Editorial design explained – what it is, how much it costs, how to find an editorial designer & detailed FAQ

Last checked and updated on 23 September 2022

Editorial design is a unique and specific form of graphic design that is used in magazines, newspapers, and other types of publications. It is used to communicate the editorial voice and tone of a publication, and to help tell its story. Editorial designers must have a strong understanding of typography, layout, and colour theory in order to create beautiful and effective designs. 

In this article, we will explore what this type of design is, why businesses might need it, and how to find and hire an excellent editorial designer.


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What is editorial design?

Editorial design is the art and practice of designing printed publications such as magazines, newspapers, journals, and books. It encompasses everything from layout and typography to content curation and photo editing. 

A good editorial designer will have a keen eye for detail, excellent organisational skills, and the ability to work within strict deadlines. They will also be able to create a publication that is visually appealing and easy to read. 

Why would a business need editorial design?

There are many reasons why a business might need the services of an editorial designer. Perhaps they are launching a new magazine or newspaper, or revamping an existing publication. Or maybe they need help designing marketing materials, such as brochures or annual reports. 

An editorial designer can also be helpful in creating a consistent brand identity across all of a company’s communications. This includes everything from website design to social media graphics. 

How is editorial design different from other graphic design?

While all graphic designers use some combination of text and images to create their designs, editorial designers have the unique challenge of working with written content that is constantly changing. This means that they must be able to adapt their designs on the fly, and be flexible in their approach. 

In addition, editorial designers must have a strong understanding of typography, layout, and colour theory. This helps them to create designs that are both visually appealing and easy to read

Character traits and skills that make a good editorial designer

Some of the character traits and skills that make a good editorial designer include:

  • A keen eye for detail
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • The ability to work within strict deadlines
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • A strong understanding of typography, layout, and colour theory

How much does editorial design cost?

The cost will vary depending on the scope of the project. For example, a simple one-page flyer may only cost a few hundred dollars to design. But a more complex project, such as a monthly magazine, can easily cost several thousand dollars

The best way to get an accurate estimate for your project is to reach out to a few different editorial designers and request a quote. This will give you a good idea of the going rate for the type of work you need. 

Best places to find and hire an editorial designer

There are a few different ways to find and hire an editorial designer. 

  • One option is to use a freelancer marketplace such as Fiverr or Upwork. Here, you can post your project and receive bids from designers all over the world. 
  • Another option is to use a local graphic design studio. This is a good option if you need someone to be available for in-person meetings. 
  • Finally, you can also reach out to your network of friends and colleagues. Someone you know may have just the right person for the job.

How to work with an editorial designer – best practices for a good process

Assuming you’ve found the perfect editorial designer for your project, there are a few best practices to follow to ensure a smooth and successful working relationship. 

  1. First, be sure to clearly communicate your vision for the project. The more specific you can be, the better. Provide examples of other work that you like, and give the designer a chance to ask questions. 
  2. Next, establish a clear timeline for the project, and be sure to include buffer time for any unexpected delays. It’s also important to agree on a payment schedule upfront. 
  3. Finally, trust your editorial designer’s expertise. They are the experts after all! If you try to micromanage every aspect of the project, it will only delay things and make everyone frustrated. 

By following these best practices, you can be sure that your project will be a success. 

FAQ

What is editorial design?

Editorial design is the process of designing printed or digital publications, such as magazines, newspapers, or books.

What is editorial graphic design?

It is a subset of graphic design that focuses on the visual elements, such as typography, layout, and colour. 

How much does editorial design cost? 

The cost will vary depending on the scope of the project. For example, a simple one-page flyer may only cost a few hundred dollars to design. But a more complex project, such as a monthly magazine, can easily cost several thousand dollars. 

How to practice editorial design?

There are a few different ways to practice. One option is to find free or low-cost templates online and use them to design your own mock-ups. Another option is to take an online course or tutorial. Finally, you can also find internships or entry-level jobs at a design studio or publication house.

What are the skills needed for editorial design? 

Some of the skills needed include creativity, attention to detail, typography, layout, and colour theory.

What does an editorial designer do?

This role is responsible for the visual look of a publication. This includes choosing the fonts, colours, and layout of the pages.

Is editorial design a good career? 

Yes, it can be a very rewarding career. It’s a great way to use your creativity to communicate important messages and stories. Plus, it can be a very lucrative career, with many designers earning six-figure salaries.

What does editorial mean in fashion design?

It is a type of design that focuses on creating clothing for editorial photoshoots. This is different from commercial fashion design, which focuses on designing clothes for mass production. 

What is a lead-in an editorial design?

A lead-in is a short introductory paragraph at the beginning of an article. It’s typically used to introduce the topic of the article and give the reader a brief overview of what they can expect.

What is editorial and publication design?

This is the process of designing printed or digital publications, such as magazines, newspapers, or books. This includes choosing the fonts, colours, and layout of the pages. 

What is an editorial in graphic design?

It is a short introductory paragraph at the beginning of an article. It’s typically used to introduce the topic of the article and give the reader a brief overview of what they can expect. 

Where is editorial design utilised?

It is most commonly utilised in the publishing industry, such as magazines, newspapers, and books. However, it can also be used for other purposes such as marketing collateral or annual reports.

How to get editorial design experience?

One way to get experience is to find internships or entry-level jobs at a design studio or publication house. Another option is to take an online course or tutorial. Finally, you can also find free or low-cost templates online and use them to design your own mock-ups.

How do I become an editorial designer?

You will need to have a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and talent. You will also need to have a good understanding of typography, layout, and colour theory. Additionally, it’s helpful to have some experience working in the publishing industry. 

What is an editorial calendar in design?

It is a schedule that outlines the topics and deadlines for an upcoming publication. This is typically used by editors and designers to plan and organise their work. 

What are some common editorial design mistakes?

Some common mistakes include using too many fonts, being too reliant on stock photos, and using busy or cluttered layouts. 

What computer program do magazines use to design editorial pages?

Many magazines use Adobe InDesign to design editorial pages. However, some also use QuarkXPress or Microsoft Publisher. 

What is an editorial designer salary?

An editorial designer salary can vary depending on experience, location, and industry. However, many designers earn six-figure salaries. 

What falls under editorial design?

It can include magazines, newspapers, books, marketing collateral, annual reports, and more. 

How to find an editorial designer?

You can find an editorial designer by searching online directories or job boards. Additionally, you can also contact a local design studio or publication house. 

What are legends in editorial design?

Legends are usually small pieces of text that accompany a graphic or photograph. They explain what the reader is seeing, and can be used to provide additional information about the story being told. 

What is an example of editorial design?

An example is a magazine layout. This includes the typography, colours, and images used on the page. 

How much for editorial design?

The cost can vary depending on the project. However, many designers charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $50 to $200 per hour. 

What makes good editorial design?

Good editorial design is typically clean, simple, and easy to read. Additionally, it should be visually appealing and capture the attention of the reader. 

What are some common editorial design terms?

Some common terms include kerning, leading, tracking, widows, orphans, hyphenation, and gutters. 

What is an editorial layout?

An editorial layout is a design that arranges text and images in a way that is both visually appealing and easy to read. This often includes the use of white space, typography, and imagery. 

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