Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

November 24th, 2008 in Designing, Tutorials, Web Layout by

This is a tutorial to show you how to create a magazine web layout. We also discuss about what we need to pay attention and what we have to ignore. There are a few things we need to pay attention when designing a magazine web layout.

The main goal of a magazine site is to present useful information to the readers. So, we can expect there will be lots of text on the page. In this case, heavy graphic layout is not recommended. It not only will slow down the page loading time, more bandwidth but also scare the users away from the page which flood with text.

Result

Before we get started, let’s check out what we are aiming for in this tutorial. We are going to use pixel-like text base concept in this design.

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Step 1

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Open new document (CTRL + N) with 1024px width and 960px height, RGB color. CTRL + R to bring out the ruler. Draw the guide lines follow the sample image. The maximum width we are going to use is 960px. We will use 240px for the left column, 468px for the middle column and 212px for the right column. There will be 20px space between each of them. We will split the middle column into two.

Step 2

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Create a new folder and name it as “header”. I use this font for the title. Type the title you want or simply follow mine. I use 48px font for this. Change the color of the first alphabet into #f1b90b. The rest keep it in black (#000000) color. Double click on the text layer, bring out the blending option. Apply 1px outside stroke with grey (#747474) color. Apply black to white Gradient with Soft Light Blend Mode. Then, hold CTRL and left click on the text layer thumbnail to bring out the selection. Go to Edit > Stroke > 1px , white, inside. Grab the rectangle tool and draw a rectangle above the title with color #464646. Apply 1px inside stroke with black color.

Step 3

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Create a new folder and name it as “nav”. Grab the rectangle tool and draw a horizontal navigation bar, color #e1e1e1. Apply 1px inside stroke, color #c8c8c8. Type some dummy text. I am using 11pt Tahoma, grey (#7e7e7e) color for inactive link and black color for active link. Draw a rectangle for the active tab and draw the border using pencil tool. You should get the result shown in the sample above. Then, draw a horizontal white color line and place it 1px inside the navigation bar.

Step 4

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Subscriber number (readers) is very important for a magazine site. It determinates the popularity of the site in some points. So, I decided to make it big enough and put at the top right of the site. I am using the same technique in Step 3 to achieve this. I am using 30pt Tahoma for the reader’s number.

Step 5

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Create a new folder, rename as “feature”. We are going to use this section to display the headline stories. I am going to use the same technique in Step 3 to create the heading and title. What we need to pay attention here is the image size. I am using 220px X 100px where is nearly 2:1 ratio. This is a good option because when it comes to the detailed articles, the image can be resized easier and better.

Step 6

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

We can now create all the sections by using the same technique in Step 3. Remember to create a new folder for each section. This is to let you modify the layout easier in the future.

Step 7

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

For the icon we created for the author, refer to the image above. I am using 10pt Tahoma for that, so the icon should match the font size as well. I create 2 guide lines in order to draw the icon. In this stage, you need to zoom into 1200% to draw using 1px pencil tool. We can use the same technique to create the tabbing area icons for the top stories and recent comments.

Step 8

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

Member login is consider a must have section for magazine site. So, I put it on the top right of the site for easy navigation. I am using 10pt Tahoma for the typing and the similar technique we used before to create the button. You may notice that there is a 1 pixel white color stroke in between the outline and inner gradient. That’s to create the sharper look and feel for the buttons. To create the button, draw a rectangle using rectangle tool and fill it with light grey (#f3f3f3) color. Apply 1px grey (#cccccc) color inside stroke. Apply white to black gradient overlay with soft light blend mode. For the 1 pixel white color stroke, you can zoom in and draw using pencil tool or CTRL+ left click on the rectangle button, bring out the selection. Go to Select > Modify > Contract > 1px. Then create a new layer above the button. Goto Edit > Stroke > 1px inside white color stroke.

Step 9

Creating A Professional Magazine Web Layout

We use the similar technique for in the footer part. Here, we create a button that allows the user to jump to the top of the page. This is pretty useful while there is a long article.

Conclusion

There are a few things we can conclude from the layout.

Font

You may notice that I’m only using 2 types of fonts for the whole design, Tahoma and Arial. I used Arial for the title and Tahoma for the content. It make the site looks professional, balance, neat and clean. I am using Anti-Alias None for the dummy text so that you can have the exact outcome when it is converted into HTML.

Color

I use grey color for the whole site and only 2 colors for the text links. This may create the consistency and user can browse easily.

Line Height

This is more to CSS / XHTML side. When I am using 12px font, usually the line height will be 18px – 22px. It’s depending on your preferences but never less than that.

Thank You

Thank you to follow this tutorial and I hope it can give you some tips in designing a site like this. I was wondering anyone interested to purchase a WordPress Theme like this? Let me know. Any feedback about this tutorial is welcome.

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