professional magazine covers

A beautiful magazine cover can help you sell it. Magazine designers should have an extensive knowledge of aesthetics, typography, placement and also the psychological profile of readers. Not everybody can design a successful magazine cover, but you can learn from the best.

10 golden rules you must follow if you want to design professional magazine covers:

1. Put the magazine name in the most obvious place

The general layout of the magazine cover should be organized around your magazine’s name. The name is what makes your magazine instantly recognizable, so it needs to be the most prominent feature or the cover. All professional designers will follow this rule when designing the cover. The magazine’s name is the brand

2. Use the same cover template for all magazine issues

magazine title placement

First of all, you should use the same general template for all your covers.

In the same time, each issue should look different enough from the previous one to make sure the readers know it is a new issue. For the same purpose you should add the date and the price on the cover.

3. Work with a grid

It will help you organize and align all the elements of your design to make it look neat and professional.

4. Decide on a focus point and build everything else around it

Fashion magazines usually feature models as the cover focus point, but you can use a different photo of an object or a headline. In the first image from this post (BHG) the chair is the focal point.

5. Play with font styles

Most magazine covers feature the headlines of the most important stories on the cover. To be able to attract the reader’s eye to them, emphasize them using bolds, italics, sizes and colors.

fashion magazine fonts

6. Emphasize powerful words

There are some words that usually appear in headlines, because they attract readers: “New”, “Free”, “Gifts” and “Exclusive”. We recommend emphasizing them simply because they proved they work.

There are usually between 4-10 words in cover headlines.

7. Infuse your magazine cover design with a healthy dose of color & contrast

It doesn’t matter that much which color you choose to the dominant color. Green is the least used color on cover pages, while red is the most used. The most important thing when we talk about the use of color in cover pages is that you use contrast to make certain elements pop out (title, model, headline)

You can also think about coordinating colors for a chic look (copy a color from the photo and use it on different elements from your cover page).

magazine cover colors

8. Place a portrait on the cover

If there’s a person’s portrait is featured on the cover, he/she should be looking at the camera. The eye-contact will draw the attention of the readers.

9. Avoid busy backgrounds

It’s also recommended that the model on the cover is on transparent or solid color background. It will be really hard to make the headlines stand out if they are placed on top of a patterned or mixed-color background.

10. Dare to be bold. Go for illustrations

Generally speaking, photos perform better than illustrations for the cover page. For a fun look you can mix the two, or add some drawings on photos.

Check us out on Pinterest to see more magazine cover designs!

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    About Jani

    Janina is passionate about PR, digital publishing and online marketing. She loves the seaside, crafts, books, adventures and summer nights.

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    Design school