LA 11.2 – Print Preparation – Design a magazine dummy and prepare it for print


Research, written and practical assignment (problem solving).

  • Design a simple dummy for at least 10‑ at most 20‑page magazine style brochure combining dynamic typography and photography. You can use placeholder text for body copy. For your magazine, use a spot varnish for the cover and design it using two spot colors.
  • Make use of your checklist that you designed and prepare the file for print.
  • Decide what paper weight and type you will use.
  • Decide what type of binding you will use, for example, saddle stich, perfect bind, etc. (See the printing terms link.)
  • Submit the print‑ready file packaged from InDesign as well as a print‑ready PDF.

Make sure to include the instructions (like spot varnish, paper choice and binding) in the file.


Before I could start designing, I made up a quick definition of a press brief, defining the layout and feel of the magazine:

  • Name of magazine: Girl power
  • Target group: Active woman, aged 16-65
  • Prize: Mid-range
  • Content: Sports, food, health, female leaders, education, female rights etc.

I also had to define the technical aspects of the magazine:

  • Size: A4
  • 12 pages
  • 12 columns
  • Font: Milo (OpenType – font family – 6 versions makes it flexible)
  • Colors: Vibrant (Pink/red, green, yellow, blue)
  • Picture qualities: Female athletes, girl power, healthy food
  • Paper quality cover: 200 GSM (matte)
    Paper quality inside: 90 GSM
  • Paper binding: Saddle stitching

With these basics defined, I started thinking about the flow of the magazine, what kind of articles included and layout to meet the target group. I made a page thumbnails for sketching the magazine. Then I found some themes I wanted to cover. Then I found headlines and searched for pictures and illustrations. Then I sketched the magazine.



Then I started designing the magazine in InDesign, with master page and defining all objects correctly, using spot colors for the front page etc. The final result came out as this:

01_Magazine layout Ane March 2019Magazine layout dummy Ane March 2019 - final_Side_2Magazine layout dummy Ane March 2019 - final_Side_3Magazine layout dummy Ane March 2019 - final_Side_4Magazine layout dummy Ane March 2019 - final_Side_5Magazine layout dummy Ane March 2019 - final_Side_612_Magazine layout Ane March 201912

Preparing it for print, I checked the Preflight window for errors, but found none.
I cleaned up my color swatches and deleted all non-used ones etc.
Using my print checklist I checked the file.
Finally I packed the document for sending it to the printer.

Skjermbilde 2019-03-25 kl. 20.05.51Skjermbilde 2019-03-25 kl. 20.06.03Skjermbilde 2019-03-25 kl. 20.11.35

Magazine layout dummy Ane March 2019 – spread print



The process of making files ready for printing and printing files is a very important and complex process. I find it important to keep a close dialogue with the printer to make sure files are as intended for printing. It took me a long time to do this exercise and I will need a lot more practice to learn all I’ll need to know about this process to ensure good quality products.

I know theres a couple of things I didn’t make right this time, but in lack of time I decided not to go further with this task.




  • «Overview of Print Preparation» – lesson from Noroff School
  • «Print Preparation» – lesson from Noroff School
  • «Print Preparation» – video lesson from Noroff School
  • «Layout Part 1″ and «Layout part 2» – video lessons from Noroff School
  • «Learning Print production» – Lynda video course by Claudia McCue
  • «Designing a Magazine Layout» – – Lynda video course by Nigel French


  • Graphic Design School: A Foundation Course for Graphic Designers Working in Print, Moving Image and Digital Media, Unit 1, 2, 3, 4 , and 6 (page 10-99 and 124-141).



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