The Nation Week 1 Field Notes on Space

Format: The Nation is a weekly U.S. political magazine. Its physical dimensions are standard magazine size, 8 x 10.5 inches. The average page count is 38 pages. I think the choice to make it a magazine and publish weekly was made because of the large amount of constant political news in this country lends a lot to be talked about. I think this choice was appropriate and successful of the magazine’s political nature. I think they chose the physical dimensions because it is a standard magazine size. I think this choice is appropriate and successful because the magazine is easy to carry and a perfect size to hold and flip through. I think the choice to have 38 pages was made because it makes it a Goldilocks type of read – not too long and not too short. It includes several front of book pieces, 4-5 features, and a few back of book pieces on books and art.

Grid: The margin size is small, .75 inches on all four sides. The width of the gutters is the same size as the margins, .75 inches. I think this choice was made to allow text and design to take up most of the page and not leave a lot of white space. They use different number of columns. Some pages contain two columns of text which have a width of 3.5 inches while some pages contain three columns with widths of 2.25 inches. I think that they chose to use both two and three columns because it allows for more flexibility in design, and the ability to change the layout from one article to the next. I think this choice was successful because it allows the magazine to avoid looking repetitive and include fresh designs.


Layout and white space: Each issue of The Nation contains four to five features. Length of stories varies from one to five pages, with the average being three. The features usually contain one graphic or photograph introducing the story with the headline, which precedes the story. There are also usually photos embedded throughout the story. I think they made this choice because it allows the story to be introduced with a visual, and smaller photographs to support the story throughout. The varying article lengths allows more both long and short articles to have a place. I think that these choices are appropriate for a political magazine because article topics can vary.





One Comment

  1. A couple of thoughts: “Goldilocks” … LOVE. // .75 margins are not considered small; I’d say they’re fairly average. // not many publications would dare run columns of different sizes, as it’s long been considered bad form. That said, they might be onto something. I’m not convinced the long line length at the top of the left columns is comfortable or pleasing, but I can’t help but be mesmerized by the way they wrap around the half-column of mostly white space. // FYI, you don’t have to agree with every decision they’ve made. And even if you do, I think there’s room for critique. I’d like to see more of that in subsequent posts.

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