How to Design a Magazine Cover that Stands Out

Magazines are still read by fashion or entertainment lovers and are a part of many people’s daily purchases. However, with the age of digital content, the print cycle of magazines look old-fashioned. However, there is still a loyal readership for some print magazines but it requires more effort. Especially the cover should be attractive enough to make someone pick the magazine on the newsstands. Here is a guide of how you can win at designing magazines cover and help play your part in reviving print.

There is no set formula

When you ask someone about the best practices to design a magazine cover, they will tell you about adding flashes in the top left corner of the magazine (considered the hot zone of visibility), to write catchy lines above your masthead, keeping the main cover hit in the top half of the cover and that models should make eye contact. The list would go on. However, following these guidelines would be useless if it does not fit your brand’s image or fit your aesthetic. Also, your magazine would look like a clone of the other ones, if you stick to a pattern which others’ are also following. Therefore, innovation is key. Make the audience have fun with the design and give them something fresh which they haven’t seen anywhere before.

Look for inspiration

The cover image of your magazine sets the whole mood of the reader. You can literally make them feel a certain way, whether it is carefree, scared, concerned, empowered or sad. However, for the image to stand out, you need to work very hard. Decide the theme of your issue, and look for ways you can present your ideas through a photograph. Find your perfect muse, or a location, or a prop that portrays the significance of the theme you have opted for. There is beauty in things around you; so look closely at your house, workplace, or in your city.

Make your audience relate

Whichever elements you decide to include in your design, make sure the audience does not think of it as a foreign concept. Relatability is the key to engage people’s attention. Some of the avenues you can explore are: choosing a trending topic in the entertainment (or one which you cover) industry, current affairs, political situation, or controversy that is everywhere on the news. While you may once in a while try to experiment with topics that are not so mainstream. Know the readers, and design for them. Make sure to keep your design open for suggestions and always take your readers’ feedback seriously.