Magazine Cover: the design process & putting it together

The design of my magazine cover is based on ‘ELLE’, as I think it is a very clear and simple cover to look at and take in (not so in your face).

Using a mixture of the InDesign and  Photoshop, I aimed to make the cover eye-catching with its beautiful centre image which was taken by photographer Enga Purevjav (who I interviewed for my Q&A profile). It was essential to make sure the perfect image was selected, and one where it would make sense for it to have been used  on the front page.

My original choice for the central image, which was of Enga proved to be more difficult to work with than originally thought, because the outline of her figure (against the background she was against) was not clearly defined, and so meaning that it would not look right if cutting around the image and uploading it onto the InDesign page to which it’d be set on a clear background.


Original choice

So, after much deliberation I settled on an image taken my Ms Purevjav of the model named Shermine, due to its clearer outline. The blue tone of the image really appealed to me, and as it turns out didn’t need to be cut along her outline, but used as it appears – complete with the background.

Newly chosen: Shermine (Courtesy of Enga Purevjav Photography)

Newly chosen: Shermine (Courtesy of Enga Purevjav Photography)

Once the image was laid out on the A4 InDesign page, I used the ‘ELLE’ logo from Google where I found a large -sized version of it, making it useable for the top of the cover. Next, when browsing through the various font colours, I felt the usual white coloured ‘ELLE’ logo would blend too much with the background, meaning that a darker colour needed to be applied instead – so I went for red. This particular colour was also used for the main headings for features included along the left hand side of the cover, and white for additional information. The letters of the masthead ‘EL’ and ‘LE’ were separated slightly as I feel it was a nice look to give the magazine and is also how ‘ELLE’ sometimes arrange the logo.

Regarding the main cover line statement (‘Photographer’ Taking New York By Storm) about Enga Purevjav which appears towards the bottom of the centre image, I decided black would be most suitable for complementing the red as it is a brilliant contrast.

A lot of time was spent on deciding the font and positioning of the cover line text, as this is also very important to take into consideration for a striking magazine cover. Using ‘Adobe Typekit’, this software allowed me to peruse through a variety of fonts to use adhering to ‘ELLE’ magazines style. I recognised that the name of the individual who is the main feature (centre image) to that issue is in italics/fancy writing. I came across a similar font on ‘Typekit’ called ‘fertigo Pro Script’ and used this for the boldest statement on the page. Then, for the majority of the other text fonts, I stayed with the standard looking ‘Big Caslon’; but ‘Snell Roundhand’ for ‘the perfect bikini body?’ which was positioned to the left of the mid-section of Shermine. This brings me onto why the statements have been placed where they are.

Upon analysing how other ‘ELLE’ covers are arranged, it became clear to me that all the feature cover lines were aligned down the side of the page, so as to not distract away from the main image or cover it with text. While I was figuring out where to place my feature headings, it took me a while to settle on where to place the text. The background of the image is quite bright, so it wouldn’t make sense to place the letters where the background is, but on the jacket Shermine is wearing because of its darker colour. The colour of the text as mentioned before, was changed to red and white for contrast. I did not want too much darkness on the page.

The ideas for types of features to be included in the would have to be what readers of the publication would expect to see as part of that issue. My issue date is August 2015, which made me think of Summer themed topics such as: ‘Best Summer work out plan…the perfect bikini body’, ‘Relationships….is it better being single?’, and ‘Designer swimwear….(under £30…be quick!). These were of course presented in a short, snappy chunk of text. Easier on the eye for the potential reader who may be browsing the magazine rack in a shop.

Bar code and price were placed strategically in the same manner ‘ELLE’ typically would.

I am satisfied with its overall appearance, as it is simple but rather attractive.


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