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Magazine definition

Magazine (© Pinkomelet /

Magazine (© Pinkomelet /

A magazine is a periodical publication that usually incorporates text and images, often in a glossy format, on a particular subject matter. Some examples include trade magazines, celebrity gossip magazines and more. A magazine is a periodical publication that has been around for several hundred years. Magazines have a variety of formats and subject matters, but the most common type of magazine is the glossy format that you would find in your local drugstore. Magazines have images and articles as well as regular features, often using covers with prominent headlines to attract potential buyers.

History of Magazines

The first magazine known was launched in the mid-1600s in Germany. Various other countries followed with their own magazines including the Illustrated London News, which began in 1842 and was the first illustrated magazine ever created. Magazines have grown to be a huge percentage of the publications distributed around the world.

Types of Magazines

There are lots of different types of magazines. One of the most common types of magazines out there is the special interest magazine. These cater to specific hobbies or topics. Sometimes, these are called trade magazines, although that term can also mean a different sort of publication. These types of magazines may be about riding motorcycles, building computers, horseback riding or even something as unexpected as pipe tobacco and pipes.

The trade publication can be differentiated slightly. Trade publications are usually targeted towards people who are in a specific industry – that is they work in the industry rather than doing it as a hobby. Types of publications include the pharmaceutical industry, magazines for professional chefs, magazines for the plumbing or heating industry, construction and much more.

OpenPr-Tip:There are also a variety of magazines targeted at specific interest groups that have nothing to do with hobbies or trades. For example, there are more than a few celebrity gossip magazines out there. You can see them in the grocery store aisle.

There magazines that are targeted towards men and towards women, there are magazines for children, there are magazines about adult topics such as Playboy and there are even humor and news magazines.

List of the Best Known Magazines

Here are some of the best known magazines in the United States.

  • Better Homes And Gardens
  • Game Informer
  • AAA Living
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Family Circle
  • People
  • Woman's Day
  • National Geographic
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Time
  • Reader's Digest
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Glamour
  • Parents
  • Redbook
  • ESPN The Magazine
  • American Rifleman
  • FamilyFun
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • American Baby
  • The American Legion Magazine
  • Us Weekly
  • Men's Health
  • Smithsonian
  • Cooking Light
  • Every Day with Rachael Ray
  • Golf Digest
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Women's Health
  • Rolling Stone
  • Golf Magazine
  • Country Living
  • Health
  • HGTV Magazine
  • Allrecipes
  • Ebony
  • Sunset
  • Vanity Fair
  • Vogue
  • Car and Driver
  • VFW Magazine
  • Popular Science
  • Essence
  • The New Yorker
  • Field & Stream
  • Teen Vogue
  • Marie Claire
  • Boys' Life
  • This Old House
  • Midwest Living
  • Travel + Leisure
  • GQ
  • Maxim
  • Forbes
  • Veterans Today Magazine
  • Woman's World
  • Reminisce

Magazine Circulation Types

There are three types of magazine circulation commonly used today. The first is the pay circulation model which is by far the most common method of monetizing a magazine. People either pay a monthly or yearly subscription to receive the magazine at their home or office, or they must purchase the magazine for the cover price off of the shelves at department stores, newsstands or other retail locations. You have probably seen or even purchased these types of magazines at the grocery store.

There are also a number of free circulation magazines that are out there. Many of these are religious magazines that are paid for by a specific religious organization. Another common type of free magazine is the magazine put out on the sidewalk in free dispensers usually supported by advertising. Finally, there are controlled circulation magazines which only go out to specific people. This is very common in trade publications.

Online Magazines

Print magazines are not the only types of magazines out there. There are more and more online magazines being published these days because they do not have the printing and distribution expense of conventional magazines.


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