Posted Nov 9, 2022

6 min read

Graphic design

Create beautiful marketing graphics at scale.

Design & Inspiration

How to make a magazine: A step-by-step guide to making a magazine that is loved!

Design & Inspiration

Design & Inspiration

How to make a magazine: A step-by-step guide to making a magazine that is loved!

12 Steps to create a great magazine

1. Develop a concept

Before you begin, you need to understand why you are creating this magazine. Without knowing the fundamental purpose of your project, it will be difficult to explain why it matters. So let's develop a concept.

What is the main message you want your magazine to give out? Will it be sleek and professional or something more informal and trendy? Knowing the potential content you want to publish in this magazine will help you develop your concept or theme. For example, you may want your magazine to focus on room decor inspiration, entertainment, beauty and skincare or business.

You also need to identify your target audience so that the contents of your magazine can be tailored to them. This is important in determining the language, tone and layout since different audiences resonate with different approaches. For instance, a magazine aimed at young mothers will not use the same language as a sports magazine for teens. 

Choose your subject for a magazine

2. Select a title

Now that we have a concrete concept, we need to develop a title that matches. We recommend keeping the title short and catchy since ease of pronunciation will help it gain popularity. A punchy title will also make your magazine memorable and make it linger in the minds of your audience longer.

It is important to note that your magazine will reflect your brand, so whatever you choose to name it, make sure it doesn’t stray from your brand image. This magazine will solidify your brand, so make sure it’s going to make a statement.

Title for a magazine

3. Select your cover headline

This is going to be the headline of the most eye-catching, head-turning article inside your magazine. You need to grab people's attention enough to get them to pick up your magazine and start reading.

In a celebrity magazine, the cover headline would be an interview with a celeb. In an electronics magazine, it could be an article about the latest gadget that’s been released. An alternative to using the headline of an article could be to extract a powerful quote from it and print it on the magazine cover.

cover headline for a magazine

4. Design your cover photo

When choosing a cover photo, it’s important to remember that this image will become the face of your magazine. It has to accurately reflect the theme of the magazine but also be eye-catching enough to compel people to read it.

Once the image has been designed, the next important part is its placement. This is where the rule of thirds comes into play. Divide the cover of your magazine into a 3 by 3 grid. The masthead of the magazine can be placed on the top third of the grid, while the feature articles can be placed on the bottom third. This leaves a good part of the center for your key image. 

cover photo for magazine

How to design an attractive cover photo using Glorify

No, you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional designer. You can create your own cover image using simple design tools like Glorify. With simple tools for beginners and advanced tools for pro designers, Glorify allows anyone and everyone to create stunning visuals quickly and easily. Here's how you can design your own magazine cover image in a few simple steps.

Step 1: Access Glorify's graphics editor from your dashboard and click Create design.

glorify editor

Step 2: Click on "Publishing" and then "eBooks" on the left panel of your screen to browse through our collection.

how to make magazine on glorify

Step 3: Click on the template of your choice or start from a blank canvas.

glorify editor

Step 4: Resize it to fit your canvas.

how to resize an ebook to a4

Step 5: To replace the images, click on the background and select "Replace" found on the right of your screen. You can upload your own image or browse through our image library.

glorify editor

Step 6: Click on "Brand It" found on the left side of your screen. Click on the shuffle icon beside the color palette of your choice to generate a combination that you prefer. Once you are satisfied with your design you can download it.

glorify brandit feature

5. Design your masthead

The masthead is the logo that appears at the top along with the name of the magazine. Some famous magazines such as Billboard and National Geographic have iconic designs in terms of the masthead.

masthead for a magazine

When choosing your font, you should refer back to the concept you came up with at the very start. Think of what typeface most resonates with your concept. Remember, you need to make a statement with this, so spend some time getting your masthead just right.

How to design a captivating masthead using Glorify

Just like for your cover image, using Glorify is the fastest way to get a high-quality design in just a few steps.

Step 1: Click Text found on the left panel of your screen. Select "Headline".

how to add text in glorify

Step 2: Go to the Libraries, Click Text.

glorify text templates

Step 3: Select the text template on your canvas and add it in the canvas.

glorify text templates

Step 4: Once you're happy with your masthead, download the final design.

glorify editor

6. Compile the content

This is perhaps the most important part of your magazine. Once people have been drawn in by the well-designed cover, they’ll want to read the contents next. Make sure you don't disappoint them. The inner contents are what will make readers decide whether or not to keep reading.

Now it’s time for you to decide whether you want this to be written in-house or through a freelance writer. This all depends on the size and scale of your company and how often you want to release new editions, volumes or issues of the magazine.

It’s important to note that the process of gathering content and writing multiple articles for a magazine is a long one. So be sure to give yourself time with it, as the quality content of the articles is more important than the frequency of publication. 

body editorials for magazine

7. Incorporate visuals

Once the entire contents of the magazine has been written, revised and edited to a good standard, you can move on to the graphics. 

This part is equally as important as the content. When someone first comes across your magazine and starts flicking through it, captivating graphics are the ideal way to grab their attention. 

