Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding the technical requirements

From: Designing a Magazine Cover

Video: Understanding the technical requirements

In addition to the aesthetic requirements of the cover image, we also need to consider its technical spec. When preparing a cover for print, never underestimate the usefulness of the telephone. Your commercial printer should be happy to give you advice on the technical requirements of your cover. The Resolution of the cover image should be at least 300 ppi, or Pixels Per Inch. This is the standard resolution for commercial printing. Sometimes you can get away with less, but your cover file may fail the printer's flight-checking program.

Understanding the technical requirements

In addition to the aesthetic requirements of the cover image, we also need to consider its technical spec. When preparing a cover for print, never underestimate the usefulness of the telephone. Your commercial printer should be happy to give you advice on the technical requirements of your cover. The Resolution of the cover image should be at least 300 ppi, or Pixels Per Inch. This is the standard resolution for commercial printing. Sometimes you can get away with less, but your cover file may fail the printer's flight-checking program.

Some magazines, depending on how they are printed and on what type of paper stock, may call for a higher resolution, such as 350 ppi. You can check the image's dimensions in pixels using Bridge. It tells me here its Dimensions. This is the most important piece of information here, far more important than this. We want the image resolution to be 300 pixels per inch, but it is the absolute dimensions of the image that tell us its potential.

If we divide these numbers by 300, that gives us our potential image size, and that means that this image over here, even though its Resolution is currently 72 pixels per inch, it has enough pixels in it so that were we to change the resolution to 300, we would still have a document size big enough for a cover. Let's see what I mean by that. Here we're using Photoshop, and I'm going to go to the Image menu and to Image Size, where we see that the Resolution is 72.

It's important that when I do this, I have Resample Image unchecked so that the absolute number of pixels--the Pixel Dimensions--remain the same. You can see that if I change the image Resolution to 300, all that changes is the Document Size. Same number of pixels, same file size. When I click OK, file size remains the same, view size remains the same. With Resample Image turned off ,you can think of the document size/image resolution relationship as being like a see-saw. As one goes up, so the other goes down.

What you can't do and expect a good result is to work with Resample Image turned on and then either increase the. document size or the image resolution Doing that you'll be upsampling the image, adding pixels. Photoshop will let you do it, but the result would never be as good as if you had started with an original image that had the right number of pixels in it. While it's possible to split hairs about the difference between PPI, Pixels Per Inch, and DPI, Dots Per Inch, they are used interchangeably, and they are essentially the same thing.

If you need to evaluate the image's resolution in InDesign you can do this using two tools, either the Links panel--with the image selected in the Link Info it will tell me the image's Actual PPI and its Effective PPI. We see the same information on the Info panel, and if you don't have the Info panel open, you can get it from under the Window menu. The difference between the two, the Actual PPI is the resolution at the image's original document size.

The Effective PPI--which is by far the more important of the two numbers--is the image's resolution after any scaling has been performed. If the image has been scaled up, the Effective PPI will be smaller than the actual, and if the image has been scaled down, the Effective PPI will be larger then the actual. In this case, because the image is at less than 100%, the Effective PPI is larger then the Actual PPI.

All you really need to know is that this number needs to be at least 300 pixels per inch. You'll note that the Color Space of this image is RGB. It is intentionally RGB because I'm using a Color-Managed Workflow, and I'll say more about that in upcoming movies.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Designing a Magazine Cover
Designing a Magazine Cover

36 video lessons · 16171 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Designing a Magazine Cover.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.