We know the saying well: Don’t judge a book by its cover. But when it comes to the yearbook, we aspire to create a great looking cover that captures the essence of the year while piquing the interest of buyers. It’s important to consider these tips when choosing a design.
Does your cover tell the visual story of your theme?
If you’ve chosen a theme, you should have a built-in direction for your cover design. If your theme is about adventure, use clipart and backgrounds to create a design that evokes the tone of your theme. The cover is the place to introduce all visual and style-related elements your readers can expect when they turn the pages of the book. Incorporate the same color palette, fonts and images. This helps to create a cohesive and professional-looking yearbook and streamlines the design process.
Is it relatable to your students?
Making sure the cover relates to students is important. If your theme phrase includes the word “time,” for example, be sure your visuals make sense to students. A sand-filled hourglass or a sundial may not evoke a relevant interpretation of time in the way a digital clock or another more abstract element would. Before you begin designing, consider recruiting a focus group of students and ask their opinions and ideas based on the yearbook theme. Providing them with some visual sample ideas or sketches can help get their creative juices flowing.
Does it favor a certain grade?
The best yearbook covers are always inclusive of the entire student body. While some schools choose to include a photo or names of the graduating class, it is best to reserve those special dedication elements for inside the book. Why? Placing a picture of the 5th grade graduates starts a tradition that, if ever broken, can cause backlash among students and parents alike. It creates the expectation that every graduating class will appear, and it forces you into design constraints. If your school has a tradition of including grade-specific details on the cover and you are looking to change that, discuss the pros and cons with your representative and administration.
Is everything spelled correctly?
While this tip may sound outrageous, misspelled words and school names on yearbook covers are more common than you might think. It is easy to overlook a missing or transposed letter when the words are very familiar to you. Double and triple-check yourself by asking for multiple sets of eyes to see your cover. Are you listing the school year correctly? Standard practice is to refer to this year’s yearbook with the year it delivers. Example: The 2017-2018 school year is simply referred to as the 2018 yearbook. For best results, spell check both the original cover design as well as the cover proof with the same level of discernment to be certain the correct version made its way to the publisher.
Does it fit your budget?
Cool cover treatments are a great way to add visual and tactile appeal to your book. From die-cut shapes in the cover to thermal inks, your imagination—and your budget—are the only limits to what you can accomplish. If you are set on a particular cover treatment, talk to your representative about ways to accomplish it. They can provide pricing as well as alternative options that get you close to the same visual effect without breaking the bank.