What is Editorial Design?

Editorial design is a specific branch of graphic design that involves the skillful application of creative page layouts, effective typography and inspired written content to present information in a way that is visually appealing and easy to understand. Editorial design can be as simple as using a single image within a magazine or newspaper article or more complicated such as sophisticated page layout designs which include graphs, charts, diagrams, text boxes, and other visual elements to convey meaning. While graphic design focuses on the overall look and feel of the document, editorial design is more concerned with the actual written content and how it relates to any visual elements within a publication.

Editorial design requires a high level of knowledge and skills in typography (font selection), page layout, grids and composition, colour theory, image editing, and more. Depending on the client’s desired outcome for their editorial design project, professional designers are able to apply their skills in many different ways.

Typical types of desktop publishing services they offer include:

  • print and online publications such as brochures, flyers and leaflets
  • corporate and research reports
  • business white papers
  • newsletters
  • technical manuals
  • ebooks.

Why Commission a Design Professional?

The visual expression and design of your promotional materials or publications are the first touchpoints (and the most customer-facing interactions) for your business with the general public. If these are below par, it quickly becomes obvious and you and/or business will be viewed in a poor light. For this reason, you should definitely consider commissioning a professional designer or desktop publisher to help you because they will create a compelling and visually interesting design for your publication that satisfies the needs of your organisation.

A professional designer is able to work closely with you or your team to get a sense of what you’re trying to achieve and they can be instrumental to the success of your business. In addition, they often have hands-on expertise in design strategy, content production and management, digital marketing and online advertising. Most importantly, a professional desktop publisher can help you create a more cohesive visual message which enhances the user (reader) experience and ensures it is effectively communicated across different platforms.

The Benefits of Working with a Professional Designer

Wealth of Design Skills and Experience

Professional designers have many years of experience working with typography, page layout design, colour theory and other aspects of desktop publishing, which leads to a higher-quality outcome for your editorial project. Hiring a professional to take care of your design needs is often more affordable than you may think! Not only will you be working with someone who has a wealth of experience and skills in their field, they’re also likely to have access to DTPsoftware like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop that is expensive to purchase and has a steep learning curve associated with it.

In the long run, the investment will be worth it as the end result is sure to look more polished and sophisticated to the reader’s eye than if you’d tried to do everything yourself (which usually involves struggling for hours without a satisfactory outcome in MS Word!)

Keen Eye for Detail

A professional designer with English language expertise is able to review text-heavy publication, scrutinising the written content and page formatting of a document. This entails paying close attention to margins, spaces between lines, size and direction of the page, headers and footers, and more. Their ability to vet your text for grammatical errors, and the ability to understand how your project will appear, whether in digital or print format, all make hiring professional designer a no-brainer.

In-depth Knowledge of Design Principles

Professional designers have an in-depth knowledge of design principles that the ordinary person who attempts to create a DIY publication lacks. For example, wthout any understanding of cohesive and consistent design, your publication will lack uniformity across its pages and so it will look very unpolished. Editorial designers know how to make each page unified so that they flow into one another, with a range of heading hierarchies, image sizing, textual arrangement. This is all acheived while, at the same time, presenting the content as a cohesive unit of aesthetically appealing information.

In the content-saturated world we live in, plain written text  without the advantage of some sort of artistic ‘oomph’ (in terms of imagery, typography and colour palettes) will mean that your publication will miss out on its fair share of ‘digital eyes’. This is particularly the case for printed publications and content intended to promote you or your business.