How to Design a Magazine Cover? Tips to Know

Designing a memorable magazine cover is easier said than done. The cover is the most important page of any magazine, and most of them spend a lot of time finding the perfect design before they are released. 

Designers can approach this problem from many different angles, but the actual approach depends on the title and its location. However, since we can’t cover every approach, we’re going to concentrate on details that make the difference between a successful magazine cover and those we’d rather forget.

The magazine market is oversaturated and highly competitive, so it’s really important that your magazine cover stands out and engages the audience. Here are a few tips on how to come up with a Creative Magazine Layout Design.

1. Create a Strong Focal Point

Naturally, the first thing a good cover is recognized by is an eye-catching focal point that can draw people’s attention immediately. It must have the power to attract the browser to the point that they have to pick the magazine up to see what it’s about. 

If you come up with such a design, you got more than half of the work done. Focal points can be many different things. That includes powerful headlines, captivating portraits, or large numbers.

For example, if you’re planning on using a model for your magazine cover, make sure that the image you use has strong eye contact. That way, the moment someone looks at the cover, they will want to know more about what the magazine is about as they will feel like the magazine is staring at them. 

Keep the eyes in the top-third part of the page for the best exposure.

2. Using the Right Colors

The use of colors also plays a major role. Every designer knows not to use green on magazine covers, but there are other colors that have the power to capture viewers from a distance. Of course, red is the most popular color because it’s able to grab attention the fastest. 

The bottom line is that the selection of the colors you use is as important as the photo in the background. The color you pick will affect the entire look of the magazine, as well as the feelings it provokes. 

Both red and yellow are good colors you can use to make your cover stand out, but they can often look too salesy and aggressive if overused. Although many designers avoid using black covers because they think that they don’t sell enough, using black as a cover gives you the most options for typography.

With the right fonts and foil-blocked typography, you can create beautiful designs every time. You can use green colors as well, but don’t overdo it because the colors can look too murky and blurry. 

3. Be Consistent with Your Style But Don’t Be Boring

Magazine covers with a serialized form have similar cover designs month after month. As a designer, you should try to create recognizable covers with a similar approach, but with that said, they still have to be unique enough to look differently. 

Think of magazines like Vogue. Every issue looks recognizable, and the cover design is very similar, but it’s still not the same. That’s a good example of staying true to the same style. 

Instead of changing the entire design, you can try experimenting with static elements. That includes changing the position of the logo and masthead, using a unified color scheme with consistent colors and similar typography. You can achieve the same by using similar photos for every issue. 

In other words, you should take the same approach, but experiment with all elements that make your style recognizable. 

You can also add something completely different from time to time, to emphasize a special issue or event. Rules are meant to be broken but don’t overdo it. If you’re not sure how to do that, you can always hire Professional Magazine Layout Services and get more ideas from them.

4. Shelf Placement and Typographic Hierarchy

The typographic hierarchy is another very important element for any magazine cover design. Both the size of the letters and their placement play a major role here. 

Choosing the right font and placing them over the cover is not enough. You must figure out where to place each headline, with the focus on the main title. The idea is to picture the cover as it would look on a newsstand and organize the typography to attract people from far away.

The main headline should be the biggest and be placed somewhere where it can stand out clearly. You should then use big numbers and symbols like plusses and circles because they attract eyes the easiest. Follow that by other, smaller headlines, and elements like lists, lines, and other things that say more about what’s inside the magazine.

The placement of cover lines should be directly tied to the way the magazine looks like on the shelves. Most magazines stand in either waterfall fashion, so that people can see the top of the cover or overlapping so that only the left size stays visible. 

That’s why most magazines have their logo displayed in the top left corner. That way, passers-by can see their names clearly, no matter how the magazines are displayed. The brand is always fully visible, and the top-right corner is the perfect place for the cover line. 

5. Break the Rules and Make Something Unique

All the rules above are just general guidelines of what well-designed magazines look like. However, they are just some general practices that could use a new approach. While most magazines stick by them at all times, they sometimes release special event covers that break those rules completely. 

Some types of magazines use a totally different approach. For example, movie magazines featuring new film releases on the cover rarely follow the guidelines above. Others try to ignore all the rules and come up with something completely unique. 

A crazy solution can sometimes be much more effective than a standard magazine cover, so don’t be afraid to let your creativity run wild. Devise your own style and design all of the following issues with the same approach. That’s the best way to make your magazine covers recognizable.

Creativity Is the Key

We have passed through all of the major rules of creating a memorable magazine cover, but everything depends on your creativity in the end. You can stick by the general rules and come up with a nice cover, but you can also ignore them completely and still design something special and eye-catching. 

It’s a trial and error process, and you’ll need time before you can be sure about your magazine cover design skills. Don’t give up, and you’ll get there. 

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