National Geographic is an internationally acclaimed science magazine that covers four areas of editorial focus: national parks, future of food, adventure and exploration, and science. National Geographic also publishes content in a tablet magazine, NationalGeographic.com, National Geographic Traveler, and National Geographic Kids. This review will focus on the monthly print edition of National Geographic.
Cover: Every cover of National Geographic is lined with a yellow border, making it instantly recognizable on news stands.
The primary mission of National Geographic magazine is “To Inspire People to Care About Our Planet.” The magazine seeks to achieve this by showcasing its award-winning photography throughout the magazine — powerful visuals to enhance the written stories. The use of space and page layout maximizes the impact of the photographs.
Front of Book
The “Visions” section in the front of book dedicates several pages to images accompanied by small, brief descriptions — the photographs are the main attraction. They are printed to the edge of the page with no margin.
Even the shorter front of book pieces that have more text use photographs as a backdrop for the story. In the first image of the dolphins, the solid blue space of the water is used for the text — by using the space in this way they can use the entire image without having to crop it.
In the features section, the photographs again hold equal weight as the text portion. Photographs are further emphasized with fold outs. This powerful visual elicits a feeling of curiosity and mystery from the reader — we want to know what we’re looking at, where we are, and why it’s significant.
The magazine is still able to deliver lengthy, informative articles by breaking up the photo spreads with pages of full text, and photos accompanied by text.
Full Page Bleed 7 1/8″ x 10 1/4″
Full Page Trim 6 7/8″ x 10″
Spread Bleed 14″ x 10 1/4″
Spread Trim 13 3/4″ x 10”
National Geographic uses a combination of visual and written content to maximize their impact. The magazine strategically uses images to incite emotion and curiosity in its readers. Entire spreads and foldouts are dedicated to showcasing powerful images, followed by pages of lengthy text to tell the story.