Create a Vector Style Magazine Cover in Photoshop

This is a detailed and step by step tutorial for creating an Vector based cover page design in Photoshop. This tutorial demonstrates effective usage of Photoshop’s vector tools and techniques. PSD file included.

Preview of Final Results


Create a Vector Style Magazine Cover Photoshop Tutorial


Step 1 : Setting up the Document

Create a new document with the below settings. This is basically A4 (210 X 297) size document. There are many sizes when it comes to magazine layout. More often you will be given the magazine size and less often we decide on it. But for this project we will proceed with our own size which is also a standard magazine size.


Set the measurement units to Millimeters by right clicking on the Ruler. Add guides on the four sides of the document. And then add guides at 5mm distance from the document’s border on four sides of the document. These are text safe margins. We limit our text to this area.


Provide a little room for errors when trimming. Set a 3mm bleed. This is very simple, extend the canvas by 3mm except on the left side since the cover page doesn’t get trimmed on the left side there is no need to set the bleed. Press Control+Alt+C or go to Image > Canvas Size to load the Canvas Size dialogue box and enter the values.



Step 2 : Sketch

After a bit of brainstorm I’ve come up with this loose sketch done in Photoshop. This is the base of our illustration. It is a pretty simple and loose sketch not very detailed but will serve our purpose well. These are the elements that we will be creating during the course of this tutorial. Coming to colors I wanted it to be simple flat colored illustration. We will add details as we progress through the tutorial. We will create the characters first then create the remaining next.


Step 3 : Creating the Sun

One thing I want you to follow through the rest of the tutorial is maintain objects in Groups. Before you create any major character or object create a new group and create layers in that group. This will save you from lot of mess. Now start by actually creating the Sun character. Create a new group. Go to Layer > New > Group or by clicking on the Create a new group icon on the bottom of the Layers palette. Rename it to “Sun” Grab the Ellipse tool, on the Options select Shape layers option, set the color to a nice orange or #e0912e and draw this oval shape. Make sure that the layer is created in the “Sun” group.


Draw another oval on top of the previous layer with Ellipse Tool with color #f3d28f.


Grab the direct selection tool select the bottom anchor point of the oval shape hold Shift key and move it upwards to the center. Set the layer opacity to 60%


With the Ellipse Tool selected draw a smaller oval. Set the color to #ffffff and reduce the opacity to 30%. You can set the shape layer color by double clicking on the layer thumbnail.


Now create eyes. Draw an oval like below with the Ellipse Tool. For color set #000000. Draw another oval on top of it with color #ffffff.


Add more details like below with Ellipse Tool.


Select the eye layers by holding Ctrl and clicking on the layers and go to Edit > Free Transform and rotate the eye about -20 degrees and press enter to confirm the transformation. Use the Info palette to see how much you are rotating.

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