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Magazine Cover Design - Adobe Illustrator Tutorial

Jacquelin Vanderwood

1 Open Illustrator and press Control+N to create a new document. 

2 Press Control+T to open the Text options.

3 Decide on a title for the magazine for this practice session. Keep the layers separated and locked when not in use.

4 Create a new layer and drop it below the layer of text. Select the rectangle tool and a desired color and drop it into the layer.

5 Create a new layer and drop that below the last one. This will be the artwork and/or photo layer. Press Control+R to bring up the ruler. Click in the upper left corner of the ruler and drag down to the edge of the document. Drag a ruler line from the left ruler and center it which in this instance would be 4.1. Select File>Place and drop in a photo or some artwork. You can then resize if necessary but it's best to resize an image in the program it was created in. You can even change the layer mode which I have done. I set the transparency to Luminosity. Lock this layer.

6 Jump to the top layer then create a new layer. Select the Rectangle tool. Set in two rectangles as shown below.

7 Lock the previous layer and create a new one. Select the Text tool. Choose the color white. You can make adjustments to the text once you have typed it. Type in the initial text and adjust. You will most likely have to use the Leading adjustment to give the text a uniform feel. This is all "make-believe" so we won't worry what text we use.

8 We then want to set in any other permanent features. If you need to center text within a box, use the Horizontal Center Align on the Align options. Make sure the text and the box are selected or nothing will happen.

9 You'll then add a UPC code box (most likely supplied by the publisher) with a price and URL of the magazine.

10 We then want to highlight certain "selling" articles. Create the rectangles. Add the text. You may need to adjust the Leading. Then you may also need to adjust letter spacing. In this case I needed to adjust the 'w' and the 'a' because they were unevenly spaced. Select both the letters and adjust. If the 'a' becomes adjusted but the 'w' is still out there, select only 'w' and continue adjusting the Tracking.

11 The magazine will go to print so you will have to set it up according to the client's specifications and/or the service bureau. You will always set any print job in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). We'll cover printing and color separations in another lesson. 


Copyright 2002, Jacquelin Vanderwood, All Rights Reserved

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