Designers often use several apps to create their work. What's great about Adobe products is that you can easily switch between them to perform various tasks. In this tutorial, we will show you how to design a magazine layout using Adobe InDesign. We will then show you how to create a realistic and reusable magazine mockup of that design in Photoshop that you can present to your clients. Let's get started!
The following assets were used during the production of this project:
- New York City
- Middle of the Road
- Children photo
- Top city view
- Magazine photo
- Tree photo
- Runners photo
1. Create Pages in InDesign
Choose File > New to create a new file. Set its page size to Letter. Scroll a bit.
Add a Bleed of 2 mm. We use the bleed to add an extra area of canvas onto the document. This bleed area will not get printed. Click Create.
In the Pages panel (Window > Pages), add a new page. Now we have two pages.
Double-click the Master page.
Hit Command-R to reveal the ruler. Command-drag to make a new guide on the top of both pages.
Add another guide on the lower part of the page.
Add more guides to create four columns on the left page and three on the right.
Click and drag using the Type Tool (T) to draw a text box. Type Page and then space. Select Type > Insert Special Character > Marker > Current Page Number and add a page number marker.
Open the Paragraph Styles (F11) panel and create a new style.
Double-click the new style and set its alignment to Away From Spine. Apply this style to the text box on the current page.
Alt-drag the text box to duplicate it. Place it on the other side of the page.
Below, you can see the result on the page. The A character is automatically changing, based on the current page number.
2. Design the First Page in InDesign
Open the New York city picture in Adobe Photoshop. Go to Image > Image size and set the size as in the screenshot. Save the picture as a .jpg (File > Save as).
Add a photo on the top half of page 1 (File > Place). Make sure to snap it to the bleed area.
We don't want the image accidentally moved or edited. Right-click the image and select Lock.
Add an image subtitle by adding a Text Box (T) to the lower right corner of the image.
Open the road picture in Photoshop and set its size to match the size of the InDesign column. Use Measure Tool in InDesign (K) to find the right size. Save the smaller picture in Photoshop. Add this image and its subtitle in the last column.
I've added a new horizontal guideline to align the top of the new block. Add a text box to the first column and fill it with your article. To fill it with dummy text, choose Type > Fill with Placeholder Text.
Create a new Paragraph Style (F11) for the article title. Choose a big, bold font style.
Apply the paragraph style to the title.
Select the year text and set a smaller font size.
Create new paragraphs by pressing Enter. Select all paragraphs except the first one. Open the Paragraph panel (Command-Alt-T) and set the first line indent to 4 mm.
Draw a rectangle (M) and put a triangle in its center. To draw a triangle, select the Polygon Tool from the side Tools panel, click once on the document page, and set the number of sides to 3. Don't forget to set a nice background color and no stroke.
Select both shapes. Right-click them and select Group to combine them as a group.
Open the Text Wrap panel (Window > Text Wrap) and set the following wrap setting.
Place it at the top of the article.
Add another article. This time, rotate the arrow so that it's pointing to the small image.
3. Design the Second Page in InDesign
Let's move on to the next page! Add the photo of children to the top of the page. Before you do this, set the dimensions in Photoshop as we did earlier.
Add a rectangle (M) covering the lower part of the page and the photo. Set it to black.
Apply a linear gradient (G) from white to black.
From the Effects panel (Window > Effects), set its Blend Mode to Multiply.
Draw a grey rectangle (M) on the lower part of the page.
Add the post title. Place some rectangle shapes behind the text. Right-click and select Arrange to set the layers as you want.
Add the article body in a separate text box. Use only the first three columns. Fill it with placeholder text (Type > Fill with Placeholder Text).
Add a quotation in the last column, made from a combination of Paragraph Styles and Character Styles.
Add a smaller article and images in the lower part of the page.
We have finished working on the page. Below is the result.
We will export this page to Photoshop. We don't want to import the INDD file, but we choose JPEG because its much simpler. So first let's export the page to JPEG format. Choose File > Export. From the Export dialog box, set its file type to JPEG.
4. Prepare the Magazine Mockup
It's a lot easier to use real magazine reference photos than to draw it just from your imagination. Grab your camera and take a picture of your magazine. We also want to make sure that the magazine has the same size as our magazine design. For a mockup, it's better to use a photo with perspective. This results in a more realistic appearance.
For this project, I use a photo reference. Trace the first page using the Pen Tool in Shape mode.
Add a Stroke to help us see the reference. Double-click the layer to open the Blending Options panel.
Reduce the layer's Opacity.
Trace the rest of the page, and make sure to place it behind the previous page.
Remove the Stroke and change the layer's Opacity to 100%. This time, apply the Inner Shadow option and Gradient Overlay.
Also, apply a Gradient Overlay.
Add a new layer on the top of the page. Set it as a Clipping Mask (Command-Alt-G). This way, everything we put here will go inside the page. Use the Pen Tool to draw a white line as a highlight on the page.
