Photoshop Assignment – Teen Vogue Cover

For my Photoshop assignment, I decided to create my own Teen Vogue magazine cover. I’ve always been a huge fan of the magazine so I thought that doing my own spin on it would be a fun, creative challenge. I used a picture of my cousin, Meghan, from one of our fashion photo shoots we do for fun over the summer. I thought it would work perfectly for my back-to-school fall cover because Teen Vogue’s covers always feature young people in stylish clothing.

My main goal for this project was to create a magazine cover that was visually interesting, easy to read and communicated to my target audience: teenage girls between the ages of 13-18. To achieve this, I used bright colours, kept the information relevant, and addressed the CRAP principles.

I used the colours orange, purple, red and pink as the title colours for my text because I thought they all worked well together to convey a fun, fall theme. Teen Vogue is known for its bright colours and especially for the fall season, this is when it’s about fashion. One thing I did on purpose was limit my use of the colour red because it’s such a strong hue so I used it in areas where I wanted emphasis. For example, I used it for  “VOGUE” (the title of the magazine), “MEGHAN HO” (the name of the featured model), and as the drop shadow colour for “FIERCE FALL FASHION” (the biggest title story since I wanted to give it a little more “oomph”).

One area I made sure to use repetition was in the text. Other than the title, I used Century Gothic as the font for all the lead stories and sub-headings because it was clean and sans-serif. Also, I think by using one font, it doesn’t distract the viewer and it helps them easily read what’s on the page.

An important thing I always notice on magazine covers is alignment. I made sure to align all the text on the right starting from the same spot and the same for the left because I wanted the reader to be able to easily navigate their eyes. By doing so, I think it created a clean, professional look. I also addressed proximity by grouping together things that had similar information. For example, in the top right corner, I paired the story “HOW TO: land your dream job starting today” with “WORK IT: our interns share their on-the-job style secrets” because both were work-related. Also, I felt that these two titles went really well together because if the reader were to look at the cover from far way, the first things that would pop out are the titles and it would say HOW TO: WORK IT! FIERCE FALL FASHION, making it a message that still makes sense and communicates to teens.

A challenge I knew that was going to arise was making sure that the cover looked authentic and professional. I didn’t want my cover to look like a cheesy attempt, I wanted it to look believable! I accomplished this as my friends mistook it for a real magazine cover. A recurring issue was making sure that the text was legible from a distance. Sometimes, the background made the text look fuzzy, but leaving the text plain made it look flat and one-dimensional.  To combat these issues, I started using drop shadows, the bevel/emboss tool, and even the outer glow tool. With enough experimentation with different sizes and distances, I was able to make the text pop out a little more.

Through this process, I learned  that it is beneficial to start ahead of time. I started my project a week and a half before it was due and I found it advantageous because it gave me the ability to work on it for short periods of time and then come back to it with fresh eyes. Sometimes, after staring at the screen for too long, I didn’t know what looked good anymore, so coming back to it with a clear mind helped me better  evaluate my poster and make better choices in my design. It also gave me the chance to ask friends for their opinions and advice too. Because I started in advance, I think my poster ended up being of higher quality because I had the time to improve it.

Personally, I’m happy with the way my magazine cover turned out. I think the brick walls add another dimension to the design of the poster because the lines draw you to the model thus creating emphasis and focus. Also, her floral dress, contrasts with the bricks, creating an interesting comparison where nature meets suburbs. Overall, I think my magazine cover for Teen Vogue successfully addresses the audience because it’s eye-catching, there are clear cut messages and I speak out to my target audience.


Side Notes:
– Sunsets and Friday Nights is the name of Meghan’s blog:
– Meghan has really thick hair, hence the story on “Your Longest, Prettiest Hair”.
– Meghan also has been collecting Teen Vogue ever since I can remember. We’ve actually joked about how cool it would be to intern and/or be in the magazine. Well Megzrrr, here it is.

See the other cover I was considering submitting followed by some of my rough work below:

I was quite proud that I was able to make Meghan’s head appear on top of the title. Thank you quick selection tool and layers. I also liked how I blurred the background using the Gaussian blur filter. I didn’t end up using this cover because I thought the colours were caused conflict with bright background and the text fought with the subject matter of the picture.

Rough work is below. I tried different photos and placements of elements.