Best Of… Covers 2020

2020 has certainly been a year like no other, and it’s been great to see so many yearbook editors rise to the challenges posed by school closures with creativity.

From Zoom screenshot covers as a reminder of home learning days, to photo covers of unexpected leavers’ days in March, it’s been great to see how people have immortalised this year on their covers.

Stuck for inspiration for this year’s cover? We really recommend taking a look at the #bookdesign tag on Instagram and Pinterest, or heading to our Instagram page @yearbookmachine, where we post our favourite covers throughout the year.

We’ve gathered some of our favourite covers from the 2020 yearbook season below. We hope they inspire you for 2021!

Custom cover

We love how these yearbook editors incorporated their school’s colour scheme into their cover, but made the front cover design totally their own. The hand drawn elements make their cover look personal and professional.

To make something similar, take a look at other book covers to work out the direction you’d like to take – inspiration can definitely be found online. It appears as though this school drew their design on a digital tablet, but we could assist you in creating something similar from an illustration by vectorising a high quality scanned image.

School photo

We love seeing all of the different image choices people make to use with our Photo 1 and Photo 2 covers, but this cover in particular shows how image placement and photo angles can be everything!

The school building lines up perfectly with the spine text, and the cover text is easily readable against the green lawn. Even the flagpole in the image has been made to line up with the trees in the school grounds. This cover photo has been really well thought out and executed.

To create something similar, use a tripod with your camera to take a really steady, straight image, or if using a phone camera, make sure that grid mode is turned on! Shoot your image in the highest quality possible, as this will allow us to resize and manipulate the image to your requirements. If you have a custom text position in mind, let our team know! We’re happy to adapt our templates to your ideas and the images provided.

Silhouette stripe

We love when editors have cover ideas that adapt and work with our existing cover designs, and our design team is always happy to implement slight tweaks to our templates to incorporate your ideas.

This cover adapts our Traditional Big Logo template, and uses a simplified version of the school logo to keep things really clean and modern. Both school colours of blue and white are used here – the solid stripe is a great way of utilising two colours when one of your school colours is white.

If you have an idea to adapt one of our existing templates, let us know! We’re happy to help when we can, and it can be a great way of personalising your book even further.


Personal touches always make a cover look special, like the illustration used on this front cover. Like one of the covers above, this design incorporates a heading from our Photo 1 template, but uses a solid colour and photo for the back cover. This illustration brings a storybook element to the cover, perfect for a primary school leaver’s book.

Illustrations are a great way to pay tribute to your school while also showcasing your year group’s creative talent. 

If you have an illustration you’d like to use for your cover we ask that you scan it into a computer at the highest possible quality – ideally 300 DPI or higher! This will ensure that all of your illustration’s details and colours make it to the clear, crisp finished version.

Diagonal Stripes

Our diagonal stripes template is a great way to bring your school or yearbook colours onto your front cover. This is a really classic design, and the colours chosen would looks striking on any book shelf.

To make something similar, a great place to start is your school colours. If these don’t go together too well (for example, a bright orange with a blue), look for a neutral colour to compliment one of the bold colours, like a white or soft grey. Alternatively, look around your school site for other colours that could be used instead – like a house colour, or one of the other colours in your school logo.