the magazine

Broadcasters are storytellers, newspapers are fact-gatherers and organizers of information, and news magazines are kind of a hybrid of both.
-Everette E. Dennis

Let’s face it: Magazines are a staple of the American lifestyle and when it comes down to living the life you wish you had or knowing the things you think you should know, hours of reading, how-to-ing, and dreaming can be found in a stack of colorful pages, bound just for you. And all of the other people who fall within the target demographic.

Magazine Cover Board
One of the first assignments in class will be the creation of a magazine cover in order to showcase your theme and design preferences to potential group members. We will present these before groups are assigned.

To the left is an example of a Magazine Cover Board. Notice that the logo was cut out using different letters found in a magazine. Also, the cover lines were handwritten using markers and there is only one dominant image.

The Magazine
Magazine Publishers of America (MPA) is the industry association for consumer magazines. Check out some resources: The Magazine Handbook, Magazine App Directory, and Category-Specific Fact SheetsThey are a great resource to stay up-to-date on trends and statistics within the magazine industry.
Genres & Demograhics  
In this class, you will be able to choose what genre of magazine you would like to create. Your group will consider the demographics of the LASA community when developing your own magazine. We will discuss and analyze current magazine demographics as a class and in magazine groups.
Magazine List
Here is a list of the current magazines found in the U.S. If you would like to see magazine archives online, visit Google Books.
In order to have a common language in class, you have to know what things are called in a magazine. Learn these, because you will be expected to use them when discussing your magazine in class.
Magazine Application
Every student will fill out this application to let me know what your preferences are for the magazine that you will create in a group this semester.
Action Plan
An Action Plan is a written agreement among group members stating how certain circumstances will be dealt with if they should arise. The purpose of this plan is to resolve communication issues when completing group tasks, in this case a semester-long task. :)
Theme Development/Brainstorming        
Media Kit
Media Kits are created by a magazine to identify the mission, target audience, and design philosophy of the publication.

Style Sheets
Every publication has a style sheet. A style sheet is a set of rules that all designers agree to follow. When I say rules, I mean things like how many columns exist on each layout or what size font will be used for the body copy. Having a style sheet makes sure the publication is consistently designed.
Table of Contents
A table of contents is important for readers to find articles that they may be interested in. Without this, your reader would still find things, but the table allows the writers and designers to specifically point the reader to where they want them to go.
Staff Pages
This is the place where the writers can introduce themselves to the readers. Normally, staff members will give a short biography that includes why they were interested in writing for that type of magazine.
Each student will write and design a feature, an opinion, and one or two alternative stories (see next element) to make up the content for the magazine.
Alternative Story Forms
Stories that aren't narratives or long form are considered to be alternative stories. These layouts feature more images and sections of chunky text than a normal layout. ASFs can be a number of things, like information graphics, charts, and photo essays.
Letter from the Editor
Every magazine needs a message to their readers explaining their mission and purpose for communicating the content.
This is the most important element of a magazine, for it is the gateway to get readers to open and read the content you provide. Covers normally have a dominant image, as opposed to lots of smaller images.

Each group will maintain a blog throughout the semester to develop followers and interested readers for their magazine when it debuts. The blog is treated as the online version of the magazine.

MagCloud Proof Specifications
We print our magazines through the company But, there are certain specifications that have to be met. We'll set these up when we first start designing.
Ordering Your Copy
Once the magazines are published, students and their families can order them from The cost of the magazine depends on the number of pages. MagCloud charges 20 cents per page, not too bad!
Semester Final
The final magazine is half of each student's final grade, in addition to a cumulative exam assessing the content covered throughout the semester. Here's the rubric for how the magazine will be assessed.
Reflection Essay
Students are asked to write a reflection essay at the end of the semester to identify successful areas of the course curriculum, as well as areas that need improvement. This essay is taken very seriously. Many parts of the curriculum are adjusted based on student response.