Cover Design Tips for Digital Products | Jeremy Mura | Skillshare

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Cover Design Tips for Digital Products

teacher avatar Jeremy Mura, Graphic & Brand Designer, Youtuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Finding Inspiration


    • 3.

      Type & Colour


    • 4.

      Hierarchy & Rule of Thirds


    • 5.

      Making a Cover Design


    • 6.

      BONUS: 10 Product Design Tips


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About This Class

An essential skill for any creative designer, freelancer or entrepreneur should be to create great product covers that stand out in the marketplace. In this 30 minute class, I'll explain some design princinples and tips of creating useful product covers. 

The lessons cover:

  • How to design a product cover from scratch
  • Applying useful design principles
  • Learning tools to create efficiently
  • BONUS Design Tips

To create a cover you will need is Adobe Illustrator (Free Trial) + Photoshop (Free Trial)

You'll learn great tips to get you started creating your first cover for a product.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jeremy Mura

Graphic & Brand Designer, Youtuber

Top Teacher


About Jeremy

Jeremy Mura is an award-winning brand identity designer, Youtuber and creator from Sydney, Australia.

He has been in the design industry for 10 years working for both small and big brands worldwide. He has worked for brand names such as Disneyland Paris, Adobe Live, Macquarie Business School, American Express and Telstra.

He has over 6M+ Views on Youtube with over 650+ videos uploaded, has taught over 80k+ Students on Skillshare and has grown a following of 100k+ on Instagram.

Jeremy has been featured on Adobe Live, LogoLounge Book 12, Skillshare, Conference, Creative Market.

