20+ Magazine Cover Examples, Templates & Design Ideas

One of the key goals when it comes to designing a magazine cover is to attract the attention of a potential buyer. For you to successfully do so, you have to make sure that your magazine cover design is eye-catching enough that people will grab and buy it once their eyes would land on your magazine on the magazine rack.

If you are still starting, you might want to make use of magazine cover templates and examples to help you get started.

Elements of an Effective Magazine Cover Design

For you to be able to successfully create an effective magazine cover design, you have to make sure that it contains the important elements that make it possible for you to get it as effective as possible.

  1. Masthead: Aside from the image, the first thing you see on a magazine cover is the masthead that usually comes in a large size because it is, essentially, the magazine’s brand or logo and should be given with emphasis. While its color may change, its typeface, font size, and placement will not change easily since it is part of the magazine’s branding that people will recognize first on your magazine cover.
  2. Photography: The first thing you will notice on a magazine cover is the photography. One indication that your magazine has an excellent choice of cover photography is that aside from its successfully catching the attention of a potential buyer, it is also the reason why the potential buyer will actually buy your magazine.
  3. Typography and Headlines: Despite the fact that images are considered as a key element of every magazine cover, the text or the typography on the magazine cover can be treated with equal importance since it is a major factor in connecting with your target readers. It is through this element that you will be able to relay and present information to your readers.
  4. Color: Do you know what makes a magazine cover pop? It’s the element of color. Colors help in conveying the mood and the overall feel of every magazine out there. Your choice of color can really make or break the sales of your magazine because it’s what helps your magazine to look appealing to the potential buyers.
  5. White Space: While the element of color makes your magazine cover appealing, the white space you include on your magazine cover is also helpful because it’s what makes your magazine cover looked balanced to the eyes of your target readers and makes everything look less overwhelming especially if you are already planning to include a lot of texts and images.

10+ Magazine Cover Templates

Architecture Magazine Cover Page Template

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Size: (US) 8.5×11 inches

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Basketball Magazine Cover Template

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Business Magazine Cover Page Template

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Creative Magazine Cover Page Template

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Financial Magazine Cover Page Template

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Healthy Food Magazine Cover Template

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Men’s Fashion Magazine Cover Template

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Size: (US) 8.5×11 inches

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Music Magazine Cover Template

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Technology Magazine Cover Page Template

Template Details

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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Women Fashion Magazine Cover Template

Template Details

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Size: (A4) 8.27×11.69 inches

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10+ Famous Magazine Cover Examples

Cosmopolitan Magazine Cover Sample

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Discover Magazine Cover Example

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ESPN Magazine Cover

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Esquire Magazine Cover

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Good Housekeeping Magazine Cover

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Harper’s Bazaar Magazine Cover

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InStyle Magazine Cover Sample

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Marie Claire Australia Magazine Cover

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Time Magazine Cover Example

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Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine Cover

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Steps to Designing a Simple Magazine Cover Design

It is the role of a magazine cover design to give a brief message about what is found on the inside of the magazine. Most of the time, publishers would spend a lot of time to ensure that the content of the magazine cover is effective enough to sell. Now, if you are just starting out to create a magazine cover design on your own, you might want to consider the use of magazine cover templates. Here are the steps to designing a simple magazine cover design that will surely help you out in getting started.

1. Decide on a magazine cover template

When you are just starting out, it is best if you are going to make use of a magazine cover template. This is because you might still have difficulties in determining the appropriate locations of your magazine cover design elements and only templates can help you out. Sure, you may be good at using the Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, but since you are just starting, you might still need guidelines.

We have provided an ample number of magazine cover templates and examples that you can choose from.

2. Add your own elements

If you have finally chosen a magazine cover template, you can now add your own elements in order for you to come up with your own magazine cover design. There are some contents on a magazine cover template that you may or may not need so you really have to make sure to be keen enough when it comes to adding your own elements on a magazine cover template.

3. Proofread and edit

When you have already added your own magazine cover elements, it will be then the time for you to proofread and edit every single element or content that you have added on your magazine cover design. It is in proofreading and editing that you can ensure that your magazine cover is free of any kinds of errors and is of high quality.

