Space Field Notes: NatGeo


I analyzed the National Geographic magazine. National Geographic publishes monthly. National Geographic has approximately 140-150 pages. NatGeo’s mission is foster global understanding through telling stories of science, exploration, education and research. Their job is to look at different communities and people, travel, and report on all these different topics, so the fact that they publish these many pages works. It also makes sense for NatGeo to publish monthly. They have an incredible staff with different photographers, researchers, scientists, journalists that they can create a lot of content to publish often and publish more pages.  


The size of the magazine is 7 ⅛ x 10 ¼ . I am not sure why these dimensions are used. They are not far from the standard magazine size. I am not hundred percent sure what the margin sizes are but I believe it is .5. NatGeo seems to like a lot of white space and having no less than .5 margin size allows for the constraint in space they are trying to achieve. They have many different layouts and grid sizes but a typical story would have two column grid. Although I am not sure about the different reasons for different grid layouts. ( I am also very confused about grids). 

Layout/white space:

The average story is about 2-3 pages. Longer features would be around 5-20 pages because they do a lot of research and photographs. They often include graphs, info graphics and other elements to help tell the story as well. NatGeo often puts their headlines at the bottom of the page leaving a huge amount of white space in that column. I believe this works because it allows for more interaction and slowing the reader down. It also helps for legibility. It allows readers to understand where they are at and what they are reading. They often use white space around text . They use a lot of photography. Many of them bleed to the edges, others are organized into packages. Photos can take up many of the pages. A photo taking up an entire spread with a caption is done frequently. Using a lot of photos and larger photos work because they report on different communities of people and animals and explore different places; and the best way to tell those stories is through photos. 


One Comment

  1. Remember that even if you don’t know the reason behind a decision (in the grid section), you can (and should) discuss why you think it might be so and what effects it has on the overall design/magazine.

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