You can follow him on Youtube, Instagram or get free resources on

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Trailer: Designing product covers is so important especially when you want to release new products on your brand, or your portfolio, or even on your own website that you want to sell, and designing the right covers is going to be important to make sure your product stand out. You can find inspiration on Pinterest, we'll look at some other examples here. As you can see here, a cover design really will make sure that you stand out and give a certain feel and look depending if it's vintage, retro, a modern look. If you're selling a font, or an icon, or an illustration, it all depends and all matters on how you design the cover. So, we'll go through some techniques, some design principles on how to design some nice covers. I am using typography hierarchy and some other tips as well that I'll give you as well. You can see that designing product covers is very important. It's the first thing someone sees and you want to make sure that your previews are nice and ready so that you can make some sales for whatever you designing and whenever you are creating. 2. Finding Inspiration: I go on Pinterest and find some inspiration. Maybe I'm doing a texture pack, or an icon pack, or whatever it is and I start looking at stuff. On Pinterest, you can see people's other products they've created and even just like some styles or types of work they've done. It will really help you picture what the style you're going for. Do you want to go for a grunge look? Is it more topographic? Do you want to put real mockups? What's your target? What's your goal for the product? This is pretty cool. It's got the bag shapes there. I'll do a bit of research doing this, and then after that, I actually go and create a mockup log, and start looking in the categories. If you search in the Categories, you can actually find a lot of cool stuff in here. Right now, I'm in the Texture category in Graphics and Textures. Then you see this little tab, if you go to Popular, then you can see all the products that are popular and things that are actually being sold and people are buying. You want to always look at these because these are the most interesting ones and you want to check them out, and look at the cover images. After doing that, I'll do some sketches. You'll see here, I'll just minimize that. You can see, I'll start doing some sketches for a cover, for a look and feel using typography, doing some layout. This is another idea I had for a product, like a landing page builder. You can see there, I'll just write some notes and then just start doing boxes and just start sketching out. Sketching is the best thing to do and everyone should be doing that. You can see here that I've got all the [inaudible] and I started working on my covers from that. You can see them. You want to make your covers bold, you want to have the color, you want to have big type and hierarchy. You can see how my main title is in the middle so this hierarchy and then using color, making this text smaller and highlighting the things that it's going to be beneficial, like highlighting this BONUS they get in the corner there, and putting a trust seal, which is pretty cool. Then you can see here, just some of my cover images. I'll start working them one by one. I'll have a picture in my head and then I'll just stop trying to work it out. 3. Type & Colour: I want to show you some design principles that I apply when creating product covers, whether you're doing an able cover of a product, anything really, you can apply these principles to and it really helps you out. Number 1 is font pairings. You can see I've just done a few examples. The general rule for typography or when you're choosing fonts is to have a maximum three fonts. I try and aim for two because that's the best option, because once you start adding too many fonts, it looks too confusing and out of balance and actually can be bad on the eye. It will look unprofessional. You can see here, I've just done some pairings. Most of these fonts are free. You can see Carosello and Duke. You can see this is a nice script and then you've got a Sans serif here and then you've got some other examples of scripts and then a nice Sans serif. Usually, Sans serif goes with most fonts. You can see this is Aleo. This one is a serif font. As you can see, a serif font is a font that has tails and ascenders and descenders. Then it's good to pair that with a nice rounded font here, plain and it's a little more lighter than the actual type here. Here are some more examples. You can even use one font even and just have different styles. You can see this is Open Sans. This is a free font. You can see here, I got extrabold, semibold, and then regular, and you can see if I click up here, you've got your type and then you've got your styles on the right here. If you click that, you can see it's got pretty decent styles. It's got light, regular, semibold, bold, extrabold, and then the italics. You can even use that, don't worry about doing too many fonts. Just stick to the minimum one or two and you'll have better results when you're designing these covers. These are just a few examples but there's plenty more examples you can when pairing fonts. What I do now is try and focus on color and contrast. I've just added some cool pairings here. I usually try and stick with three colors or less as well, so same type of rule with the fonts as well. You can always break the rules, but it's just good you have that as a foundation when you're designing so you don't go too crazy. You can see here some contrasts, and an example here is like the red on the purple or this dark navy blue on the light background. You can always go dark on light or light on dark, so keep that in mind. You want to have a nice contrast. You can see here, the reds and then these opposite colors, so this is a warm pallet. It's still sticking with the reds, yellows, oranges, and then here you can see this blue and orange. Blue and orange are