ESPN Field Notes#1: Space


ESPN The Magazine is a sports magazine issued monthly. It’s a broad sheet publication. The full page size of the magazine measures 10 1⁄4 inches by 12 1⁄4 inches, with an average of 75 pages per issue. The magazine was initially published every other week, it scaled back to 24 issues a year in early 2016, then became a monthly in its later days. It also has an annual edition called The Body Issue. Here is the physical dimension chart of the magazine:

According to ESPN’s own statistics, the magazine has an audience of 10MM+ male readers between the age of 18-34, which is comparatively a young group of audience compared to its competitor: Sports Illustrated. Having an average page number of 75 allows the magazine to include more illustrated ads aiming towards a younger group of audience. Also, since monthly ESPN magazines are story-based, which consist of mostly interviews, analysis and Q&A sections. The size of the magazines given in the chart allows long articles to fit in, as well as adequate amount of images.

Grid, Layout, and Whitespace

A monthly edition of ESPN the Magazine often features athlete stories in a similar pattern. They begin with an image of the athlete filling up an entire spread, with simple information introducing the athlete.  The opening spread then follows with an article which is divided into three columns on each page, often with 2 columns of article and 1 column of image.  Images are either located in the top left corner or the bottom right corner of the page. They are often divided from the article with a clear line in between. ESPN also uses 0.5 inch on each side of the article, so that more words would fit in.

There is almost no whitespace in feature articles. Each spread consists of an average of 1-2 images, 4 columns of articles and 1-2 pulled quotes. Quotes and images are placed in the corners, whereas words fill the rest of the space. I personally think of it as a successful design. Words are put into emphasis as they take most space, while images and quotes are placed in just the right position to compliment the article. It is a good balance of content and doesn’t feel too overwhelming.



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