Lifestyle magazine design at the regional level is influenced by a need to appeal to visitors as well as residents. Especially in a tourist mecca like Monterey Bay, California, featured in the spreads below. Content usually includes information about entertainment, events, restaurants, shopping, where to stay and what it’s like to live there.
Information-driven lifestyle magazine design typically consists of active, complex layouts with many photos, short articles, and infographics. Often these magazines contain listings of local eateries, stores and services. These businesses often form the advertiser base that supports the publication, and listings are included with ad purchase. Not only does this generate revenue, but simple, typographically elegant lists are an effective design tool – a nice foil to the busy ads that usually run alongside.
Art director’s notes: Where you are matters. These spreads are from a magazine published by a newspaper located in one of the world’s most beautiful areas – Monterey Bay on California’s central coast. Gifted photographers from all over the world flock here in droves to shoot the scenery. And some got hired by the Monterey County Herald, the local newspaper.
And that is why the Herald archives held so many beautiful photos, more than enough to illustrate most articles about Monterey Bay. These same incredible photographers could also be assigned to cover a story. Designer heaven. When you have this much going for you, it’s best to step out of the way and let those photos shine.
Which doesn’t mean doing lifestyle magazine design is easy. You still have to come up with typographic solutions that sing and intuitive content flow. The best part is with so many photo choices there is always enough to tell the story and make the colors and shapes in the spread work together. Glasses on, it’s a great read with beautiful photos of incredible landmarks. Glasses off, squint your eyes, and it’s abstract art. If not, it’s not great design either. (A little known fact, except to people who do this work.)