Jan V. White: Designing for Magazines

The third portfolio piece I chose to showcase by Jan V. White is his publication, “Designing for magazines”. Published by R. R. Bowker Company in 1982, “Designing for magazines” presents the concept of editing-by-design and how it can be effective and successful in publications. White presents design solutions and approaches for front covers, back covers, editorial pages, and more, with illustrations, diagrams, and examples to convey his thoughts. The book is made up of some text, but contains mostly pages after pages of solely magazine covers and page layout examples to help the reader best imagine what White was trying to say.


Perfect examples of how White used more images than he did text to convey his ideas. Jan V. White’s “Designing for magazines”, Published 1982.


Jan V. White’s “Designing for magazines”, Published 1982.


His readers applauded his approach to writing because he effectively informed his audience and educated them on the ways to go about designing magazines. By including not only his own processes and editing tips, but numerous examples of real world scenarios of magazine images, and diagrams of page layouts made it easy for his audience to comprehend his ideas. This publication was a very useful tool for designers and non-designers back then and now, to view and learn from different ways of editing magazine page layouts and other aspects. The variety that White presents within his book also adds to the usefulness of his work due to the multiple pieces of information from images, diagrams, and notes written by White himself. These aspects of his work are unlike other books of the same genre, which is why his writing has such a large impact on the design world, and print world in general. This book by Jan V. White in particular sets him apart from the rest of the design publishers and graphic designers because of his approach to design. His goal was always to educate and spread his own knowledge therefore his work is more so for his audience and the public rather than for himself or for a specific client. This book contains more images and diagrams than it does writing, which can be seen as ironic, since it’s a book and not considered a “picture book”, however that is how White was able to spread his knowledge of magazine design and page layout.