Sometimes it is the simplest magazine front cover designs that stand out the most. The designs that don’t require celebrity endorsement, a freebie, or “fake news headline”. A perfect marriage between the front cover content and the stories under the cover, can be enough to capture the imagination of the audience. Here’s five great tips on how to keep it simple, when creating epic front cover magazine designs.

Five Simple Magazine Front Cover Design Tips

1. Frame the Image – Front Cover Magazine Design Advice

You have a great high resolution photo or focal point image that is front cover magazine material. The burning desire may be to use the entire image, but in many cases the best impressions can be achieved by re-framing.

Using Adobe In-Design, it’s possible to drag, move and focus on different sections of your image by adjusting it’s size within the page frame you have set. It’s a really simple technique, but can bring a new dimension to your front cover.

Here’s how I could frame the front cover magazine design for a project I worked on. Which would you choose?

2. Make the Headlines

Adjusting the focus of the photo plays perfectly into how to align and configure your headline. Moulding your headline around a specific shape or curve, or having it sit perfectly in space provided by the photos readjustment can give new meaning to the front cover magazine.

What your headline says acts as the hook for the reader to explore the inside pages. Like a headline for a blog post, or a title of an article it needs to give the reader something to get excited about. I find the best headlines are ones that marry up perfectly with the image, creating synergy and significance about your publication.

Some front cover magazine designs choose to adopt a headline font based on the brand style guide for credibility and recognition, however the headline or image may be perfectly suited to another typography choice.

I like to experiment with the space available when choosing the best font, seeing how the headline looks centred or a larger type face for specific words. It may also be appropriate to change the colour of specific words to pull them out of the page and make them look the best on top of the background image.

Logo in position, headline sized, colour and shaped to fit around the image

3. The Supporting Acts

It’s important to choose the best sub-stories featured in the magazine to provide additional hooks into the main content. The articles might not be as big or important news, but they will attract readers with different interests so be considerate towards the demographics of your audience before selecting your favourite.

For epic front cover magazine designs the sub stories should have the freedom to exist out of the shadow of the main headline, positioned to counter balance with the rest of the content rather than be placed as an after thought.

As with the headlines, the support stories may look best located in a specific space surrounding the main image, or placed over an actual part of the image that is well placed to act as a backdrop for them to feature.

magazine cover with subtitles added
Subtitles are placed directly on image background

4. Make Shapes

Shapes are an extremely powerful front cover magazine design tool and enables the creator to frame photos in dynamic new ways.

Through experimenting with shape points and transparency we can take what was previously text well positioned on a photo, to a front cover featuring dimensions and layers.

Shapes are a good way to draw attention to your sub stories, or having specific feature stand out on top of the front cover background

Front Cover Magazine design final image PRW
Shapes are added to the front cover design to create new layers and dimensions

5. Balance De-Clutter

Bringing all the elements together in harmony is the real art behind front cover magazine designs.

In some cases you may have such a good image that your epic front cover falls straight on your lap in a matter of minutes.

In other situations there is nothing wrong with the photo, it’s just harder to pull the image, headline, support stories and shapes together in such a way that makes for a front cover magazine design that you can really be proud of.

The most important point is to have patience, work and experiment with your content, focus images in different ways, align and alter your headlines, reposition your supporting stories and re-purpose your shapes to create your masterpiece.

If you need a hand in creating epic front cover magazine designs contact me.

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