November 23, 2013


Every industry has its own vocabulary. It can be fun for even the most casual observer to know a few of the terms used by professionals, so here is a basic list of magazine industry terms.


Tabloid Not to be confused with the style of journalism associated with this format, the word ‘tabloid’ refers to a newspaper-sized format with one vertical fold. Variety and Billboard are tabloids. Sports Collector’s Digest is also a tabloid and not a digest, as its name would suggest.

Broadsheet Newspaper-sized format with two folds, one vertical, one horizontal. Can be up to twice as large as a tabloid. The Chicago Tribune is a broadsheet.

Digest Small magazine format, roughly 6”- 8” tall and 4”- 6” wide. Baseball Digest and TV Guide are digests.

Oversized Larger than the standard 8” x 10½”. W and Ocean Drive currently have oversized formats.

Journal Slightly larger than most digests, and always perfect-bound. Granta, The Baffler, and the Journal of Democracy are examples of this format.

Perfect-bound Bound with glue, a perfect-bound magazine has a flat binding panel like a book, on which may be displayed title and issue information. GQ and Cigar Aficionado are currently perfect-bound.

Saddle-stitched Bound with one or more staples, saddle-stitched magazines have the advantage of being able to lay open by themselves without breaking the binding. Newsweek and People are saddle-stitched.


Weekly Comes out once a week Time, People and the Weekly World News are weeklies.

Monthly Comes out once a month. Vanity Fair and O the Oprah Magazine are monthlies.

Bi-Monthly Comes out once every two months. Utne Reader and Modern Bride are bi-monthlies.

Bi-Weekly Comes out once every two weeks. Rolling Stone is a bi-weekly.

Fortnightly Same as bi-weekly.

Semi-Monthly Comes out twice a month, 24 times a year. It’s different from bi-weekly which comes out 26 times a year. In These Times is semi-monthly.

Quarterly Comes out four times a year. American Bungalow and Cinefex are published quarterly.

Annual Comes out once a year. Old Farmers’ Almanac is an annual.

One-Shot Comes out once. Different from annual because an annual comes out every year.

Irregular Has no set production schedule. Different from a one-shot because it will come out again, the publishers just aren’t saying when.