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Practical points for producing perfect publications
Part 1 - Cover Stories

November 2018

Magazine covers for Lash Inc. and Signpost International’s Changing Lives

Have you ever had to publish a magazine or newsletter for your business? I’ve designed many magazines and newsletters during my career and was recently invited to give some hints and tips to the Student Publication Association Scottish Conference. In my presentation I discussed “Practical points for producing perfect publications”.

The feedback from the talk was really positive and I thought that it would be helpful to  share some tips from the presentation with a wider audience. Whether you’re involved with a niche magazine for a specialist group, want to improve your publishing skills to benefit your business or charity, or just want to know more about the benefits of good design, then grab a coffee, have a read and let me know what you think!

I’ve broken the presentation into bite-size chunks and will publish it in a series of blog posts over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in publishing a magazine or newsletter for your business or organisation then get in touch to find out how we can help you!

So, let’s start at the beginning; cover stories…

  • Your cover is a visual ambassador for your magazine and should sum up its ethos.
  • A good cover will attract attention and can drive the decision on whether or not to buy.
  • Use a professional masthead that reflects your publication.
  • Try not to clutter the cover – use one main headline, and no more than 5 sub-headlines
  • Choose typestyles and colour which will make your headline stand out
  • Choose a compelling high-impact photograph or image.
  • If using a portrait then your model should look straight into the camera – eye contact is really important.
  • Differentiate your colour scheme so that buyers don't get confused with previous issues.
  • The cover can be the hardest bit of your magazine to get right so make sure you allocate plenty of time to make sure it's the best it can be.
  • Be sure to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes: get lots of feedback from your team before you send it to print and always always proof read for spelling and grammar!

Resources – learn more…

So you want to publish a magazine – Angharad Lewis

Magazine Designs That Work, Stacey King

Making and breaking the grid, Timothy Samara


We’d love to help you with your magazine, in-house newsletter or publication.
Please get in touch to arrange a meeting with our knowledgeable designers.

Call us now on 01382 201171

Blog Topics


Practical points for producing perfect publications
Part 1 - Cover Stories

Part 2 - Page Furniture

Part 3 - Typography

Part 4 - Images and layouts

Part 5 - Colour and print set up

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