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Creating an Eye-Catching Magazine Cover

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					Creating an Eye-catching Magazine Cover
One of the hardest parts about designing a magazine is getting the right picture and making the other
elements compliment that image. Layout designers find themselves asking the questions, is the image
good enough, is all the text in the right place, and would they pick it up at a store?

If it’s a question of beauty alone, then there’s not much you can do to answer those questions. What’s
beautiful to you may not be beautiful to other people.

You can’t just create a cover that’s beautiful. You also have to create one that is useful.

Tips for a Useful Cover Design
Here are a few things to think about that will help guide you to making a useful cover design. First and
foremost, knowing what you know about what’s inside, ask yourself, what’s in it for them?

Why in the world do they want to pick up your magazine? If it’s just for art, then it’s easily passed up by
a busy shopper.

If it’s for an exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling about the career paths that Harry, Hermione and Ron
pursue later in life, then it will be hard to pass up, if you put that on your cover. Determine what your
top 3 or 4 most interesting aspects of the magazine are and determine to put them on the cover.

Out of those 3 or 4, determine which one is the most compelling reason and make that the cover. If it’s
                                                             an interview with someone, then put their
                                                             picture on the cover.

                                                                 If it’s a how to run barefoot without
                                                                 getting hurt then put a picture of bare
                                                                 feet running on concrete. Of course
                                                                 choose an attractive picture because
                                                                 some feet should never make it to film.

                                                                 Once you have an image that fits the most
                                                                 compelling reason, figure out a
                                                                 compelling tag line to accompany it. Use
                                                                 descriptive words that spark curiosity.

For the Harry Potter example, you could simply put “Is Harry an Auror Now?” followed by the tagline,
“an exclusive interview where Rowling reveals all.” Use action phrases to tell your reader to expect a
powerful story.

Balance that phrase with a benefit spelled out for the reader. This is the most important text that will
sell your product or not.

Tweak it until it is absolutely perfect. The shorter the copy, the better.
Get to the point in as few words as possible. Make the words you do use descriptive.

Use a thesaurus for ideas. Do the same for the other 2 or 3 hooks as well.


Choosing the Right Picture
Once all the text is figured out, you can start placing it with the picture. Your goal with the layout is to
make the cover tell a compelling story.

The image needs to bring them in, and then direct them to your tag line. Faces are very attractive to the
unconscious mind.

If you can focus on a face and have your text next to it, you will likely accomplish your goals. Check out
how other magazines do it.

Look up famous “people” magazines (not necessarily the magazine “People,” just magazines that feature
people all the time). Take some ideas you like and try them out with your images.

Make sure you’re following the standard design principles and you will be just fine. The only thing more
compelling than a beautiful cover is one that tells a compelling story.

Remember that as you design your covers from now on. Stevens Henager is in the business of creating
educated experts out of inexperienced dreamers.

They offer a layout design degree to anyone that wants to learn more. If you found this post helpful,
then see how Stevens Henager can get you a layout design degree to begin your career in layout.

				
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