Some photographers like to purchase pre-made welcome guide templates from companies such as Magazine Mama, but if you’re a DIYer you can create your own using Photoshop. In this example I will show you how to create your own welcome guide cover using Photoshop in just four easy steps.
Before you get started you’ll need to select the cover image. The cover image is important because it sets the mood for the entire welcome guide brochure. Make sure you use an image that will appeal to your target audience. I like to use an image that is cropped in close on the subjects so there is not a lot of distraction in the background. You’ll also want to make sure you’re not going to have type across your subject’s face, so choose an image that has white space across the top such as a nice clear sky or white backdrop. Note: If you don’t have an image that extends with extra white space try adding a layer with a block of color so you can put text over it.
Step 1. Size the Canvas/Crop the Photo.
The first step is to size the canvas or crop the photo. For this example I will be creating a mini-magazine template with a finished size of 5.5×8.5. I design all my templates to be printed at McKenna Pro since they are my go-to lab for albums and marketing brochures. You’ll want to check with your printer to find out what size of file they would like you to upload. For example even thought the finished size of this magazine will be 5.5×8.5 I will need to upload 5.627×8.75 to allow for the edges to be trimmed at the printers. If you’re creating a .pdf of your brochure to e-mail to your clients or just interested in uploading your magazine to a digital site such as issuu, flipsnack or magcloud you don’t have to worry about the borders so much unless people are going to be purchasing hard copies from those sites. Go ahead and crop the photo to the appropriate size. Additionally you can add guides so you can see where the printer is going to be trimming the page and make sure not to have any text or important part of the photo beyond the guides. To create a guide on your image, select View – New Guide in Photoshop. As you can see in the sample image there are only guides on three sides of this image. Remember this is a cover and it will only be trimmed on three sides so you don’t have to worry about the left side.
Step 2. Select Fonts/Add Text.
You’ll want to give your cover a title. For this one we’ll use Mini Sessions Welcome Guide. All fonts I use within my templates are fonts that can be downloaded for free. You don’t necessarily need to purchase a fancy font either. There are a lot of really nice fonts you can download for free. You can usually find several lists with free fonts on Pinterest if you do a search. The fonts used in this example are Capita and Little Days. Make sure to center your font according to the guides and not the file. As I mentioned earlier the edges are going to be trimmed and if you center your text based on the full image the text may appear a bit off center. Note: You will want to carry the same fonts we used on the cover throughout the brochure to maintain consistency.
Step 3. Add a stroke or border.
If you’d like to add a border on the cover first add a layer to the file. In Photoshop select Layer – New Layer – then hit enter. With that new layer selected, drag the elliptical marquee tool across the center of the image. Note: You can create additional guides in this step if you’d like to make sure border is centered properly. Once you have the elliptical marquee tool selected go to Edit – Stroke and choose the color of your line. For this example I will make it white to keep it neutral, but you can choose a color to match your studio’s branding. Make the stroke at least 10 pixels so it will stand out nicely. If you want to have the effect that the line is going behind the subject simply take the eraser tool and erase along the parts where the line intersects with the subject. Make sure your layer with the line is selected when you begin using the eraser tool.
Step 4. Flatten and Save.
The final step is to flatten the image and save the file. Simply select Layer – Flatten Image in Photoshop. It will ask you to discard hidden layers, select “OK”. Make sure the image is in RGB mode and not CMYK. Save the file as a JPEG at Maximum Quality. Now you have a beautiful cover and are on your way to creating your client welcome guide.
Magazine Mama sells customizable magazine templates and professionally written marketing articles for photographers to grow their business. Her sister site Shutter Teachers sells curriculum for photographers to earn extra income teaching basic DSLR photography classes to kids and adults.
WANT A FREE TEMPLATE? Check our post on next Monday for a free Mini Session Template download!