The Scout Guide Aesthetic


Photography is the bread and butter of The Scout Guide. Unlike most publications, we focus on telling the advertiser’s story through imagery. Because of the importance of photography, a photography session is built into your investment. Your editor will work with you to schedule a time to meet with our TSG approved photographer to take unique and personalized images of you. Don’t hesitate to go outside of your comfort zone and try something different. Include your family, your dog, showcase a fun hobby - just be you! And don’t forget to have a fun time!

Because photography is our cornerstone, and the photo shoot is built into the advertising fee, we do not recommend advertisers provide their own imagery. Let us take the pressure off of you! If you do choose to provide your own photography (for example, if you have interior design or landscape space portfolio pieces, or elements/places that we cannot take photographs of ourselves), please refer to the following guidelines to ensure the images provided are in the correct format and quality*:

  • Photographs are taken on a professional DSLR camera
  • Images are not stock photography
  • Contrast, color, tone, and brightness are consistent across all images and reflect the imagery taken by our TSG photographer
  • Images are at least 7.25x10.25” (one-page spread) and 14.25x10.25” (two-page spread) at 300PPI or higher resolution
  • Photos must use natural lighting (not harsh overhead lights, lamps, or midday sun if photo is taken outside)
  • A photography release form has been signed and provided by the original photographer(s)
  • Imagery is approved by TSG Headquarters to use to ensure they adhere to our quality
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*Note: TSG Headquarters requires the right to design and edit all imagery to ensure the guide is cohesive in aesthetic.

Fonts & Typography

Readers love and appreciate the simplicity of our ads and designs. Our goal is to let the images breath and speak for themselves, which is why we recommend limiting copy on spreads to the most pertinent. We believe each spread should show only a hint of the advertisers business to make readers want more. For copy that is included, we only use TSG approved typography and fonts. We do this to promote consistency across all markets and decrease the variability throughout the guide. We also recommend text be no larger than 14 point unless you are envisioning an editorial style design.

When creating spreads, our in-house designers review the advertisers branding to choose fonts that will compliment them the most. If your business requires a specific font, please let your editor know and include this information in the Creative Meeting Form so that our in-house designer is aware. We will aim to use a font that is as similar to it as possible that is on our approved list.

Brand Colors

All businesses have brand colors. The Scout Guide’s are black, white, gold, and red. We aim to incorporate these colors in all of our marketing materials to ensure brand awareness. If you have specific brand colors that must be incorporated, please let your editor know and include this information in the Creative Meeting Form so that our in-house designer is aware. If no instructions are given, we typically use black, white, or a complimentary color to the photo in the spread. Our goal is to make all text and graphics secondary to the image.



Logos are important in identifying a business. They also tell part of the advertisers story and what a client can expect when they visit their business. When designing, our in-house designer aims to place the logo (and copy) in areas that have white space (areas on the image that have the least amount of details/objects) so the logo is easy to read and does not compete or conflict with any elements behind it. If there is no white space on an image, we may recommend a border or a graphical element to create the space.

If your business has any of the specific logo requirements below, please let your editor know and include this information on the Creative Meeting Form so that our in-house designer is aware.

  • Color
  • Size (smallest and largest)
  • Space (needed around the logo)
  • Background (if it can be on a photo or if must be on a clean, flat surface)
  • Position/Direction (if it should read horizontal and/or vertical)
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QR Codes

Today, QR codes can be spotted almost everywhere and they can be incredibly helpful and powerful if used correctly. While we do recommend limiting copy and graphics so the image can speak, if you would like to include a QR code on your spread, please let your editor know and include this information on the Creative Meeting Form so that our in-house designer is aware.

To ensure quality and consistency across all markets, please refer to our QR code guidelines below:

  • The QR code must be generic (it should not have a logo, graphic, or unique characteristic)
  • It is in .eps format
  • It is black and white (we may adjust the QR code to a complimentary color on the spread)
  • It has a white box behind it (to promote contrast to make it easier to scan)
  • It is between .8x.8” and 1”
  • It links to a unique source with supplementary information to your business (it does not replace a URL or social media handle)
  • It has a call-to-action (the language that drives a reader to use the QR code)

Outside Work

One reason that businesses are attracted to The Scout Guide and choose to advertise with us is because of the beautiful aesthetic and consistent design. We are able to provide this consistency through in-house design work and locally vetted photographers for each market. Because of the importance we have for our brand cohesiveness, the professional spread design is included in your investment.

Often times, when we are provided outside artwork, we run into the following issues:

  • Files are provided in the incorrect or incomplete format
  • Artwork is too large or too small for our spread templates
  • The branding and style do not reflect TSG
  • The text structure is not consistent with all other spreads
  • The layout hierarchy differs from our formatted styling
  • Typefaces and fonts used in layout are not approved
  • Images are too small or have low resolution for print
  • Images are noisy, pixelated or have filter applied
  • Images are completely different in tone and lighting from the rest of the guide (this is very noticeable in collages)
  • If the spread is flagged by the printer, we cannot make any adjustments to correct the error
In order to promote design consistency and maintain brand standards we do not accept any form of outside advertisement and spread. Advertisers may provide spread inspiration however there is no guarantee the final spread will reflect the design depending on spread materials provided and brand integrity.
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