Yeh, I know what you mean. I just understand the subject matter, the content doesn’t really matter to me. You can get a gist of the content by a typical glance through headers for design ideas.
A layout for an Electrical Supply companys annual report, compared to something for a music magazine.
You bring in different design elements based on context of the subject, but typically there’s no need to read or understand what it’s about.
And there’s generally an overall design system/grid that is stuck to.
I’m just saying - you don’t need to know that Neanderthals bared their teeth for smiling for agression or for fun - it plays no part in the layout.
Yes, you might get a request to change an image - but that doesn’t affect the layout.
I’ve done plenty of designs were there were no clues give to an image required, and even if I did read some of the text to understand the context, particularly in an area that was do with fleas/mites/ etc for a Vetinary product, I wouldn’t know if that stock image I picked based on a picture of Mite is exactly what they are talking about.
Which has happened, and picking an image you think is right for a layout may be completely against the context of the design on a technical level.
Generally, once you know the target audience, the context of the piece and the style that they want you can go a long way to getting initial spreads on the table very close to what they are after.