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So I need to do a half-page magazine ad. I was going to make some different concepts using both Photoshop and Illustrator (I don't have much experience with InDesign so you folks that do it for a living please go easy on the judgement).

My question is, what's the generally safe dimension guidelines you would follow for a half page magazine ad? I know the generalities like CMYK at 150+ dpi (EDIT: There's a reason I put 150+, I know 300 is the general for higher printing, I was thinking just cmyk print media in general, hence the "+") but what about just size in general? Is it generally in inches or pixels, and what would those dimensions be?

I've looked around and found various "standard" templates but many of them have conflicting dimensions. The magazine the ad is for didn't even seem to specify any basic requirements which leads me to believe they just take the flattened image and skew/resize it to fit. Which in my mind fires off red flags they could butcher the image quality for the sake to "just get it on the page" as their rep told me.

So can anyone offer the basic guidelines for dimensions, bleed, etc?

Thanks!

  • If you found that any of the answers below answered your question, please tick the "accepted"-marker next to that. Good for you, and good for the community. – benteh Oct 4 '15 at 13:43
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You need to talk to whomever sold the Ad Space to you from the Magazine and get THEIR dimensions not some random guess from us. You could also visit the Magazine's website and look for the dimensions there - some publish them online, some don't. It would typically be called a Media Kit or Media Planner.

Take for example Popular Science, a quick Google Search for "Popular Science Media Kit" takes me right to this page:

popsci.com/advertising

Where I can find the editorial calendar as well as specs.

I'll also add that 150ppi is not correct, you should be aiming for 300ppi for a crisp magazine ad. Again that will probably be included in the publisher's media kit.

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Half page? I'm wondering what are the dimensions of the full page!

Just send a file with a small bleed on each side (3mm) with a well defined cut marks.

I know the generalities like CMYK at 150+ dpi

No, you have this wrong. Use 300 ppi.

I've looked around and found various "standard" templates but many of them have conflicting dimensions.

Ok I am worried here. There are no standard templates on the planet for a magazine. That is a specific case of the magazine you are advertising on.

Never ever a dimension on a phisical magazine will be defined in pixels. Ask for the final Inches or cm dimensions.

The magazine the ad is for didn't even seem to specify any basic requirements which leads me to believe they just take the flattened image and skew/resize it to fit.

No serius magazine will do that. If it is a very local pamphlet yes they probably do.

  • Yep, edited for that specific reason, it was a generality on the dpi at cmyk in printing, hence the ` + ` after 150 thanks! – Chris W. Oct 2 '15 at 20:05
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Where can I get the specifications for my half-page magazine ad?

From the magazine you are submitting your ad to.

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