One way to make a magazine cover is to use Adobe Photoshop. To start, create a new document, and upload the desired cover photo. The next step is to create layers for editing and add text as desired.
When creating the new document in Adobe Photoshop, set the size to be twice as wide and 50 percent taller than the chosen cover image. Choose a color, and apply a gradient filter to the document background. Copy and paste the cover image onto the new document, and name this layer "cover." Next, drag the cover layer to the New Layer button in the layers tool box. Label the new layer "back," and move it behind the cover layer by dragging it down.
Now, double click on the back layer, and when the style window comes up, apply a color overlay. The color should be similar to the cover color, but darker. Change the background color if desired, and add effects such as drop shadows and light or dark gradients.
Ideas for adding text to the cover are the company name and blurbs about featured articles. Use the text tool to create different boxes for cover text. The same thing is done for any text desired on the back.