yearbook cover anatomy - title

A good cover is crucial to any type of publication. It’s like a movie trailer. If it’s good, people will buy a ticket to see the rest of it. If it’s not, they’ll just pass on it. What makes a great cover? This is what you’ll find out in this first chapter.

01. What you see – Anatomy of a yearbook cover

After almost a decade in the yearbook industry, we’ve seen a little bit of everything in terms of yearbook covers. Here are the most popular ingredients you should use to make up your yearbook cover.

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> BASIC COMPONENTS

yearbook cover anatomy - description

BACKGROUND
A plain colour, a pattern, an image or a texture. Perfect to set the visual mood.

PHOTOGRAPHS
It’s an easy way to add visual interest.

DESIGN ELEMENTS
Embellishments, shapes, lines, borders or stickers, etc.

QUOTE OR SLOGAN 
Inspire them with a quote or use your school slogan.

SCHOOL LOGO
It’s part of your visual identity. Don’t hesitate to use it!

SCHOOL NAME
It’s shown to indicate who the yearbook is about.

TITLE
Often titled “Yearbook” with the year.

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> A FEW IDEAS TO PLAY WITH

yearbook cover anatomy - front cover - back cover

BACK COVER IDEAS
> School name, logo or motto
> School contact information (phone number, address and website)
> Optional: an inspiring quote that represents your school spirit.

SPINE
> School name, year, and the word ‘yearbook’
> Pay attention to the direction of the text on the spine.

FRONT COVER IDEAS
> School name, logo, or motto
> The year
> Title or slogan
> Winning art of a photo/illustration contest at your school
> A special photo or hire a pro for a unique shot
> Graphic elements to create a unique composition.
> Photo collage, a snapshot of the year’s events.

yearbook cover anatomy - inside cover

INSIDE COVER IDEAS
The inside covers are a great place to continue the mood of the cover, and can be decorative, just like a garnish on a fancy dish. It’s a space for only a light amount of information – let the visual (or the visual space) speak for itself. It’s also a great place for your sponsors to advertise. In magazines, the inside cover is a very expensive page to obtain.

> A full page image
> A texture or plain colour background
> Autographs / Signature Page
> Ads from sponsors
> Special thanks from the yearbook team

02. What you touch and feel

> YEARBOOK COVER BINDING

yearbook cover anatomy - binding

SOFT COVER
A soft cover book is ‘Perfect Bound’ using glue and is closer to your standard magazine or book.

HARD COVER
A soft cover book is ‘Perfect Bound’ using glue and is closer to your standard magazine or book.

SADDLE STITCH
‘Saddle Stitch’ books use staples to bind the book together. Often when publications have a lesser amount of pages, this is an easy and simple option to bind books.

> YEARBOOK COVER SURFACE

Naturally, you want a yearbook to last the years – to make the book more durable, the cover is laminated during a celloglazing process. This coat gives a finishing touch to the cover and gives it an extra professional edge.

yearbook cover anatomy - finishing

yearbook covers - arrow

MATTE SURFACE
A matte celloglaze will have a soft feel and a flat appearance. The effect is much more subtle than gloss, but feels luxurious and velvety.

GLOSS SURFACE
A gloss cover will feel smooth and have a shiny appearance. This type of cover is ideal for bringing out the vibrancy of photographs.

03. What you read – Setting the tone.

When you create your cover, it’s important to think about the visual theme for your book, and then let the cover do the speaking for the rest of the publication. It should give the reader a feeling of what the rest of the book is going to be like.

04. More resources for your yearbook cover

This ebook is part of our collection of resource guides crafted to give you the information you need to make your best yearbook yet. For information related to other aspects of cover-making, try these:

Guide Yearbook Titles

Deciding on a title for your book? Try the Guide to Yearbook Titles.

Guide Yearbook Slogans

Create a slogan to inspire and add meaning to your yearbook: check out our guide to yearbook slogans.

Guide Yearbook Fonts

Need a good font pairing for your yearbook cover? Try this guide!

Woo! We’re done with theory!

It’s time to go deeper into design. In the next chapter, you’ll discover hundreds of yearbook cover examples. Perfect to identify design trends and start defining your own style! Don’t forget to create an account, it’s the best way for you to try all our tips!

Start creating here

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