I’ve been designing magazines, brochures and a wide variety of printed documentation for over twenty years now and I have to admit that I have not seen a news magazine better designed than The Economist.
The Economist follows a multi-layered nested design that reels the reader in from a very general level of introduction to serious in-depth reports, in a step-by-step fashion, with extremely well researched, fact-filled and superbly written news articles supported by sharp-witted photo captions, maps and illustrations factoryextreme.com .
The Front Cover of the magazine is a testimony to the considerable thought that went into its design. All the major news stories of the week are summarized on the front cover with short titles, right next to the bright read trademark logo so that you can have a pretty good idea about the “news leaders” of the week without even looking inside.
The second level of information presentation consists of the CONTENTS list. Here all stories and columns are listed sequentially, by page numbers, which is pretty standard across the industry. However, Economist also telegraphs which stories are more important than the others by including screen boxes for the prominent stories. Such summary-boxes include a photo or drawing that captures the essence of the story, plus a few sentences and page numbers so that you can immediately jump to the story itself.
Next comes THE WORLD THIS WEEK pages which greets us with a short paragraph devoted to all the major stories of the week. Here the shorts are offered under thematic headlines and not by the physical order in which they appear in the magazine which aids comprehension and retention considerably.