Publication Cover Design

Publication Cover Design

Technically a publication is:


noun \ˌpə-blə-ˈkā-shən\

: a book, magazine, newsletter, journal, etc., that has been printed and made available to the public   Let's focus on the magazine/journal portion as we look at designing a new series of covers for a "new" magazine of your choice.

A new publication is going to launch in next month and they want you to design their first two cover designs. It is essential that your new designs establish the identity of the new magazine. They aren't looking for the traditional look that others in their industry already use. They really want to standout while still targeting their appropriate maket audience.

  • What is the focus?
  • What is the style?
  • Who is the audience?


-- Student Publication Design Gallery -- THE BOTB!


For this project you will need to carefully follow your design process. It is up to you to create a new fictitious magazine in an industry of your choice. Define the title, market, style, cover story, issue/date info, etc. The format size is also open to your choosing. These are all question that are a part of your design problem as ultimately your focus is obviously the actual cover design. You will create two different cover designs. One design may be image or illustration based but the second design must have a typographic design focus.

  1. research your industry and the publication that already exist
  2. create a title masthead
  3. develop and integrate a cover story
  4. establish a design concept based on cover story
  5. generate several design solutions for the two different cover stories of your two issues
  6. develop the two best solution with details in style, font, color, imagery
  7. Begin design creations

Thoughts from the Captain

Here are some pages for inspiration or where you might begin your research.

Cover Junkie | One Extra Pixel | Creative Bloq | From up North | Inspiration Hut

While the task of publication design is open to personal interpretation and  wild creativity, don't lose focus on creating an effective model of an authentic Magazine cover. This means you need dates, issue and volume, Cover Story, Issue theme or sub stories, all while maintaining an identity of sort between the two issues.

Completion: Did you go the extra 10%?...Then, complete your Project Page including the Reflection/Artist Statement, Final designs, and all sketchbook pages scanned and notated. Upload the TWO final jpg image files to my server for printing. Now inform The Captain of your completion to get the completion code.

Are you Proud of your finished Product?

I hope so because if you worked through the design process you are a success. Hopefully we will get this printed ASAP but don't hesitate to remind the Captain that its ready to print. Be Proud!


Go hang the finished piece on the Critique wall at the front of the classroom. Other's need to see what you have accomplished.

BONUS Self Assessment Loot:

After completion of your project and project page documentation choose one of the appropriate self-assessments for yourself. Consider the skill, craftsmanship, originality, and composition of your final Product:

Over The Top

Nailed It

Good, But…

At Least I Finished It

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