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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Magazine Design

How to Create Your Own GQ Magazine Cover

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

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.

Hers fashion magazineHers fashion magazineHers fashion magazine

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.

JFK GQ MagazineJFK GQ MagazineJFK GQ Magazine

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).

Carol Channing GQ coverCarol Channing GQ coverCarol Channing GQ cover

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.

Lil nas x gq coverLil nas x gq coverLil nas x gq cover

2. How to Set Up Your GQ Magazine Cover in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

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 a new documentCreate a new documentCreate a new document

Step 2

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.

Create a new guide layoutCreate a new guide layoutCreate a new guide layout

3. How to Design a GQ Magazine Cover Template PSD

Step 1

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.

Add photo to gq magazine coverAdd photo to gq magazine coverAdd photo to gq magazine cover

Step 2

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 #1e1e1e.

Type the letter GType the letter GType the letter G

Step 3

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.

Add the letter qAdd the letter qAdd the letter q

Step 4

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.

Add a letter layer maskAdd a letter layer maskAdd a letter layer mask

Step 5

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. 

Add a selection around the modelAdd a selection around the modelAdd a selection around the model

Step 6

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).

Add a model maskAdd a model maskAdd a model mask

Step 7

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, #ffffff
  • September 2022 & $6.99: Altone Light, 10 pt, #ffffff
Add the date and priceAdd the date and priceAdd the date and price

Step 8

Type the "2022 Men of the Year Issue" text using these settings:

  • The 2022 & Issue: Altone Semi Bold, 19 pt, #ffffff
  • Men of the Year: Altone Semi Bold, 45 pt, #f37a72
Add men of year textAdd men of year textAdd men of year text

Step 9

Add the headline "The Fashion Rule Breaker" using these settings: Altone Semi Bold, 15 pt, and #f1d3e6.

Add rule breaker textAdd rule breaker textAdd rule breaker text

Step 10

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 #ffffff.

Add bash wills textAdd bash wills textAdd bash wills text

Step 11

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
Add Bash Wilks text blocksAdd Bash Wilks text blocksAdd Bash Wilks text blocks

Step 12

Use the following settings to create another article title:

  • Subheader: Altone Semi Bold, 11 pt, #ffffff
  • 1st Article: Altone Semi Bold, 17 pt, #ffffff
  • 2nd Article: Altone Semi Bold, 17 pt, #f1d3e5
Lone apparel textLone apparel textLone apparel text

Step 13

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.

Add shading behind article textAdd shading behind article textAdd shading behind article text

Step 14

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 #ffffff.

Make a want more circleMake a want more circleMake a want more circle

Step 15

Add the "Want More?" text to the circle using these settings:

  • Want More? Altone Extra Bold, 20 pt, #000000
  • Check out: Altone Semi Bold, 13 pt, #ffffff
Add want more text to the circleAdd want more text to the circleAdd want more text to the circle

Step 16

Add the footer text to the bottom of the magazine using Altone Semi Bold, 52 pt, and change the color to #ffffff.

Add footer textAdd footer textAdd footer text

Step 17

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.

Warp the footer textWarp the footer textWarp the footer text

Step 18

Double-Click the text layer and apply a 13 px Stroke. Use the color #000000.

Add a stroke around the textAdd a stroke around the textAdd a stroke around the text

Step 19

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 #f37a72.

Duplicate the text layerDuplicate the text layerDuplicate the text layer

You're Finished!

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.

Magazine mockupMagazine mockupMagazine mockup

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)

Three fashion magazine coversThree fashion magazine coversThree fashion magazine covers

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)

Wedding avenue magazineWedding avenue magazineWedding avenue magazine

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)

Fashion MagazineFashion MagazineFashion Magazine

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)

Fashion lookbookFashion lookbookFashion lookbook

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)

high fashion magazinehigh fashion magazinehigh fashion magazine

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. 

Wait, There's More!

Learn how to create your very own GQ magazine Photoshop template and much more using these resources! Envato Tuts+ is the hub of everything design-related, from tutorials to inspiration. 

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