complementary colors, so that will look nice on the eye, it actually will flow nice together, and then you can see some other pallets. You can stick with one color and do different shades as you can see here. Pretty much these are all blue, but it's a lighter shade, like a navy, and then a more subtle, muddied-out blue there with a bit of purple. You can see that it's good to find colors, you can go on Adobe Color, Color Hunt, Lowe's Colors, so much stuff you can go online and just get palettes and start putting them out. 4. Hierarchy & Rule of Thirds: Then you've got a hierarchy, so you want to focus on this as well during the beginning when you're creating a nice design. You can see on the left here I have two IDs that I started off with before I came out with this final layout here. But you can see the layout here it's a bit of a messy layout. You can see here that the hierarchy is a bit off. Are they reading it, turbo logos or they're reading the middle bit, retro badge builder. You've got to be careful of that because remember people read left to right. You want to keep that in mind when you're designing the cover up. You can see here I've got a lot of these examples on the left and right. There's not that much whitespace. It looks a bit collided. You can see down here, I decided to get the hierarchy right, focusing on a title and then give some examples of what they can create in the product. Which are some of these logo badges here, you can see I've made them smaller and then had the one main graphic in the middle, then some secondary text at the bottom there. This was starting to look more clean and nicer. You can see how it's well-balanced, and it has a nice whitespace within the middle, which will really help the product cover, standout. Then you can see here the final cover I came up with. You want to try and keep the bold type at the top, or even in the middle as well and your main graphic within the middle as well. Here, it depends which way you want to do it. I've got my main illustration, that have got extra info here. That's smaller because its secondary. Then you've got this extra type down the bottom here, that's secondary as well. People, if they want to see the benefits or more features that can read that. But you want them to focus on the title and then the main graphic. You want it to be an aspiring element. They look at that and they'll be like, "That's really cool." Then you've added some extra mockups here to balance it out. If these mockups, when they're in the background, then it'll actually too much whitespace there. Probably could have added some more detail, but this looks more nice. It adds a realistic feel to it and allows people to see, okay, I can actually use this and it's looking very professional. That's just some tips when you're working on a nice cover like that in hierarchy. What I've done here is now I've just did a mockup. I got this illustration from That's not my illustration. What I've done, I'm just going to open the guides now. You can see you can also use the rule of thirds. They use it in photography, but you can also use it in design. You can see, rule of thirds vertical and horizontally and you can see here, I've put my main type within this top section here. Then as we go down into the middle, you can see we've got our main illustrations. As you can see, it's just a made up pack. It's a superior pack effect illustrations. This is our main graphic within this middle section here, and it's okay, it doesn't have to be perfect within the third, but it's in this one middle column. Your eye will come run down to the top of the header. It'll go down, see the illustrations, and then go down to this text on the bottom here. You can see here, we want to try and put some information in the bottom here, as well as keep some extra details within this section. You can see I've added it within this middle row, the middle of the thirds there. It's actually balanced, and it looks better and it looks really nice. You're going to utilize this space, use typography, make sure that the type that is least important, you make it smaller and you make the bold type that you want people to see. You either change the color or you change the sizing. Those are really two important things to make sure you've got the user visually. This is just some quick tips. I mean the rule of thirds. Then you can see that it's all balanced and, you can break the rules a bit, but this is what I use in at these guides. 5. Making a Cover Design: In this part, I'm going to show you how to create your own cover for our patterned product. Right now I'm working on an icon pack and it's based around theme of camping. You can see I've just done these icons. [inaudible] line on one strike. Pretty cool. What I'm going to do is going to use this, and we're going to create a image. I've also got Photoshop as well up, and I've selected a few images from Unsplash. There's this one, this one, and this one, that we'll play around with and see which one's the best fit for our product. To find those images, what you're going to do is go to, and I typed in camping in the search bar at the top here. If you look around, you can find some nice pics. If you're going to have an image in the background or you can just purely make it like a vector graphic, try and select things that have a high contrast so that's not going to conflict with your typography or your items at the front. Try and go for a darker tone image, which I prefer. Then what I'll do is saturate it down and make it less permanent, and make it more subtle. As you can see, these ones are more darker, the fire is here. Just scroll through and pick a few images, or whatever theme you're doing and pick something that's going to work. I did that and now I'm going to work with Illustrator and start putting out this. I've got my icons here and I've grouped them all. What I'm going to do is I usually try and keep my typography in the main section. I'm going to go to my Layers Panel on the right here. Click on the "Layers Panel". To open up the Layers