Standard Magazine Sizes and Guidelines (with Drawing)

Standard Magazine Sizes and Guidelines

When was the last time you sat down to read a magazine? For many of us, it might’ve been the last time we visited the doctor or dentist’s office.

The standard magazine size is 8-3/8 × 10-7/8 inches (21 × 30 centimeters). However, there are also magazines that measure 8-1/2 × 11 inches (22 × 28 centimeters), 5-1/2 × 8-1/2 inches (14 × 22 centimeters), as well as digest-size magazines that are 5-3/8 × 8-3/8 inches (14 × 21 centimeters).

Find a drawing that illustrated the specific sizes of magazines below.

Standard Magazine Sizes

If you want to learn more about magazine sizes, keep reading. I’ll go into greater detail about different magazine sizes down below.

Magazine Sizes

Magazine Sizes

The size of the magazine will depend on the size of the paper used to print out the articles and images. This is why you may find magazines printed in North America using letter paper, which measures 8-1/2 × 11 inches (22 × 28 centimeters), while magazines printed in Europe is A4, which is 8-3/8 × 10-7/8 inches (21 × 30 centimeters).

Some of the more common magazine sizes categories and dimensions are as follows:

  • Standard NA: 8-1/2 × 11 inches (22 × 28 centimeters)
  • Standard European: 8-3/8 × 10-7/8 inches (21 × 30 centimeters)
  • Digest NA: 5-3/8 × 8-3/8 inches (14 × 21 centimeters)
  • Digest European: 5-1/2 × 8-1/2 inches (15 × 21 centimeters)
  • Square NA: 5-1/2 × 5-1/2 inches (14 × 14 centimeters) or 8-1/2 × 8-1/2 inches (22 × 22 centimeters)
  • Square European: 5-3/8 × 5-3/8 inches (14 × 14 centimeters) or 8-1/4 × 8-1/4 inches (21 × 21 centimeters)
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Irregular Magazine Sizes

Although there are standard magazine print sizes, some magazines may opt for irregular paper sizes. One common reason for not using irregular paper sizes is increased manufacturing costs. Each sheet of paper is more expensive to acquire and print on than standard letter or A4 sheets.

Examples of magazines that use irregular paper sizes include People Magazine, Nylon Magazine, and Fortune Magazine.

From a random sampling project done by Spokane Falls Community College, irregular magazine dimensions are as follows:

  • 7-7/8 × 10-7/16 inches (20 × 27 centimeters)
  • 8 × 10-1/2 inches (20 × 27 centimeters)
  • 9 × 10-13/16 inches (23 × 27 centimeters)
  • 8-7/8 × 12 inches (23 × 30 centimeters)
  • 8 × 10-7/8 inches (20 × 28 centimeters)
  • 9 × 10-3/4 inches (23 × 27 centimeters)

Magazine Thickness

The thickness of a magazine can range from being as thin as 1/8 inches (0.3 centimeters) all the way up to one inch (3 centimeters).

More specifically, the thickness of a magazine usually varies from company to company and issue to issue.

Coruna Magazine stated that a magazine should contain between 8 and 160 pages, depending on how many topics and how in-depth the issue covers.

Some magazine companies will contain pages in multiples of four or 16 with a final page count of up to 240 pages.

FAQs About Magazine

FAQs About Magazine

1. What type of paper is used to print magazines?

Magazines use what is called “magazine paper.” They are thinner than the typical sheet used to print business and school documents.

The type of paper used in magazines varies between companies. Glossy paper can make images more appealing, but it can also be quite costly to use. That’s why some companies reserve glossy sheets of paper for the front and back covers, as well as full-image pages.

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2. Are magazines becoming obsolete?

While people continue to read magazines to this day, there has been a steady decline of total magazine readers in the world starting in 2012. This may be due to some media companies opting for a “paperless” route, where all of the magazine issues are uploaded onto the internet.

Users may have to pay a subscription fee to access the online magazine’s contents, which is how magazine companies continue to generate income.

3. Are magazines recyclable?

Yes, magazines are recyclable, regardless of how much ink is used to print the magazine issue.

Ink does not play a huge role in affecting the recyclability of paper since the fibers are broken down into a colorless pulp. The pulp is rarely bleached, but instead, it is treated with oxygen to get rid of color and stains. Even though recycled magazine paper is not lower in quality, it can be sold for less than virgin paper, which makes it an attractive resource for new magazine printers.

4. How many pixels is a magazine cover?

Some companies may require an image that is 3200 × 2400 pixels for a full page and 1600 × 1200 pixels for a quarter-page image. The same magazine companies will require their photographers to use 4- or 5-megapixel cameras to shoot images due to their resolution and image quality.

In the end, the exact pixel count on a magazine will depend on the dimensions of the magazine cover and how large of an image will be posted on the front cover.

5. Why are magazines shipped in plastic?

If you subscribe to a certain magazine, it might arrive in plastic wrap in your mailbox. However, this type of plastic is a lot more environmentally friendly than traditional plastic since it can degrade in as little as 900 days. However, according to Technology Review, only about half the magazine plastic wrapping degrades in that much time.

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6. Can I print my own magazine?

Yes, you can. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of magazine printing companies waiting to receive orders from new clients. If you have an idea and want to get the word out to thousands of people across your city, state, or country, you can print and distribute a unique magazine.


The size of a magazine will depend on the magazine company and how much it wants to spend on manufacturing and distributing its products. The typical magazine size in North America will measure 8-1/2 × 11 inches (22 × 28 centimeters), while those in Europe will measure about 8-3/8 × 10-7/8 inches (21 × 30 inches).

If you found this article helpful, make sure you share it with your friends and family on social media. Also, please feel free to drop a comment and mention why on Earth you still read magazines!


Baron Cooke has been writing and editing for 7 years. He grew up with an aptitude for geometry, statistics, and dimensions. He has a BA in construction management and also has studied civil infrastructure, engineering, and measurements. He is the head writer of

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