Make the designs eye-catching yet complimentary to the text. Using aesthetic but unrelated images will not help in the long run.

Visuals for a magazine

8. Analyze your content

Take a step back and look at the articles within your magazine. Which ones will turn heads? Look at the ones you took more time and research for. If they’re big contributors to the theme you set at the beginning, then extract their titles. These chosen articles will be featured on the cover page of this edition.

Magazine concept

9. Make use of thumbnails

This step concerns e-magazines rather than physical products. There are multiple factors you need to consider when creating thumbnails. One of them is how the thumbnail sits against the background. If the background has a lot going on, it’ll be difficult to see anything placed on it. Try to increase the contrast between the thumbnail and the background.

Another factor we need to think about is the image being used. It should be something that can be easily understood even at a small size. Most importantly, the thumbnail should represent the overall theme of the magazine and more specifically, this edition.

thumbnails for a magazine

How to create eye-catching thumbnails using Glorify

It's possible for you to create captivating thumbnails yourself using Glorify. Here's how you to do it in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Click on the Glorify Icon on the top right corner of your editor, and click Guides.

glorify guides

Step 2: Switch on the Ruler and Pixel Grid. This will help you map out your thumbnail grid and ensure everything is aligned.

glorify ruler and pixel grid

Step 3: Click on the image icon found on the left panel of your screen. You can upload your own images or browse through our image library. Once the image is selected, click on it to add it to your canvas.

how to replace an image in glorify

Step 4: Place the images and text according to the collage/grid that works for your layout.

glorify editor

Step 5: Once you are happy with it, select all the thumbnails and click on "Group".

how to group elements inside glorify

Step 6: Right-click on the objects and select "Lock" so that they remain in place throughout your editing process.

how to lock/unlock elements inside glorify

Step 7: Once your thumbnail is done, download the final image.

glorify editor

10. Draw up a table of contents

Look over the articles you want to place within this magazine. Sort them into a coherent order that allows the readers to both enjoy and understand the flow. Then type out the titles of the articles and their relevant page numbers to form a table of contents. 

If there are multiple sections to the magazine, or you have multiple articles grouped into different sub-themes, it might be a good idea to format these into the contents page.

table of content for magazine

11. Design a back page

The back page of your magazine plays a vital role too. You can choose to either keep it blank or incorporate something more. Some magazines use this page to advertise various products. These can be products from your own company and sponsors or paid ads from other companies.

Perhaps there’s an event related to your theme that you want to share, or a product endorsed by your brand. Whatever it it is, make sure this page is well designed and attractive.

Back page for magazine

12. Finalize the print layout

This final step only applies to the design of printed magazines. If your magazine is electronic, then you’re all done and good to go. If not, keep reading. The print layout is the final version of your magazine that will be printed and distributed to your audience. This includes:

Paper quality - Consult with a professional on the recommended paper weight and type. Most magazines tend to go for a glossy look.

Page order - Double check the layout of the first few copies at the printing press as this may get muddled sometimes.

Full bleed - This determines whether you want a white or colored border around your pages.

Printing on magazine

Finishing thoughts

And you’re done!

The process of creating a magazine from scratch takes time and effort. But it can be fun all the same. Using a template can build a fantastic foundation for your magazine design whilst easily achieving a refined and professional look. 

glorify editor

We recommend using Glorify. Not only can this easy-to use design tool help you create your first magazine, but we also have an entire library of magazine templates designed and tested by our graphic designers. These templates are 100% customizable and ready for use.

If you can't wait to experiment with your own magazine designs, get started with Glorify today.


1. What is magazine marketing?

Magazine ads offer an advertiser the opportunity to connect with readers who may be potential customers. It helps them reach a wider audience and increase the reach of their brand.

2. What is the best magazine design software?

Glorify is the ideal tool to center all your magazine design activities. With simple tools for beginners and complex tools for professionals, anyone can use this tool to create professional and high-quality designs. Glorify offers a wide variety of features that will make your magazine design process quick and easy. These include an Infinite Canvas, an advanced pen tool, Smart Shapes, Brand Kits, a logo maker, thousands of pre-designed templates and a whole lot more.

3. How can I create a magazine online for free?

We recommend using Glorify. You can follow the steps suggested below to create a magazine online for free:

  1. Develop a theme

  2. Choose a title for the magazine

  3. Come up with a cover headline

  4. Create a cover photo

  5. Design a masthead

  6. Compile the contents

  7. Incorporate visuals

  8. Create a table of contents

  9. Place the thumbnails

  10. Build a table of contents

  11. Create a back page 

4. How can I create a magazine layout?

A good magazine layout has an optimal image to text ratio. A magazine is a very visual piece of written media, so don’t shy away from including pages with minimal text and more images.

5. How can I create magazine content?

Conduct research. Get familiar with the interests of your target audience and what excites them. Collate images and written pieces for these topics. Make sure all content is in line with the theme of your magazine in order to maintain consistency.

The path to Glory begins here

The path to Glory begins here