Panel you go to "Window" and "Layers" to open that up. What I'm going to do, I'm just going to call it background. I'd like to start working with the background first. I'll just do that. I've created some color palette here. I can see my swatch panel at the top right corner there. I've got swatches. I might just eye drop some of these colors in. Press I for the Eye Dropper and then I'll just go drop it in and see what will work well. Maybe this dark brown. We're just going to use this brown for now, just to get that contrast going, and then I'll call this Icons. What I'm going to do, I'm just going to layout these icons in. When you're doing a cover images, you want to make sure that's aspirational. It's a result that someone can achieve, and try and keep consistent. I'm going to try and keep these neat and tidy. I'm probably going to just have two lines of the icons instead of having it too close. [inaudible] align like that. It doesn't have to be perfect but do your best. I'm going to group these, and then I'm just going to drag this down. I'll press the down arrow key. Make it a bit bigger, and then center to my artboard as well. So you've got these icons. I'm going to change the stroke so we can actually see them. That is fine. We'll just leave it for that red color now. Now we're getting some action. We're getting a bit of layout happening. What I want to have is my title on the main thing. I'm going to press T for the Type Tool, drop that in. Because it's like a clean set of icons, they're not that rough, I could go for a clean type, like maybe Bebas, [inaudible] , or Novecento, something like that. Or we can play around with some type and maybe go Bernier, and then we'll just bump this up. Selection Tool, just drag this up. It's a little bit rough because it's the outdoors, so I want to get a bit of that feel. Then I'll go outdoor camping icon set. Then I'm going to center the text just like this, and then I'm going to hold Alt option and adjust the letting there. I'm going to line it. Try and have the title at the top because the I always starts from the top left and it goes down so you always want to have the title there, or maybe in the center as well, and you can put the icons around. Or if you're doing illustrations, you can do that. But I'm just going to layout like this simple layout. I'll just leave it like this for now. When you're working with Canvas, you want to add a bit of hierarchy. The main word I want to highlight is outdoor camping. Because icon set is a secondary word, I can do that, and I'm going to hold Option and Command Shift or if you're on a PC, Control Alt Shift. You can actually adjust the baseline like that. I'm just going to bring that up a little bit, just like that. Then I'm going to hold Alt, and adjust the counting there and then select all this and do Alt down key, and I will adjust the letting again just to give some variation in the type like that. Looking good. I'm going to press "P" now and I'm just going to click and hold Shift and Click to make a stroke. I like adding lines or dash lines because it actually breaks up the text between this icon, see. I'm going to click this. I'm looking at to my Stroke panel on the right here, and I'm going to click this button called dash line. You can see you get this nice cool dashed line and we can actually run it off if you want to. Or we can just leave it kept off. We'll just leave it like that and you can bump the weight if you want. It's looking a bit too short. I might increase the gap and increase the dash there to make them longer. Make sure it's centered as well. Always click the align button on the top and make sure you select Artboard here and it will line it to the artboard. I'll bring this up. I'll drop down the way a little bit. I'm just going to drag these in holding Alt. Cut that off. I'll change this color to the light brown from the background so it doesn't conflict too much. You can see we're breaking down the text. We can even change the color of this type as well, because it's conflicting a little bit. Make sure you select the fill and not the stroke, so you can change the fill on the stroke by clicking on the left here, and select the type you want and insert the color. Select it and then you can have out that light brown. That's fine. Then maybe we'll change this orange. We'll make this orange, and we'll make this white. So you can see the contrast here. The yellow and the light brown in the right. Your eye can distinguish. It makes it easier on the eyes when you're doing this type of cover. I've got my icons, they're bright, so they're looking good. What I'd like to do is, I'd like a banner on the bottom, so I'm just going to press "M" and just do a rectangle and you can add a banner. I'm just going to select all these. Bring those up a little bit. Everything's on one layer. I'm just going to drag this up to the layer we did make, and I try and make another layer for type. I'll put the type on top layer and keep the icon separate, and I'll put this in the top layer as well. So using layers is good as well. You want to keep it clean. So this orange banner, maybe you want it just like a light brown like that or we can make it really bright, but we want the icons to stand out. I'll just leave it like that for now, and then I'll just lock that by pressing Control 2. I'm going to press T for the Type Tool again. We're going to use Bernier. Because it's like a nice, playful, fun. Not too rustic. I'll change the color to this creamy color, and then it will say, Awesome for any project. Try and highlight a benefit or something like that. But we'll just leave these for now. You want to usually put some information, save time. Illustration is built from scratch or hand-drawn vectors, hand-drawn patterns, something like that to make them be like, "Well, this is cool" and I'll check it out. I usually put a title on the banner there. You can do it anywhere else. You can even take this off, and then allow more space for the icons. You can even do that as well, which is pretty cool. We've got this