Year Book Cover Ideas

Yearbooks hold pieces of history. During adulthood, many find themselves dusting off high school yearbook covers and reliving old memories. Those who take part in yearbook production have a big task ahead, but a very rewarding experience. Make a good first impression by creating a cover that gives justice to the pages within.

  1. Theme

    • Come up with a central theme to place on the cover, along with the year and school name. Develop the inner pages and cover around it. The mood can be serious, traditional, elegant or whimsical and relevant to that particular year or a generalized emotional statement. The cover design can play off of the theme. Examples include “Remember the Times,” “Pieces of (school name),” “The Tradition Continues” and “Those Were the Days.”


    • Focus on the year by manipulating the numbers to create an artistic, bold graphic design. Those proficient in Photoshop or InDesign can perform a number of special effects, such as shadows, a rippled effect, outer blur and more. If your theme refers to pieces of a puzzle, break the year apart into puzzle pieces. Another possibility is enlarging the year and importing photos into the numbers.

    Artwork and Photos

    • Enlist one of the great student artists to create artwork for the cover. A piece that is painted or drawn in pen with watercolor can make a striking cover once the text is added. Subjects for cover art or photos include the school, a distinctive school landmark, an annual school event, school crest, mascot or a football game.


    • Gather the best pictures taken during the school year which represent school spirit or events or happenings particular to that year (prom, pep rallies, marching band, cheerleaders and more). Arrange them on the cover as a photo collage. Get a good representation of the entire school. Don’t play favorites.


    • Involve the entire school, or just the senior class, by throwing a yearbook cover contest. You will be amazed at the quality and creativity of the submissions. Pick the top three designs and have the students vote for a winner.


    • Discuss embellishments that can be used on the cover with the yearbook publishing company. These techniques include foil stamping and embossing. Printing costs may rise, but it provides a very sharp, distinguished appearance.


    • Focus on the text instead of artwork or photos. Place the text in gold foil, use an enlarged elaborate font overtop a faded photo, or make a collage or graphic element of descriptive words. The text can be large with a small accompanying photo. Don’t be afraid to leave white space. It can be very effective.


    • Use color selectively to create a mood or artistic effect. The integration of a black and white, feathered picture with color text can be stunning. Whatever colors you use, avoid making the cover too busy on the eyes.


    • If you lack the design skills or time to create a cover, ask the printing company about its selection of pre-designed yearbook covers. Use this as a last resort. You’ll feel so proud to create your own cover design.

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