Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Editorial Cover: Spring Dining Guide


To learn the art of illustration with type. To learn Illustrator and Photoshop's type manipulation tools by recreating this editorial cover art:


Commercial editoral covers need to be strong and bold in order to draw attention to itself in a competitive arena. In this case, bright colors against a black background help evoke the neon effect which also conceptually ties in to eating out at night. The perspective helps make the neon art look 3-dimensional which also helps to the cover art grab your attention.


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. turn on Helvetica Rounded using Font Agent Pro
  3. open 'buzz" in Illustrator
  4. practice Adobe navigation keyboard shortcuts: space=hand; space+cmd=zoom in; space+cmd+opt=zoom out; cmd+zero=fit in window
  5. copy logo art to clipboard (cmd+C)
  6. file > new (profile=print; artboard = 11.5 x 12.25 inches)
  7. save as ""
  8. paste logo art (cmd+V)
  9. rename "layer 1" as "nameplate", lock (tip: unlock only 1 layer at a time)
  10. new layers "white", "template", "type", "art", "guides", lock all
  11. re-stack "nameplate" to top
  12. "guides" layer: draw box 10.25 x 11.5 inches (this is the live area)
  13. center box on artboard (window > align: align to artboard)
  14. view > guides > make guides
  15. "white" layer: draw box 11.5 x 12.25 inches; fill=white, stroke=black (align: inside); align to artboard (this is the trim area)

recreating the nameplate in Illustrator

  1. "template" layer
  2. file > place "dining.jpg" (as template)
  3. reposition art (unlock layer temporarily)
  4. "nameplate" layer: copy and paste text from "dining.txt"
  5. recreate the small type (10/12pt ITC Franklin Gothic Book/Demi);
    tip: use periods for vertical dotted rules and rotate
  6. spec "special issue" (14pt ITC Franklin Gothic Demi); tracking=?
  7. save, save as ""

creating the cover art in Illustrator

  1. move "spring dining guide" to "type" layer
  2. spec: Helvetica Rounded Bold, adjust size, leading, tracking
  3. duplicate "type" layer, rename "outlines"; hide previous layer
  4. type > create outlines
  5. fill=none, stroke=white, weight=4, corner=round
  6. copy art to clipboard (cmd+C)
  7. save

creating the neon art in Photoshop

  1. launch Photoshop
  2. file > new "dining.psd" (10.25 x 9.5 inches, 300PPI, RGB)
  3. foreground color=100K+50C (opt+DELETE)
  4. paste (as smart object), RETURN
  5. rename layer "master"
  6. layer > layer style > color overlay
  7. add layer styles:
    color overlay
    outer glow
  8. filter > blur > gaussian blur: 3
  9. duplicate layer 3x, rename "green", "yellow", "purple"
  10. go to "purple" layer, hide other colors
  11. marquee "guide"
  12. layer > layer mask > reveal selection
  13. layer > rasterize layer style
  14. layer > new adjustment layer > hue/saturation: alter color
  15. repeat with other layers
  16. new layer "composite"
  17. opt + layers > merge visible
  18. duplicate "composite" layer (for safety); hide
  19. edit > transform > perspective
  20. edit > transform > distort
  21. save
  22. save as "dining-CMYK.psd"
  23. layer > flatten image
  24. image > mode > CMYK
  25. file > export > save for web: "dining-CMYK.jpg" (preset: JPEG high)

finishing the page in Illustrator

  1. open ""
  2. "art" layer: file > place "dining-CMYK.jpg"; align


  1. add your name and the exercise number to the page (10pt Helvetica)
  2. file > save for web: preset=JPEG high, image size=1000px wide
  3. save, save as "buzz_dining_small.pdf" ("smallest file size" for web publishing)
  4. save as "buzz_dining_large.pdf" ("press quality" for printing)
  5. print a color proof on "oversize tabloid" (12x18) paper for grading (manual feed)
  6. file your graded proof in your Process Book for individual review

Last updated: 11/21/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young