The format of Wired is definitely tabloid, with the dimensions being roughly 11″ x 15″. Essentially, it is an average-sized magazine.
As far as I can tell, Wired doesn’t have a grid format. Whereas typical front pages for news publications (especially newspapers) typically come in 3-,4-,5-,6-, or even 7-column grids, my publications doesn’t seem to follow any grid guideline.
The design is definitely non-modular. None of the front pages are even remotely set up in a rectangular fashion. Typically, there is one giant piece of cover art, followed by accompanying text that is placed on the bottom-right side of the page.
The function of the front page of Wired is undoubtedly to draw the reader’s interest and encourage them to open up the publication and read more about the topic being discussed on the front page. Unlike many news publications, Wired generally only promotes one specific story on its front page. Most newspapers generally have several stories on their front pages.
Perhaps the most consistent portion of the design is the nameplate. It always features the contrasting blocks of color behind each letter in the name. But even the nameplate has some changes from issue to issue. The typeface is rarely consistent from one issue to the next, and the colors are often different. However, Wired always features one dominant art or graphic accompanied by complimentary text.
Essentially, the information is organized into a few succinct words that give insight into what the dominant graphic is suppose to represent. Other than that, the magazine leaves it up to the reader to open the publication and read further to garner more information.
The dominant graphic or picture generally is atop the hierarchy on the page. It is the most distinguished and visually appealing portion of the page, and often times it takes up the majority of the page. The accompanying text then follows.
I suppose the feel or “tone” of the magazine is that it likes to be flashy in order to instantly grab the reader’s attention. They do this by placing large pieces of dominant art on the front of the page, along with eye-grabbing colors that stand out from the rest of the publications on the newsstand.
I found it difficult trying to find an implicit message, but from what I can tell, Wired is trying to say that they are the most interesting publication on the newsstand and that they have plenty of visuals inside to accompany the text.
Visuals play a huge role on the front page. In fact, the front page is often dominated by one single visual. Wired hopes that the strong visual will lure readers all by itself, and that text is not needed in abundance.
As I stated earlier, there is perhaps very little consistency from cover to cover. The only thing that can be said is that each is generally dominated by one visual and its accompanying text, and the nameplate stays relatively the same.