35 Easy & Creative Yearbook Cover Contest Ideas for Student

If you are looking for creative yearbook cover contest ideas, your search ends here. From elementary to high school students, I have compiled a list of 35 unique and innovative ideas that will surely make your yearbook stand out. 

So, let’s dive into the world of creative yearbook cover themes without further ado.

yearbook cover contest ideas

What Is a Yearbook Cover Contest?

A yearbook cover contest is actually a cover design competition of yearbooks among students. The contest aims to encourage students to unleash their creativity and come up with unique cover designs for the yearbook.  

Students from all grades can participate and submit their cover designs, and the winning design will be featured as the yearbook’s cover. It’s a great way to engage students in the process of creating their own yearbook.

You may compare this contest with a drawing contest. Since almost everyone knows a drawing contest, it’s easier to comprehend a cover design competition for yearbooks. 

35 Yearbook Cover Contest Ideas for Student 

What are some good yearbook themes? Hey, if you’re participating in or hosting a yearbook cover contest, you might be interested in checking out the following list of fun and creative theme ideas for your next yearbook cover contest:  

13 Yearbook cover contest ideas for elementary students

Elementary or primary school students are full of imagination and creativity. So, let’s give them a chance to showcase their talent with these fun and playful yearbook cover ideas. 

#1. The World Through Our Eyes

Let’s capture the innocence and wonder of childhood! Encourage students to create artwork that reflects their unique view of the world. Bright colors, whimsical designs, and nature-inspired images can be used to craft a playful and imaginative cover. They can also draw their favorite places, activities, or dreams for the future. 

#2. Seasons of Learning

Illustrate the four seasons with a twist, showcasing what students have learned during each period. For example, fall could include back-to-school experiences, while spring could highlight science fair projects. Also, students can use seasonal colors and elements to depict their experiences.

#3. Superheroes of School

Invite students to create their own superheroes, perhaps inspired by their teachers, friends, or themselves, showcasing the superpowers of kindness, intelligence, and creativity that make their school special. They may also include motivational quotes and phrases to inspire others.

#4. Emoji Faces

Emojis are all the rage among elementary students! Use emojis to express different emotions and experiences throughout the school year. From happy faces for field trips and sad faces for saying goodbye, this idea has endless possibilities.

#5. Journey Through the Stars

An outer space-inspired cover can be a fun and educational theme for elementary students. They can create their own planets, spaceships, and aliens or even imagine themselves as astronauts exploring the galaxy. This idea allows for endless creativity and imagination.

#6. Garden of Knowledge

Transform the cover into a beautiful garden filled with books, pencils, and other school-related objects. Also, add some bright and colorful flowers to symbolize growth and learning. This idea is perfect for a school with a green thumb or an environmental focus. 

#7. Animal Kingdom 

If your school mascot is an animal or if you have a strong connection to a particular animal, this idea may be perfect for you. Students can create their own interpretations of the chosen animal, incorporating their school and education elements into the design.

#8. Chalk Art 

Chalk art is a great way to bring color and creativity to the cover. Students can use chalk pastels or sidewalk chalk to create a vibrant, eye-catching design. This idea is perfect for schools with an arts focus or those looking for a more hands-on approach.

#9. Explore the Dream World 

Encourage students to dream big and create a cover showcasing their future aspirations. They can use bright colors and imaginative designs to represent their dreams, whether it be becoming an astronaut, doctor, or artist.

#10. World Tour

Take readers on a journey worldwide with a cover featuring different countries, locations, and cultures. Students can draw famous landmarks traditional clothing, or even create their own maps to represent their favorite places.

#11. Underwater Adventures

Take these little students on an underwater journey with this theme. From colorful fish to hidden treasures, the possibilities are endless for a creative and playful underwater design. This idea is perfect for schools with a marine biology or oceanography focus.

#12. Storybook Adventures

Turn the cover into a storybook with illustrations and characters inspired by popular children’s books. Get students excited to design a cover that looks straight out of a storybook, with castles, dragons, and mythical creatures representing the magical world of reading and storytelling. It’s a great idea for schools with a strong reading program or those who want to encourage students to keep reading the book.

#13. Puzzle Pieces of Our School

Each student can design a puzzle piece that represents a different aspect of their school, such as academics, sports, clubs, and friendships. Then, combine all the pieces to create a complete picture of the school community. This idea promotes teamwork and unity among students. 

