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How to Create the Perfect Business Magazine Cover

How to create the perfect business magazine cover

They say a book is only as good as its cover. Well, the same is true for magazines. Magazines are an excellent way to advertise your business. Since magazines are larger than other marketing methods, they stand out more when used as direct mail advertising. 

Magazines allow you to dive deeper into a given subject, providing more value to your readers and strengthening their connection to your brand. 

However, a shoddy cover design will stop readers in their tracks. If you want your customers to open your publication, you must make a great first impression. You need the perfect business magazine cover.

Know the Main Elements of All Magazine Design

Creating the perfect business magazine cover is easier when you understand how magazine design works. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Specific, fundamental elements are present on all professional direct mail magazine covers. 

1. Masthead

The masthead is the name of the publication and the most crucial aspect of your magazine cover. Every issue of your magazine should have the same masthead. It tells readers who you are and makes your publication recognizable, no matter the issue.

Given its importance, the masthead should be the largest font on the cover. Don’t be afraid to go big and go bold. Keep the size and placement consistent across all issues.

2. Magazine Deck

You won’t see a magazine deck on every magazine out there. However, it can be a valuable element to include. The magazine deck describes the type of publication in a few words. It’s a quick way to let the reader know about your publication.

3. Issue and Dateline

This one is pretty straightforward. Include the month, year, and issue number of your publication. Monthly publications tend to use the month and year (January 2023). In contrast, quarterly magazines may opt for the season and year (Spring 2023).

4. Main Image

The main image is the photograph or illustration that makes up the cover of your magazine. It should reflect what the rest of the issue is about. If the cover is unrelated to the actual content of the direct mail magazine, readers will feel confused and annoyed.

The cover is also your first opportunity to make an impression on readers and encourage them to continue exploring your publication. Consequently, selecting a high-quality, eye-catching, and intriguing main image is crucial. 

5. Lead Article Line

The lead article line represents the central theme of the issue. For example, the focus may be a new industry trend, an interview with an expert, or a specific topic related to your business. 

Try using a slightly different font, ensuring the lead article line is smaller than the masthead.

6. Supporting Cover Lines

The supporting cover lines need to be smaller than the lead article line. It’s also best to choose a subtler font that won’t compete with the other text elements on the cover. 

Supporting cover lines should be short, concise, and straightforward. They quickly summarise what else readers should expect to see within your issue. Each cover line should revolve around the central theme of the direct mail magazine.

Use the Same Cover Template for Every Issue

Consistency is the key to being recognizable. Suppose every issue of your magazine looks dramatically different, with no repeating elements between issues. 

In that case, people will need help to identify your brand. While the main image, lead article line, and cover lines should change with every new publication, the masthead, basic layout, and fonts should stay the same.

Make the Magazine Name Stand Out

The name of your magazine (the masthead) needs to stand out. It should be in the most obvious place, which tends to be centre-top. 

Every good designer knows that the magazine’s name should be the most prominent element on the cover. The rest of the layout should be organized around the masthead.

Don’t Overwhelm the Reader with Blocks of Text

You want to avoid massive paragraphs of text competing for attention on your magazine cover. It will make your magazine look busy, chaotic, and unappealing to readers. Instead, try the following to break up the text:

  • Use different font styles (never more than three or four)

  • Emphasize powerful words with bold or italics

  • Make some headers different colours (again, no more than two) 

However, you must keep the article and cover lines short. You should never put lengthy sentences on the cover. Short, simple, and descriptive headings are best.

Utilise Colours and Contrast

An effective direct mail magazine cover uses colours and contrast to attract readers. Learning a little bit of colour theory can go a long way. 

Pick one dominant colour and one or two colours that either complement or contrast. You should never choose colours randomly. 

Opt for High-Quality Photography and Illustrations

Nothing says unprofessional like a low-quality image. Low-quality images are one of the fastest ways to ruin a magazine cover and tarnish your business. After all, a dismal magazine does not inspire confidence among consumers. 

You should exclusively include high-quality photography and illustrations on the cover of your magazine. It’s worth the investment.

Furthermore, it’s essential to work with a quality direct mail printing company. At Troi Mailing Services, we offer high-quality magazine printing services in Toronto to ensure your magazine looks professional.

Include a White Block for the Receiver’s Address

If your magazine is being mailed directly to readers, you must include a white address block in the cover design. 

This allows the receiver’s address to be printed directly onto the magazine cover. Don’t worry about this if your magazine is being distributed in a direct mail envelope.

Magazine Printing Services in Toronto

Are you looking to use magazines for advertising your business to readers? Troi Mailing Services can help. 

We provide magazine and catalogue printing services right here in Toronto. Contact us today to learn more about our magazine printing, fulfilment, and Smartmail Marketing services.

To learn more about magazine printing services in Toronto, call Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-9350 or contact us here.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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