National Geographic is one of the top magazines worldwide. The issue "50 of the world’s last great places – destinations of a lifetime" features some fantastic editorial design elements that I would like to show you here.
Double pages opening categories live from the pictures of course. The category names ("temperate", "arid" etc.) are placed into the picture in a matching colour with light transparency.
The category intros I find very interesting too. The first word (or only a part of it!) catches the reader’s attention, the lead copy follows in a black, bold font with only a small line spacing.
Transparency is also used for info boxes which makes them look elegant and does not affect the background picture’s dominance.
The design team used only sans serif fonts in this magazine. That might have the following reasons:
- The focus clearly lies on the pictures which is why the font has to be as simple and clear as possible. Serifs would give the text too much importance. - There is not too much text which is why the human eye does not need any help or support for the reading flow (what is normally achieved by serifs). The line spacing is quite big (apart from the intros), so the readability is improved in this aspect. - It is an American magazine. In the Anglo-American area, serifs are not as widely used as in continental Europe.
This magazine truly is a masterpiece of photography and editorial design. You can order it here.