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What makes a good magazine cover? Author Nigel French examines the design of magazine covers, dissecting the cover and explaining the purpose of the different components that make up the whole design. He then covers the design process from start to finish in Adobe InDesign, going on to show alternative workflows that exclusively use Photoshop and Illustrator. Each workflow shows you how to place and scale your image, position the masthead, add cover text, and package the end result as a print-ready PDF.
Our next step in creating our magazine in Illustrator is to add the cover lines. So I am going to start out--and I must mention that since you last saw this document I've added the barcode down there. I placed that, File > Place, it's an AI, an Adobe Illustrator file, and I have put that on its own separate layer. So now what I am going to do is I am going to switch to my text file, and I am going to copy that, switch back to Illustrator, Create a new layer, which I will call cover lines, and then click to make an insertion point. I am using Point Type here and not Area Type.
Illustrator makes the distinction between the two. Point Type means that my line is going to be as long as I type it, so it could conceivably go on and on, way beyond the edge of the page, beyond the edge of the pasteboard. I am going to force the line breaks with Shift+Returns, and I'm working with very short lines anyway. So if I were working with paragraph text, Area Type would be more appropriate. But in this scenario, Point Type gives me a bit more flexibility.
I am going to cut from this block of text, that last chunk right there, which will go to make up the flash and the sticker. Hold down my Command key and click so that I am out of that text area and click somewhere on my pasteboard and paste that right there. We will come back to that in another step. Now, how do we go about this? Well, Illustrator has paragraph styles and they are about as good as the paragraph styles in Photoshop, which is another way of saying they're not very good at all, and I am not going to use them.
They don't allow you to base one paragraph style on another, so you can't construct this hierarchical relationship, which is really what would be very time saving. But what Illustrator does allow us to do that we could also have done in InDesign, which we couldn't do in Photoshop is use the Eyedropper tool to copy formats from one piece of type to another. So I am going to use that approach. It's not particularly elegant, but it will get us to where we want to go in a reasonably quick way.
So with my Type tool I am going to click in this block of text, and I may as well address it as one block for as long as I can. So all the things that it has in common I should apply now while I have all of it selected. I am going to open my Character panel by pressing Command+T or Ctrl+T, and I'll want to see the Options on that. All Caps, in the past I've been using the keyboard shortcut, Command+Shift+K, that doesn't work here.
So I am actually going to have to choose that from the menu. And I will go and apply a Color of 50% gray to that. It's Myriad Pro Regular, and I am going to apply some negative Tracking to it. From now on it's addressing the text on a line or paragraph by paragraph basis. So I am going to select that first line and increase its Size. Now, you see no matter how much bigger I make this, those two words are not going to break, because I am using Point Type.
So I am going to get the first word as big as I can and then come in there and add a Shift+Return to that to carry that down to the next line. Then I will select both, and we will tighten up the space between them using the shortcut for the Leading, which is Option+Up Arrow or Altus Arrow, just as it is in InDesign, just as it is in Photoshop. You might want to come to your Type Preferences and reduce this value to 1 to give you a little bit more flexibility so you can size in 1-point increments.
Right! Next, I am going to come and choose the Eyedropper tool and pick up the Color from the color that's in masthead, and we want this to be Bold. And then let's just nudge that down a fraction. Now, what I am going to do is select this, the next example that should get similar formats, not exactly the same, but I'll select that, use my Eyedropper tool, and I can click in there.
Now, if this were InDesign, what I could do with this format, on my Eyedropper I could go and paint it onto the other pieces of type. That unfortunately won't work here, so I need to deselect that piece of type, go back to my Type tool, and then select the next piece, Eyedropper tool, and then just repeat that. Now, I am not going to go any further than that, because when we get here, this actually needs to get smaller.
So I am going to now chunk the type into different segments, selecting all of that portion, cutting that, and then we will scroll down a bit. And making sure that I am making a new piece of Point Type, and that it's not going to be joined to the bit that I just cut it from, I'll hold down the Command or Ctrl key and click, and then click again with my Type tool to make an insertion point and paste, Command+V or Ctrl+V.
So now I'll add some line breaks. This needs to get smaller and the Leading needs to get tighter. Okay, that's probably different to how I've done it before, but I quite like it, so I am going to live with that as it is. Now, I am going to select the next piece, get my Eyedropper tool, sample the formats from there.
And I can then select these last two lines and sample the formats once again. Now, a little bit more chopping up of the text, I'll select all of this, and cut that, hold down my Command key, click, release, click with my Type tool to make a new insertion point, and paste. And then I will repeat that process. So I have now chopped that into separate segments. Let's just move that one over there, out of the way for the time being. This one is going to come back right there This piece of type needs to get smaller, like so, so that the lines break, like so.
Adjust the Size of that. And then I will select this piece. Copy the formats from there. I am going to cut that Plus symbol out of there, that is itself going to be a whole separate bit of type. Okay.
I am adding Shift+Returns to carry the type down to the next line, move that into position, apply a Color of 50% gray. That Plus can maybe get a little bit bigger. That's how I like it. Now over here with this last cover line, insert my line breaks.
And I am going to turn on my Rulers, which are not currently turned on, Command+R or Ctrl+R, drag down a Ruler. In this case, I am going to go to the top of caps over there, and I am going to make sure that that is starting at the same point. Nudge it over a bit, and there are our cover lines. Now, they need some refinement, especially this one, actually. That needs to get bigger.
And I think a little bit more Leading on that one. Hard to know when to stop, but I am going to stop there. So in this case, what I've done is use the Eyedropper tool, and I've done that partly because I don't particularly care for the paragraph styles in Illustrator, and partly just for variety, because it would be a bit too similar perhaps, because we've already seen how to approach this using a paragraph style solution.
So I wanted you to see a different way of doing it. I think this way is perhaps a little more off the cuff, a little bit more flexible, but ultimately the problem that you might run into here is introducing lots of small inconsistencies which you can't oversee with a more global paragraph style approach. So just watch out for that potential drawback of formatting your text in this way.
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