Making my Magazine Cover…

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Media

Cutting out my ‘main image’

Well, since I had collected my main image for my magazine (or rather a selection of them) I realised that in order to ‘superimpose’ my image over the text (i.e. the name of my magazine chain, which is ‘Brit Flicks’) I needed to cut out the figure which would then be placed over the top of it. As I was using paint to create my magazine cover (I could have used Adobe Photo-Shop but as I am not very experienced in using it I felt it would waste time if I had to learn how to use before I even started making the magazine cover. Also, the paint I used was quite an updated version of the programme so…) this process of cutting out the image was quite a long and tedious one. But, I think it worked out okay (see images above) and I tried to make it look as realistic and ‘smooth’ as possible to give my cover a ‘professional’ look to it. The only thing was…it didn’t stay that way for long…


Well as you can see here I immediately didn’t like the idea of superimposition on my magazine cover. I mean, it looks fine on real magazine covers but when you’re a bit of an amateur (who doesn’t want to look like an amateur) it doesn’t really tend to work out all that well. The black constant background looked boring and put me off my own magazine cover- so it wouldn’t be very persuasive to any ordinary audience member now would it? No- I decided after seeing this picture that I wasn’t going to superimpose my image over the text as although I know very well from magazine cover research that they tend to do this a lot, I don’t think it’d work out for me. Also, it shows how I am trying to break the boundaries and conventions of magazine covers by NOT doing what’s expected of me design-wise….just like director’s do within their films to attract more audiences (because it m akes the film unique and different).

So….new plan…

Well after deciding superimposition is really not for me, I decided to put my text (‘Brit Flicks’) ‘over’ my image instead- and my image has quite a plain background (just a brick wall) I thought this could easily work quite well. Honestly I thought it did work much better, though at first I did have a few problems with the text not ‘agreeing’ with the image as such (see above) I managed to sort this our in the end, and with the name of the magazine and the main image in place, I could work on the other features needed, such as puffs, pugs, anchorage text etc

Adding the other features…

I found this image after searching on google and decided to add it over the top of magazine as a sort of banner- as it links to the film and helps connote bloodshed and violence- thus indicating to possible audience members that my film (the film being promoted on the front cover) is of the thriller genre.

I then started to add puffs, pugs, anchorage text and well, everything really that I thought would be expected of the film magazine front cover (which I gathered from my research) which you can see below…

Now, analysing MY magazine front cover…

I used a simple font on my cover (I think it was Arial) because I noticed that this is a convention somewhat of magazine covers in general- because if you over-complicate the writing it looks a little too ‘tacky’ or if it’s trying too hard to get the audiences’ attention. Here is my basic outline of all of my features on my magazine and why I made it that way…

-I started with the banner at the top ’10 Film Reviews!! /Thriller Special/ 10 Free Posters!!’ by putting certain words in red (the buzzwords) I thought this would help get audience attention and catch their eye when they first look at the cover. Also, by offering something free (specifically film posters- as it is more likely to appeal to those who have a specific interest in films, which is the main audience for my magazine cover) it is more likely to gain audience interest in buying the magazine. I also thought, after looking at a few magazine covers that it was useful to have a theme that linked to the main image, so, I chose the theme of ‘thriller’ as this is the genre I chose for my film (with a sub-genre of revenge).  I also liked to keep things constant and linking well together, so repeating the number ten I also thought a useful technique to attract audience attention. Also the fact that ‘Thriller Special’ is in the centre of the words (and is bigger) reinforces it’s importance to the cover itself.

-I stuffed the date (totally made up) price and website for the magazine within the name of the magazine chain itself. This way it was small and kept out-of-the-way of other, more important features on the cover, but was still easy to read and also easy to find.

-I then took a dark red colour from the blood splatter I found on the internet and made a blood splatter of my own – to contain a puff. I did this so that everything was linked and also so that it looked a bit more ‘professional’. I added the puff ‘Plus! The Countdown of the 50 best thrillers of all time!’ – making sure I added the word ‘plus!’ to grab attention mostly, but also because I have realised from various research I’ve carried out that this is quite a convention on magazine front covers. Also, by linking in with the theme I carry it on in the puff also, making eveything (the features) link together better. Plus, the prospect of finding out the ‘best’ films of this genre is likely to appeal to audiences with an interest in film, which is whom I am targeting. 

-I added anchorage text to then further explain my image to an audience- so that they understand what kind of film I am promoting and to get them interested in it:‘Exclusive! “I can’t do this anymore!”‘ By adding the word ‘Exclusive’ (which I found also quite common on film magazine covers) This buzzword almost helps to catch the reader’s eye and then lead them onto reading the rest of the feature. Although I did put it in smaller letters so as to show that it really isn’t as important as other aspects of the magazine cover. By having an apparent ‘quote’ from the character (or maybe the actress) of the main image helps reinforce her feelings portrayed in the image- that she is upset and has been pushed to the point of no return- making the audience thus more interested in her and likely to want to read the article (which means buying the magazine) as they’ll wonder why she feels this way, whether she gets through this torment and maybe who is responsible. Like many other film magazine covers I decided to have the name of film being promoted ‘Tainted’ in perhaps one of the biggest fonts. This way the most important aspect of the film promoted here is easy to spot and easily noticed by audiences. I also put it in black so that it was separated from the other pieces of anchorage text and this reinforced it’s importance in general. I then added, in a smaller font, beneath the name of the film, a little explanation of what audiences’ can expect to see (or rather read) inside ‘We talk to Natalie Costtick on her new role within Britain’s new chilling thriller…’ So it explains the image a little more and works as a sort of puff- as it gives audiences the knowledge that the magazine has an interview with the cover star inside and also promises to let them know more about the film they’re playing a role in, thus this will get them interested and wanting to know more.

