog design.

So I asked myself: “What sells, and why?”

The stuff that’s on the rack – of course. But not all of it. Some magazines appealed to me more than others.  I knew I had to use those techniques in the eventual layout of my blog, so I decided to take a closer look at what exactly made these layouts effective.

Below are my findings about what worked in the way of balance and composition for the magazines that I encountered.

1. Typography Matters

Magazines need to sell and they need to be eye-catching from the front cover. A good font can help achieve higher visibility for interesting content. What’s more is that typography also tells the viewer exactly what they are to expect. Many of the magazine covers had bold article titles which led to a readable format and a powerful feeling. Others had refined, script-like font, lending the reader to expect high-quality and maturity within the magazine.

2. Stunning Images

Pictures of healthy-looking women with toned abs were placed on fitness magazines. Expensive and classy outfits grace the women of fashion magazines. A revered actor or perhaps just a man-with-a-nice-body is front and center on a magazine directed at the male demographic. Each magazine had in common a dynamic photo.

3. Intimacy

Although you may not feel like you know the authors of the articles*, the magazine company still wants you to feel connected to the issue. They want to give you a reason to buy it. So they feature something on the front cover. Sometimes they’ll do a special interview with a celebrity, or focus on a certain recipe/technique/person. Simply said, when the topic is of a narrow scope, we’re able to take the information in and swallow it whole.

*In addition to possessing all of the above qualities, a blog usually also provides the reader with a connection to the author that just isn’t as prevalent in a magazine. So that’s why I tend to prefer reading blogs instead of magazines. The voice of the author tends to be more developed and so does the execution of the goal of the blog (whatever that may be). Plus, they’re usually free!

So how about you? What components of magazine cover design to get you to go for the purchase?


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