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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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Design Graphics Student Magazine Cover Competition 2008

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DG

For university we had to enter the “Design Graphics Student Magazine Cover Competition” which is open to all Australian graphic design students and secondary schools. This is my mock-up for it.

For those who qualify, the entries close 30th April 2008. More entry details here (PDF). You can see last years entries here.

I have not submitted the cover yet as I need to refine minor details and we are still awaiting a student peer review at Uni so the design still may change depending on the feedback I receive from university and from JCD readers.

There were some tips on DG regarding magazine cover design saying:

“Magazine covers are generally designed to attract attention (sometimes called ‘shelf presence’) and to reflect the style of the publication. With this in mind, there are some basic rules that make a good starting point. The use of a single, eye-catching image, for example, is a good place to start —and you will notice that these are the covers that once again proved successful.The golden rule of magazine cover design is that the image should contain some ‘emotional content’ that give it pick-up appeal. If the design is too ‘busy’, is too abstract, or the colours are too dark or dingy, it will not be immediately noticed on the shelf. By all means challenge the shelf browsers, but don’t ask too much of them. The publisher wants the magazine to stand out and attract new readers, as well as ring in the regulars. Try to create ‘graphic charisma’. “

  1. Have I adhered to what is mentioned above?
  2. What are your first thoughts upon looking at the cover?
  3. What can I improve?
  4. Would you pick this magazine up?
  5. Would you buy it?

Please be as harsh as possible! Below is the original and then my updated and submitted version is below (with 3mm bleed). Try to spot the differences.
DG Cover

Mag Cover



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18 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Karly Barrett Reply

    Very interesting cover. I can see that you were inspired by those photos you posted. You even included a heart.

    You’ve created some really nice movement. However, for some reason the way the bottom of your design is kissing the bottom of the magazine is bugging me a little. I think it might be stronger if it bled off. The red and black together makes a strong statement and it’s nice you left some area for the eye to take a break. Oh, and the periods after “Inspiration, Techniques, Great Design, Tutorials” seem unnecessary and little distracting. On that note, it might be nice to add a period after “What they do and how to use them.”

    I know that’s a bit nit picky, but I think it’ll help you tighten some things up before you submit it.

    I wish I could have total creative freedom with the magazines I design, but alas covers like this seem to be reserved for creative magazines.

    Karly Barrett’s last blog post..Designing Expressive Words

  • modemlooper Reply

    love it! i love lines in design.

    I agree with the kissing but disagree with the period comment above. I don’t understand why everyone thinks you need a period on graphic designs. bugs the bejesus outta me.

    Its not an essay its art!

    modemlooper’s last blog post..Transformer Cell Phone Madness

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Hi Karly,

    Just first off, I had a look at your latest post on typography, some interesting work you have there. Good job!

    Yes well one of the prerequisites set by our uni (not by DG) was that we had to use a photograph as the basis for the front cover hence why I looked up creative photographs.

    I will try the design without the bottom kissing the edge. I will also see about the periods. I have checked other magazines and have noticed they don’t use periods either so it will probably look better once I take them off.

    What type of magazines do you design? Do you do the covers and the inside?

    ModemLooper,
    Thanks for your comments, I will see how it goes :)

  • ZaZa Reply

    I am not very impressed by the cover, first because of the chosen picture. Yes it has got lines, but (and this is my opinion merely) it is kind of “cheesy”. Second, I think it would have been stronger as image if spread across the whole cover. Now the lines “stop” halfway and combined with the (unaligned) captions it just makes the whole image a mess.

    I think you should put more emphasis, give your magazine name/logo more momentum. Now it looks like another caption and has just as much coverspace as where it says “lines what they do and how to use them”

    Ok hope I was not too harsh… I could comment forever, reminds me of good old days at the Uni….

    take care and cheers…

  • Niyaz PK Reply

    Best of luck Jacob.
    Good work there. I will closely follow the comments here to learn more.

    Niyaz PK’s last blog post..The Case of Lock-ins

  • Johan Reply

    I agreed with no period on the slogan and agreed with Karly about the image should melt off the cover a bit.

    I like the covers totality. Its mine kind of style. It would be cool if some of the lines go off the image itself. I dont know. Maybe that is to much.

