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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Designing

Create a Magazine Mockup Using InDesign and Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

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!


Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this project:

1. Create Pages in InDesign


Step 1

Choose File > New to create a new file. Set its page size to Letter. Scroll a bit.

Create new document in Indesign

Step 2

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.

Bleed in new document

Step 3

In the Pages panel (Window > Pages), add a new page. Now we have two pages.

Add new page

Step 4

Double-click the Master page.

Master Page

Step 5

Hit Command-R to reveal the ruler. Command-drag to make a new guide on the top of both pages.

Add top guide

Step 6

Add another guide on the lower part of the page.

Add bottom guide

Step 7

Add more guides to create four columns on the left page and three on the right.

Add more guides

Step 8

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.

Page number

Step 9

Open the Paragraph Styles (F11) panel and create a new style.

Add new Paragraph style

Step 10

Double-click the new style and set its alignment to Away From Spine. Apply this style to the text box on the current page.

Indents an Spacing

Step 11

Alt-drag the text box to duplicate it. Place it on the other side of the page.

Duplicate age number

Step 12

Below, you can see the result on the page. The A character is automatically changing, based on the current page number.

Result of applying Master

2. Design the First Page in InDesign

Step 1

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).

Change picture size in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2

Add a photo on the top half of page 1 (File > Place). Make sure to snap it to the bleed area.

Place photo

Step 3

We don't want the image accidentally moved or edited. Right-click the image and select Lock.

Lock image

Step 4

Add an image subtitle by adding a Text Box (T) to the lower right corner of the image.

Add text

Step 5

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.

Place road photo and add text

Step 6

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.

Add text block

Step 7

Create a new Paragraph Style (F11) for the article title. Choose a big, bold font style.

Article title style

Step 8

Apply the paragraph style to the title.

Apply article title style

Step 9

Select the year text and set a smaller font size.

Year text size

Step 10

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.

Paragraph options

Step 11

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.

Draw rectangle and triangle

Step 12

Select both shapes. Right-click them and select Group to combine them as a group.

Group shapes

Step 13

Open the Text Wrap panel (Window > Text Wrap) and set the following wrap setting.

Text Wrap Settings

Step 14

Place it at the top of the article.

Place shape

Step 15

Add another article. This time, rotate the arrow so that it's pointing to the small image.

Add second article

3. Design the Second Page in InDesign

Step 1

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.

Place photo in InDesign

Step 2

Add a rectangle (M) covering the lower part of the page and the photo. Set it to black.

Add black rectangle

Step 3

Apply a linear gradient (G) from white to black.

Add linear gradient

Step 4

From the Effects panel (Window > Effects), set its Blend Mode to Multiply.

Set multiply blending mode in Indesign

Step 5

Draw a grey rectangle (M) on the lower part of the page.

Add gray rectangle in Indesign

Step 6

Add the post title. Place some rectangle shapes behind the text. Right-click and select Arrange to set the layers as you want.

Add text shapes and rectangle blocks

Step 7

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 another article

Step 8

Add a quotation in the last column, made from a combination of Paragraph Styles and Character Styles.

Add quotation

Step 9

Add a smaller article and images in the lower part of the page.

Add small images and article in InDesign

Step 10

We have finished working on the page. Below is the result.

Making magazine page in Adobe InDesign

Step 11

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.

Export pages

4. Prepare the Magazine Mockup

Step 1

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.

Use photo reference

Step 2

Add a Stroke to help us see the reference. Double-click the layer to open the Blending Options panel.

Stroke settings in Adobe Photoshop

Step 3

Reduce the layer's Opacity.

Reduce layers opacity

Step 4

Trace the rest of the page, and make sure to place it behind the previous page.

Trace more pages

Step 5

Remove the Stroke and change the layer's Opacity to 100%. This time, apply the Inner Shadow option and Gradient Overlay.

Inner Shadow options in Adobe Photoshop

Step 6

Also, apply a Gradient Overlay.

Gradient Overlay Settings

Step 7

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.

Draw highlight shape

Step 8

Soften the highlight by applying a Gaussian Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur).

Apply Gaussian Blur in Adobe Photoshop

Step 9

Reduce the Highlight layer's Opacity.

