National Geographic Magazine
I’ve decided that my photostory on Dannielle and her exotic pets would fit perfectly into National Geographic magazine. I will be creating my magazine article based on my research of Nat Geo. To begin my research, I went to the Nat Geo website to find a description of the magazine in their own words. This is what I found:
“National Geographic gets you closer to the stories that matter. Through the world’s best scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, National Geographic captivates and entertains a global community through television channels, magazines, children’s media, travel expeditions, books, maps, consumer products, location-based entertainment and experiences, and some of the most engaging digital and social media platforms in the world. A joint venture with 21st Century Fox, National Geographic reinvests 27% of proceeds to help fund the conservation and education efforts of the National Geographic Society.”
It is clear that National Geographic appeals to a very wide audience. They address many different topics, including important issues. The magazine appeals to anyone who is interested in different species, cultures, and places throughout the world. I would say that the magazine caters to a large range of age groups, as well as having articles that appeal to both men and women. The magazine’s mission statement from their website confirms my thoughts:
“National Geographic magazine is the global leader in empowering people to navigate the world, providing authoritative, unbiased content that addresses today’s complex issues, while uncovering the wonders of our time. Each issue captivates millions of curious readers with world-class, award-winning photography and reporting that inspire them to make informed decisions and effect positive change. As part of the world’s largest non-profit scientific, education, and entertainment organizations, National Geographic has unmatched reach to a national audience that influences opinions on the Beltway, in the board room, in Silicon Valley, and beyond.”
Once I had established the magazine’s intentions, I went into town and bought a copy of the latest issue (February 2017). I found 2 articles that are relevant to the one that I’ll be creating. The first was called ‘Saving The Seas’, and is about Barack Obama’s work with America’s network of protected seas. The second was called ‘Shadow Cats’, and is about various different types of small wildcats.
These articles are relevant to my research because their focus is on animals – which is also the focus of my article. The layout differs between the 2 articles, which gives me a few different options as to how I will organise my layout. However, there are similarities which establish the general aesthetic of the magazine – I will attempt to re-create this aesthetic in my article, so that it would fit nicely into the magazine.
Saving The Seas
I am now going to analyse the layout of the article ‘Saving The Seas’, pages 54-77. Firstly, it is clear that Nat Geo fill many double page spreads with one image. They have done this 6 times throughout the article, filling 12 out of the 24 pages with double page spreads. Throughout the article they have used this technique in 2 different styles, the first is to leave a small white border on the left, right, and bottom of the page. This is used to begin the article:
The second is to leave a small white border on the left and right, and then a larger border at the bottom to enable them to insert some text below the photo. This is used 5 times throughout the article:
Another layout technique that they have used which I really like, is to fill the left hand page with just text, and then put 4 images on the right hand page, leaving room for a small paragraph on the right hand side of the photos:
The last technique that is apparent in this article is as follows – A single image is placed on the double page spread, there are borders on the left, right, and bottom of the page – the borders on the right and bottom are filled with text. The image stretches across the 2 pages, but only approximately 3/4 of the way:
This technique is also used in the opposite way, by putting text in the borders on the left and bottom of the page. The image is the same size, but it’s placement is now primarily on the opposite page.
There is another technique used in this article, but it requires putting 8 images on one double page spread, and I am only able to use 6 images across both of my double page spreads.
I am now going to analyse the layout of the article ‘Shadow Cats’, pages 104-119. Much like the first article ‘Saving The Seas’, Nat Geo have used one image to fill many double page spreads in this article as well. They have done this 4 times throughout the article, filling 8 out of the 16 pages with double page spreads. Throughout the article they have used this technique in only one style, which is to completely fill both pages with the image, leaving no borders at the edges at all:
Another layout technique that they have used is to place a single image on the double page spread, there are borders on the left and bottom of the page that are filled with text. The image stretches across the 2 pages, but only approximately 3/4 of the way. This is very similar to the layout used in ‘Saving The Seas’, minus the border on the right:
The last technique that is apparent in this article is as follows – A single image is placed on the double page spread, it stretches across the 2 pages leaving only one border at the bottom of the page, which is filled with text:
There is another technique used in this article, but it requires putting 11 images on one double page spread, and I am only able to use 6 images across both of my double page spreads.
It is clear from looking at both of these articles that the emphasis is on the photographs. The layout techniques used make the images look fantastic, and the amount of space left for text will be perfect for my piece on Dannielle and her animals. I have created a rough plan for my layout, which I will finalise once I’ve made my final edit of my images:
First double page spread – Choose 1 image to fill the 2 pages, using one of the Nat Geo layout techniques. Pages 54 and 55, pages 56 and 57, or pages 104 and 105.
Second double page spread – Choose 4 images and use the layout technique on pages 62 and 63.
Journal Plan For Second Shoot