Yearbook Cover/Theme

Publication Planning – To Theme Or Not To Theme?

Every publication begins in the planning stages with the question of whether the design will follow a theme or not. A theme is an idea or guiding principle that ties all elements of the publication together. It is not necessary to have a theme, but some of the most creative publications have come from theme development efforts.

For our purposes, we need to decide if we will adopt a theme for our yearbook. If we do, we need to decide which theme we will use and how we will carry it throughout our book.

Theme Builds Team

The major advantage to using a theme is that it forces many people working on different parts of the book to make some design choices before they begin working. As a result, the book comes out looking more consistent from start to finish.

Here are some samples of themed yearbooks

Here are some theme ideas

As you can see, there is a lot of creativity that goes into pursuing a themed yearbook. Just to give an overview, the most common way to carry themes throughout the yearbook are:

  • Cover
  • Dividers
  • Font choice
  • Lines, Shapes or Common Graphic Elements
  • Theme Based Titles

No Theme… No Problems… Right?

Some people argue that going without a theme is in fact harder, because there are many people working on one book with no idea that ties their pages together.

Not having a theme, doesn’t let you off the hook. There is still the question of consistency, which is a must from page to page. This means having the same font styles, sizes and colours, picture box style and common layout elements from page to page. A few things you would still have to decide on are:

  • Cover
  • Heading, Subheading, Body Copy & Caption Fonts (size, style, type)
  • Picture Box Styles (shape, stroke)
  • Spacing between elements
  • Divider Pages
  • Common Design Elements (lines, shapes, colour, etc)

In the end, to theme or not to theme will depend on the creativity level of the group

If you’ve chosen a theme you must decide how you will carry the theme through the book. Your ideas should include plans for the following:

  • Cover
  • Dividers
  • Font choice
  • Lines, Shapes or Common Graphic Elements
  • Theme Based Titles

One last thing to mention, If we choose your theme for our yearbook it is important that it does not contain copyrighted images or we will not be able to publish them. To ensure that your pictures are licensed for creative commons, search using a site like Unsplash or take your own photos or use the BACKGROUNDS and CLIP ART provided by our yearbook publishing company!

We’ve got a team of talented, hard-working, amazing students working on our yearbook. They’ve got a theme that they would like to propose and work with. You can choose whether to use their theme idea and help develop something along those lines, OR you can come up with your own suggestion!

They would like to use the idea of incorporating streaming music playlists and going with a theme that would visually reflect the idea of streaming music.  The problem there is that we have to be kind of careful NOT to use images or ideas directly associated with any particular streaming platform! So you can come up with something “in the style of” your favourite platform, but can’t use the name or logo that belongs to a particular platform.

Again, if you want to come up with your own idea, GO FOR IT!

Your job is to come up with a creative and original design for the yearbook cover! Use one of the templates below:

Design templates:




Tell Mr. Robson what's on your mind!