5 things your website can steal from magazines
Beautiful things don’t have to be created out of thin air. The principles I learned from editorial design and infographics are key to beautiful web design. Wanna know why?
Because everything in editorial aims to keep people’s attention.
In a world full of distractions, grabbing and keeping attention in a way that connects is more important than ever.
Hint: images are the best way to get to it (and certain words, of course).
So let’s dive into the tips you can still from magazines.
Hi! New here?
You love what you do and want to attract clients that love it as much as you do. My job is to help you to captivate your ideal clients through your brand and website so that they feel connected to you and trust you.
1. Use big pictures
Just like magazines go full page, you can go full width with some of your images.
- Don’t use it just for top page images. What about making testimonials stand out with big pictures of clients? Or making an idea more tangible with an image that represents what you’re saying.
- Stay away from stock images that look like stock. The world is craving truth, connection and beauty. Those things have nothing to do with stiff posed and lifeless stock looking photos. You can use some stock images, but look for the ones that feel real.
- Save those in bigger size to avoid pixelated images. At least 1800 px in width (I preffer 2100 px or even 2400 px if it’s going to strech in height).
Tech advice: big pictures can turn into big files. Use TinyPNG online service to make the images lighter before uploading to your website. It works for both Jpeg and PNG files.
2. Tell a visual story
There’s a reason why the best magazines create a mood for photoshoots: they’re telling visual stories. You want to do the same.
The quote example above is part of telling success stories. They’re giving context to the new life of the client.
Bellow you can see another way of doing this: painting the picture of what they could be enjoing after working with you, how their life could look like or what dreams they can fulfil.
When we use the sparke to talk about “something special” we’re priming the reader to see how special it can be.
We say “you’re a total boss lady” and pair that with a confident walk in heals to amplify the message making it stronger.
Those are a few principles that work, no matter what you sell.
3. Direct the eye
Direct where you want people to focus on. There’s a few ways of doing this:
- Picture looking to where you want people to look or pointing with your finger
- Movement (this one wasn’t possible in magazines but it’s perfect online)
I get distracted when I see an image looking away of your website or outside a magazine. You must bring people in and show what’s important.
4. Create a scenario
Using objects to create a scene is common in cool websites this days, but it started with magazines, usually to showcase products. You can recreate a desk, a wall, make your ideal clients feel at home, or tell a little bit about you.
Be playful about it. You can photograph stuff you love that your ideal client like as well or use images you like as well.
Objects can be part of the story or your client’s desires. They can showcase your product or be part of a lifestyle.
Either way, objects make everything more tangible.
- When you show your freebie or product printed on paper or on a screen your digital offer gains physical form.
- When you show how someone’s desk or notes might look like people can see themselves in that.
- And when you show how something looks to you it makes it easier to understand your ideas.
Don’t forget: keep enough white space.
Yes, I’m always saying this and that’s because it is that important. Otherwise it just looks like a mess.
5. create entry points throughout the page
Just like headlines and subtitles, you can create other visual entry points too. One that magazines always use (and websites too) are big quotes. I’ll list a few strong entry points.
- Big numbers
- Image + highlighted subtitle
- Boxes and ribbons
- Drop caps (a big first character)
- Chat baloons
- Marie Forleo and B-School
- Kendrick Shope and Sales School
- She Rocks @ College
- Amy Porterfield
- Inner Glow Circle
- Your Captivating Brand
(Examples come from various websites, not only from my work. I keep screenshots of things I like.)