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Magazine design

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by catwoman, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    Hi everyone!

    Im looking to do some work experience in magazine design but am a little lost as to how I go about finding this.
    I was wondering if anyone has any ideas as to where to look and how to go about this, I live in Oxfordshire in the UK if this helps?

  2. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Magazine design covers everything from the likes of Vogue magazine through to brochures for retirement homes and if you really want to push it leaflets too! So your best bet would probably be to get some work with a printer or a publishing company.
  3. matobo

    matobo Member

    First you need to decide what type of magazine designer you want to be. Even magazine design is broken into categories. It covers everything from the big glossy's like Vogue (as mentioned by Bigdave) through to bog standard free pick-me-ups and catalogues. If you want to be a glossy Vogue designer, then aim high and go for it from the offset, because if you don't hit the ground running on the big stuff, then it is virtually impossible to cross the line back 'up' to it if you get stuck in the rut with the smaller stuff.

    Approach all the big publishing houses if you want in house experience on a big title. If you get stuck in the lower market range, then you will be stuck in the lower market range forever (voice of experience wearing the t-shirt).

    I am a freelance magazine designer that realised a long time ago that I was in a rut within the magazine design catefory and I also realised that working for glossy titles was never going to happen. I took a wrong turn once a worked for 3 years for a puzzle magazine publishing company... I put myself into a corner and nearly out of a career completely with that move.

    Good luck catwoman. xxx
  4. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I can second that one! Thing is, Ive realised it was perhaps a bad move just in time (been here 12 months) and desperately trying to scramble out while I can!
  5. matobo

    matobo Member

    Just realised rereading what I typed that I shouldn't write big stuff late at night.

    Yeah bigdave - for every interview I went to post redundancy, I was called a 'puzzle queen' and nobody was interested. It was very disheartening and did nothing for my very bruised ego ;0)

    Good luck getting out from your rut too - do it soon.

    Freelancing is an option, even though it is hard to get into - but when you get there it's not too bad. I work for a franchise meaning that I deal with people who know nothing about what they are doing - which does give me a bit of leaway to call the design shots, which is a bonus... but it has taken me a good 5 years to get to the point that the franchise and editors are referring me as a preferred designer rather than me having to go out and beg (I suck at begging)... and I also know that they are inundated with letters from designers out there offering to do the job for peanuts at the moment.
  6. Manster62

    Manster62 New Member


    Hi Matobo,

    I was very interested to read your post. Like you I work for franchisee magazine editors as a freelancer and generally get by. However, it sounds as though you're luckier than I am, in that your franchisees listen to you! It's so disheartening when people have set ideas that you know look wrong.

    One of my main clients has recently demanded that I reduce my prices by 30%, saying that she would simpllify the layout of the magazine and be less demanding! As I was not in a position where I could afford to lose her as a client, I reluctantly agreed - with the proviso that we reviewed the situation four months later. Since then I have actually found that the work has increased. Initially she tried to have a plainer layout and seemed to work in a more organised way, but now it's getting ridiculous and she won't renegotiate my charges, saying that she keeps getting offers from people who would do it for less.

    It's so frustrating. She seems to want a proper design job for nothing, compared to some of her colleagues who just get unqualified layout artists to set out their magazines.

    Have you come up against this sort of thing and, if so, how have you dealt with it. I'm tempted to call her bluff as she gets excellent service (including evening and weekend working when she demands it!).

    Out of interest - what sort of page rate do you charge?
  7. Logopro

    Logopro Member

    I'd say do it! You'd hope that she would realise when she was struggling to get one published in time that actually "he was really good to me....I guess you do get what you pay for" and come crawling back.

    If not: well she's probably a client that wasn't worth the headache anyway.

    Back on topic: See if you can find a publishing agency with an in house design service - I would suggest being picky about which you actually go and work for so as to avoid the "rut" that others here have experienced.

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