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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.
Okay, we are now ready to add our cover type, and adding the type in Photoshop can be a bit of a frustrating experience, especially if you are used to the sophistication of InDesign's paragraph styles, or even Illustrator's paragraph styles. In Photoshop CS6 there is a Paragraph Styles option, but what it lacks which would really be useful for us is the ability to base one style on another, then go and edit the parent style and have that affect all of the offspring styles.
So for that reason and for other reasons, mainly because the Paragraph Styles leave a bit to be desired the way they are in Photoshop, I am not even going to use them. Instead, I'm going to use this simple--it seems a rather primitive approach given the sophistication of Photoshop in just about every other realm-- but I'm going to do nothing more than get one layer of type using Placeholder type. Get this ready using my Character formats, sizing it as necessary, adjusting the Leading as necessary.
Two pieces of type here, so I'm also adjusting the space between the paragraphs, making those adjustments as necessary. Then when we get one right, we essentially just copy it for the others. So I have one, and I am going to duplicate that layer. And with my Move tool I will drag the duplicate down, I will come back to this one, choose my Type tool, and I'm now just going to type over this dummy text, the actual text that we want to use.
And this is almost inevitably going to cause us to need to make a few adjustments when we do so. Okay, if I want to insert a line break there, Shift+Return will carry that down to the next line, that's okay. Now come back to our second cover story, we need three cover lines down here, and these all need to be smaller. I have my Auto Select set to layer, so if press Command and click on that then I select that layer, I'm going to scale that down a bit, and then I am going to duplicate that two times, Command+J twice.
And with the top version, I am going to hold down to Shift key and bring that down. And I'm probably going to need to do this again because the length of these is inevitably going to change, but I will select those three and then I can distribute these layers using the Distribute icons on the tool Option Bar. So now I will zoom in, press T to go to my Type tool I like that, change that to the type that it should be.
I am going to select the next line. Now it's just a question of repeating that process. And cover lines 3 and 4 need to be smaller than 2. So I am going to select those two, and we can scale those down a bit.
Once I have accepted that transformation, press T to go to my Type tool, click in there and increase the size of that text frame. They are not called text frames in Photoshop, They are text containers. And I am going to pull it down a bit. I am now going to select the type and come to my Character panel, size that down a bit more.
Now actually, I would like the explanatory lines to be the same regardless of the size of the cover line, so I am going to come and copy that one, move to this layer and paste that, and we are not getting the formats the way we want to, so I'm just going to go back to this one, and 12.65 is what that should be. I can then select this, then to this one.
So now some further adjustments, further tweaks to the leading on this one. Okay, that looks okay for a third level of cover line. I think what I'll do for the next one is just duplicate that, so this is now obsolete, or rather, I will just drag that one over there. Come back to this one, hold down Option or Alt, I can drag down to make a duplicate of that.
Come to my Type tool. For this one there is no explanatory line, so I am just going to delete that, highlight that text, and replace it with the text for the cover line. And this we need to add on four lines, so I am just going to insert some line breaks and Shift+Return, and adjust the size of that. I can then move that over a bit, and you may remember that there is a Plus symbol that goes to the left of that.
It's going to be easier for me to just create that on a separate layer rather than try and adjust indents of this particular block of type. So I will switch to my Type tool, and when I click, that's going to make a new layer, type in my Plus symbol, highlight that. We want this to be 50% gray. Perhaps I want it to be a little bit bigger. I am going to scale it with a Free Transform, Command+T, and then I can just position that relative to the type at its right.
And I may want to link these two layers together like so, so that if I need to move them, I can move together. Now that one I can just do and would be moved up a bit. And I am just spacing these by eye at this time, and then finally, we just have one more over here. I will delete the explanatory line, select the kicker line, switch to my Move tool, and move this into position.
I am going to drag down a guide. It's snapping to my ruler, and I don't want it to do that, so I am going to come and turn off Snap so that I can position that guide exactly where I want it, which is on the baseline of this piece of type. Move that, adjust the size of that text container. Now this is bigger than this.
Watch out for these inconsistencies. We sort of having to do this in a rather manual way because we are not using Paragraph Styles, 22.75 is the Size and 20 is the Leading. It might be easier for me just to copy this, but I have six of one and half a dozen of the other, really. I am going to just put in that value, leading of 20.
Okay, that's fine, except I would like it to drop down one line. And there we have our cover lines. Let's just view that without the guides on, Command+Semicolon or Ctrl+Semicolon turn off the guides. It was a bit of a slog, but we got there eventually, and I did it just using that very primitive technique of make one, copy it, adjust the copy as necessary.
Beware of introducing too many inconsistencies in the type, so just keep an eye on the different sizes that you are using. And if necessary, just record the size of one piece of type and apply those sizes in other formats to the other piece of type.
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