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Designing a Magazine Cover
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up the Illustrator document


From:

Designing a Magazine Cover

with Nigel French

Video: Setting up the Illustrator document

I've created the magazine cover in InDesign, I created the same magazine cover in Photoshop, and now I'm going to create it again in Illustrator, pointing out the differences that are necessary in approach as I go along. So here's the finished version in Illustrator, and just as I did in the other two applications, I've created it using layers. We have the cover image, barcode, the masthead, the cut out that crosses over the masthead, cover lines, and the extras, the flash, the sticker, and the price and date line.
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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

Setting up the Illustrator document

I've created the magazine cover in InDesign, I created the same magazine cover in Photoshop, and now I'm going to create it again in Illustrator, pointing out the differences that are necessary in approach as I go along. So here's the finished version in Illustrator, and just as I did in the other two applications, I've created it using layers. We have the cover image, barcode, the masthead, the cut out that crosses over the masthead, cover lines, and the extras, the flash, the sticker, and the price and date line.

And I also have some guides. I don't have the guides on a separate layer, but I can turn those on and off by pressing Command or Ctrl+Semicolon. So I'm going to create a new document, and my document size is going to be as it has been before, 8inches by 11 inches. Points are my current default unit of measurement. I can leave them at Points. That's fine just as long as I explicitly state my dimensions in inches, and I can express a Bleed here which is going to be 1/8 of an inch, which is 9 points, and I want that to be the same on all four dimensions.

The Profile, I'm using what has started out as Print, but now it's become Custom since I've changed it. But if we look at the Advanced options, we see that we had a Color mode of the CMYK, and that we have Raster Effects resolution of 300 pixels per inch. Note that we won't be rasterizing anything, so this in our case is going be a moot point, but this is the option that you would want typically for a print workflow. There is my blank document. We have the red guide indicating the bleed.

I now want to indicate a margin, an inner margin of 5 mm. Now the reason I have a margin setting as such in InDesign. So here's how I'm going to go about doing that. I'm going to create a rectangle, and at this point I'm going to change my unit of measurement, actually. I'm going to create a rectangle, and the rectangle is going to be at my trim size, 8 inches by 11 inches.

I want that to be positioned at the very top left-hand corner of my page. So I need to get its X and Y coordinates, and I don't see them right there, so I'm going to come to the Transform panel. Choosing the tap left reference point I'm going to make the X: 0 and the Y: 0. I am then going to -10 mm from the horizontal, and before I do that I'm going to set the reference points to center -10 mm from the width and the same from the height.

Then the size of my rectangle now corresponds to my margins. So what I'll do next--and I'm really like this about Illustrator, the ability to take any item, any object and make into a guide. So that's now my margin guide or my safe area Then what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a grid. Since I have made a grid in the other two applications, it's interesting to see how we can achieve much the same end in a slightly different way in Illustrator.

I'm going to create myself a rectangle inside that margin area and then come to the Object menu and to Path and choose Split Into Grid. I want to have five Rows with the Gutter of 1 pica and 3 Columns with a Gutter of 1 pica, and if I turn on my Preview, you can see that's going create not so much a typical layout grid, because here we actually have rectangles, but it's going to serve the same purpose, and then as I did before I'm going to make those into guides.

Then I just want to make sure that my guides as they all are locked. So there's my blank document. Now I want to place my image in this document, and I'll do that in the next movie.

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