According to you, what makes a magazine bestseller? Your answer may be great content and great design, and you’re absolutely right too. And, what in the first place makes the audience flip over the magazine pages and go through that “great content” and “great design”? An appealing magazine cover is an apt response.
A magazine cover is usually the first thing that attracts the reader to grab a magazine and turn the pages. This is enough of a reason to emphasize on making its look and feel unique. Making it stand out from the crowd will persuade the readers to read, engage, and in turn increase the sales of your magazine, which is the ultimate goal of every magazine publisher, yours too!
To achieve this essential goal of creating influencing magazine cover, get along with me. I’ll take you through some design tips and tricks.
Play with the text, title, and image
The perfect arrangement of “visual design” and “verbal design” is what results in an attractive magazine cover. It’s advised to spend time on devising what suits your theme and audience best. Play around with the hierarchy and placement of the cover page content, both text and images to optimize the cover page design. Make the best use of images to catch hold of reader’s attention and influence them to read further.
One may even choose to seamlessly integrate the text and images together. Display 3D effects with effective content positioning in the foreground and background. It looks amusing to display words in terms of illustrations, infographics, and other digital designs. Or choose a combination of contrasting objects or patterns.
Take inspiration from the numerous inspiring cover designs out there, some with a merged background, text, and images, some with split images and centered-text, some with large frames, transparent images, a sequence of images, negative spaces, and so on. Get innovative with typography, experiment with different fonts, sizes, color, and text arrangement. However, it is often advised to use a minimum of two and maximum of four font sizes on your magazine cover.
Focus on the textual content
Paying attention to the issue title, headlines of main stories, and other supporting content is having more importance than you may think. It is suggested to invest time in picking the right content on the magazine cover that immediately stimulates the reader’s interest. This content should be such that it represents the theme of your magazine in the most captivating way and relates to the articles of prime importance.
It is suggested to keep these titles specific, unique, relevant, and catchy, most appropriately said brevity is what you should you aim for. One may attract customers by using words like “exclusive”, “new”, “free”, and others. Factually, the length of the textual content on the magazine cover should be kept to only a few words, ranging from four to ten. Teeny-tiny titles are always preferred over longer sentences. Also, to highlight this text, try placing it on a transparent or solid color background rather than on a detailed or patterned background.
This front cover content also needs to be in sync with the on-page designs and make sense collectively. As mentioned in the above point, you can even integrate the design and content aspect by illusions, cut-out designs, patterns, and other unconventional ideas instead of writing plain text.
Add a pop of color
Make your magazine cover speak for itself by adding color effects in the form of a contrasting text to the background, a pattern of color splash, combination of traditional colors, or giving a hint of color here and there. As per previous practices, red and yellow are the most preferred colors due to their ability to pop-out. At the same time, an old age adage mentions to never use green on a magazine cover. But, the times have now changed and I have seen big brands even using green now and then. So, make your own rules.
All you need to care about is how it feels to the eyes of your target audience. However, it is suggested to implement this practice in a strategic manner so as to avoid any haphazard and immature results.
Stay consistent but striking
Maintaining consistency in your magazine covers is a great idea. This means each issue of your magazine has some similarity to the previous ones. The placement of the text or the color scheme or pattern of adding images may be similar. This will allow the customers to quickly identify your brand and connect. However, this doesn’t mean monotony.
It’s important to understand the difference between staying consistent and being boring. Ignite your vision with each issue published by bringing creativity to the way of adding images and theme text, the pattern of images may remain same but at the same time, strikingly different so as to match the magazine’s theme. The positioning of text can be altered to make it visually appealing and break the boredom.
Keep it simple
Some days it’s better to keep it simple. I would say whenever in doubt, choose a simple template. Clean layout with suitable white spaces and attractive imagery. Simple and elegant placement of text with soothing images and basic color scheme. The key here is to enhance the quality with significant content, engaging lines and influencing pictures.
Think out of the box
There’s no limit to creativity and it’s an ongoing process. It’s also crucial to get an edge in the magazine industry. Let your creative juices flow, try to implement it innovatively, and take your readers and prospective customers by surprise. A designer is always getting inspired by his surroundings, people, and even the non-living things. It can happen anytime, anywhere. If you’re a designer, you already know that. Choose a catchy cover title, insert thoughtful photography, and brainstorm for more one-of-a-kind ideas.
Whether you’re just deciding to design a magazine cover or have been already doing so for a while. These tips might have instilled the designer within and gave you some inspiration for the next magazine cover publishing. Even if a newbie, you can immediately start by publishing with predefined design templates available with various design software and following the tips given above.