Create a magazine layout in Photoshop

In this lesson, you will learn how to design a directory layout with smart objects so that it is easy to change the design from one to another. The layout is ideal for showing your design to a client or placing it in your portfolio.
To create the layout of the catalog, we will prepare the basic form, add shadows and light effects. Let’s create Smart object (Smart Object), inside which you can change the design.
This is how the finished layout will look like.

Step 1. Open a new document in Photoshop using the settings in the screenshot below:

Using a simple figure, we will create journal pages. Choose a tool Rectangle(Rectangle Tool) and at the top of the settings panel of this tool, set this shape to a fixed size: 460pix. width and 300pix. height. Now you can create a shape.

Next, we need to set the rectangle to a curved shape so that it looks like a page. Using tool Angle (Convert Point Tool) work on the reference points of the shape to achieve the desired shape, as in the screenshot below.

Once you edit the shape, create two copies of it and arrange them as shown below (you can create several shape pages depending on how many pages you want to create and the size of the layout magazine).

Then for each copy with the page we need to reduce the bend. To do this with the tool Arrow (Direct Selection Tool) select the control points and transform them.

Let’s organize our file and create the right part of the log.
Place layers with pages in a group by pressing the key combination Ctrl +G, and duplicate this group. Name the groups LEFT PAGES and RIGHT PAGES, and accordingly name the layers in the groups, for example, Left Page 01; Left Page 02; Left Page 03 / Right Page 01; Right Page 02; Right Page

Now to rotate the second group with pages, use the transformation. Press the key combination Ctrl + T, then right-click and select a function Flip horizontally (Flip Horizontal). Finally, place the folders with the pages to each other, as shown in the screenshot.

Now we have to arrange our magazine in accordance with the perspective. Select all layers with pages in two groups and press the key combination Ctrl + T, then right-click and select a function Distortion (Distort). Now move the frame’s nodal points to make the magazine look like in the screenshot.

Step 2. We have the main form of our catalog and at this stage we will add shadows and highlights. This is necessary so that the volume appears. To begin with each layer with pages customize your color. The color codes are shown in the screenshot below.

Now adjust the layer styles for the layer. left page 01. Double click on the layer to bring up the layer style settings dialog. In this window, configure Shadow (Shadow) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). See settings below.

Apply the same layer styles to a layer in another group. right page 01, but here are some other settings. See below for the screenshot.

Step 3. In this step we will do the shadows. Separately for each page we will create a shadow. Activate the tool Pen (Pen Tool) mode Layer layer (Shape) and create the shapes as shown in the screenshot below. Color set for them black000000.

Now select the created layers with the shadow, right-click and select the option Rasterize layer (Rasterize Layers). We will be able to work individually with each of the shadows to achieve a more accurate final result. Move the created layers with shadows under the top pages in the layers palette.

Using the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) size of 40 pixels and Opacity (Opacity) 25%, work on the shadows, gently erasing the parts that are more open and where more light hits.

Then using the tool Blur (Blur Tool) work on the shadow, in more open areas use this tool more, and in the closed part of the shadow less. Thus, we achieve a visual increase in contrast and perspective.

Once you have achieved the desired result, simply repeat these steps for the other pages, creating a shadow, placing it under the page layer, erasing and blurring it for contrast.
IMPORTANT! For the last page, we will make a different type of shadow, which we will do a little later.

Now we are going to create the last shadow that will be applied to the whole base form of the catalog. Activate the tool Pen (Pen Tool) mode Layer layer (Shape) and create a shape as shown in the screenshot below.

Rasterize this layer and place it below the main catalog form. Then process the shadow, as they did before, that is, eraser erasing the excess and blurring it to reduce the sharpness of the shadow. Then, to create a realistic contrast with the overall background, change the blend mode to Multiplication (Multiply).
The preliminary result should look like this:

Now create a new shape for the shadow and place it below the shadow layer for the whole catalog.

Apply the same actions that you did on the previous layers with shadows and as soon as you achieve the desired result, change the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply) from 25% Opacity(Opacity), like this:

Duplicate this layer and place a copy below the original. Then change this layer overlay mode to Overlap (Overlay), this allows the shadow to adapt to any background color to create a more accurate combination between them. You will see the result of this method, changing the background.

Step 4. Make a creation Smart object (Smart Object), in which our design will be placed. Choose a tool Rectangle (Rectangle Tool) and at the top of the settings panel of this tool, set a fixed size: 500pix. width and 325pix. height. Now create a shape.

After you have created a shape, right-click on the layer and select the option Convert to smart object (Convert to Smart Object). Press the key combination Ctrl + T, then right-click and select a function Distortion (Distort) and adjust the four anchor points relative to the shape of the first page, then press the key combination again Ctrl + T, right click and select a function Deformation (Warp) to mimic the exact form of the page as follows:

This layer must be above the layer. Left Page 01. Change his blending mode to Multiplication (Multiply). Now right-click on the selected layer and select Create clipping mask (Create clipping mask).

Now apply all of the above steps to the opposite page of the directory.

Make sure that the location of your layers in the palette corresponds to the location as shown in the screenshot.

Step 5. Select layer Left Page 01 and duplicate it, placing it at the very top of this group. Name the copy Overlay and apply the layer style. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). See settings below.

Then make another copy and name it Shadow. Reposition the copy at the very top of the group and apply a layer style. Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Settings in the screenshot below.

Now do the same for the layer Right Page 01. Duplicate it at the very top of your group. Apply a layer style.

Step 6. Add a background to our directory was not in the air. Thus, we will have more visual presentation of our design. Choose the right texture (in this case, a wooden floor) and apply the correct perspective according to your design.

In our case, to correct the perspective background, we have to use the function Distortion (Distort) to achieve the result as in the screenshot below.
To give the background more depth and contrast you can use the menu Filter – Rendering – Blick (Filter> Render> Lens Flare) for lighting.

Step 7. So we created our layout directory with Smart objects (Smart Object). Now we just apply the finished design directly to the page layout. Select a layer in the layers palette called PUT YOUR IMAGE HERE (see screenshot), double-click on the layer thumbnail and a new file will automatically open – a smart object is opened, in which your design will be located. At first you will see only the blue page that you created in step 4. Place the design in this file as you like and close it, having previously saved Ctrl + S.

When you return to your source file, you will see how the design automatically adapted to the shape of the magazine page with the correct perspective and layer styles (shadow and light).

Do the same with the other Smart object (Smart Object) for the opposite page.
As a result, we obtain the end result of the lesson. I wish you good luck and success in design projects!

(click on image to enlarge)

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