    Good luck, cant wait to see the final cover.

  • Brian Yerkes Reply

    I agree with Karly, the bottom corner on the edge bugs me also!

    I do think this is an abstract, eye catching cover though. I don’t like the heart so close and prominent next to the logo. To someone that has never seen this magazine may think the heart is part of the logo.

    I also don’t think the heart image suits the overall cover at all. It’s just too much with the central aspects of this cover design being the logo, the glass, the lines, the article titles inside. The heart just doesn’t achieve anything, ya know what I mean? Or perhaps I am missing the intended message from it?

    I think this will be a great entry with a small bit of work.

    Brian Yerkes’s last blog post..All Designers Must Have This

  • Karly Barrett Reply

    Jacob,

    I’m glad you liked my type design exercise.

    I design two magazines for the motorhome industry. They have articles about where people can vacation in their RVs, new RV reviews, and maintenance tips. They are extremely conservative. I design the entire magazines — covers and all. Although, it would be more exciting if I could say I design for a magazine like DG.

    I agree with Brian that I’m not sold on the heart. It might serve your purpose better if the red lines continued. Is there something that you are trying to achieve with it? Was it simply part of the photo?

    Karly Barrett’s last blog post..Designing Expressive Words

  • Brian Yerkes Reply

    Yeah, I think if you continued the red lines off of the cover to the top, remove the heart…might look cool. The red lines coming from the very top of the cover could serve as a trail for your eyes down to the central imagery of the glass.

    btw Jacob, have a quick read of my latest post, interested to know what you think. Cheers mate

    Brian Yerkes’s last blog post..Which logo ripped off the other one?

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Zaza
    First off thanks for being honest, I do appreciate it. Everyone has their own opinions and it is always good to hear what other people think. Why do you believe it is ‘cheesy’? In what respect?
    In regards to the caption underneath the DG logo, it must stay this size if this is what you referring to. Please do comment forever :P

    Niyaz PK
    Hope you learn as much as I hope to :)

    Brian
    I guess I will have to fix the edge. I will experiment with the size of the heart as I do believe it does conflict with the logo now that you say it. It is always good to have a break from designing so you can come back anew.

    You also gave me an idea… I am going to try removing the heart and having some lines coming from the DG logo instead of the heart, possibly changing the DG to red to see how it looks… it could be a bit too much red though. We will see. I’ll also try having the lines go off the cover as Karly said.

    The intended message and concept of the heart was to for the the eye to move from the heart down the red lines to the word title Lines. Did it do this for you? If not where does your eyes go? Thanks for your feedback!

    I also had read your post before you told me to, I then read your second message you posted. It is another interesting scenario however there is no real hard evidence that says one ripped the other one off, it still could be a matter of coincidence. Who is to know?

    Karly
    I think we have to do that type design exercise soon however with handwritten calligraphy which should be interesting.

    Is the motorhome industry something you are interested in? I suppose if you are interested in the subject at hand it would not be too bad…. you can still use some creativity.

    Regarding the heart, read what I said to Brian above. Thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.

  • Karly Barrett Reply

    I wish I could say I am interested in the motorhome industry, but alas it pays the bills.

    Good luck in the competition. I hope you will post your final design for us to see.

    Karly Barrett’s last blog post..What’s Your Logo Font?

  • A u d e e Reply

    I’m sorry, I can’t be harsh this time :D
    I think it is a clever design in my opinion

    What can you improve?
    bring on another contrast color to fill and to emphasize more.

  • Zinni Reply

    Jacob,

    I think that you have come up with an interesting and very visually compelling solution. I think that you should strip the periods from the list, they distort right side of your grid. If you must keep them, then hang them into the margin a little more so the words line up with the grid.

    Maybe this is just personal preference, however I think that the word lines may be a little too heavy? have you tried making the word a coupel points smaller?

    Otherwise, amazing work! keep it up!

    Zinni’s last blog post..Should Web Designers Migrate into Online Reputation Management?

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Hi Thanks Zinni. I will have to get back to everyone on the revised designs (after I get more feedback from my fellow students).

    I will see about the word lines. Thanks :)

  • Logo Designs Reply

    Magazine is good and interesting but more engaging are the comments of individuals. :)


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