Elements Of A Digital Magazine Layout


You can judge a digital magazine by its layout. The layout design of a digital magazine is the driving force for accentuating greater audience and ultimately enhances the conversion rate in the niche. More importantly, it gives a character that differentiate your digital magazine from all others. And, some would argue, this identity extends to the reader as well.

Digital magazine layout is different from a print magazine layout and is more exciting to design, since it is loaded with design possibilities. For this reason, most digital magazines (such as these) disrupt the usual boxed layout conventions, experiment with new approaches and risk crazy ideas.

If you need to get started with the basics, below is a quick rundown of the elements of a digital magazine layout. To illustrate each item, check out Doug Strahler’s Anatomy of a Digital Magazine Layout.

Elements of a Digital Magazine Layout


WORDMARK – The name of the magazine presented on the front cover.

TAGLINE – This is a short description of the title’s main marketing point, for example NatGeo’s multiplatform magazine’s tagline is ‘The Places We Take You Aren’t Just On A Map’

PUBLICATION DATE – The date the digital magazine is expected to be released. Often shown in months and years

COVERLINES – These are at most, a sentence, to explain a story that will be featured inside the digital magazine. They are usually appear smaller (smaller the size, the least importance usually, this applys for the main cover line also).


HEADLINE – The title of an article and the place where the eye will go first. The first and most important textual element on a page. It can be tightly proscribed or open in format.

DECK – Acts as a bridge between headline and body copy. It sets the tone of the article and briefly describes what can you expect from the rest of the article. It should summarize the story and attract reader’s attention.

ARTWORK – A photo or drawing that relates to the article in some way.

BYLINE – Gives the date, as well as the name of the writer of the article.

BODY TEXT – Most text in a magazine, generally all in a single size. This is the largest part of any article.

DROP CAP – The first letter of a paragraph that’s of a much bigger size than the rest that follow. The letter formatting is such that the letter “˜drops down’ to cover the few lines following the first one.

PULL QUOTE – Larger than captions, pull quotes are used to explain a picture or put words in the mouth of a person shown.

SUBHEAD – Used to break up the body copy and to give some clever insight into what the reader can expect in the next few paragraphs.

INTERACTIVE INDICATORS – Icons or texts that give readers instructions on how to interact with a certain element in the magazine page.

CAPTIONS – Parts of the text that should work with the image they relate to. Image and image captions should work as a unit.

CREDITS– The authors and photographers that worked on the article.

FOLIO – The number of each page together with the date and the name of the digital magazine. Can also consist of other elements such as publication logo, section title, web page. Page number is mandatory but others are optional.

Digital magazines are completely different from print media, giving readers an enhanced online content experience. This shake-up has already reached publishers’ doors. And it’s high time for you to learn more about the new opportunities brought in by the proliferation of mobile and tablet devices. You don’t have to crawl your way alone, Realview can help!