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Designing a Magazine Cover
Illustration by John Hersey

Combining the image and the masthead in Photoshop


From:

Designing a Magazine Cover

with Nigel French

Video: Combining the image and the masthead in Photoshop

Our next task is to combine the image and masthead. You'll remember that we did this in InDesign, but we had some problems because there are some trapped areas of negative space inside the curls of the hair, and we couldn't really mask those out using the Pen tool in InDesign. But we are able to do that in Photoshop using a layer mask. And you can see that I have two layers here that together achieve this effect. So let's re-create it. I am going to turn those two off and then come to my bottom layer, switch to my Rectangular Marquee tool by pressing the M key, make a selection of that portion of the head, and then press Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy that to a new layer.
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  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      36s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
    3. Looking at the history of magazine covers
      46s
  2. 8m 27s
    1. Understanding what makes a good magazine cover
      1m 47s
    2. Deciding between photography and illustration
      1m 6s
    3. Understanding the parts of a magazine cover
      5m 34s
  3. 21m 7s
    1. Choosing a cover image
      3m 0s
    2. Understanding the technical requirements
      4m 32s
    3. Cropping the cover image
      2m 0s
    4. Working with color and tonal adjustments
      3m 50s
    5. Retouching the cover image
      7m 45s
  4. 48m 8s
    1. Setting up the cover document
      3m 17s
    2. Placing and positioning the masthead
      4m 5s
    3. Positioning, scaling, and cropping the cover image
      3m 57s
    4. Combining the cover image and the masthead
      4m 28s
    5. Creating a color palette
      8m 47s
    6. Adding cover lines
      4m 28s
    7. Using paragraph styles with cover lines
      5m 32s
    8. Refining cover lines
      4m 54s
    9. Including additional elements
      8m 40s
  5. 15m 30s
    1. Creating a preflight profile
      3m 52s
    2. Making a print-ready PDF
      9m 24s
    3. Packaging and archiving the project
      2m 14s
  6. 34m 16s
    1. Setting up the Photoshop document
      6m 19s
    2. Placing and scaling the cover image in Photoshop
      3m 11s
    3. Combining the image and the masthead in Photoshop
      5m 49s
    4. Working with text in Photoshop
      9m 33s
    5. Creating a peeling sticker in Photoshop
      6m 16s
    6. Preparing for print in Photoshop
      3m 8s
  7. 35m 7s
    1. Setting up the Illustrator document
      4m 35s
    2. Placing, scaling, and cropping the cover image in Illustrator
      3m 30s
    3. Combining the cover image and the masthead in Illustrator
      3m 5s
    4. Adding more cover lines in Illustrator
      9m 41s
    5. Adding cover items in Illustrator
      9m 32s
    6. Preparing for print in Illustrator
      4m 44s
  8. 1m 11s
    1. Goodbye and next steps
      1m 11s

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Designing a Magazine Cover
2h 45m Intermediate Oct 08, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • The history of magazine covers
  • Choosing a cover image
  • Making color and tonal adjustments to the image
  • Placing and positioning the masthead
  • Positioning, scaling, and cropping the cover image
  • Creating a color palette
  • Adding cover text
  • Creating a peeling sticker effect
  • Preparing for print
Subjects:
Design Page Layout Projects Design Skills
Software:
Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Nigel French

Combining the image and the masthead in Photoshop

Our next task is to combine the image and masthead. You'll remember that we did this in InDesign, but we had some problems because there are some trapped areas of negative space inside the curls of the hair, and we couldn't really mask those out using the Pen tool in InDesign. But we are able to do that in Photoshop using a layer mask. And you can see that I have two layers here that together achieve this effect. So let's re-create it. I am going to turn those two off and then come to my bottom layer, switch to my Rectangular Marquee tool by pressing the M key, make a selection of that portion of the head, and then press Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy that to a new layer.

That then needs to go above the masthead layer, and we now need to try and drop out the white space around the hair. I am going to turn off the other two layers so we are looking just at this portion in isolation, and then I am going to come to the Select menu and to Color Range, select the white background. I have Invert checked. I have the Fuzziness way up. You can see that if turn the fuzziness down we get that sort of effect, but as I move it up, it becomes a finer selection.

So I am going to go with about 140 for the Fuzziness. And now we can turn the two layers on again. And I'm going to use that selection as a layer mask on layer 2, and it's going look like that. So now I am going to come and paint back in these areas. I am going to do that on the layer mask, and it needs to be in my Brush tool with white as my foreground color, Normal as my mode, and 100% Opacity.

Now I will say that if you are doing this, try and avoid too much of an overlap. The way you position the model in the first place is either going to make your life very hard-- you might want to try to achieve this--or relatively easy. So I would personally opt for the Easy option. And we do have one secret weapon up our sleeve, and that is that although we are currently looking at the masthead in magenta--which is very contrasting against the hair color-- I am actually going to change it to a gold color which will blend with the color of the hair much more sympathetically.

But for the moment, I just want to see where the problems lie. So I am painting these areas back in. This area here is going to be very problematic, and that's because as soon as I try them paint back in, the hair, we also reintroduce the white of the background. So what I am going to do for that portion is I'm going to put that on a whole separate layer, I am going to duplicate layer 2, and on layer 2 I am now going to fill the mask with black.

Black is currently my background color, so I will press Command or Ctrl and the Backspace or Delete key. And now painting in white, I am just going to paint over that area, aware of the fact that I am bringing back some of that white surround that we don't want. And then here I'm going to adjust the mask edge. I double-clicked on the layer mask and then clicked on the Mask Edge button, and I am now going to adjust these settings.

I want to shift the edge towards the left, and you can see that should be contracting that white space around the hair. Very modest amount of Feathering, maybe increase the Radius to 1, and then I am going to use this tool, the Refine Radius tool, just paint over that edge, maybe with a smaller brush than that. Now if you went too far, as I just did, hold down the Alt key and paint over it to restore it, and then I am going to go painting over again.

All right, that could be better, but I'm going to live with that as it is, and I'm just going to output this to the layer mask rather than create a whole new layer. So then I'm going to blend these two layers together, Command+E or Ctrl+E, and those two layers will become one. Now I will choose my Eyedropper tool, come and sample the color that we want to use for the masthead, and let's go with that.

Then I'll come to the masthead, Option or Alt and the Backspace or Delete key, and there we have our finished result, a relatively subtle masking of the model's hair against the type of masthead, so right here, here, and here.

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