Elements of a Magazine Page – Discover the Lingo of Publishers

Getting Started

The elements of a magazine page are important to know so when you create a magazine you understand some of the design issues involved. To learn about the elements of a magazine page, we will use two magazine pages drawn from the public domain. In each section below, the element discussed is highlighted in white as the rest of the page is grayed out. Below are the original page images being used.

element 01
element head

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Head (Headline)

The head (or headline) gives the reader the first clue about the contents of the page. Although in these examples the head is at the top of the page, there is no requirement that it always appear there. The head summarizes the content and hopes to attract attention. The type and the white policies of the head are usually different from the body text. Normally the head is about four times the size of the text in the body. The head can also be functional in that it can contribute to the organization of the text.

head

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Subhead

The Subhead is one of the common elements of a magazine page that builds reader interest by contributing more information about the content. The subhead often functions as a title of a section or chapter and aims to maintain the attention of the reader. Type for the subhead is usually about one-third the size of the type used in the head.

subhead

Depending on the size of the text body, subheads can be vital to its organization.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Byline

The byline contains the name of the author when used on the page and usually uses type that is just a few points larger than the text body.

byline

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Drop Cap

The next element of a magazine page we will look at is the drop cap. This part of a magazine’s text design is a large letter that starts a paragraph. The drop cap can be as much as two lines tall. Another name for the drop cap is a hung initial.

dropcap

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Folio

Often simplified as the page number, the folio on a magazine page often includes other information such as the periodical title, the issue data, and volume.

folio

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Pull Quote / Call Out

The pull quote or call out is text that is set off from the body for emphasis.

callout

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End Dot / End Symbol

One of the special elements of a magazine page is the end dot, also known as the end symbol. This is usually a bullet or other graphic that indicates the end of a piece. This lets the reader know not to bother looking for a continuation of the article later in the magazine.

enddot

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Caption

The caption is composed of text near an image that helps the reader understand what the connection is between the image and the piece.

devices

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Photo or Image Credit

Photo or image credit is used to give credit to the creator of the image or photo and is often located on the image or just offset from it. The images in our samples do not have credits, so no image is shown here as they have been shown for the other elements of a magazine page.

Image Margin

The image margin is the space around the image that prevents the text from butting up against the image.

image-margin

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800

Gutter

The gutter is the space between columns or – in the case of pages that are joined – the space between the pages.

gutter

This completes our review of elements of a magazine page.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Swtpc6800