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How to Design and Print a Magazine

Close up of Stack of Colorful Print Magazine

Magazines are a classic way to promote your business’ products or services. Traditional bound magazines can serve as a glossy tool to educate existing customers on new developments or lure in new business through a mass-produced sales catalog. Magazines nowadays can encompass more than the news, and they offer an excellent return on investment through the low cost associated with creating them. Setting up your magazine design in a print-ready file format is something you can do with no training or formal schooling. The best thing is magazines offer the capability to be entirely customized to your needs. Starting from conception, to design, all the way to final file formats, we’ve got the guide on how to print a magazine.

 

What’s a printed magazine without great content?

Your magazine ideally will convey a strong message. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a sales pitch; even a magazine such as Vogue manages to stand firm on their message while being packed with content variety. The goal is to balance interesting content with a single key focus (in Vogue’s case, high fashion). To do this, start with an outline, as one would do when writing an essay. Come up with a key thought you want to convey. For example, a sale on jacket, and lay out when you want jackets and their associated cost to come up throughout the magazine. Once you’ve laid out the general order for your content, you can fill in all of the content with ease.

 

Start your magazine with a basic design and build out from there

As with any great printed material, a magazine does the job best when it’s beautifully designed. Consumers want something memorable, so the design of your magazine should stand out from the crowd. This gives your brand’s creativity the chance to shine! Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you need to launch into a graphic design career. Templates are available for magazine layouts, both online and built into design software. InDesign and Photoshop have readily available templates that lay out everything from the table of contents to key pages. You’ll want to have a relatively even split of images and text throughout the magazine. Pay attention to the color flow before you print your magazine. You’ll want the colors, text type, and overall feel to be within the same color family. This will prevent your magazine from looking amateurish, and leave customers impressed with your strong brand presence.

 

Pay attention to your file format, specs, and always spell check before printing!

So, you’ve got a stunning design that follows a singular color theme, fits your brand, and conveys a strong message through clear content. What happens now? Sending a magazine to print is easy, but you need to take a few steps before hitting ‘send’ on the final files. The first is to make sure it’s spec’d for print. Make sure your file has at least .25” in bleed (extra, blank design on the edges) so nothing is cut off during the printing. Perform a preflight, which is a built-in setting similar to spell check on InDesign and Photoshop, to make sure you don’t have any embarrassing grammatical issues. Software is often not perfect, so have a friend or unbiased colleague read over the magazine to make sure there aren’t any concerns with grammar to triple check. Afterward, all that’s left is exporting the file to a high-resolution PDF and you’re ready to send it through to the printer! Contact Vegas Ink and Toner for any printing help you may need during your next project.

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