The “Furniture” in a magazine is a method of the editor to organize things so that the contents are easy to follow. Usually they include rules, drop caps, bylines, credit lines, section flags, deck heads, ding bats and so on. In the March issue of the Sports Illustrated, there are a few interesting features of “Furniture” to notice.
Headlines and Deck heads:
The headlines are all in caps and serif. They are usually located in the left or right column of the spread and have a lot of white space above. The deck heads comes after the head lines. They are usually sans serifs that are aligned to the left or right side of the page and are underlined by red linings. I think they work well together to tell the reader where to look first and where to go next.
In some special cases, when the headline is too long for the column to contain, it bleeds on to the image. In order for the words to show better over the red background, they have heavier weight than those on white background.
The department flags are located on the upper left corner of each page in Sports Illustrated. In the images above, we can see the department “scorecard” written in sans serif. A rectangle combined of small blue triangles is positioned above the text as the logo of the department. Sports Illustrated uses the same logo for every issue, so readers will recognize immediately where exactly they have reached. Different other logos are also used for other departments.
Vertical and horizontal lines are used to construct boxes for text to fit in. Some of the lines are also used for dividing texts. They are usually in light color and stick to the grid lines so that content on the page is evenly divided and doesn’t look too messy.
There are two different kinds of initial caps in Sports Illustrated. One type of caps is capitalizing the initial letter of the first word and putting it inside a blue circle. It is sometimes used as a drop cap and sometimes as a standing cap. No matter in what location it is positioned, it is usually much bigger than the body text. Another type of initial caps used is capitalizing and adding weight to the first word of the paragraph. These two features sometimes stand alone and at other times appear on the same page in the same paragraph. I believe that all forms of initial caps that Sports Illustrated uses work well on decorating the page and highlighting important information.
Pull quotes in Sports Illustrated follow the same pattern. The body text of the quotes are usually capitalized in serif fonts and the source of the quote is highlighted in capitalized red sans serif. Pull quotes are either isolated in one column or bleed into the body copy on the column next to it, but they never exceed the width of 1 and 1/2 columns.