National Geographic is a monthly magazine with a varying page number, but each issue offers an average of five feature stories and 10+ additional articles. Here are the physical dimensions given in the magazine’s media and advertisement kit:
NatGeo is a photo-heavy magazine, and these dimensions offer an abundance of space for images. A monthly frequency works well for NatGeo, as there is no limit to the number of stories related to the topics of the publication (history, science, culture, etc.) The number of features and articles also guarantees there is something for every reader.
Grid, Layout, and Whitespace
NatGeo lends most of the page to images, often dedicating the top half (and even some of the bottom half) of the spread to images, while containing text to two columns on the bottom. This works because the visually dynamic pages make the magazine’s often dense, academic articles more readable.
Some photos bleed across the fold and/or are flush with the edge of the page. Otherwise, text and images are contained in a 7/8″ margin.
Feature articles open with large images that cover a full spread. These are eye-catching introductions. Features are also photo-heavy, spreading text out across 10+ pages. Limiting large sections of text keeps the reader engaged.