Creating a Magazine Spread With InDesign

Rough Draft Version 2

The past few weeks in class we have been studying InDesign and have been designing a magazine spread layout as one of our projects.

Project Specifications:

For this particular assignment we used Adobe InDesign to create a 3 page magazine spread, using at least a two column layout, with three subheadings or headings, a pull quote, at least two photos we’ve taken ourselves, and one word wrap. We were to be purposeful with our typography and photography choices. We each chose our own topic for our magazine spread from BYUI Scroll and LDS.Org.

We’ve already learned about design elements to help make a design look more professional, so though it wasn’t specifically outlined on the ‘requirements’ we knew if we wanted to do the best we needed to remember to keep things aligned, have contrast, have some repetitive design elements and keep things in proximity with the title and other important information.

For my assignment I chose the article Become As a Little Child by Jean A. Stevens. You can find the article HERE.

Determining My Target Audience

My target audience for this project is LDS adults ages eighteen and up, expanded across the globe. The author is targeting all adults, but I feel specifically it is targeted towards parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers or anyone who is around children. The design appeals to this target audience because it is conservative design, draws attention with the photography of the children with good contrasting images, and has an overall softened appearance because of the script title and headings.

Main Communication Goal

The one thing I want to communicate with my design is the important role that children have in building up the Kingdom of God and that their divine attributes help us with our own spiritual journey and growth.


These photos are all taken by me of my children (aka my 4 little birdies) during our fall break trip out of State. Since my topic was becoming as a child, they were the perfect subjects.


The typography I used for the main body copy was Arial, in the San Serif category. For the Title and headings I used Bernadette font, in the Script category, and Georgia in the Serif category. I chose Script to soften the appearance of the overall design, and felt serif contrasted nicely with it. Arial is a classic san serif font that is easy to read for body copy.

Color Scheme Choice:

Create a Color Scheme with Your Photos You Take to Give it a Nice Coordinated Design
I chose my color strategy based on the photos I took. I liked the idea of having cooler, calm colors for the spiritual message, but have a nice warm contrasting color, pink, with the design elements.

Design Analysis:

I started off my design journey by sketching it out on paper first. Here are a few of the ideas I had before I opened up inDesign.
sketch 3
sketch 4
sketch 4
I’ll readily admit I didn’t stick to my sketches firmly once I started using InDesign (as evidence of my examples below), but I thought the sketches helped me come up with somewhere to start instead of just staring at a blank canvas and not knowing where to start. There were some things I tried out and instantly didn’t love, and other things I did like and eventually tweaked to work for my final submission.

Here are a few examples (of the seven rough drafts) I went through. I will note that the colors don’t coordinate quite yet because I hadn’t changed them yet, and you can tell I hadn’t lightened up the photos I had taken out of camera either (I had to resort to taking photos in dark shade since I took the photos at noon).
RD 1
Rough Draft Version 2
RD 3a

Rough Draft

Rough Draft Submission
RD Submission
For my rough draft submission I ended up deciding to do a two page spread on my title page, and a single page for my third page. I submitted my rough draft to get critiqued and got some feedback from others in the class and my accomplished college professor. I felt seeing things from their perspective was helpful in producing an even better design. I moved some things around and shortened my quote. I didn’t have too many corrections to do, so the rough draft isn’t drastically different than my final product.

Magazine Spread Final

Final Draft of InDesign Magazine Spread Project
indesign magazine spread example
This was the end product of my magazine spread. I moved the triangles so they weren’t covering any of the wording on the front page which was distracting, and I made my pull quote a little shorter as suggested. I also made the blue line on the third page a little narrower to fit with the lines in between the photographs, as instructed by my gifted professor.

The main design decisions I made was keeping things relatively conservative since it is a religious magazine. I also wanted to stick with the main elements of design by keeping things left aligned, making sure there was good proximity with the headings and the title information. I also wanted to add repetition with the design elements and color, including the triangles on bottom corners, the green bar on the bottom of the pages, and the blue lines near the photography. I wanted to add contrast in the design and felt I did that with the use of photo placement and how large the photo is on the first page. I feel there’s good contrast with the headings because of the color and typography, and added some contrast with the dark blue background and lighter font color for the title.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed learning more about inDesign and how it works. I can see how helpful it can be when creating newsletters, brochures, and other handy items for print. I’ve never really used inDesign before, so I learned a lot and am happy with how my project turned out. It is a little less friendly than other Adobe programs I have worked with before, but it allowed me to make a nice magazine spread.


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