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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.
Once we've chosen our cover image, it's time to create the magazine cover document. I'm going to do this in Adobe InDesign. While a case can be made for using Photoshop, or Illustrator as your creative hub, it's my opinion that InDesign offers the most fully featured and flexible suite of tools for this purpose. That said, I will be demonstrating in later movies a Photoshop and an Illustrator-based workflow. I'm going to create a new document, single page document, Print will be my Intent, do not need Facing Pages.
My page size is going to be 8 inches by 11 inches which is a popular magazine size. I am in picas as my default unit of measurement currently. I don't need to change that. I can just type in the values in inches, so long as I'm explicit, 8in, 11in. I will have a single column, preferring to set up a Layout Grid using Create Guides in the next step. I want the margins to be uniform but a lot smaller than they currently are, just to define a safe area, an area in which I want to keep all of my content so that it doesn't get too close to the edge of the page.
And the value that I'm going to use here is 5 millimeters, or 0.2 of an inch. I do need a Bleed, and my Bleed is going to be 9 points, or 3 millimeters or 1/8th of an inch. I don't need a Slug, the Slug being an area outside of your page in which you can put any information that may be relevant to the project, such as creation date, modification date.
But I don't need that, so I'm going to just click OK to now open that document in InDesign. Here's the safe area guide, here's the bleed area, and the next thing I want to do in this setup step is create my Layout Grid. This is entirely optional. It's just how I like to work. And because I want to be able to turn that grid on and off with a single click, I will be creating it on a separate layer.
Create a new layer. I'm going to call it guides, just for no reason, then I like to use Magenta as the color. I'm going to change the color code of that layer and then come to the Layout menu, choose Create Guides. I would like to have 5 rows, 3 columns, and I prefer the guides to be fitted to the margins rather than to the page. So, that's my initial setup.
As I go along, I will be putting the different content on specifically-named layers. It's not absolutely necessary to do this, but I do find that it helps to be able to turn on and off the different content and to move one part of the content above or below something else. So I do find it does make for an easier workflow to use layers.
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