Cosmo Online

Golombisky, K. & Hagen, R. White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web & Multimedia Design(2 edition). New York: Focal Press.


Multimedia; Pull Quotes; Captions; Plug-ins; Layout; Page Design


“A good print designer knows what she’ll get back when she sends her files to the printer. Not so for the Web designer” (Golombisky, p.219).

“When it comes to communication, visuals are just as important as type” (Golombisky, p.136).

Rhetorical Analysis

In chapter 13 of White Space is Not Your Enemy, there is a section that talks about the differentiation between designing for the web versus designing for print. Cosmopolitan is a well-known magazine that is sold almost everywhere. It is bright, colorful and flashy with both images and typography. What I wondered was if this same theme for their print design transferred over to their website design. It does, just some things are a little different.

When I look over the homepage of this website, I see a lot of similarity between the style of their magazine pages and this homepage design. Cosmo uses the same colors and text styles that the print magazine implements. As well, the front page is attempting to grab the readers attention with the main articles it wants to highlight just like the front page of the print magazine. The difference here however, is that these articles are able to have images accompany them instead of the magazine relying simply on headers and captions to grab that readers attention. This is a common theme I found with their online magazine as the website allows them to rely less on text such as headers and captions and more on images.

When I look at print magazine articles, they have heavy amounts of text and rely on using things such as pull quotes and images with captions to keep the reader interested. What I found different for these online articles is that they don’t need to rely so heavily on such things. Instead, the website allows for multimedia elements that print cannot provide. An example of this is an article about a high school student asking Emma Stone to prom. Instead of just having an article written about what he did and her response, the website includes the actual clip he created for readers to watch alongside the written article. As well, it had plug-ins of tweets and news articles about the clip this kid created. The reader is able to get so much more from this article through the website than through a magazine article.

Overall, I think that Cosmopolitan does a great job of structuring their content to work for this online format. I have seen print media try and add their content to a website and it looks a lot like they are just plugging in the content instead of thinking about their stories in terms of website design. Golombisky highlights major differences between working with print and working with web and keeping those differences in mind has allowed Cosmo to create a website that works for its content. While print allows the designer to completely control the layout, websites have shrinking and expanding canvases and a nonlinear design. Cosmo embraces those elements by having a responsive layout that changes from one device to the next, provides its readers tabs to choose different topics of interest to them so they read what they want for each subject and a search engine to find something of interest that is even more precise.


At the beginning of chapter 13, it states how quickly trends in design for the web quickly change. Then I think about how print media is being affected by this as people want to keep up with trends online and read print less and less. Do you think that print media’s efforts to keep their content online is helping them stay relevant? Do you ever think such print media would permanently move their content to strictly online? I know Time Magazine has done that, do you think that has helped or hindered them? I know I said that Cosmopolitan does a good job of structuring their content for an online format, but not all print media do so. I was originally thinking about critiquing the Chicago Sun Times website and their attempts to transfer their content online. As a different example to Cosmo, do you think they are adjusting their content well for their website?