How to Design a Magazine Cover

The cover of a magazine is the first glimpse into its content. Now you can create your own compelling cover to begin sharing a story. In this article, I'll show you how to easily create a magazine cover.

How to Design a Magazine Cover

As a teenager, it wasn’t uncommon to find me in the corner of my room, endlessly flipping through magazines. I had a stack that was almost to my knees that I would read, highlight, and cut for collages and poster boards.

This casual hobby of mine led to aspirations of gracing a magazine cover or being apart of the design process. Although I haven't become a covergirl, I still have an appreciation for the spectrum of niche magazines available.

Magazine publishers put time into their cover designs because it's one of the most important channels for attracting new readers. While browsing through rows of magazines at a local bookstore, curious browsers often reach for the one that draws their attention. A thoughtful and compelling design sparks a reader's interest, and, before you know it, you've acquired a new loyal follower. Below are some examples of my favorite magazines with covers that stood out amongst the rest.

In this article, I'll show you how to create a magazine cover that showcases you as the star or highlights your interests using another photo. This could be used for a personal project or a magazine in the works! I'll be using Kapwing, a free online photo and video editor for this tutorial.

Set up the Canvas

Open the Kapwing Studio and click Get Started. To change the size of the canvas, click Custom. I typed 2400 x 3000 to create an 8x10 magazine cover. If you have a different size in mind, feel free to use your own dimensions.

Click the blue make it button below to use the Magazine Cover Template


Upload a Photo

Find your favorite selfie or photo to use as the background image for the magazine cover. Click Images and Upload to add your photo to the studio. If you don't have a photo, click Images and search for something you would like to see on magazine stands. Resize the photo to fill the background.

If you want to make changes to the appearance of your photo, click the photo then click, Adjustment under the image panel. You can change the opacity, brightness, saturation, and more to achieve the desired look. You can also make a black and white photo for a new perspective by adjusting these settings.

Image by Roberto Nickson from Unsplash

Add a Title and Subheading

Choose a title for your magazine. An easy place to start for ideas would your name, or an idiom like, "Yours truly." In this example, I choose "Cozy" as the title.

Once you have your title ready, click Text to add it to the magazine cover. Above my title, I added text with a volume number, issue number, and month. I also typed a subheading underneath the title with a brief description of my magazine. Click Elements and choose the Line shape to separate the title and subheading.

Add a Barcode

I added a barcode to make my magazine cover look realistic. To add one to your magazine, click Images and type "barcode" in the search bar.

Export and Download

When you're finished reviewing your magazine cover, click Export Image and Download to print!

I hope this tutorial helped you make a magazine cover you'd be happy to pick up and read! For more content, make sure to subscribe to Kapwing App on YouTube and follow us on Twitter at @KapwingApp. Be sure to tag us so we can see what you create!

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