Grow your family tree…

The evolution of a genealogy magazine cover.

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I’ve posted a few covers on this blog but they’ve always been the finished article. This time I’ve decided to highlight the various stages in my design process.

Generally speaking, my covers start with a team meeting where we discuss the theme for the issue. This sows the ‘seed’ of an idea and then I move on to a very rough, thumbnail sketch. My features also start this way and it often surprises me how close they are to the finished article.

From this stage I mock up a full cover and add design elements – picture boxes and the like – before choosing photography and working on concrete cover lines with the editor. Once this is complete we add lo-res imagery and the cover is circulated to our publishers for approval. Sometimes words and pictures are changed but generally we are given the go-ahead.

Now we finesse the design and place the hi-res imagery, making sure that they still fit the spaces required and that they retain the right brightness and contrast. We also make changes to the typography, carefully looking at the leading/kerning and add the correct barcodes.

This particular cover is partially covered by an A5 supplement and obviously needed to work despite this. We decided that it would be good to have the vines creeping up from behind the supplement and over the photography (flattering Ancestry a little). I wanted a big ‘reveal’ once the package is open and so we ‘hid’ a nice vintage, torn photograph behind. I particularly like the way it looks when framed within an iPad on our digital edition.

If you’re interested in genealogy you can see more on issue 123 of Your Family Tree magazine here. It’s officially on sale from 6 November, although you may find it in selected stores this weekend.

© Future Publishing Limited


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Magazine designer... Great page layouts... Always hits deadlines... Always hits budgets... Picture editor... Blogs a bit... Husband... Father of two

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