i was recently reading a magazine at the beach - yes, bliss! - and was struck by how much we can learn as visual marketers just by flipping through magazines.
(you know, i used to read magazines a lot, but now i find i do most of my reading online and i just don't buy magazines anymore. now i am going to change that, suddenly, i need to read magazines for my business. it's work! yay!)
of course there is visual inspiration all over the place online - but the nice thing about magazines is that they are a little different, so you can get ideas that everyone else isn't already doing online!
plus magazines have big budgets and loads of professional designers, stylist, & artists working for them. why not learn from the pros!
here are 7 visual marketing ideas that you can steal from magazines:
the most effective visual content tends to use a combination of text + imagry to draw people in. you want your images to both resonate with your audience and serve a purpose for your biz - and text can help you do that. but sometimes the text is the hardest part to figure out. magazines have great short & snappy headlines that draw people in. copy them!
we sometimes feel like we need to fill up every bit of space in our images, or find really involved complex images to help tell our stories. simple is almost always better. for instance consider: a simple image paired with simple text. lots of text broken up with a simple image. lots of white space.
text only layouts
sometimes our images are completely made up of text (worksheets, ebooks, instructions, guides) but you can still draw readers in by making it visual (which magazines do really well!) for instance consider using columns with lots of white space, adding interest using fonts or colours, playing with alignment or spacing. you can turn a chunk of blah text into something more interesting to read through (which will also make it more memorable!)
funky text layouts
who says a title or headline has to go right across the page? this is an example of how you can create something interesting just by being a bit different - and it is again it is an example of both simplicity and designing with text only.
this example actually feels a bit to me like the print magazine has been inspired by the visual trends online. don't these squares feel a bit like pinterest? but i thought it was a good example of how every visual element doesn't have to be polished and "designer-y" - especially if everyone else in your niche is being polished and designer-y (a great way to stand out!) so grab your doodle pad and create images that way, or create paintings, or collages.
also this is a great example again of breaking up a page of text. imagine this as a simple list on the page? not nearly as visually engaging or as memorable!
present information visually
this example is another one where i think the print magazine has been inspired by online. doesn't this feel like an infographic? i included it because it has a number of ideas for how you can again share text in a more visual way with the use of simple images, colour, and fonts. even the little text bubbles turn some standard comments into something more interesting to read through. consider adding elements like this to your next text heavy sales page or creating a series of simple shareables images that have one bit of info shared visually.
again, one of the hardest things to know what to include on an image is the text. headlines, sales messages, calls to action... if you are creating any sort of promotional image for your business it can be really tough to find just the right text - something effective yet simple, short & sweet yet packs a punch. grab a magazine and start collecting advertisments! steal ideas from the people who get paid the really big bucks to write & design this stuff.
so here is your homework: grab a favorite magazine (or two!) and sit down and have a very nice time flipping through them. for your business of course!
hot tip: take photos of your favorite headlines, layouts, images etc. and pin them to a private pinboard or pop them into an inspiration folder on your computer. the next time you are creating visual content you will have lots ideas to choose from.
would you like to learn more about layout, pro design, effective text, and more? check out the visual marketing DIY workshop.