‘No Banks, actor Rufus Banks finally spills the beans on his (very) early retirement’ – PLaced to the side, away from the image and in quite small text, I think this helps reinforce to audiences that it is not anchorage text and is separate from the image itself and the film being promoted (which is my film…). To catch the audience’s attention and make them want to read on I gave my puff a little ‘sub-heading’ which I often found quite popular on film magazine covers- as put in a different colour (in my case red) and made a little bigger, it simply makes it easier to be spotted. I also not only made it quite short and ‘snappy’ (only two words) to prevent boring audiences but also tried a ‘play on words’ technique- using the name of an actor that I made up (Rufus Banks) to get across that the puff is talking about the actor’s retirement (so ‘No Banks’ means ‘No thanks’). I also think that this promises an interview with the actor inside, which would spark an interest in audiences who have a keen interest in films, which is who my main target audience is persumably. I think they’d also be intruged by how the puff appears to promise mysteries or secrets to finally be told ‘finally spills the beans’ which would definitely catch the audiences eye- as they’d be learning something they probably didn’t know beforehand. And just to clarify, i made all of this puff up myself- I created the names of the actors and so forth because I thought it’d be more fitting than stealing other film names/actors names etc to use on my fictional cover- and the same goes for most of my other features on my magazine. Because I thought that as I created my film, and my magazine name, it’s only fitting to create all the other aspects myself too, and gives me more leeway to show my creative side- even if it is just creating a name of a film… 

‘Calling all film-makers! Acclaimed director Wills offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for 10 lucky readers’ -Placed below the first puff, I thought I’d change direction and offer something in this puff that wasn’t an interview or anything of the like. Again, I used the technique of making the opening sentence bigger and in a different, brighter colour to catch the audiences eye. I specifically thought about offering something, like a competition, that specifically captures the interest of those who have a passion in film and film-making even- thus I made up the idea of an offer from a ‘professional’ director for ’10 lucky readers’. Making it sound glamorous and not something to be missed as it’s a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ automatically will make readers interested and want to know more about it (as I made sure I didn’t actually explain it very much) and thus will want to buy the magazine, which is the front cover’s main intention after all. Once again, I made up the concept and the name of the director ‘Wills’ to keep the creativity going.

‘The knives are out! Our team of critics are let loose on this weeks’ new releases…’- I also thought I add another puff, as I found from research on various magazine covers that there was usually quite a lot of puff in quantity. So, I put this puff directly in the left hand corner- to keep in separate from the image and thus reinforce it is of a different subject matter- which is also portrayed by the fact it is in a black ‘box’. I put a red line around this box also to connote ideas of bloodshed/violence which continues my theme- that my magazine is a ‘thriller special’. I used red and bigger text for the ‘sub-heading’ of the puff -‘The Knives are out!’ which I thought would catch audience members eyes because it sounds like there may be an element of conflict in whatever the puff is explaining- which is naturally always going to interest audiences. ‘Our team of critics are let loose on this weeks’ new releases’ this is somewhat an attempt at humour from my side- making these fictional film critics somewhat out to be animals‘let loose’ on these films- also, the use of the word ‘our’ I felt could help get the audience personally connected with the text. I also think this puff works well as it has the promise of film reviews- which naturally any audience member with an interest in film itself (which is my main target audience) will be drawn towards.

-‘The ultimate guide to this month’s movies… Tainted. The Darkest Hour. Jimmy’s Friend. No Way Out. I.O.U. Tripping on the Wire. Goody Two Shoes. And many more…’ I then thought I’d carry on this ‘box’ idea with another puff, which is placed next to the one I explained previously to indicate that it has a similar purpose to it. Again, ‘The Ultimate Guide’ was put in a bigger font and in white to separate it from the other parts of the text to avoid confusion in the readers. This also helps grab their attention first- and then explain it to them a little more in the smaller text, as most magazine puffs tend to do. With ‘To this moth’s movies…’ I attempted alliteration in the text to perhaps make it seem more persuasive tot he reader and also to make it look a little more ‘professional’. I then , with the names of the ‘films’ (all of which I made up of course) that feature in this ‘guide’ I put them in alternate colours (red, white, red) to keep them separate and prevent audience confusion. I also think this is what magazine covers would do as it makes the names of the films stand out individually and are not just mingled together. The fact i put my film first reinforces it’s importance to the cover overall- which I found quite common in film magazine front covers- as they often make references tot he covers star/character/film that it is most focused on in other aspects of it also (like puffs). I also added (in much smaller writing) ‘…and many more!’ as it appears to be only a snippet of what the readers could have in store if they bought the magazine, therefore persuading them to buy it (which is the intention of the cover overall). I think I did this mostly because I found magazine puffs did tend to just ‘name drop’ names of actresses/actors/films/directors etc because the name alone is often enough to gain audience interest- and there is often no worry that audiences may not recognize these names as a film magazine is after all, a specialist one.

-And last, and also kind of least, is the barcode – which I put in the bottom right hand corner – because conventionally I realised it was often in either of the two bottom corners through my various research on magazine front covers. Plus, it is out-of-the-way makes sure it doesn’t take away from the other aspects of my magazine that are actually persuasive or important to its purpose. This barcode I took from a picture I found on google images.


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