Fast Company is both a tablet and print magazine. However, for this analysis I will solely be looking at the monthly print publication. It’s physical dimension is 8 3/4 x 10 3/4. It’s average page count is 100 pages.
The magazine is concise, pithy, and well curated, which means that its printed version is thin and meant to draw in an audience who is busy and has a limited amount of time to flip through it.
The margin size on all four sides of the spread are a little less than 1/2 an inch, with the exception of some head elements and lines that go outside of the margin. Text column widths, however, are 1 3/4 inches, and 1 1/4 inches, most gutters are 1/2 inch, but some are smaller at 1/4 inch. These choices may be due to the fact that the spreads aren’t heavy on text, and by making the columns thin and fairly spaced out, the spreads look a lot more visually balanced and approachable to read. For the magazine’s interview features, the column widths are 3 inches, possibly creating some visual separation from the rest of the spreads, so that you can automatically know it’s a different kind of article. The magazine also varies on how many columns it uses in every page. Some use four columns, others five, and some others only two with a sidebar element. It’s a bit unpredictable and I didn’t necessarily notice any patterns, other than that choice catering to the image elements on the spread.
The magazine has four main departments: Lessons in Leadership, Features, Special Report, and Next. The FOB and BOB portion has it’s own distinct sections: Letter from the editor, Most Creative People, Most Innovative Companies, The Recommender, and One More Thing. The FOB and BOB sections are pretty light in content, easing the reader in and out of the magazine without too much fuss. Right after the FOB, there is the Next section, which introduces up and coming entrepreneurs, and companies. The big features are right in the middle of the magazine, but kind of extend towards the end; the BOB part only has one section: One More Thing. I think this decision may be due to the fact that when it comes to the topic the magazine covers, there needs to be a very conscious decision to keep things light, but also focused.
In terms of layout and white space usage, the magazine does pretty well. However, they don’t actually make use of white space too much. Most of the spreads are not too text heavy, but are also kept a bit “busy” on the graphics side of things with an infographic, picture, or overall use of color etc. So while the white space may be there, the pages feel like they’re full. The magazine does use very large images, too. So those help provide some air and lighten things up a bit. Images also make use of color flares.