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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.
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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