Forward-thinking, stylish, and bold are the words I would use to describe a Gentleman's Quarterly (GQ) magazine cover. GQ has been at the forefront of men's fashion since its start in 1931. Before I teach you how to make your own GQ magazine cover in Photoshop, let's go over a few iconic GQ magazine covers and see why GQ stands out from the rest.
Before we begin, if you're short on time, try this template and create a fake magazine cover. Design your cover with the help of Hers fashion magazine template.
What You'll Learn in This GQ Magazine Photoshop Template
- How GQ's iconic covers made history
- How to set up a GQ magazine cover Photoshop template
- How to design a GQ magazine cover template
What You’ll Need to Make Your Own GQ Cover
1. How GQ's Iconic Covers Made History
GQ, formerly Apparel Arts, started in New York City in 1931. GQ has placed everyone from comedians, presidents, athletes, musicians and actors on its covers. Now, let's look at a few of them and go over what makes them trailblazers in the world of fashion.
Let's start with former U.S. President John F. Kennedy (JFK). JFK graced the cover of GQ's March 1962 issue (pictured below). The unique story behind this cover, according to Ren Mcknight, was that this cover may have been a total accident. It was later reported that JFK didn't realize he was being photographed for GQ magazine or he pretended not to know. Former Presidents Barack Obama (December 2015) and Donald J. Trump (May 1984) have also landed covers on GQ. We also can't forget current President Joe Biden, who was photographed for British GQ's March 2021 issue.
GQ is known as the fashion magazine for men, but did you know that GQ has placed women on its covers as well? The very first woman to land a cover on GQ was actress Carol Channing (Winter 1964) in a bright red dress posing as a wind-up toy (pictured below). Other iconic covers include tennis champion Serena Williams (November 2018), supermodel Gisele Bündchen (July 2008), and actress and singer Jennifer Lopez (November 2020).
The GQ magazine is known for fashion, but it doesn't shy away from exploring other topics not related to fashion. A prime example of this is GQ's Musician of the Year cover featuring Lil Nas X (November 2021). The cover is striking and not what we would normally see on a GQ cover in regards to Photoshopping. The cover is a photo manipulation of a cloned Lil Nas X in a headlock (pictured below). The cover story dives deep into Lil Nas X's path through the music industry as a queer artist.
2. How to Set Up Your GQ Magazine Cover in Adobe Photoshop
Open Photoshop and go to File > New to create a new document. Use the dimensions 8.75 x 11.25 in, CMYK Color, and a Resolution of 300 for our GQ magazine cover template blank page.
Create four guides by going to View > New Guide Layout. Change the Top and Bottom Margins to 144 px and the Left and Right Margins to 80 px.
3. How to Design a GQ Magazine Cover Template PSD
Open the fashionable male image in Photoshop and place it into our GQ magazine cover template blank page. Resize it by pressing Command-T so that it looks like the image below.
In the upper left corner, use the Type Tool (T) and use the Quart font to type the letter "G". Change the font size to 252 pt and the color to
Type the letter "Q" using the Juan font. Change the font size to 272 pt and the color to
#e1c1dc. Change the Opacity to 82% in the Layers panel.
Grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and make a selection around the letter "Q". Create a Layer Mask in the Layers panel by selecting the mask icon at the bottom of the panel.
Select the folder icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Drag and place the letter "Q" into this folder. Double-Click this folder and name it "Q". Select the Model layer and go to Select > Subject. Your model should now have an active selection.
Go to Select > Inverse to invert the model selection. Select the "Q" folder layer and create a Layer Mask by selecting the mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (red square highlighted below).
On our GQ magazine cover Photoshop template, select the Type Tool (T) and type "Gentleman's Quarterly", along with the date and price, using these settings:
- Gentleman's Quarterly: Altone Extra Bold, 10 pt,
- September 2022 & $6.99: Altone Light, 10 pt,
Type the "2022 Men of the Year Issue" text using these settings:
- The 2022 & Issue: Altone Semi Bold, 19 pt,
- Men of the Year: Altone Semi Bold, 45 pt,
Add the headline "The Fashion Rule Breaker" using these settings: Altone Semi Bold, 15 pt, and
Add your cover model's name underneath the headline. For this example, I'm using Bash Wilks. Use Altone Semi Bold, 43 pt. The Leading should be changed to 46 pt and the color to
Grab the Rectangular Tool (U) and create two horizontal rectangles underneath the Bash Wilks text layer using the color
#1e1e1e. I'm using these sizes for the rectangles:
- Bash rectangle: 506 px x 182 px
- Wilks rectangle: 590 px x 182 px
Use the following settings to create another article title:
- Subheader: Altone Semi Bold, 11 pt,
- 1st Article: Altone Semi Bold, 17 pt,
- 2nd Article: Altone Semi Bold, 17 pt,
Take the Brush Tool (B) and add a soft 800 px shadow behind the article titles. Use the color
#7e8bc5 for the shadow. I made the model layer invisible so that you can see where to apply the shading.
Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and make a 475 px circle in the top right corner. Change the color to
#f37a71 and add a 1 pt Stroke using
Add the "Want More?" text to the circle using these settings:
- Want More? Altone Extra Bold, 20 pt,
- Check out: Altone Semi Bold, 13 pt,
Add the footer text to the bottom of the magazine using Altone Semi Bold, 52 pt, and change the color to
Go to Type > Warp Text and change the Style to Flag. Change the Bend to -22, Horizontal Distortion to +28, and leave the Vertical Distortion at 0.
Double-Click the text layer and apply a 13 px Stroke. Use the color
Duplicate (Command-J) this layer and place it beneath the original text layer. Move it a little bit to the left and change the text color to
Kudos to you for following my tutorial on how to make a GQ magazine cover template. Use this GQ magazine cover template PSD to create other high-fashion covers. Now, I bet you're wondering how you should display your new cover. Try out the mockup below, available at Placeit. Placeit has different types of mockups from magazines to shirts, ready for you to customize.
5 Print-Ready Fashion Magazine Covers
A magazine cover is more than just a cover. It's the first thing that grabs your reader's attention. So use these templates to create a fake magazine cover, and make it the high-fashion cover they can't resist! With customizable fonts and colors, you'll be able to make your publication stand out in an instant.
1. Three Fashion Magazine Covers (INDD)
Need an awesome cover for your magazine? With this print-ready design, you can create an inspirational cover of your own in just a few minutes! Did I mention that you get three different covers?!
2. Wedding Avenue Magazine Cover (PSD)
You've always dreamed of being on the cover of your favorite magazine, but your daydream is about to become a reality. It's never been this easy to create a custom, professional-looking magazine cover that fits your needs and budget.
3. Fashion Magazine (INDD, EPS)
It's the one thing you've always wanted. Now you can have your very own fashion magazine cover with this downloadable template. Choose your favorite looks and put yourself on the cover with a quick edit.
4. Fashion Lookbook Magazine (INDD)
Looking for a stellar way to impress your clients? The answer is only a download away. Keep your brand at the forefront of the minds of the world with a professional, high-quality magazine cover.
5. High Fashion Magazine (INDD)
It's no secret that people love high fashion magazine covers. If you're one of them and want to have your own cover for your blog or as a social media post with just a few clicks, this template is perfect for you.
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