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1.2 The Anatomy of a Magazine Cover

An effective magazine cover needs to work like a fine-tuned orchestra. Each element on the cover has a purpose and creates an impact on the reader. In this lesson, we’ll touch on the different elements and their importance on the page.

1.2 The Anatomy of a Magazine Cover

Hi there, and welcome to this magazine cover design in Adobe InDesign course. An effective magazine cover includes many different elements and the challenge lies in making them all work together. In this lesson, I'll show you the different elements, terminology, and the impact that's created on the reader. So the cover of a magazine is the most important opportunity for you to sell your publication to readers. And the best magazine cover layout design grabs attention and is visually striking, stands out from the rest. A good combination of elements will make the perfect magazine cover. As you can see, there are many elements that make up a magazine cover template. So let's expand these and learn about the impact they make. If you have ever wondered how to design your own magazine cover, it is best to start with the masthead. This element is one of the most important on the cover of a magazine. This is where the branding becomes important, it has to be the most consistent element throughout the publications issues. This is how your reader will recognize the magazine on stands. The masthead should be the largest font size that will exist in the magazine. And it should be consistent in size and placement, as well as in colors. But sometimes you will see this change from issue to issue. Next up is the date line. This is the month, year, and issue number of the publication. Sometimes the price will also be included here. And depending on the publishing frequency, some magazines may use the month and the year. Quarterly magazines will use the season and the year. Under the masthead, we have the magazine deck, and not all magazines have a deck but it can be useful to describe the magazine's philosophy or the type of publication. The deck is usually only a few words long and it should be concise and to the point. Next, we have the main image, and this can be a photograph or an illustration. That's depending on the main story of the magazine and the art direction. Low quality images can really ruin a magazine cover, so many magazines set up special photoshoots or commission illustrators to create a unique cover and use conceptual images. Next, we have lead article line. Every magazine has a main theme for the issue and that makes the lead article line on the cover. Try to emphasize the lead article line by using a slightly different font that goes with the theme. You can also use different colors that complement the imagery, and adjust the size to have more prominence on the cover. Next up we have cover lines, and this is optional depending on the magazine and how minimalist the cover is. When it comes to the placement of the cover lines, aim for balance. Cover lines are set at a smaller point size compared to the lead article. The cover line topics can revolve around the main theme of the magazine but not necessarily. Cover lines should have no more than 10 words and must be concise. And the last couple of items we have is website link. So the rise of digital devices gave room for magazines to extend their contact on their websites. This is to remind customers where they can find the magazine online or any other social media channels. And the last item is price and barcode. Barcodes are taken care of by the printing house, but you do have to make sure to leave room for them. Their placement is at the bottom left corner of the cover, sometimes on the spine, and this space can also include the price of the magazine. So to know the anatomy of a magazine cover is absolutely essential not only to drive sales up but also to be able to make an impact within our society. Now that you understand the job of every element in a magazine cover, it's time for us to jump into how to choose a cover image. So we'll see you in the next lesson. [MUSIC]

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