Research Into Page Layout

I will be designing a double page spread for a magazine, so I think its important to look at other magazine and how they are laid out. This will be important to clearly communicate my intended messages to my desired audience.

Creating a balanced  and organised page layout will help me visually guide my audience through the double page spread. To further understand what it takes to achieve an effective page layout, I looked at which gave me some useful tips so I can have maximum visual impact.

Vocal Point

Focal point

One way to achieve a balanced design is to have one single vocal point. This strong visual can give the reader a powerful message from the outset, and leads the audience nicely to the rest of the piece. It also provides structure in which other elements can be arranged around.

I can also use a headline or tagline in the same way. A good display headline can offer just as much interest as an image would, and also provides structure that will ensure I achieve a balanced page layout.

Rule Of Thirds/Golden Ratio


Rule of thirds is also another effective way to achieve a balanced design. In simple terms, the rule of thirds suggest that if the page is split into thirds horizontally and vertically, the points at which the grid lines intersect provides a natural focal point of a composition. By aligning key elements to these four points, i’ll should achieve a more pleasing composition.

If followed strictly, the rule of thirds won’t magically provide my layout with the necessary balance I desire. However by extending the principle its easy to use this tendency towards a natural focal point to help inform the balance of my layout. Commonly, designers place the most important elements of a page in the upper or lower third of the page, with the primary focal point aligned to match one of the intersections.

White Space


It’s common practice for novice designers such as myself to use every bit of space on a page. However stuffing content into every little gap won’t give my design balance and will look muddled and confused on the page.

In print, the most common to use white space is by enlarging the page margins and gutters. Having negative space works best when the design is structured that anchors the content together, for example, structure that is provided by a grid. The risk of white space can be a sense of disconnection between page elements if introduced haphazardly.

Repetition of Design Elements


Repetition can also provide a strong sense of connection between design elements and the composition of the layout. The idea is that the reader can reference a repeated design elements and the disparate areas feel connected as part of the same overall composition.

I can also use this technique to provide a focal point in my design, whilst retaining balance by intentionally breaking the pattern of similarity introduced through repetition.




Hierarchy is an important tool to make sure the reader follows the page as I intend them too. Understanding the most important information and presenting it in a structured order on the page, with strong contrast to distinguish between elements. The headline for example, should be one of the most visually prominent element on the page.

Scale, Contrast, and Harmony


The use of scale can be an effective method for achieving a good visual balance in my layout. This ties in with hierarchy, as larger elements will stand out more on the page, so therefore elements such as headlines should be enlarged. The audience with naturally look at the larger elements first, and then move onto the smaller elements. This gives the design strong structure.

The principle also works with increased contrast, so that by isolating a single element on a page, the eye is instantly drawn to that image.This gives a strong structural point and gives the reader a way into the design.




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