Visual Communication

Magazine Structure

Fob, Bob and Well

  • FOB (front third)
  • BOB (back third)
  • WELL (The ‘stuff’ in the middle)

Magazine sections

  • news
  • columns
  • editorial
  • reviews
  • features
  • regulars

Why have sections?

Balance the content

  • Spread it out/Bunch it up (how long the sections will be and the placement of adverts)
  • Placement of sections helps to define tone
  • perception of value

Help provide a breadcrumb trail for readers

  • A single journey front to back
  • Dip in and out
  • Half and half
  • Put readers at ease
  • Redesigns unsettle readers

Simplify the content

Editor > Section Editor > Writers > Art > Production

  • What gets done and when
  • work not done one page at a time


Everybody gets a flatplan, this is a map to where everything in the magazine goes

Example of a flatplan from NME.


  • Placement is important
  • Editorial and ads work together but it’s a tricky balance
  • House ads (adverts from the publisher, maybe a subscription or another magazine they have produced)
  • Sign of how well you’re doing, but also what your readers expect/will put up with

Who makes the magazine?

Three Main Groups:

  • Editorial
  • Art and Production
  • Ads


  • Publishers
  • Managing Editors
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Printers

What goes in and why?

The reasons why certain features could bechosen:

  • Editorial meetings
  • Individual ideas
  • Ad driven
  • Seasonal
  • Trend – (50 Shades of S***)
  • Set in tone schedule
  • Freelance pitch
  • Readers letters (not often)


  • News Editor / Editor decides a running order
  • Layout fixed


  • Broken down into parts
  • content, focus agreed with editors
  • layout a movable feast (sort of)
  • Art will conceive a ‘treatment’
  • Commissioned or in-house


  • Headline
  • Strap
  • Copy
  • Details
  • Character or word counts


  • From in-house or freelances
  • copy from freelances often needs to be stylised
  • formatting for the layout
  • style guide


  • Original Photography
  • PR companies or direct (
  • Stock shot websites
  • Imagery will have its own style guide

Rough Process

  • Copy and images on server
  • Layout
  • Sub-editor
  • 1st read
  • 2nd read
  • Sub-editor
  • Editor


Aim for 100% accuracy. Settle for 98%

  • Put the issue to bed.
  • Go to the pub. [IMPORTANT]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s