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2024 Cover Contest Rubric

| Yearbooks

Every year students and yearbook teams pour their heart and soul into creating books that will be cherished memories for years to come. We know your cover design ultimately is one that you love, and that’s the most important thing. But for the purposes of the Friesens 2024 cover contest, where there are prizes on the line, we want you to know what the judges will be looking at when it comes to your cover design (keeping in mind, everything is subjective).

2021 Finalist – Calvin Christian Collegiate, Winnipeg, Manitoba

CREATIVITY (20 points)

  • Exceptional (16-20 points): Innovative and creative design elements that effectively capture the theme and essence of the school year.
  • Proficient (11-15 points): Creative elements present, but may lack originality or a strong connection to the theme.
  • Basic (6-10 points): Some creative elements, but they may be generic or not well-integrated into the overall design.
  • Limited (1-5 points): Minimal creativity; design elements may be uninspiring or unrelated to the theme.
2019 Finalist – Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School – Kitchener, ON


  • Exceptional (12-15 points): Clearly communicates and reinforces the chosen yearbook theme through design elements, color schemes, and imagery.
  • Proficient (8-11 points): Some connection to the theme, but may lack consistency or fail to effectively convey the intended message.
  • Basic (4-7 points): Limited representation of the theme; elements may be scattered or disconnected from the overall concept.
  • Limited (1-3 points): Little to no connection to the chosen theme.
2017 Finalist – Poquoson High School – Poquoson, VA

VISUAL APPEAL (15 points):

  • Exceptional (12-15 points): Visually striking, well-balanced, and aesthetically pleasing with an effective use of color, typography, and layout.
  • Proficient (8-11 points): Visually appealing, but some elements may be unbalanced or distract from the overall design.
  • Basic (4-7 points): Adequate, but lacks overall visual harmony; design elements may be haphazardly arranged.
  • Limited (1-3 points): Minimal visual appeal; design may be cluttered or disorganized.
2023 Finalist – Port Moody Secondary School – Port Moody, BC

TYPOGRAPHY (15 points):

  • Exceptional (12-15 points): Thoughtful and purposeful use of typography that enhances the overall design and readability.
  • Proficient (8-11 points): Good use of typography, but some inconsistencies or issues with readability.
  • Basic (4-7 points): Typography is functional but may lack creativity or pose readability challenges.
  • Limited (1-3 points): Poor typography choices; negatively impacts overall design and readability.
2018 Finalist – Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts – Los Angeles, CA

COMPOSITION (15 points):

  • Exceptional (12-15 points): The design demonstrates a strong and thoughtful arrangement of elements, with a clear focal point, balanced layout, and effective use of space. Incorporates spine and good balance between the front and back covers.
  • Proficient (8-11 points): The composition is well-organized, with a good balance of elements, though there may be minor areas for improvement.
  • Basic (4-7 points): The composition lacks organization and may be confusing or cluttered, impacting overall visual appeal.
  • Limited (1-3 point): The composition is chaotic, with poor organization and no clear focal point, making it difficult to understand.
2021 Finalist – Wilson College Prep – Phoenix, AZ

DIFFICULTY (15 points):

  • Exceptional (12-15 points): The design demonstrates a high level of technical skill and complexity, incorporating advanced techniques or features that showcase the designer’s expertise.
  • Proficient (8-11 points): The design shows proficiency in execution and includes moderately challenging elements, but there is room for more complexity.
  • Basic (4-7 points): The design lacks technical skill, with minimal evidence of challenging elements or advanced techniques.
  • Limited (1-3 point): The design is rudimentary, lacking any evidence of technical skill or complexity.
2021 Finalist – Killarney Secondary School – Vancouver, BC