Magazine Cover Design: 10 Tutorials For Creating Magazine Covers

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The days of printseem to be quickly passing us by. With the online world taking over the real one and everything moving toward digital formats, it might seem like certain items that were graphic design staples are now on their last legs.  But just because we are going digital doesn’t mean we can’t keep the traditional looks alive.  One of those classics is the magazine cover design.

Whether it is for an actual print version, a project, an online ezine or just for fun, an incredible magazine cover design is something you can learn how to make.

Check out these 10 awesome tutorials that will show you everything you need to know to create the perfect magazine cover design.

If you’re interested in more of the best Photoshop tutorials, check out these posts:

Hope you find these magazine cover design tutorials helpful!

1. Create a Five-Color Magazine Cover Using a Spot Metallic

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This tutorial was created to give you a step-by-step look at how to easily and effectively integrate a spot-color metallic link into your  magazine cover.

What makes it such an amazing guide is that it isn’t just based on a single program but rather shows you how to do it in InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat Professional and Illustrator.  It provides screencaps so you can see each step for yourself.

2. Magazine Cover Design in InDesign

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If you are still in the early stages of learning how to use InDesign, you might like this one. It is a basic introduction to making magazine covers and shows you the simple first steps, as well as the tricks that make it look genuine and profession.

That includes the use of drop shadows, matching colors, exporting/importing swatches and borrowing content from Illustrator.

3. How to Create a Music Magazine Cover in InDesign

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The final image preview on this tutorial shows you both what you will be working toward and a breakdown of everything you will be needing.

That includes cover lines, a barcode, a selling line, a date, a main image and the masthead. Even though it is specific to a single program, the way it shows what elements are most important for your cover is useful for anyone. It also doesn’t have to have anything to do with music.

4. Create a Vector Style Magazine Cover in Photoshop

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By getting into the style-specific tutorials, this is one of the better ones on the list. It shows you with screencaps and very in-depth explanations how to set it up, create safe zones for text and establish a simple sketch to work up from.

It is great as a project for a specific cover, and once you try your own the steps will be more or less the same and easy to adapt.

5. Print Tutorial: Creating a Magazine Cover

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This one is based in InDesign, and so the results are perhaps not as simple as using Illustrator or Photoshop. But it is for a print magazine cover, which is much different from graphic design as it incorporates both different skills and a different process to get the job done.

I wasn’t impressed with their example cover, but the info is still good for beginners.

6. Teen Magazine Cover Tutorial

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This one was a little weird because halfway through the tutorial, the main image that was going to be the focus of the cover changes. But the info is still good, and it shows you how to get a basic cover similar to what you would see on Teen Beat or other teeny-bopper magazines.

7. Easy Magazine Cover in Photoshop

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If you are sick of the complex tutorials that have a million steps and you want something much simpler to work with, this is a good one to check out. It shows you how to make a supereasy magazine cover with the bare-bone basics.

You can make one of these in about a half an hour – maybe less if you are really handy in Photoshop. I would suggest building on the basic design until you get something with a little more pop.

8. Create a Magazine Cover Using Photoshop and InDesign CS5

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Using Photoshop and InDesign CS5 makes this a very complicated tutorial. But the end result was much more impressive than most samples used in these guides.

It also advocates creating a basic blueprint of your cover before you start, so you know where to build each image. If you are going to use this one, be prepared to spend a lot more time than usual on it. But it is worth the effort, as the end result was beautiful.

9. Magazine Cover Design: Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

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This is the only tutorial on the list that is specifically made for Illustrator. Rather than a traditional magazine cover, it is more like the cover of a handbook. But the principle is still the same, and it is wonderfully simple to follow.

You should be able to adapt it to fit your needs. The only problem I had with it is that the example used was cluttered and dull looking – not at all inspirational from a design point of view.

10. How to Design a Magazine Cover in Photoshop

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The impressive cover for this tutorial is religious based. The tutorial uses a nicely created background along with a cover image to add something a little extra to the overall effect, and it shows you how to build that step by step. In the end, it is the back image that is the most breathtaking part of the entire cover – you barely notice the image that has been placed against it.

Are there any great tutorial you feel likely to share? Please let us know!

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3 Responses to “Magazine Cover Design: 10 Tutorials For Creating Magazine Covers”
  1. pavan January 30, 2012
  2. Mahesh April 16, 2012
  3. Reformando November 12, 2012

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