The Art of the Magazine Cover

The Art of the Magazine Cover

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Designing a magazine cover is the designer's dream. More creative freedoms enable the designer to push the creative. But creativity is just the beginning...

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Subsea Uk News front cover design August 2020

Designing a magazine cover is a designer’s dream. Often there are no limitations other than to reveal the magazine’s content in a way that makes an impact.
Whilst, over the past 20 years, online publishing has led to the reduction of printed magazines, the fact is that magazines will never die. And, so long as there are magazines, there will be some great magazine cover designs. Creative, artistic, fun, striking. Great magazine covers will carry through the history of time.
But, it is not solely the designer’s creative skills that are required, they also need to be strategic in their approach. The holy grail is to design a cover which is not just stunning but also truly reaches the core of the message (in many cases, the underlying theme of the contents within).

Design Inc has been designing magazine and newsletters for our clients for over 25 years.
Over these years, we estimate that we have created over 800 publications for our clients, be that magazines, newsletters, bulletins or even company brochures and guides.

One of our longer-running projects is the quarterly sector magazine, GUH News which we have been designing continually for 15 years. Since the first edition was published back in September 2009, there have been close to 50 magazines created. And that is 50 creative covers we have designed.

“We are proud to support Global Underwater Hub with the design & publishing of their magazines.” says Design Inc’s Director, Frank Norman. “It’s a great publication to work on and we really do relish the creative challenge of designing the magazine’s cover as it allows us a lot more creative freedom here.”

The main image of this artticle shows a cover for Subsea UK News published during the Covid pandemic. This was before Subsea UK transitioned to global Underwater Hub and the magazine was rebranded.

The UK’s subsea sector is a forward-thinking & resilient industry and companies have always had to adapt to meet ever-changing demands. However, with Covid-19 devastating many industries, it was not unsurprising that it has had a massive impact on the global subsea sector too.

And so, it was a no brainer that the underlying message behind the design of that magazine cover should be about the impact of Covid and the knock on effects to this sector.
However, we also wanted to add an extra, positive message so as to imply that the sector would, somehow, ‘react’ to the impact.

So, the design team put their creative and strategic heads together and the concept of the Newton’s Cradle was born.
Not only does the image suggest ‘impact’ but it also references the knock-on effect of that impact. Furthermore, from the static image, one can quickly work out what happens when there is movement – that the impact causes the last ball to react accordingly. And bounce back!

Often, those designing a magazine cover create a very elaborate piece of artwork, trying to cover all the articles within. However the edition of Subsea UK News demonstrated a fantastic example of a ‘less is more’ approach to design. The magazine’s cover had been designed without clutter but with bundles of meaning. A plain background, nothing else on the office desk. That and the fact only the first two balls were styled up all ensured the viewer was totally focused on the metaphor.

Magazine Publishing Services
Design Inc provide the full range of publishing services, including:
Copy writing 
Illustrations and infographics
Article strategy
Printing (we encourage the use of sustainable and FSC accredited suppliers & materials)
Distribution (and data)
Digital and/or interactive versions

>>The Creative Art of Magazine Design & Publishing
>>Designing for a Company Magazine or Newsletter
>>Why You Should Always Trust a Book by Its Cover

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