Magazine and newspaper publications are still very relevant in the era of instantaneous information flow on social media. As much as 91% of US adults read magazines.
However, digital platforms are today's dominant media and publications are adapting to this. By 2025, there will be 1.8 billion digital magazine and newspaper readers globally.
The revenue in this segment is also expected to rise by 10% in 2021, to $35.9 million.
The industry’s growing character presents a new imperative to magazine & newspaper publishers: to fight for the readers’ attention with great web design.
Get comfortable in your favorite reading chair as we list the best news and magazine website designs that stir the audience’s imagination with sensational aesthetics and far-sighted usability.
Let’s get straight to it!
CARE Climate Change and Resilience (CCCR) is a humanitarian organization that helps people in impoverished areas stricken by climate change. Their website, a work of Denmark’s Ruby Studio, details and explains the organization’s mission with a visually captivating user journey.
The homepage opens with full-screen photography, the organization’s name in big, white font and a search bar. Green, orange and brown tones prevail, forming a cognitive association with nature preservation, one of CCCR’s primary aims.
One constant element that remains on the site as the user moves down the page is the unconventional, vertical menu bar on the left-hand side of the screen. It contains several vital links to CCCR’s most informative pages.
But the bulk of links to other pages are within the hamburger menu icon that opens a full-screen navigation screen in vibrant yellow.
The Explore page’s layout is particularly attractive and engaging. At the top, a handy tool lets visitors filter through success stories based on a country, theme, language, year or format. The results appear below in a two-column grid layout with round-edged photos with plenty of space between each.
Professional photography, world maps and rounded, orange CTA buttons deliver a sufficient amount of concise messaging to the reader. The sliding “Donate” window on the right opens a simple payment form that lets visitors choose or input a certain amount they would like to contribute to this noble cause.
Yuriy Vitrenko was one of the key figures in the historic arbitration process between Naftogaz and Gazprom, Ukraine’s and Russia’s oil and natural gas behemoths.
Designed and developed by Nextpage digital agency, Vitrenko’s website contains a collection of insider documents from the period of his tenure at Naftogaz. These documents explain the crucial role Naftogaz played in ensuring Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence in recent conflicts with Russia.
The seriousness of the website’s theme and content dictates a layout that delivers information in a succinct and direct fashion, without boasting too much eye candy. As such, Yuriy Vitrenko’s Library is a highly efficient, UX-centric and navigation-oriented chronicle of events.
This website design resembles that of a book, with large main headings, all-white background and classic, italic font. As the web design agency puts it, they used the book as a main inspiration “because it is the most common form of information transfer and a symbol of wisdom and knowledge.”
Simple content delivery, focused attention management and a purposeful style are the three defining traits of this website.
The main menu navigation points to all the pages relevant to Vitrenko’s struggle to keep the oil giant independent. To help the users get all the details on this affair and join the debate, the menu remains with the visitor the whole time in case they want to jump straight into another aspect of this unique legal case.
Salt in Our Hair is a travel blog website founded, designed and developed by a Dutch couple, Hannah and Nick.
Sporting fun and zany design, Salt in Our Hair is the embodiment of a feel-good tourist lifestyle. It appeals to the aesthetics of the increasingly influential travel bloggers and Instagrammers.
This becomes obvious as soon as the visitor lands on the homepage and is greeted by a very informal, custom-made logo, top-notch photography and intuitive main menu navigation. The website’s Shop section sells numerous lightroom preset collections that enable users to color-edit their photos on the go.
Scrolling down the homepage reveals a bevy of content modules in various forms and shapes, from perfect squares to freestyle circles and everything in-between. The uneven layout introduces a welcome element of unpredictability, while the collection of different yet complementary fonts keeps it all together.
Overlapping and intentionally mismatched coloring, plenty of white space and large headings play into the casual character of this travel magazine website design. The homepage user journey ends with a lovingly designed About Us section detailing the founders’ biographies and a lead-capturing newsletter subscription form.
The website’s major strength is the diversity of its content. In that regard, it offers far more than just pretty pictures of places. Travel logs and journals are the centerpieces, yes, but there are also helpful advice and photography tips as well as blog articles on sustainability, budgeting, tech and other relevant topics.
Tales of Ceylon is a travel blog and online magazine that is focused on folklore, mythology and the actual history of Sri Lanka’s cities and other notable destinations. Besides providing tips to avid travelers and tourists, it also lists various experiences and activities they get to enjoy in Sri Lanka (whose name was Ceylon until 1972.)
Created by Antyra Solutions, the website kickstarts a very comprehensive user journey with a stunning carousel display of Sri Lanka’s select destinations.
Full-screen photography with a subtle grainy effect and motion graphics contains the name of each place in big, bold letters that are “tucked away” behind each destination’s featured landmark feature for a very convincing 3D effect.
The main menu navigation on top of the page is, in fact, the mega menu that opens once the visitor hovers over the menu items. The mega menu contains images of certain articles and categories and has a highly contrasting white background.
Below the fold are striking illustrations and custom graphics that lend excitement to the accompanying content. Handwritten typography in headings and a commonly used sans serif font for the main bits of content create a pleasing reading experience.
The article pages are extremely simple and neatly formatted, with plenty of white space surrounding the content and with no supplemental elements on either side of the page. This helps users focus on important information and avoid feeling overwhelmed by superfluous elements.
Tokyo Voice is a magazine and online portal that profiles and interviews the “regular” citizens of Japan’s interesting capital. People of all ages, genders and walks of life get to share their life stories and experiences.
The website, conceived and delivered by Hiroshima-based Junsuke Takeda, closely follows the appearance of a physical magazine for better brand consistency. The logo’s font, however, is slightly different as it adopts a bold, sans-serif look that is more effective online than the magazine’s standard serif font.
Tokyo Voice’s website homepage is divided into two vertical halves. On the left are photo portraits of Tokyo’s residents, along with brief interview snippets, set in motion via a carousel and gallery view. To the right is a big chunk of white space containing the brand’s logo and an assortment of hashtags that help search the site complementary to the left half, making it much more engaging visually.
Clicking the main menu button on the top right corner opens full-screen navigation that follows the same two-column layout. The only difference is that it uses a “negative” color scheme compared to the homepage’s, with black on the right and white on the left.
The Articles section containing the full collection of individual interviews follows a simple but effective grid layout with four columns and a main menu navigation bar pushed to the far right. The individual interview pages revert to the half-half design of the homepage once the reader selects a particular article.
To the left are the professionally shot images of the interviewee that transition with a very soft effect as the visitor reads through the article and scrolls down. Meanwhile, to the right, the subject’s storyline unfolds in a thin, black font against a hefty amount of white background.