ow each departmental and feature article is introduced begins to address the art direction of a magazine. For departments, visual identity is often established through symbolic images that have been combined with typography. For feature stories, each is usually given a distinctive design flavor that is initiated on its own title page.
These two areas, along with the cover, are where basic visual aspects of mood, style and design are established. Further, the comprehensive graphic guidelines for a whole new magazine can be developed in just a few double page spreads.
In two or three days, many an experienced designer could complete a cover and enough spread comps to direct the course of a magazine. In some cases, with a core layout already on their computer, it could be done even faster. Trouble is, such an approach discounts the diligent consideration needed before pen is set to paper that makes or breaks a specific mission.
With sensible steps towards acquiring knowledge of the magazine's subject matter, an art director's work can really speak to its readers. As familiarity with the publication's goals are gained, stylistic limits can be set. Then, the imagery chosen to support copy will be successful in securing an audience's trust and confidence.