Editorial design: Everything you need to know

28 Oct 2022

No one can deny the importance of the visual dimension in our world. We receive most information through our eyes and, as has been scientifically proven, our visual memory is better than our auditory memory. Thus, the image is established as a vitally important element. This is why books, magazines and other publications need to connect with the reader not only through content but also through sight.

In this way, editorial design is a means of captivating the public through visual stimulation. It is a sector in continuous evolution, which has experienced the rise of digital format and requires continuous updating. In this sense, Elisava’s Master in Editorial Design provides you with the necessary tools to become the editorial designer that this changing and evolving sector demands.

What is editorial design and what is it used for?

Editorial design is the field of graphic design that focuses on the creation and production of all kinds of editorial publications, such as books, magazines or newspapers, among others. In other words, it is responsible for the architecture of any type of publication. Its main functions are to give personality to the content, attract the reader’s attention and structure the information so that it is clear.

Where is editorial design applied?

Although we have mentioned traditional media such as magazines, newspapers and books, editorial graphic design includes much more than this, from product catalogues to newsletters and e-books. In short, any digital or print material that aims to communicate an idea through words and graphic elements will require editorial design.

Main elements of editorial design

Publications contain a series of elements that every editorial designer must be aware of in order to guarantee a good design. These include format, grid, typography, colour and graphic elements.

  • Format:

This refers to the shape and size of the final product, i. e., the physical or digital support that is used. The format has to do with the type of publication and its content, but most importantly with the means of production, i.e., the printing technique and the machine that prints it. (Each machine accepts different paper formats). For this reason, it is essential in editorial design to have an understanding of graphic arts, in order to optimise the paper usage and minimise waste. Nowadays it is essential to approach publishing production from a perspective of sustainability.

  • Grid:

This constitutes the basis of all elements, as it structures and provides coherence to the content. It is defined as a set of lines and guides in which the different compositional elements are placed, helping to distribute the design space. It is one of the fundamental tools of design, which helps to balance the page composition and organise the content.

  • Typography:

The aim of editorial design is to ensure that publications are attractive, visually interesting and easy to read. A good editorial design is consistent and clear in its purpose. When typography is used effectively, it can evoke different feelings, and mastering that language is key in editorial design.

  • Colour:

Colour is key in design, as it influences the way a publication is perceived, as well as the strength with which a message is communicated. Its power to convey emotions has been demonstrated in multiple studies. It also contributes to adequacy between content and its visual framework. Depending on how the colours are combined, the perception of the publication will change.

  • Graphic elements:

This category comprises all those elements other than text and images, such as drawings, tables, graphs or infographics. These resources illustrate the message, support the content and add value to the publication. They are also a visual attraction for the reader, as they generate attention points that help give strength to the message.

Master in Editorial Design

Elisava’s Master in Editorial Design explores editorial design from multiple perspectives and through different formats. It is addressed to curious, dynamic and proactive students who want to explore new relationships between design and content.

Through different projects, workshops and talks, you will learn diverse perspectives from international experts, combining theory with practice so that you can enter the sector and understand its needs.

This master’s programme is based on active and practical learning, through three projects that students will have to develop in all aspects: a book, a magazine and a digital platform.

The final objective is to prepare students to enter the professional world in sectors such as television, written or visual media and the traditional publishing sector.

If you are interested in studying editorial design, but are still not sure where to study, Elisava’s Master in Editorial Design can provide you with the necessary tools to become the editorial designer you have always dreamed of being.