The secret to designing a great yearbook cover is in deciding what unites your school as a whole. Since the yearbook cover is the first thing your audience will see when they pick up their yearbook, you want something that is both interesting and familiar for them. Then your goal is to create a cover design that connects with the school as a whole, and expresses what is unique about your collective experiences that year.
When deciding on a yearbook cover design, keep an eye out for common themes. If your yearbook already has a theme, look for ways to incorporate that theme into the cover design. Try using your school’s colors, or find a way to incorporate the school’s mascot into the layout.
A catchy title is also an attention getter. Other interesting covers include photo collages, embossing or stamping, gold foiling techniques, and different textures. Generally, textures, foiling, and embossing techniques are only available with hardcover yearbook covers, so they may not be right for everybody. What’s important is to come up with a design that everybody can relate to.
When it comes to yearbook covers, there are a variety of options when it comes to the material your yearbook will be printed on as well. While this is often one of the most difficult choices for a school to make, it’s best to use the budget of the school, and those who you intend to sell the yearbook to, to narrow down your options. Hardcover yearbooks are durable and will withstand years of being tossed in storage boxes, pulled from bookshelves, and flipped through on bedroom floors. Yearbooks are meant to last as long as you do, and record memories, so if you can afford a hardcover yearbook, it will pay off in the long run. While previously, they offered fewer options for cover design, they are now as versatile as soft-cover designs, allowing you to incorporate everything from foil embossing to photographs. If you have a somewhat smaller budget, soft-cover yearbook covers are also a good option, especially for smaller schools or organizations that won’t need many pages in order to include the whole student body. Other options include spiral bound yearbooks, and digital yearbooks. Spiral bound yearbooks offer the same flexibility in design as soft-cover yearbooks do. While digital yearbooks leave only the small size of a disc for actual “cover design,” often the layout of the digital yearbook is similar to that of a regular yearbook. This means your design will be viewed on a computer screen, instead of a physical book. A digital yearbook option makes distribution much cheaper and in some cases, longer-lasting, but gives you less options for creativity in design as a hardcover yearbook cover might.
Many computer programs designed for creating and organizing yearbook pages are also capable of helping you digitally construct your yearbook cover. They allow you to adjust the font, style, layout, and text that will all be displayed on the cover, and allow for a great deal of customization. If you have one of these programs available to you, it’s a great idea to at least experiment with different designs on it before narrowing it down to one specific cover plan.
No matter how similar your school or organization might seem to those in surrounding areas, it’s certain that there is something that makes your school unique. When designing your yearbook, keep in mind what sets your school apart, and zero in on that. A great yearbook cover is one that inspires unity in those pictured inside, and, of course, one that sells copies. So whether you decide to go with a hardcover textured style with your school’s colors, or a spiral bound book with a photograph of all the students and faculty, as long as it’s meaningful to those whom you intend to have purchase it, you can’t go wrong.