Design a Magazine Cover - Photoshop Guide

Hot Off the Presses!

Well, most likely a figurative term unless your going to actually use your magazine cover in real life of course! Not-so-long ago magazines, logos, and everything we see for letterheads and mailers and everything paper related was produced and designed by hand by a graphic designer sitting in a room with a box containing various tools. Nowadays, you can simply create the same end results using a photo editor program like Photoshop and get the same cutting edge appeal as someone who would have to work 10 times as hard to produce the same cover. Now just so my old teachers aren't cursing at me from where ever they currently are, Photoshop isn't the correct program to make a Magazine cover in - Indesign is. Of course, Photoshop can accomplish the same exact goal for the less savvy users or those who do not have access to anything other then PS. Anyway, regardless if your making a fake magazine cover for laughs or really making your own magazine or e-magazine and need a cover then this is a step by step guide to this relatively simple process of branding your magazine.

©Sony, ©Time, ©Bow and Arrow
©Sony, ©Time, ©Bow and Arrow | Source

What Kind of Magazine Cover is it?

There are many different styles and layouts one can do. Is it to mimic an actual magazine out there? Is it your own original styling? Do you want to make it a spoof of a real magazine like Time? All of these will be determining factors of some elements of the cover and all will be important when it comes to creating the core of your cover. If its to copy an existing magazine you will need to find the fonts, do the same boarders, place the barcodes and everything else your magazine might have where its suppose to be! It will also determine how big you need to make the cover, PlayStation Magazine is alot bigger then Windows Magazine in dimensions. So knowing what your going with is vital to creating your cover.

Step by Step Magazine Directions

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1. Create a New Document with the measurements of your magazine cover, I will be using 7"x10". If it is intended to ever be printed by a print shop or on your own printer make sure there is a bleed of 1/8th an inch on all sides of the document so if clipping occurs it will not interfere with the main part of the Magazine. This means the measurements with the bleed will be 7-1/4" wide and 10-1/4" tall. Since it is being printed the resolution of the document has to be 300 dpi - industry standard.

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2. Create a New Layer and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the Area inside of the bleed. Once selected go to "Select ->Inverse" or press Shift+Ctrl+I to select the actually bleed area. Using the paint bucket fill the bleed with red. Lower the opacity of this layer to 30% and lock the layer.

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3. Create a New Layer and paste in your Render or Picture you wish to use for the cover. Name this layer "Main Image" and make sure the important parts of the image are within the bleed.

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4. Add your Headlines and Subheads where you want them in the font you want them to be in. Use a site such as dafont.com to find special fonts that are free to use, or you can purchase your font if your selling your magazine commercially at may font sites.

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5. Create as many layers as you need to make sure your magazine cover is a believable copy by including everything that the magazine normally has such as bar codes, miniature pictures, and side shapes for text. (PlayStation Magazine Reference)

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Make Your Own a Magazine Cover

Making your own magazine cover is fun and easy!
Making your own magazine cover is fun and easy! | Source

Congratz on your New #Magazine Cover!

You Can see the Completed cover to the right, click on it to enlarge the image and see it in full size! There are many ways to create a great cover for what your doing and it does take some real time and effort to create but the results will surprise you. Just keep trying and im sure you will have exactly what you want in the end! Remember simple themed covers are much more appealing then too busy pages most of the time. Less is more and it stands true for magizines as well. Its really simple to create nice things and there are tons of tutorials out there that will help you with image specific edits for your renders or backgrounds. Thanks for reading, please share this if you liked it - it really helps me out!

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epus 3 years ago from Philippines

I am fond of making layouts for banner and tarpaulin. Thanks for giving more ideas to make.

I am planning my magazine cover soon.

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