Should you attend the magazine design course?
Magazine design is much more than simply arranging type and art on a spread. Your magazine’s job is to talk to your readers in a way they can understand. Your words do that, but the magazine’s design also talks to your readers. What is your magazine telling your readers?
Your readers may not know what magazine architecture is, but they will recognize a poorly thought out design system. Is your magazine’s architecture sloppy or have you developed templates for departments, created a carefully thought-out design system, and identified usage standards? Does your magazine have a visual identity or is it a hodge podge of pictures and text? Do your readers recognize your brand and identify with it?
Your magazine’s design is just as important as its editorial content. Even if you hire someone to handle your magazine’s design you need to know how to communicate with the designer.
As an editor you may be drawn to the editing course. But, please consider whether your magazine really needs a well-informed editor who can help form the magazine’s visual identity. You do not need to be an artist to attend this course. If you know your magazine and your reader, then you are a critical part of the design team. Ideally you should attend this course with your designer. But if your designer isn’t able to attend, you will still benefit from a course, which teaches you how to identify the characteristics of a well-designed magazine and gives you the tools to talk to your designer.