happening and then we can add a bit of a texture if we want to or we can just leave it like this, but we're going to take into Photoshop now. I'm just thinking if there's anything else. I'm probably going to add some more type here as well. Press T, Type tool again, and it's going to drag this down. Also, let people know what type of file this is. It's going to be EPS, or we're going to make it AI file. EPS, PNG. SVG offers foot three for now, and then we'll change it to that. Again, I'm going to drag that across and just eyeball it if it looks, spacing there. Then we'll go type in, fully scalable, or whatever you're saying, you can say editable strokes or whatever. It's adding a bit more information to the product and so I might just change the color, look at the boots play around with color. I guess that looks fine now. You can probably add some texture, save that out and use that as a cover. You also want to know about your artboard. Your sizing should be, its on 1080P right now, which is okay, you can scale it down, but usually the sizing for the files is 772 and 1160 is usually the sizing they use. You can see it's pretty much like 1080P, but we'll just scale down like that size. I wouldn't worry about that now. That's just for specifically for creative market. Just a tip to write down. To finish up now, I'm going to get rid of the background, we don't want that anymore. I'm going to select everything, make sure nothing is locked, I'm going to Press Control C. I want to go into Photoshop and then go Control V. I'm just going to drag this out. The sizing would probably be off so we're going to have to edit our canvas. I'm going to go to image canvas 1090 P. There we go. That's going to work now. We've got our vector object, you can just scale it down a little bit. We've got our icons, our vector object that we've done there and you can see now, we're going to pick an image that will work well with it. This one might work well. This is not going to work well because it's too busy in the middle and it's distracting that flame. That one might work well as well, but I guess we'll work with this image here. What we're going to do is, I'm going to saturate it. We're going to add an adjustment layer. I'm going to have the bottom here at adjustment. We'll go Hue and Saturation, and we'll just bring down the saturation of this. Desaturated, you can play around with the hue if you want, just leave it at zero. I'm just going to leave it. We got that, so you can see the difference there. I'm also going to add another layer, will go levels. I like the easy level because it adds a bit of contrast. We're going to add bringing these darks. Make sure you bring that below the vectors so it doesn't affect that. We want to bring in this slider, so you bring in these highlights and then these are the shadows, so you bring this in. But don't bring in too much. Make sure it's not gone on the edges. Let's turn this off, see what's it looking like. It's looking all right. What else? You can add curves if you want, you can also add brightness and contrast to bump up the contrast there. Another cool thing to do is add a photo filter as well. You can actually use these default ones. You can see it changed the tonal ranges slightly. She's pretty sweet, but you can also load some in as well. We will add a Sepia tone because I want like a browny, yellow tone, but she's fine. Then we've got that. Make sure to keep your layers clean, I'll just leave those. I'll probably lock these. They don't want to lock. I should just turn that off. What I usually do now, we're going to add some more shadows around the edges. I'm going to make a new layer, on the bottom right, you just click "Layer". We'll just call it black, and we're going to make like a Vignette. I'm going to press B for the brush tool. Make sure you select your black layer. Select the soft brush so you've got a brushes on the top left, get a soft brush and start painting. Bring the passage down a little bit, 70 percent is fine. I'm going to start painting around the edges here. I'm just clicking the mouse and just going around just tapping it to get like a Vignette effect. Then what we're going to do, change the Blending Mode, We're going to change it to multiply. We can also play around with other Blending Modes to see what it looks like, but I want multiply and then I'll put it 80 percent probably like that, just to make it a bit more darker. You can always play around and add heaps of other things. Another cool thing is column lookup, this is the one that you can actually load things in, you can also load profiles in, some of these ones I've loaded in, but there's also defaults. You can see here, these got some nice effects as well that I like. See that very nice tone? I actually like that. Even that one's nice. So we'll go with this one. You can see if I click on these adjustment layers back to the original, you can see how it adds a dramatic effect like that and actually makes a difference. Now if I turn on this layer and it will be more prominent, you can see how it's a bit light, it's hard to see the icons. It's way better to put the icons away and then desaturate everything else. We might add a brightness layer as well. We'll just bring the brightness down like that. Just to bring that light down there. Think about the contrast slightly. That brightness helped us out there. Now you can see, we've got a camping sort of vibe in the background and then we've got our icons and letters here. You can see this brown is not working, so you can always go back to Illustrator and change the colors then just paste it back in. Another shortcut is, if it's a small object, you can just double click on it and it should open up back in Illustrator like that. Then you can go edit it through there, I don't know what just happened. Here and then you can go here and edit it, and then when you save it, it's going to edit this like that. For example, I'll just show you, I want dark. Maybe a dark color will work, maybe not. We'll just add this green in. That might be a bit