Behind the Scenes: Crafting Unique Magazine Covers That Pop
Have you ever picked up a magazine and knew just by the cover that you wanted to keep reading? In today’s advertisement-rich world, attention-grabbing magazine covers are a must-have for any business looking to make an impact with their print marketing efforts. But what all goes into making an eye-catching magazine cover? Well, today, we’re taking you behind the scenes and showing you everything that goes into crafting unique magazine covers that pop for your next print marketing campaign.
Know Your Audience
The very first thing you need to do before you can begin creating a dynamic magazine cover is to know your audience. What are their pain points? What type of content do they need to hear? And how can your organization be the solution to their problems? Once you can answer questions like these, you’ll have a better understanding of your audience and know exactly which points to highlight to tailor the magazine cover to their interests, needs, and desires.
Once you’ve determined who your core audience is, it’s time to choose a striking image for your magazine cover. Many people think they can just choose a stock image for their cover, and while this directive is alright in some cases, we generally tell our clients the more relevant and personable, the better. As a result, our clients often opt for a high-resolution headshot, team photo, or other relevant image. You see how we keep saying “relevant.” That’s because your cover image needs to be in some way related to the content the readers will find within the pages. Bonus points if you can generate an image that evokes an emotional response from your audience.
Embrace Bold Colors
Have you ever gone to read something and realized the font that was used is nearly illegible? Many people don’t realize this, but typography matters! Yes, having a super fancy font might draw the eye initially, but if your readers can’t discern what the text says, then it’s doing your magazine a disservice. We recommend choosing fonts that are known to be legible (such as any sans-serif font) and also considering the visual hierarchy of the design. In other words, what stands out the most on the page? Is it the title? Perhaps it’s the image. And most importantly, is what you want to showcase standing out the most? By creating a cover where the typography and image work symbiotically, you can increase the overall visual appeal while drawing readers in and getting them to flip through the pages.
Keep It Clean and Uncluttered
Although we’re going over several design elements, that doesn’t mean that your cover design should have a million different things going on. On the contrary, keeping your magazine clean and uncluttered will actually help to increase the impact of your design. Sometimes, simplifying your cover design can be challenging, but just think about the absolutely critical parts you need to get your point across to the readers and consider eliminating the rest. Conversely, you could find ways to combine ideas so that they’re shortened or simplified while still getting the original sentiment across. When you’re able to give in to the power of minimalism, you can create a magazine cover that is more intentional and deliberate, giving it a sense of harmony and purpose.
Something else that’s important to consider is that your magazine cover needs to tease the content that readers will find inside. Once again, you don’t necessarily want to spread a ton of words across the cover but rather highlight a few of the most relevant content pieces to draw your readers in. At Tulip Media Group, we recommend using specific verbiage to create curiosity. For example, the headline “5 Controversial Social Media Hacks to Get More Clicks” is way more exciting than “Increase Your Clicks with These Tips.” Remember, it’s all in the perception and delivery, so play around with your headlines and taglines and find what works best for you!
Consistency Is Key
Finally, and arguably the most important reminder, always bear in mind that consistency is key when it comes to your marketing efforts. Building an instantly recognizable visual identity is paramount to your success as a brand, meaning once you’ve decided on certain design elements (such as fonts, imagery, and colors), you need to stick with them. We’re not saying you have to be married to these design choices forever; however, cultivating brand recognition requires time and consistency. Plus, research shows that when you have an impactful visual identity, it helps create an emotional connection with your clients which leads to 57% of customers spending more money. This is something to keep in mind next time you’re wanting to change your fonts or brand colors (again).
We hope this behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating an impactful magazine cover has given you some insights into what you need to consider before your next print marketing campaign. But what if you’re feeling overwhelmed about the process and don’t know where to begin? In that case, why not partner with an agency specializing in print marketing, like our team at Tulip Media Group? Thanks to our tried-and-true methods, we take all the headache and hassle out of the magazine creation process so that it’s an enjoyable, streamlined experience. Our professional graphic designers know how to create a striking yet visually balanced cover design that not only utilizes your brand colors and teases the content but also resonates with your core audience.