Soften the highlight by applying a Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).
Reduce the Highlight layer's Opacity.
Repeat this step to add more highlights on the page.
Apply a Gaussian Blur to them.
Repeat the same process, but this time paint black to add shadows on both sides of the page.
Create a new layer (Layer > New > Layer) and paint white using the Brush Tool (B) on the center of the page. Don't forget to set it as a Clipping Mask (Command-Alt-G).
Soften it by applying a very big Gaussian Blur.
Reduce the layer's Opacity.
Command-click the first page to select it. Add a new layer behind the first page. Fill the selection with black.
Deselect it by pressing Command-D. Soften the page shadow layer by applying a Gaussian Blur filter.
Convert the layer to a Clipping Mask (Command-Alt-G). This way, the shadow will go inside the page behind it.
Keep repeating this step to add shadows to the other pages.
5. Apply Magazine Pages to Mockup
Go to File > Place Embedded and select our InDesign page in JPEG format. The JPEG file will be inserted into the PSD as a Smart Object. We can transform this image without editing any of its pixels.
Duplicate the smart object by hitting Command-J. Click the eye icon on the front of the original page layer to hide it. Hit Command-T to transform the page.
Command-drag the corner until it matches the shape of the page.
A simple transformation will not be enough. Right-click and choose Warp.
Draw its handle and warp boxes until it matches the page's curvature.
Convert the layer to a Clipping Mask and place it under all the highlights and shadows.
Duplicate this smart object page and place it on the rest of the pages behind it.
Repeat the steps, drawing the rest of the page, and this time applying the next InDesign page.
Select the all layers and group them (Command-G).
With the Brush Tool (B), draw a black line on the center. Make it a Clipping Mask (Command-Alt-G).
Apply a Gaussian Blur (I use 38 pixels) to this shadow, and reduce its Opacity.
To make the magazine's shadow more precise, create a new layer under the magazine group. With the Paint Bucket Tool (G), paint it white.
Double-click the Magazine group and set a Drop Shadow.
Add one more Drop Shadow.
Select the magazine group, duplicate it (Command-J), merge all layers (Command-E), and move it under the main magazine group.
Command-click the Magazine copy to select it. Create new layer and paint it black with the Paint Bucket Tool (G).
You can delete the Magazine copy layer—we don't need it anymore. Apply a Gaussian Blur to our black layer.
Move the black layer a bit with the Move Tool (V).
Set its Opacity to 20%.
I've reduced the opacity of the Magazine group's drop shadow slightly. And our mockup is ready to use!
Open the Magazine group layers, and double-click the smart object page design to edit its content.
Paste another page design onto the file. Save the file (Command-S) and then close it. You'll probably need to merge all the layers in your smart object (Command-Shift-E). I prepared the page in advance.
In the mockup file, the page content is automatically updated—no manual transformation needed. Repeat this process for the other page.
This time, we'll change the design of the second page. Repeat the previous steps with the second page.
The result looks great, but I want to make it even more natural. Because we're using new images of a different tone, we need to slightly increase/decrease the opacity of the highlight and shadow layers for each page.
Congratulations! Your Magazine Mockup Is Ready
Now you know how to create a magazine mockup from scratch. You can easily change the images to make different designs.
Ready-to-Use Magazine Mockup Templates by Placeit
If this process seems too long and difficult, you always can download ready-to-use mockups from Placeit. It's much easier and faster.
Placeit is an online mockup generator tool that is simple and easy to use. No Photoshop or Adobe skills required because it's all done online. Just select a template from their 11,000+ SMART Templates, insert your design, and you are good to go. Here are some magazine mockup examples.
This simple and clean magazine mockup is ideal for focusing on your design. You can easily change the background color to make the perfect match.
This natural-looking mockup photo can help you to make a cool presentation. You can show how your print design will look with a real person in real life without printing. Isn't it cool?
If you want to display a magazine or book cover in a casual way, this mockup is just perfect for this aim. This mockup produces a very life-like result. So cool for newspapers!
Here's another simple, clean magazine mockup. All of the mockups at Placeit are really easy to use. Just select the right image and set the background color online, and voila! Very easy and fast.
Let's make something more interesting! Have a rolled page adds an even more natural-looking effect. This mockup also allows you to change the background quickly and easily online.
More Mockup Tutorials
If you want to know more about mockups, check other our very-detailed tutorials:
- Product MockupHow to Create a Hoodie Mockup (Using an Online Hoodie Template)Monika Zagrobelna
- Computer Mockups30 Best Computer MockupsNona Blackman
- Product MockupHow to Make Your Own T-Shirt Design in 5 Easy StepsAndrei Stefan
- Product MockupHow to Create Phone Case Mockups in PhotoshopMonika Zagrobelna
- Product MockupHow to Make a Mockup Without PhotoshopMonika Zagrobelna
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