How to design professional magazine covers

Jani / Design school / January 15th, 2015

cover_how_to_design_profesional

A beautiful magazine cover can help you sell it. The designer should have an extensive knowledge of aesthetics, typography, placement and also the psychological profile of the readers. Not everybody can design a successful magazine cover.

Here are our tips for beautiful magazine covers:

Placement

First of all, you should use the same general template for all your covers. The general layout and your name should make the magazine instantly recognizable.hello magazine - cover

In the same time, each issue should look different enough from the previous one to make sure the readers know it is a new issue. For the same purpose you should add the date and the price on the cover.

Work with a grid. It will help you organize and align all the elements of your design to make it look neat and professional.

Decide on a focus point and build everything else around it. Fashion magazines usually feature models as the cover focus point, but you can use a different photo of an object or a headline. In the first image from this post (BHG) the chair is the focal point.

Fonts & typography

Most magazine covers feature the headlines of the most important stories on the cover. To be able to attract the reader’s eye to them, emphasize them using bolds, italics, sizes and colors.

Texts

There are some words that usually appear in headlines, because they attract readers: “New”, “Free”, “Gifts” and “Exclusive”. We recommend using them simply because they proved they work.

There are usually between 4-10 words in cover headlines.

Color & contrast

It doesn’t matter that much which color you choose to the dominant color. Green is the least used color on cover pages, while red is the most used. The most important thing when we talk about the use of color in cover pages is that you use contrast to make certain elements pop out (title, model, headline)

You can also think about coordinating colors for a chic look (copy a color from the photo and use it on different elements from your cover page).

color coordinated design

Photos

If there’s a person’s portrait is featured on the cover, he/she should be looking at the camera. The eye-contact will draw the attention of the readers.

It’s also recommended that the model on the cover is on transparent or solid color background. It will be really hard to make the headlines stand out if they are placed on top of a patterned or mixed-color background.

Illustrations

Generally speaking, photos perform better than illustrations for the cover page. For a fun look you can mix the two, or add some drawings on photos.

Check us out on Pinterest to see more magazine covers!

About Jani

Janina is passionate about PR, digital publishing and online marketing. She loves the seaside, crafts, books, adventures and summer nights.

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