Reduce Highlight shape opacity

Step 10

Repeat this step to add more highlights on the page.

Another highlight shape in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Apply a Gaussian Blur to them.

Apply Gaussian Blur

Step 12

Repeat the same process, but this time paint black to add shadows on both sides of the page.

Add shadows

Step 13

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).

Draw highlight spot

Step 14

Soften it by applying a very big Gaussian Blur.

Gaussian Blur in Adobe Photoshop

Step 15

Reduce the layer's Opacity.

Reduce layer Opacity

Step 16

Command-click the first page to select it. Add a new layer behind the first page. Fill the selection with black.

Select page layer

Step 17

Deselect it by pressing Command-D. Soften the page shadow layer by applying a Gaussian Blur filter.

Gaussian Blur to shadow layer

Step 18

Convert the layer to a Clipping Mask (Command-Alt-G). This way, the shadow will go inside the page behind it.

Shadow layer to clipping mask

Step 19

Keep repeating this step to add shadows to the other pages.

Maje more shadows

5. Apply Magazine Pages to Mockup

Step 1

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.

Place page image

Step 2

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.

Transform the page image

Step 3

Command-drag the corner until it matches the shape of the page.

Transform page image

Step 4

A simple transformation will not be enough. Right-click and choose Warp.

Warp Transform

Step 5

Draw its handle and warp boxes until it matches the page's curvature.

Warp settings

Step 6

Convert the layer to a Clipping Mask and place it under all the highlights and shadows.

Move page image

Step 7

Duplicate this smart object page and place it on the rest of the pages behind it.

Add more pages

Step 8

Repeat the steps, drawing the rest of the page, and this time applying the next InDesign page.

Add second page

Step 9

Select the all layers and group them (Command-G).

Group layers in Photoshop

Step 10

With the Brush Tool (B), draw a black line on the center. Make it a Clipping Mask (Command-Alt-G).

Draw a shadow with brush tool in Adobe Photoshop

Step 11

Apply a Gaussian Blur (I use 38 pixels) to this shadow, and reduce its Opacity.

Center shadow opacity

Step 12

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.

Create new layer with white background

Step 13

Double-click the Magazine group and set a Drop Shadow.

Add first drop shadow

Step 14

Add one more Drop Shadow.

Apply second drop shadow

Step 15

Select the magazine group, duplicate it (Command-J), merge all layers (Command-E), and move it under the main magazine group.

Duplicate magazine group

Step 16

Command-click the Magazine copy to select it. Create new layer and paint it black with the Paint Bucket Tool (G).

Paint layer with black

Step 17

You can delete the Magazine copy layer—we don't need it anymore. Apply a Gaussian Blur to our black layer.

Shadow blur

Step 18

Move the black layer a bit with the Move Tool (V).

Move shadow

Step 19

Set its Opacity to 20%.

Shadow opacity

Step 20

I've reduced the opacity of the Magazine group's drop shadow slightly. And our mockup is ready to use!

Magazine mockup

Step 21

Open the Magazine group layers, and double-click the smart object page design to edit its content.

Select image layer

Step 22

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.

Step 23

In the mockup file, the page content is automatically updated—no manual transformation needed. Repeat this process for the other page.

Updated first page

Step 24

This time, we'll change the design of the second page. Repeat the previous steps with the second page.

Second page updated

Step 25

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.

Change shadow and highlight opacity

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.

Magazine mockup in InDesign and Photoshop

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.

Open Magazine Mockup

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.

Open magazine mockup

Magazine Mockup Featuring a Woman Lying on a Couch

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?

Magazine Mockup Featuring a Woman Lying on a Couch

Mockup of a Man Reading a Magazine While Having Coffee

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!

Mockup of a Man Reading a Magazine While Having Coffee

Wide-Open Magazine Mockup Placed on a Flat Surface

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.

Wide-Open Magazine Mockup Placed on a Flat Surface

Mockup of a Rolled Magazine With Customizable Background

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.

Mockup of a Rolled Magazine with Customizable Background

More Mockup Tutorials

If you want to know more about mockups, check other our very-detailed tutorials:


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