Production Log: Research Into Double-Page Spreads (DPS’s)

27th March 2009:
Research and Analysis into double-page spreads and the elements that make them visually acceptable

For my research into double-page spreads, i have decided to study examples practically as well digitally. Using a friends collection of Kerrang magazines, i had many examples of DPS’s to study with each magazine containing no less than 3-5. Below is a photograph of one such Kerrang DPS and below that is my analogy.
Left PageRight Page

The first thing i noticed is the use of numerous fonts in the DPS. It appears that more important text (words/phrases/sentences that the company wanted to stand out more on the page) has been given a more noticeable form, for example in this case the main header, “anything could happen”, has had its size increased to fill around 30% of the left page alone, had an interesting colour scheme added which is found nowhere else in any individual piece of text on the page and has a font that is also unique to only the main header of the page. The text below that is then given a similar colour scheme and similar style to soften the contrast that exists between the ‘extravagant’ header and ‘plain’ text, whilst the article itself is primarily white besides the red seen in the first letter of the opening paragraph. I have concluded that Kerrang have done this in order to keep the reader engaged after being primarily captured by the bold text at the top of the page. The readers attention is then softly taken below to the title of the article before being transferred easily and ‘non-dramatically’ to the article/main text. This ‘easy-reading’ is crucial for a double-page spread and dramatic change in colour or style will result in the reader being undirected and reading whatever their eyes looks at first. This is obviously not what editors wish to achieve when giving different text different appearances. 

Although Kerrang provided several sufficient examples of DPS’s, of which i learnt a lot about how double-page spreads are configured, i felt that by studying an article not featured in a music magazine, i would gain a insight into magazine design diversity and also what factors are common in all double-page spreads.



Both examples above are not from music magazines. The first is (i assume) from some sort of film magazine, perhaps featuring an actress/character profile. The image below that shows a DPS taken from a photography magazine. Firstly the common factors. Like the Kerrang DPS, the photography example features a photograph blown-up across both pages of the spread and is not boxed-off or cut into to make way for the articles contents and text. This style is common across the majority of double-page spreads that i have studied. However this does provide me with a lot of interest into the ‘Angel’ example. The title of the article takes up the whole of the left page, accompanying a design adopting the DPS’s colour scheme. The rest of the spread is then virtually blank/white and the only image is situated to the extreme right of the right page. The article sits in a similar vertical fashion to the image, resulting in a neat and organised “rule-of-3′ design. I feel the DPS works, but would not be suitable for a music magazine. I think i will use a full 2-page photograph for my double-page-spread. Another thing i like is the way that the text on both the Kerrang example and the photography example does not seriously spoil or intrude upon the image or the images main focal point. I will try to use this style in my magazine, as i agree the image on a double page spread can be equally as important as the article itself. Another point worth consideration is perhaps integrating the image and text in such a way that the interact off each other which if done correctly would create a very dynamic DPS.


~ by Henry Phillips on March 27, 2009.

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