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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.
From the 1920s and 1930s with technological advances in printing and cameras, magazine covers have predominantly featured photography. Life, Harper's Bazaar, and Vogue, among others, featured cover images from some of the world's most famous photographers. There are, of course, notable exceptions, and there are compelling reasons why certain magazines might favor illustration over photography. Illustration makes it easier to present an infographic or to illustrate a concept.
Cost may also be a factor. Arranging a photo shoot or buying the rights to a stock image of a major celebrity may be cost prohibitive. For this reason the covers of film and culture magazine Little White Lies feature illustration, and this has become the magazine's signature style. Famously, the New Yorker has throughout its long history always used illustrated covers, giving each issue a timeless quality .
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