Spice up those spreads with COBs

COBs Fun_Header

From magazines to advertisements to college brochures (all of those great sources of design inspiration), cut out background (COB) photos are everywhere. Why not fit them into your publication to bring some pizzazz to your spreads?

Cool, we’re in…but how do you actually make a COB?
Don’t rush to your phone to create a COB (cut out background) with the newest iOS for your spread. Your phone can do amazing things, and those COBs are going to totally up your messaging game. You'll likely have compatibility issues, though,  between your phone's image files & software, and not have the perfectly defined edges you’ll need for your publication. Instead, if your staff uses Photoshop®, check out these tips from Adobe on how to remove a background. If you’re not a Photoshop staff (or are just looking for a quick solution), there are several websites that make creating COBs effortless. Websites such as Remove.bg, PhotoScissors and Slazzer do all the COB work for you; simply upload your image and watch the magic happen. Whichever method your staff prefers, incorporating COBs on your pages will bring a modern, fun look to your book.


Make the most of your space

Have several pictures you would like to use in a smaller space? By cutting out the background, you can place the subjects close together–even overlapping them–to maximize space on your spread. This works well when you are featuring groups of people as well (think sports captains, spring musical cast members, club presidents, etc).



Gorzycki Middle School_Austin,TXPeterson Middle School_Sunnvale, CA

Give a different look to Q&As

Instead of cropping heads and keeping mismatched or distracting backgrounds, COBs create visual interest and unify a look. You can leave the background white, or try adding blocks of color or even textures behind your interview subjects.

Gorzycki Middle School_Austin, TX

It’s not just about faces

You don’t have to limit your COBs to people. Try cutting out objects to add character to your look. This also works well when you have a story to tell but don’t have great action shots to use.

Peterson Middle School_Sunnvale, CASuncoast





Show off
You can use your COB skills even further to create layers on a photo, intertwining graphics or copy between elements of an image.


Suncoast High School_Riviera Beach, FL

Main photo: Suncoast High School_Riviera Beach, FL

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