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Designing a Magazine Cover
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up the cover document


From:

Designing a Magazine Cover

with Nigel French

Video: Setting up the cover document

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.
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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 cover document

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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