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Powerful pictures = powerful layouts

Notebook: 30 October 2020 | MAGAZINES I’ve realised that many of my favourite magazines are those with big, powerful pictures combined with a simple, sharp layout that lets the images do the talking. Think of The Sunday Times Magazine, Nova or Twen from the 1960s and 70s, the Independent Magazine from the 90s and 00s and GQ or Cyclist mags for instance, from the present day. I’m a firm believer that if a magazine designer has strong pictures to work with then it makes their job so much easier and they are already well over halfway towards creating a striking layout. So it’s important that designers and art editors have a knack for sourcing good imagery – either by commissioning the right photographers and illustrators for the piece or, if budgets and circumstances don’t allow, by tracking down the best pictures from photo libraries and other sources. And once the designer has the pictures in their hands then their challenge is to select, edit and crop those pictures to best help tell the story and …