Digital Planner Cover Template - Planner Cover

Digital Planner Cover Template - Planner Cover
Let's continue working on our Digital Planner Cover PDF Template in Affinity Publisher. At this point, we have drawn a Picture Frame placeholder for the cover graphic, with the same height and width dimensions needed for our planner cover design (Width 2104 x Height 2904 pixels). This leaves a thin empty space on the left for the binder rings. In this tutorial, you will learn the following.

  • Create a shadow from a solid shape
  • Use Gaussian Blur effect in the Effects panel
  • Set Layer Opacity value in the Layers panel
  • Set Multiply Blend Mode value in the Layers panel
  • Use Replace Image to place the downloaded placeholder .png graphic in to the Picture Frame
  • Use the Save History with Document feature
  • Save your project in the default .afpub format

Let's add a shadow under the left edge of the Picture Frame, starting with the Rounded Rectangle tool (see screenshot).

  1. With the Front Cover Placeholder layer still active, use the Rounded Rectangle tool to draw a thin rounded rectangle at the left side of the cover Picture Frame. You will see your shape on a new layer above the Front Cover Placeholder layer.

  2. In the Color panel, set the Stroke to Null and the Fill to black (000000).

  3. In the Transform panel, set the Width to 88 pixels and the Height to 2712 pixels. Set the X and Y values to 100 pixels.

  4. In the Layers panel, rename the layer to Shadow. Drag the layer below the Front Cover Placeholder layer (see screenshot).

  5. Let's use the Gaussian Blur effect to turn this shape into a shadow.

  6. If not open, from the Menu Bar, click View - Studio - Effects, to open the Effects panel.

  7. With the Shadow layer active, select Gaussian Blur in the Effects panel (see screenshot).

  8. Go back to the Layers panel and click the fx icon on the Shadow layer, to open the Layer Effects dialog box.

  9. For the Gaussian Blur, set the slider to 50 pixels and turn on Scale with Object at the bottom of the dialog. Click Close (see screenshot).

  10. From the Layers panel, set the Opacity to 40% and the Blend Mode to Multiply for the Shadow layer (see screenshot).

  11. Now we will add a second shadow below the right edge of the Picture Frame. This shadow will define the right edge and two right rounded corners. We will use the same method as before but, as this shape touches the edge of the Canvas, we will not add the Gaussian Blur effect.

    Note: If you change the corner radius for the Front Cover, you will need to also change the radius for this second shadow layer.

  12. With the Shadow layer active, use the Rounded Rectangle tool to draw a second shape along the right edge of the Canvas. Name this layer Shadow 2.

  13. In the Context Toolbar, set the Corner Radius to 45%. In the Color panel, set the Stroke to Null and the Fill to black (000000).

  14. In the Transform panel, set the X value to 2060 pixels, the Y value to Zero, the Width to 184 pixels and Height to 2904 pixels.

  15. In the Layers panel, set the Shadow 2 layer Opacity to 25% and the Blend Mode to Multiply (see screenshot).

  16. Note: For each new cover design, you can increase or decrease the Opacity percentage for each Shadow layer as needed.

  17. Lock the Shadow layers.

  18. Let's add the placeholder graphic.

  19. Unlock the Front Cover Placeholder layer.

  20. From the Context Toolbar, click the Properties button and choose the first option, Scale to Max Fit (see screenshot).

  21. Note: Use this setting when your designer cover graphic is the same dimensions as the Front Cover Placeholder Picture Frame (W 2104 x H 2904 pixels). If your cover design does not match these dimensions, choose one of the other three options as needed.

  22. Click the Replace Image button. Select the downloaded Front Cover Placeholder .png graphic and click Open.

  23. The .png should appear in the Picture Frame and on a new sublayer of the Front Cover Placeholder layer (see screenshot).

    Let's save our working file. We will use the Save History with Document feature to save the step-by-step history of our work. This history will be available when we open the saved file, giving us the option to return to a previous step.

  24. In the Menu Bar, click File - Save History With Document and click Yes in the pop-up dialog.

  25. Next, click File - Save and name the file Digi Planner Cover PDF. Save the file in the default .afpub file format.

  26. In the next tutorial, we will use the StudioLink feature to move from the Affinity Publisher workspace to the Affinity Designer workspace. We will then use Designer's Symbols feature to layout the binder ring placeholders in the template. You will need to have Affinity Designer installed on your computer.

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    Design a Digital Planner in Affinity Suite - Tutorial Series Index
    More Affinity Suite Tutorials
    Screenshots used by permission of Serif (Europe) Ltd. This article is not endorsed by Serif Ltd.

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Content copyright © 2019 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.