Magazines began to enjoy a boom in the mid-1920s, and even today, newsstands and kiosks would be inconceivable without them. Published every week, every two weeks or every month in book form with between 100 and 200 stapled or glued pages and usually a colored cover, the "magazine" or "review" served purposes of entertainment and edification, presenting its readers a popular mixture of social and cultural articles with ample illustrations. The dominant design element of this type of periodical is the extensive use of photography, which profited from technical innovations (such as the 35mm camera) and from new forms of image collection and distribution (photo reporters, picture agencies). Moreover, progress in printing technology – such as the development of the high-performance rotary press and phototypesetting – enabled a large circulation at a small unit price, which promoted sales of magazines.

The target group of the magazine was the new, urban middle class working in office and service occupations. They acquired reading material whose format and division into short reading units seemed to make it ideal for the new lifestyle constantly on the move between trams, suburban trains and weekend amusements in the big city. The magazine reflected everyday culture of the 1920s like no other medium of the age, through the prism of routine journalistic logic and the rules of selection, which must always be kept in mind when these magazines are under consideration. Because they were so widespread, magazines could function as the embodiment of an "iconic turn" which put its stamp of the visual patterns of presentation and perception of an entire generation - a generation which enthusiastically took up this phenomenal change in media. For their wide-ranging target group, they joined silent films in marking the transition to a visual entertainment culture.