better. If I save this, there you go it should affect that. So that's looking fine. That's how you make a cover and then what you do, you just go file, then I export it, click "Export" JPEG or save for web. There's so many different possibilities, but I'm just showing you from my perspective, some hierarchy using type, using the elements that you want, putting a title, making it look nice and neat. You just go and save it out wherever you want. That's it and that's how you make a cover for your product. Then you can upload it to credit market and then you are all set. 6. BONUS: 10 Product Design Tips: I'm going to give you 10 of my tips that really have worked for me and I've learned from, and I just want to share that with you and hope you guys can learn a thing or two and apply that to your products when you start selling. Here's a little bit of a guide on what works. Number 1, create. Always release one product every month. Be consistent. Even if you can try and do a product every few weeks, that's good too. But it's preferable to spend more time on a product and take your time with it, don't just rush through it, but definitely create every month; launch at least one product. Number 2 is guide. You go to upload instructions, PDF guides, upload videos as well. I find that uploading a video tutorial or walk-through really helps your customers or people buying your products to really see the process and see how it's going to benefit their lives and make it easy for them to upload it and use it and download it. So I really think that you got to guide them to through the process and that that helps. Number 3 is your covers. This is the most important tip, I'd say. Your cover images on all your products or your previews have to be on point, they have to be amazing, and they also have to be aspirational. What do I mean by aspirational? It has to be an inspiring image that they can achieve or a result they can achieve from using your product. So you want to make sure your covers are looking good. Spend more time on them than the actual assets within the pack. You will see it's going to benefit you and people are going to more likely click on your product to see what it is. Number 4 is offers. There's some persuasion techniques, but there are special offers. You can offer limited time only, just for an example, or you can use a special bonus, first 10 get a cheaper price. It's good to have these offers in sales sometimes. People actually like that and it attracts a bit more sales, but it can make your product have less value in it, but if your product's good and it has a lot of value, then it's going to be eventually a goodbye for someone and they're going to go in for that offer. Number 5 is timing, you've got to pay attention. Don't upload on weekends cause obviously people don't work weekends and people are not on the Internet much, they're having a chew break on the weekend. Also the season. So like for Halloween season or Christmas, you want to upload products that relate to that type of timing and that season, and also things that are going to increase sales and things that are going to resonate with customers. You got to think people might have projects or they might send out gifts during that time and creating a product that's going to relate to that is going to be beneficial. So always remember what days and what times and what seasons you're going to release your product. Number 6 would be value. Add as much value as you can. Just fill up the product with heaps of value, don't just spare heaps of one element or shapes or something like that. Add more stuff to it, add extra bonuses to it. Put some extra textures, put some instructions, put some unexpected things in it that they didn't ask for, and they'll really appreciate that. So if you increase the value, then you can increase the price, and overall your product's going to be seen already in higher influence in that area, and people are going to more likely buy it because the more value, the more quality they see in the product and they're going to buy it. Number 7 is observe. Pay attention to trends and popular categories. Also the hand-picked category and popular categories are really useful. Don't copy other people's work and don't copy other people's products. But observe, pay attention, notice patterns, notice what's working and see things that can work, but obviously don't compromise on your brand. Create a product that's going to relate to your brand and that your audience actually want. Number 8 is read. The credit market has a blog which is pretty cool and it's got useful tips and tricks in there on how to sell products and that cool stuff. There's also other blogs like Creative Blog and other type of blogs that really help you to share other people's techniques and how they do it. Find information, do your research, do your homework, and it's going to benefit you. Number 9 is quality. Quality is good, but also aim for quantity as well. So you got to have more products. I currently have four products in my shop, but obviously I want to try and aim for more. The more you have, the more chances you are going to have of making sales. So whenever you're designing goods, make sure the quality is good. Don't just rush through it, don't just copy and paste or whatever you're going to do. Make sure you build it, make sure it's useful, make sure it's a quality product and not just quickly thrown together with just rubbish assets in it. Number 10 will be audience. You want to grow your shopping, grow your brand. Cool thing or cool way to do that is offer free samples. People love samples, people love free things. When you offer those free samples, they're going to get a taste of your product. It also allows people to come in and introduce yourself to the shop or your product. It's going to help you grow and the more you care about your audience and what they want and what they need, and you're building products towards their need, then it's going to help you grow and it will overall increase your brand. It's going to be awesome.