Blog | How to Overcome your Cover Challenges

October 23, 2018

How to Overcome your Cover Challenges

A yearbook cover is a blank canvas for you to introduce your theme, setting the stage for what the reader will discover in the rest of your pages. It needs to be engaging and appealing. How to extract a cover design from your theme idea can sometimes be challenging.

To start the design process, make a list or sketch out the things you would like to include on the cover. The internet can be a great starting point in finding a look or idea on which to base your cover design. Branch out, look at commercial designs (magazines, logos, advertisements).

Depending on the theme, your yearbook may have a very specific style. Some common cover styles are illustration, retro or vintage, graphics, magazine, pattern, typography, photography, mixed media, novelty, and minimalist. These styles can be used on their own or overlap.

Besides the design, the cover contains some important information. Here are some ideas on what to include on your cover;

Front Cover

  • School name, logo or motto
  • Book name, like a newspaper or magazine your yearbook may have a publication name
  • The theme phrase or a design that conveys your theme.
  • The year


  • The year
  • The school name
  • The book name
  • Volume number
  • Pay attention to the direction of the text on the spine

Back Cover

  • School name, logo or motto
  • School contact information
  • A design that wraps up the theme and gives the book a finished look
  • A quote that represents the year or theme

Once you have the direction for your cover and loads of examples in mind you’ll be able to start creating your yearbook cover. Use the following design tools to design your cover and introduce and communicate your theme;

  • Type
  • Graphics
  • Photography
  • Colour scheme
  • Cover effects

Your cover can be created using many different effects, materials, and processes.

Crystalline (laminated), textured line (leather alternative), process colour, metallic ink, quarter binding, embossing, foil stamping, 3D metal inlay, die cutting, varnish, special order material, the sky is the limit when it comes to cover options.

Catherine Holland
Friesens Yearbook Consultant