Vocab Lesson 11: Body Copy

You may have to make a copy or two (or 300) with the copy machine in your internship, but in publishing terms, copy actually refers to the text. It is the writing. And body copy refers to a certain piece of writing. It is what truly separates editorial design from the rest ... 

Body copy is the big story, the main piece of editorial text. Usually that means it's the more lengthy piece of writing on a page, whether that's a 6-page feature story or a thin column of text talking about a trend on an FOB page.


There are numerous considerations involved in designing body copy, including typeface, point size, leading, column width, indents, justification, etc. We'll be addressing many of these points more in the coming months, but trust us, it's not as simple as making the main story Times New Roman, 10 points over 12 point leading. That might actually work in some cases, but it should be a carefully considered choice and not a default, because the body copy is the heart of the magazine's content. It contains most of the magazine's information and therefore should be easy on the reader's eye. We'll discuss how you do that soon, so stay tuned.

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Want more? Check out our previous Vocab Lessons here.

*Editor's Note: These pages come from our SPD Galleries (see the tab up top). Top to Bottom: The New York Times Magazine, SELF, and Los Angeles magazine.

"Vocab Lesson" is a recurring feature on our SPD Student Blog. Tune in every Wednesday for a new word of the week. And if you come across a term you can't quite figure out, email it to us at 
spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll define it in a future post.

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