Creating a Wired Magazine Cover With a 3D Model

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The Objective: To mimic a Wired Magazine cover utilizing a 3D model created in Cinema 4D.

The Concept

During a 3D modeling class, we were tasked with creating our own magazine cover for either “Wired Magazine” or “Fast Company”. The cover must have a 3D model that would be relevant for the respective magazine as well as relevant bodycopy and general subject matter of everything found on the cover.


To begin with this project, I wanted to get a feel for how Wired Magazine presented their magazine covers. After all, you’ll never know how to replicate something if you never research how it’s done. Luckily, my college library contained a plethora of Wired Magazines that have accumulated over time so I didn’t have to look too far to find material. I also wanted to explore the internet for more magazine cover designs to get a bigger idea of how they’re designed.


During this stage is when I also decided to choose the color palette that I would pursue for the magazine.

After the research comes the sketches. My idea on what to do for the cover changed drastically over time during the sketching phase. I wanted to create a cover for e-waste, or electronic waste. E-waste is something incredibly toxic and harmful but is something that people seem to overlook when talking about recycling. For a topic of this magnitude, the cover needed to match in terms of impact. Throughout my time sketching ideas for the cover, the ideas repeatedly changed. I needed something that could get a passerby’s attention and that could also be ripe for strong SEO. The idea that I eventually decided upon is a tree being hung by a keyboard, which represents e-waste killing the environment.

Creating Body Copy

An effective magazine cover is nothing without the body copy. The goal of my title and subhead was to create something as powerful as the 3D model. I went through a plethora of different ideas throughout the process. Practicing green lighting, every idea I had, I wrote down and tried it on a mockup made in Adobe Illustrator. Eventually I came to the conclusion of “Technologically Obese America” as the header and “The lasting ecological effects of an overconsumption hungry nation.” as the subhead. The extra articles featured on the magazine cover will be various Wired magazine headlines.

Creating The Model

Being the first time using Cinema 4D, the experience was definitely difficult but interesting nonetheless. The keyboard was created with splines, the rope was created with cylinders, and the roses were created with cylinders and planes.

At this point, I decided to go with a rose instead of a tree. To me, that makes a bigger statement and it also stands out more.

Finishing Touches

Once the 3d Model has been exported, it became time to combine everything together in Illustrator. Using the headline and subhead mentioned before, I combined “Neue Haas Grotesk Display Pro 75/55” and “Mohave Bold” to create structured, professional, and great looking body copy.

Final Piece

The entire process of creating this piece was definitely challenging. Cinema 4D is an incredibly daunting program with an insane amount of tools that make it very challenging for a newbie. 

The experience creating this piece really helped me understand just how much work goes into creating 3D renders and it makes me interested in seeing what else I can create in a 3D workspace.