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Introduction to Independent Magazine Layout Short Course

Course description

This Mac-based course is aimed at anyone with an interest in the exciting and vibrant world of independent magazine design. With a focus on practice-based learning using Adobe InDesign, you will be guided through each stage of the editorial process from initial concept to implementation. Short subject-related lectures will examine both historical and contemporary approaches to magazine design over the past century. Investigating and experimenting with typography, hierarchy and composition youll be guided through each stage of the creative process, developing practical and conceptual editorial skills.

Defining an original topic or theme as your starting point, youll compile mood boards using visual research to inform your direction. Examining audience and market will involve an exploration of typography, grids, image styles and colour ways to determine a relevant visual language for your own publication. Simultaneously exploring the role of author, editor and designer youll undertake testing and development, experimenting with content and composition to define your magazines unique visual language. Developing your visual language through typography, composition and graphic elements to communicate your subject matter will enhance your visual communication skills. Applying your page layouts across print and digital page layouts, youll gain a deeper understanding of the principles of successful editorial design.

Articulating your ideas through individual and group feedback sessions aims to enhance your visual communication skills in a collaborative, supportive environment. Test printing and reviewing your magazines pages in stages as a group will provide the opportunity for constructive tutor and peer feedback. Analysis and development of your page layouts will help define a unique visual identity system that speaks to your audience.

Who should take this course?

This introductory course suits students seeking to produce a dummy print-based magazine for development or publication beyond the course. Anyone wishing to expand their editorial knowledge and skills through guided, practice -based sessions would also benefit.

Course Outcomes:

  • Work with your own content to explore a chosen topic or area of interest
  • Receive expert advice and guidance to encourage experimentation and development of your practice
  • Develop a distinctive, outcome showcasing your creative magazine layout skills
  • Produce PDF artwork files to facilitate printing your publication after the course concludes

Entry requirements: No design experience required. This course does not provide software training. Mac skills and a basic working knowledge of Adobe InDesign are essential.

Level: Beginners

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

Available dates

It can take a few moments for our course dates to load - if there are no available dates, please contact our customer service team who will help you find a course or email you when new dates become available.
Make an enquiry or call us on 0207 514 7015.


Topics covered


Practice-based InDesign exercises will introduce you to the following areas:

  • Grid systems: principles and purpose.

Columns and rows as groupings of units that create the visual structure of all printed and screen-based layouts. A grid system subdivides a page vertically and horizontally to achieve any number of different layouts.

  • Typography: choosing and using type.

Classification, selection and arrangement of typographic content achieved through the use of visual properties such as weight, scale and colour.

  • Hierarchy: emphasis and message.

Simple choices in typeface, size, weight, and position on the page can strengthen representation of the concepts, objects and actions that words describe.

  • Page layout: composition.

Effective composition will consist of a clear focal point, using other elements of lesser

importance than the focal point and emphasising accents in a way which makes the visual

  • Image selection: effects and treatments.

The selection and application of content, emphasizing elements of greater importance. This is achieved through the use of visual properties such as scale, colour and style.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Pens, pad, scissors, glue stick and USB.

IMPORTANT - Adobe ID Login for Short Course Students

Students will need to create an account with Adobe (unless you already have one) in order to access the Adobe suite at the college – instructions are included below. You will need to use a personal email address to create this. If you already have an account with Adobe, please make sure you bring your login details with you on the first day of the course.

Please note:

  • Creating an Adobe account is free.
  • The software will only be accessible when logged into a UAL networked computer
  • The same account can be used outside of the University, but software will only be accessible through a personal paid subscription that students will need to set up independently
  • You can still create an account on the day but doing this beforehand will save time and avoid delays to the start of the class.
  • If you already have an Adobe ID/ subscription you can use this on your short course rather than setting up a new account.

To create an account students will need to:

  • Go to Adobe Sign in page.
  • Select ‘Create an account’
  • Enter your details and select ‘Create account’
  • Meet the Tutor:

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    This Mac-based course is aimed at anyone with an interest in the exciting and vibrant world of independent magazine design. With a focus on practice-based learning using Adobe InDesign, you will be guided through each stage of the editorial process from initial concept to implementation.

    Contact us: