Design tips

5 Designing Tips for Creative Magazine Cover

A magazine is a periodical publication. It contains articles, write-ups, images, photographs and drawings based on various areas of interest like sports, fashion, technology, business, lifestyle, health, education, etc. Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Time, People, The New Yorker are some of the all time popular magazines. In this article, we will explain 5 Designing Tips for Creative Magazine Cover.

Magazines have seen a drastic downfall in the past decade. The emergence of technology has decimated their value. There sales have been declining significantly. Then how can you keep your magazine still in business? How will you ensure that people  choose your magazine from the numerous magazine stacked one top of the other in the rack? There is a popular saying, “First impression is the last impression.” So, make your first move cautiously. To put a long lasting first impression your magazine cover should stand out from others.

Designing tips for magazine

The magazine cover page is the star of the magazine. This is the deciding factor for people to pick up or leave a magazine. It stimulates them to make decisions. It should be unique enough to grab the attention of potential buyers. Besides being one of a kind, it must also fulfil it’s purpose. It should be able to explain the content in limited words. Plus, it should follow a theme. An excellent cover design may  help to increase your reach.

A magazine cover page speaks about the brand. A glance on the cover should be enough for a person to recognise the brand it belongs to. It appeals to the new readers. Therefore, it must be captivating. Even if eyes fall on it by chance they should not be able to move their eyes away. The person should be forced to have a look further. Each edition should have something new. Along with this it should also carry the essence of the brand for people to recognise. Knowing your audience is a crucial aspect of cover page designing. Your audience must be able to feel a  connection instantly.

The page must be designed keeping the interest of the consumers in mind. One must thoroughly study their competitors covers and try to excel beyond their designs. Designing a cover requires creativity and out of the box thinking. A single page takes days and days of hard work. Brands have a separate team just for cover designing. 

Many of you will think what takes so much of time? It is just a single page. But this single page brings all the difference. A cover designer considers several ideas. Many samples are produced before reaching the final product. One may not get the desired results in the first attempt. Several attempts are made to get the best design. 

Types of Magazine Cover for its Designing Tips

Magazine cover page designs can be broadly classified into:

Image based design 

 These are undoubtedly most preferable and popular of the lot. They often feature one or more images. They may be portraits of models posing, a beautiful landscape, any mouth watering dish, gadgets or so on, based on different genre. 

The most vital thing is that the photos must be in congress with the magazine theme. The image should be the centre of focus of the audience. 

In order to get more engagement, brands often choose famous celebrities as the model for their cover page. The charm of the celebrity is enough to attract a large part of the population. Studies have shown that cover pages with celebrities in them sell more as compared to ordinary one’s.

Illustration based design

Illustration based magazine covers have been in use since time immemorial. With not many magazines opting for this variant, the competition decreases. You are able to introduce a new concept to the audience. The audience craves for uniqueness and by  illustration designs you offer them the same. Frictional characters can be created to attract more and more people. You can play with the imagination of your mind and display whatever you feel like. There is no restriction. They are easy to produce. For a small budget project, illustration is the best option out there. 

Type based design

If you want powerful and inspirational words to be the hero of your cover and not get overshadowed by the images, go for type based design.  

The main point to watch out in type based design are the font and the colour. Surveys have shown that people read the  biggest heading first. So, the most prominent topics can be bolded for a better view. Other information may be present in different sizes for people to focus on important aspects first. 

Because they are very rarely used, you can use them to bring a revolutionary change with your words of wisdom.

Concept based design

 To promote an idea or to convey a message in a striking way, concept based design can be used for magazine cover pages. They are a cocktail of texts, images and illustrations. They give creative freedom to the designer. People are allured by the imagination of the designer. How an intricate thought can be put up so amazingly? This is the power of conceptualization. 

A few things to pin point are don’t flow too much into the concept. Keep it a bit simple for the audience to comprehend. Although, there is no confinement. You can give some space for the viewer to visualise things in their own way. This is what makes concept based designs one of a kind. 

Magazine Cover Designing Tips

Be minimalist

The text should be in coordination with the image. Writing a few words doesn’t seem a tedious task. But indeed it is. It requires lots of time, inspiration and creative thinking skills. Don’t try to over do. Use catchy phases and call for action words. You can even question the audience. Even a minimal amount of words are enough to create a strong impact. A limited number of images should be used. One need not overwhelm the audience with plenty of images. 

The text and images should merge

For a visually appealing cover design it is imperative that the image and text blends seamlessly. They should have an individual character but also compliment each other. The choice of colours and texture is crucial. You can either put the image in focus or the text. The background should be chosen such that it highlights the contents placed on it and doesn’t overlap with them. 

Choose the road less travelled

Doing what others are doing is equivalent to copying them. Why would people opt for a copied magazine? There is no denial in taking inspiration but adding a personal touch is mandatory. Your magazine should have an identity of it’s own. It should be different from others. Following a pre-existing pattern may make the audience weary. People are attracted towards quirky stuff. 

If one of your experiments don’t get the desired response look for other ways. There is no scope of stagnation in this business. Trying stuff, failing and moving on are the part and parcel of life. One needs to keep on upgrading with the new discoveries and use them appropriately. Try to do things differently. Despite of failure, don’t give up. Don’t get dishearten. Keep trying, remember, if you rest you rust.

Do it the traditional way

With other brands using high end technical tools, how do you expect to make a place for yourself? Don’t worry if you are a beginner and lack resources. Even if you are privileged to have all the tools, there is nothing wrong in doing things the traditional way. Pick up your paint brushes and colours. You can use natural light, mirrors for reflection, play with the shadows and angles, use shapes and geometric patterns or even go for handwritten text.

  People are not used to seeing these stuff. But there is always a place deep in the heart of the audience for this. They may even get nostalgic. They get to see a different perspective. A few people are crazy for these things. It will also help you to acquire a place of your own.

Create an impact

Whatever you do, the most important is the results it fetch. Sticking to the traditional ways or choosing the advanced technology is up to you. Just go bold and make a statement. Your cover should reveal a part of you. It should represent your brand. Let the world know you exist and your opinion matters. Let people look up to you. A pen is mightier than a sword. For influencing people your words are enough. The words may be simple but the trace they leave on the minds of the people is what matters. 

Designing Tips for Magazine Cover – Summary

A magazine cover is the most prominent aspect of a magazine. It demonstrates a brand, explains the true essence of a brand and brings potential consumers. 

There are broadly 4 types of magazine cover designs namely Image based, Illustration based, Type based and Concept based designs. It is up to you to  choose the one which best defines your style. 

 Keep the text and images simple yet attractive. Use space creatively. You just have an A-4 size sheet of paper to explain the entire context of the magazine at a glance. People judge your brand based on your cover design. So, pay attention towards it. There is no place for negligence. Everything needs to be done with precision. If your cover is attractive enough it will attract potential consumers and help you in gaining a reputation and build your brand. Want a demo of cover designing contact Satva Design Studio.