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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.
If you've been following along and have just seen the adding cover lines movies, I have to confess I have done some housekeeping since you saw this document last. I've made some changes using Paragraph Styles to the sizes of the different styles, I have adjusted the spacing between these elements, I have done some housekeeping on the Swatches panel, removing all the unnecessary color swatches that I don't intend on using, and I've also made a tweak up here. We had a problem with some optical spacing here, where since we're using such a large font, if we place the edge of the text frame on the margin, then it looks like we have got extra white space to the left of those characters.
We didn't want that. That was one part of it, and then in this smaller paragraph, I've had to add a small amount of left indent, again, to make sure that the left-hand edge of this type corresponds optically with the left-hand edge of the larger type above it. Okay, so I just wanted to come clean on those things in case you thought, wait a minute, that looks a little bit different to how we left it. Two things I want to add here, we want to add a flash across the top left-hand corner and a sticker in this space right here.
So both of these deal with two of the pressing issues of our time, Good Hair Days and Free Shampoo, so I am going to just cut them into two separate text frames, I'll select the type in this one by pressing Command+A or Ctrl+A. I am not going to bother with Paragraph Styles here. I am just going to do this all with local formatting, Command+6 to jump to my Font menu, Myriad Pro, Command+Shift+K to make it all upper case.
I think, actually, we probably are going to need to use Condensed type because we have a lot to fit into a small amount of space. So I'll make that Condensed, and I'll make the top line Bold Condensed, we'll make both paragraphs centered. I want to center this vertically as well within the frame. Before I do that, though, I will just reduce the leading on that second line to bring the two lines closer together. I want to center vertically within the frame, so I am going to go to the Object menu > Text Frame Options.
All right, we are now ready to move this into position. I'll choose my Center Reference Point on the Reference Square, press R for my Rotate tool, spin that around, drag it into position. Let's apply a Fill Color. I am going to use 50% black, which I've added to the Swatches panel since you last saw this document. I want to make sure that it definitely goes all the way to the bleed guide, so if necessary, I am going to increase the size of that, and I need to make sure that the Type is within the safe area as defined by the magenta and purple lines.
So that all needs to come down a bit and get a little bit smaller, all right! I think that's okay. Let's make this one a little bit bigger and then with the frame selected, I'll come to the Effects panel, and I am going to adjust the opacity on this. I don't want to adjust the opacity of the whole object because that's also going to reduce the opacity of the type. So I am going to go to Fill and change the Opacity to 60%. Next, we need a sticker.
Now on the original, I didn't make the sticker a peeling sticker, which is a very popular thing to do, but I will here. I am going to just do a quick run-through on this technique. If you want to check out Mike Rankin's InDesign Effects Title, he has a movie devoted to creating a peeling sticker. I must also mention that I added a date and a price line right there. So to start with, let's just work with this text for a little bit, some basic things that we need to do to this.
We want it to be centered, we want it to be all upper case. We want it to be Myriad Pro. I want the first and the last lines to be bigger and bolder. It's going to look something like that. This needs to come up a little bit more. So I'll adjust the leading on that, make that into one single paragraph and adjust the leading on that too. All right! We can get back to that in a moment. Rather than put this inside the circle shape, I am going to put it on top of the circle shape and then align it too. I find it's a bit more flexible in that way Then I will choose my Ellipse tool.
I want to make sure that I have a Fill of Black 50% and a Stroke of None, but I don't want to apply to that. So I am going to deselect that first, then come and choose those properties, Option+Shift as I draw my circle to make it a perfect circle, and now to create the peeling sticker effect. In a nutshell, it is this, take your Scissors tool, place two anchor points somewhere at the bottom of the circle wherever you want it to peel, and what that's done is made a separate segment, and I am now going to come and choose the top-center point on my Reference Square and flip that vertically.
Then I want to apply a gradient to that. But before I can see the gradient, I am going to need to bring this portion to the front because it's currently gone behind the larger part of the circle. So I'll bring that to the front, and if I fill it with white, you can see what I mean. But actually, we want to fill it with a gradient. I seem to have lost my Gradient panel, so I am going to come up to the Window menu and Color to get it back, and then I am going to just apply that Gradient to it. So I have the color stop. There is the Black 50%, and I have brought that in towards the center.
I'll now use the Gradient tool. I want the lighter part of the gradient at top of that curl, like so. And now I am going to add a Drop Shadow to that, and the Drop Shadow needs to have no offset. I am going to change the Angle so the shadow is cast over the sticker, and then the Y Offset needs to get dramatically reduced, something like that. I'll reduce the Opacity a bit.
I'll select the largest circle and give that a Drop Shadow, too, and take the X Offset off and reduce the Y Offset and the Distance and reduce the Opacity. Of course, you can just adjust these numbers to your taste. So there is my sticker with a peel at the bottom. I am now going to select those two shapes that make it up and group those together, Command+G, I'll select the Type, position that over it if necessary, and it is necessary, bring it to the front, Command+Shift+Right square bracket. I'll reduce the size of that as necessary.
Let's make that white, and we'll make that white. This is why it's easier to do this with the Type in a separate frame If this were actually in the circle, it would be much more fiddly than it already is. Okay. Then so, if that's how I like it, I can then select this and select the group beneath it and then using my Align panel, I can align the horizontal centers and the vertical centers, then group all of that together, move that into position and just rotate it accordingly, like so.
Okay, we have ourselves a magazine cover.
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