Simple Tips for an Excellent Magazine Cover Layout

Here are some simple tips you can follow for you to be able to come up with an excellent magazine cover layout:

  • It is advised that you should use one general template, one general layout for all of the covers of your succeeding or future magazine issues.
  • For your general layout as well as your name, make sure that it would be so distinct and one-of-a-kind among any other magazines so that it makes your magazine recognizable.
  • Even if you are aiming to be still recognized, make sure that you are going to put some distinction on one issue to another for readers to determine it’s a new or a different issue.
  • Do not forget to add the date and the price on your magazine cover because these are the factors that most potential buyers would look into a magazine cover.
  • Do you want to organize and align your magazine covers easily? Make use of a grid. It is also in this way that your overall design would look credible, neat, and professional.
  • Decide and finalize on a focus point for your magazine cover because it is then that you will be able to direct how your readers’ eyes would navigate around your magazine cover
  • Feature the headlines of the major stories of your magazine on your magazine cover. If you emphasize the headlines using bolds, italics, sizes, and colors, it will surely attract readers.
  • For the headlines, make sure you limit the words between 4–10 words so that it will not look too overwhelming or look to lacking.
  • When it comes to color, what really matters is how you are able to use it in adding contrast to make the other important elements of your magazine cover to pop out.
  • If you choose a portrait of a person as a feature on your magazine cover, make sure that he or she is directly looking at the camera because this can surely help in drawing attention.

Types of Magazine Covers

The usual simple and neat magazine cover design is not good enough for the marketplace that gets more crowded and diverse. With that, refresh your take on the way you design your magazine by trying out the other types of magazine covers.

Image-based magazine covers

This type of magazine cover is by far the most common one as it would feature faces of people for fashion and celebrity magazines or luxury lifestyle magazines, landscapes for travel magazines, and snaps of delicious meals for cooking magazines.

Illustration-based magazine covers

There came a time when this type of magazine was highly popular, but nowadays, when such type of magazine is used, it is mostly focused on being unique, extraordinary, and even funny, and it is usually published by independent publishers. And with today’s advancements in technology, most illustrations are created with the use of computers, and through that, digital magazine or the e-magazines were made possible.

Type-based magazine covers

Type-based magazine covers rely on strategic typographical design. This magazine cover design is considered as better than the image-based because it easily conveys a message as well as persuade the potential buyers and readers. However, this type of magazine cover is quite uncommon and are often seen combined with illustration-based magazine covers.

Concept-based magazine cover

What if you want to combine all of the abovementioned types of magazine covers? Worry not because there is actually a type of magazine cover that does and that is the concept-based magazine cover. This can be quite tricky because you have to assure its effectiveness and that you will not compromise the way readers comprehend the message of your magazine cover for the sake of design. This type of magazine is usually utilized by independent magazines, newsweeklies, and business journals.

Magazine Cover Sizes

Magazine cover sizes rely on the overall size of the magazine. Magazines have three common sizes which include the standard size that comes in 8.5 × 11 inches and the digest size that comes in 5.5 × 8.5 inches. There are also some magazine covers that comes in A4 size.

Magazine Cover FAQs

What is a magazine cover? How is it important?

A magazine cover is a major part of the magazine and is often considered as the most important part of a magazine since it is located at the forefront. The first thing that a potential reader will read on a magazine is its cover. Whatever you put in it will be the factor that could either make a potential customer buy your magazine or ignore it altogether. You may want to read magazine examples, templates, and design ideas.

What is the purpose of a magazine cover?

Magazine covers serve several purposes. It should be visually appealing so that it can sell the brand effectively and it should also be distinct among other magazine covers in order to stand out. Magazine covers give the readers a brief overview of the contents of a magazine.

Designing a magazine cover poses a lot of challenges. With hundreds of magazines you are competing against, it takes a lot of work in order to come up with one. It involves a lot of ideas and efforts in order to come up with a magazine cover design that could make you stand out and that could make or break the overall impact of your magazine. But if given and taught with the right concepts and basic rules, you can surely create a magazine cover design that will surely be considered as a masterpiece.