At DHL, we publish print and digital magazines for both internal and external communications. In this guide, you’ll learn how to build stylish and professional magazine layouts that attract attention, entertain the reader and build brand awareness.

  • Essentials
  • Examples
  • Basic Layout
  • Construction


Magazines stand out from other communications media as sophisticated publications with both information and entertainment value. That’s why the design guidelines for magazines allow more freedom than those for brochures, which are generally more for informational purposes. Two key elements of successful magazines are building suspense and captivating your audience with interesting two-page spreads.


Basic Layout

Magazines are published at regular intervals, which makes it vital to create a layout that is recognizable across multiple issues. Unlike brochures, which are are not periodicals and generally focus on communicating information clearly and concisely, magazines can use a variety of visual means to tell stories and communicate information.

When you compare our brochure design guidelines to our magazine guidelines, you’ll see that our basic magazine layout gives you more freedom to create a structured yet stylish layout that is easily recognizable. This makes it easier to input new information in the next issue while designing two-page layouts that make flipping through the pages more fun.


The best magazine covers imitate the look of a poster. They should arouse curiosity and interest. The title header should stand out, give the publication a distinct character, and build brand recognition.

Magazine cover examples

Back cover

Design simple back covers that draw attention to the address box.

Example of magazine back covers with an image or a full-format gradient.

Inside pages

You have a lot of design freedom on inside pages. Use the relevant base unit (see the Measurements Design Guide) to determine spacing and placement of elements. Feel free to apply the brochure templates for your needs.



Choose the format that best fits your magazine concept and individual requirements. Recommended formats are similar or equal to A4 (e.g. 220 by 280 mm).


Use an image or the full-format gradient to fill section backgrounds. On inside pages or in print media, use white, light gray tones and the full-format gradient to fill additional section backgrounds.


A clearly defined and recognizable typographic structure is essential to maintain flow. It acts as navigator, guiding the eye through the layout. That’s why it’s important to clearly separate each text element, such as copy text, main headline, secondary headline, and paragraph headers.

Tiles and text boxes

Tiles and text boxes provide a useful and reader-friendly way to display, group and showcase content, such as images, text, or a combination of both. Tiles can be arranged vertically and horizontally.

Additional elements

Use eye-catchers, infographics and symbols to highlight and display important information.