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Digital Design Tips for Digital Magazines

August 4, 2014 Graphic Design, General 0 Comments

Design has gone digital, and while good design principles will always stay the same, industry professionals and newcomers must rely on digital design tips to boost their skill set and ensure they remain relevant and marketable.

Sanford Brown Digital Design Tips for Digital Magazines The world of magazine publishing has been completely revolutionized since the arrival of the iPad in 2010. It's hard to believe that it has only been four years, but the industry is now unrecognizable from what it was before the iPad was released.

However, magazines and tablets create a perfect partnership because these devices showcase visual stories and tell them in an even more compelling way. Publishers have wholeheartedly embraced the digital world, which is why it is such an important area for graphic design students to focus on.

The following are some top digital design tips for putting together digital magazines:

Be Wary of 'One Size Fits All'

Digital magazines are not one size fits all. They can range from fully interactive, enhanced editions to more straightforward repurposed print PDFs. There are many creative challenges involved in reproducing and giving new life to magazine brands on touchscreens and traditional desktops. With more and more apps and devices coming down the line, it is important that you, as a designer, constantly keep up with new developments and watch out for what is coming next in the field.

Ensure Synergy Between Print and Digital Editions

When working on a digital magazine, don't forget about the original print edition, if there is still a version being produced. Ensure there is coherence, a common design and branding principles between the online and traditional versions. However, don't be afraid to let the digital version shine. If there is bonus content on the digital version, let online readers know that this is produced especially for them and is not available in the print version.

Embrace Video Content

Even if you come from a print background, take every opportunity to introduce video content into your digital publication. This content will help bring readers back time and time again, and they will be more likely to continue to read the digital version of the publication.

When reading a digital magazine, consumers are more active and have their fingers at the ready. They like to swipe, drag, enlarge and engage with the magazine, so give them something to do by adding as many interactive elements as possible.

Make it Easy for Your Readers

Surprisingly, even the most high-end digital magazines have unclear navigation clues that result in reader confusion. Many readers are still unsure of the difference between tapping and zooming or swiping, and can become frustrated. Consider including a help guide that explains how the various features work. This will be particularly helpful to readers if you are planning to use special icons rather than text prompts for the interactive features.

Another great advantage of digital magazines is the fact that there are two orientations. While this does result in additional work, try to use both vertical and horizontal layouts, keeping in mind the design differences between the two. Don't be afraid of white space — use it as a relief from the clutter of advertising and rich content. It's OK to let your design breathe.

Finally, always remember what your audience wants — the reader comes first!

Photo credit: Flickr


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