How to create a magazine cover in Affinity Publisher

In this step-by-step tutorial from Envato Tuts+, you’ll learn how to create a cool and colourful cover design for a digital magazine using Affinity Publisher. Complete with an ultra-stylish layout and on-trend typography, this magazine cover is also really easy to adapt with your own choice of colours and images.

Suitable for Affinity Publisher beginners, this tutorial is quick and simple to follow, and you’ll pick up pro techniques for designing impactful artwork for digital publications.

You can also download a free template of the completed cover and the internal magazine layout in the second part of this tutorial, How to Create a Style Magazine Layout in Affinity Publisher, on Envato Tuts+.

Ready to create your magazine cover design? Let’s dive in!

The magazine cover we are going to create. What you’ll need to create your magazine cover

For this tutorial, we’ll be using Affinity Publisher to put together our magazine cover. You’ll also need to download the following free images and fonts to give your design an edgy, contemporary look:

Once you’ve installed the fonts on your computer, you’re ready to start flexing your cover design skills…

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

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1. How to set up your digital magazine cover document Step 1

Open Affinity Publisher and go to File > New.

Choose Web from the options along the top of the New Document window. For this, we’ll create a custom page size, so set the Page width to 612 px and Page height to 792 px, to create a Letter size cover.

From the Margins options, check Include margins, and set the width of the Left, Right and Bottom margins to 25 px. Increase the width of the Top margin to 175 px.

Then click Create.

Step 2

Go to the Layers panel (View > Studio > Layers).

Click on the Add Layer button at the bottom of the panel, and rename this layer Background.

Repeat to create a second layer, naming it Image, and again to create a final layer called Type.

Select both the Type and Image layers and lock them by clicking the padlock icon at the top-right corner of the panel.

Step 3

Go to the Swatches panel (View > Studio > Swatches).

Choose Add Global Colour from the panel’s dropdown menu.

Name the swatch Acid Yellow, and choose RGB Sliders for the colour mode. Set the R slider to 254, G to 236 and B to 2. Click Add.

2. How to add colour and images to your magazine cover Step 1

Select the Rectangle Tool (M) from the Tools panel at the left side of the workspace.

Working on the Background layer, drag across the whole page, setting the Fill Colour of the shape to Acid Yellow.

Step 2

Lock the Background layer and unlock the layer above, Image.

Switch to the Picture Frame Rectangle Tool (F) and drag across the page, filling the space inside the margin lines.

Go to File > Place, choose an image, such as this one of a happy dog, and Open it.

Double-click inside the frame to directly select the image, and scale it down a little to make the dog’s head smaller.

Step 3

We can use the

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