Every year in Photoshop, I challenge my students to find a magazine cover layout (I have a collection of about 150 for them to choose from) that is more than just simple text and words. They have to evaluate the fonts (serif, sans serif, narrow, slab, script, etc.) to try to match them with free/open source fonts, examine the use of shapes/line/color, and then recreate the cover with new content (different words, their own photos, etc.). There are some parameters that allow them to change color schemes, but they must try to font match (even down to bold, italics, etc.) and keep the same feel (may change the exact shape, but keep layer styles–strokes, shadows, etc.).
It’s honestly one of my favorite projects. Students don’t realize the power of a good layout until they apply their own content into one. I have many colleagues who have their kiddos do magazine covers, but students tend to create “simple” covers and this exercise helps train their eyes to look for creative layouts, so hopefully they can then better create their own in the future without need for duplicity.
Here’s my example (I try to do one each year along with them):
And here is the magazine layout I used:
- Scoring guide
- My example reflection post (I don’t have them turn in printed scoring guides, so this is how they address the requirements)
About the blogger: Tonya Skinner is a national keynote speaker and presenter in business education, Google Certified Educator, and Adobe Education Trainer. She currently teaches in a senior high school in Southeast Missouri. Connect with her on Twitter @tonyaskinner or at skindawgbizteacher.blogspot.com.
This blog post was relaunched on mbea-ma.org with permission from the blogger. You may find the original post HERE.