Magazine Cover Project

magazine draft 3


Create a magazine cover with a self-portrait and article titles to share a little about me, all while following good design principles.


I started by looking at several other magazine covers to get an idea of title and article placement around the main image. I also wanted to see different ways to emphasize certain words on a cover.

I took a few pictures of myself on my phone in front of a white wall. I took the best one and cropped around it in Illustrator to make a png with a transparent background that I could use on my cover. Using Photoshop I brightened up the picture a bit too. I finally designed the final project in InDesign.

I made four sketches of possible cover layouts. On some I had my face centered, some were more to the side. I played with the layers a bit too, like if the image would go over or behind the title.  I also moved around the placement of the date, article titles, and barcode.

cover sketches

I tried to not box in any white space in weird places, I kept related words near each other and aligned all text boxes to other text boxes. Using these design principles allowed me to create a design where all the pieces are important and work towards the big picture.

I created a shape map of my favorite layout in InDesign.

magazine shape maps2


This magazine cover is a representation of me at this time of my life. The cover story title describes some of the things that are on my mind right now: family, school, a new diabetes diagnosis (yes, it’s the autoimmune kind and I’m taking insulin shots several times a day.) I named the magazine “Accomplish” to show that even if I can’t get everything done that I want to, I try to stay balanced and I still do get many good things done.


The audience for this project is my instructor and my classmates. It helped them all get to know me a little bit better and allowed me to share some of my interests in just a few article titles.

STEPHANIE PAXMAN on family, school, hobbies and adjusting to diabetes: This is my feature article which describes the most important pieces of my life right now.

Balance doesn’t mean everything gets equal importance: This article mentions my current philosophy on balance. We usually think that balance happens when everything is equal. That’s not true though. I have to set priorities and spend time on those things accordingly. I can still include my hobbies, blog, and other things, but they won’t get the same amount of time in my day.

Exclusive behind the scenes tour of Stephanie’s craft space: I have one wall in our master bedroom that’s all mine and I thought it would be a fun way to grab attention on the cover.

Bonus quick recipes to please even picky eaters: This lets people know we have several picky palates in my house (me included) and that we’ve found some go-to favorites that everyone likes.

Top Thing Learned

The best thing I learned this week was applying design principles and then checking up on them later. What I mean by this, that it was easy for me to recognize that alignment is important. But sometimes after I moved words around in InDesign I would forget to check to see that everything was as aligned as possible. It was a reminder to me that design principles aren’t just thought about in the initial stages, but should be reviewed all throughout the process.

Color Scheme and Color Names

I chose my first two colors from my portrait: teal and pink. I added a third color, light orange, to make a split complimentary color scheme.

Color codes:

  • C=0 M=85 Y=23 K=0
  • C=84 M=33 Y=41 K= 6
  • C=0 M=15 Y=62 K= 0

Title Font Name and Category

Bernard MT Condensed (Modern)

Thumbnails of original, unedited photos

(no source links, picture taken by me)

original thumbnail

Video Presentation

Critique Report

In the video critique from Sister Kunz, she suggested adding another article and making sure that everything was aligned. I had done a pretty good job at aligning my right side, but the article on the left wasn’t aligned with the “A” of the title, so I fixed that. I also corrected some leading and put a little more space between the dateline and the title. I was also encouraged to add a background color, which I did.

In my critique with Sydney on Tuesday, we got onto Facebook chat, shared jpgs and talked about changes we’d made and what might still need work. She helped me align the “Bonus” article, since that was an added feature after the video critique. She also supported my background color choice. Additionally I worked a little with Karina on her cover in the Facebook group. She had a little too much variation in the size of her article titles.



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