7 Yearbook cover contest ideas for mid-school students

Mid-school students have a better understanding of design and can create more complex artwork compared to elementary students. Here are some ideas that will inspire their creativity. 

#1. Typographic Cover:

Encourage students to get creative with typography by using different fonts, colors, and sizes to create a visually appealing cover. They can also incorporate quotes or phrases that represent the yearbook’s theme.

#2. Musical Melodies

This theme would be perfect if your school has a music program or is known for its talented musicians. Students can create musical notes and instruments and even incorporate their own musical talents into the design. This idea allows students to express themselves through art and music.

#3. Comic Heroes: 

Tap into the love of comics and superheroes with this cover idea. Students can create their own comic book covers featuring themselves or their classmates as superheroes. They can also include inside jokes, school events, or personal quirks to make it even more unique.

#4. Cityscape

Transform the cover into a city that represents the different aspects of your school community. For example, the library could be a skyscraper, the gymnasium could be a stadium, and the classrooms could be small houses. This idea promotes creativity and teamwork among students.

#5. Graffiti Art: 

Middle school is a transition period. A graffiti cover reflects this time of intense change and evolving identity. Students can use vibrant colors and different graffiti art styles to represent their school journey. They can also include inspirational messages or quotes that resonate with them.

#6. Vintage Theme: 

A retro theme using elements from previous decades (60s, 70s, or 80s) can induce an old-school feel while appreciating past cultural influences. Students can incorporate popular fashion, music, and other iconic elements into the cover design.

#7. Dreamland

Students can let their imagination run wild with this dream-inspired cover theme. They can create a surreal world filled with floating objects, talking animals, and anything else they can dream up. This idea allows for endless creativity and encourages students to think outside the box.

15 Yearbook cover contest ideas for high school students

High school students are more mature and have more complex design ideas than middle school students. Here are some theme ideas for inspiration.

#1. Futuristic Visions

High school students are on the brink of adulthood, and this cover theme encourages them to imagine their future. They can use futuristic elements like flying cars, robots, or advanced technology to envision what the world may look like when they graduate. Also, they can include quotes or messages about their hopes and dreams for the future.

#2. Movie Poster

Create a movie poster-inspired cover using popular movies as inspiration. Students can recreate famous scenes, incorporate school events, or even make themselves the stars of the film. This idea allows students to have fun and be creative while showcasing their school spirit.

#3. Cultural Tapestry

Tap into your student body’s diverse cultures and backgrounds by creating a cover that celebrates diversity. Students can represent their heritage by using symbols, patterns, or colors from different cultural traditions. This idea promotes inclusivity and acceptance among students.

#4. Minimalist Design

Sometimes, less is more, and a minimalist design can create a sleek and modern cover for your yearbook. Students can use simple lines, shapes, and colors to create a sophisticated design representing their school. This idea promotes simplicity and allows for a clean, professional-looking cover.

#5. Through the Lens 

A cover featuring photography is perfect for schools with a strong photography program or for students who love taking pictures. Students can use their own photographs to create a collage or choose one photo that represents the essence of their high school experience. This idea allows for personalization and self-expression through art.

#6. Literary Greats

High school students are often introduced to classic literature; this cover theme allows them to bring those stories to life. Students can recreate book covers or incorporate elements from their favorite novels into the design. It’s a great way for students to showcase their love for reading and literature.

#7. Pop Art Explosion

Let students unleash their inner Andy Warhol with this pop art-inspired cover theme. They can use bold colors, patterns, and popular cultural references to create a vibrant, eye-catching design. This idea allows students to express their unique personalities and creativity.

#8. Digital World

In today’s digital age, this cover theme reflects the influence of technology on our lives. Students can use pixels, coding symbols, and other digital elements to create a futuristic design. They can also incorporate memes or social media references to make it even more relevant for their generation.

#9. Global Citizens

Encourage students to think beyond their school and embrace the world around them with this cover theme. They can use flags, landmarks, or cultural icons from different countries to showcase their global awareness and appreciation for diversity. This idea promotes a global mindset and encourages students to think about their place in the world.

#10. Collage of Memories

High school is full of memorable moments, and this cover theme allows students to reflect on their experiences. They can create a collage using pictures, quotes, and other mementos from their high school journey. It’s a great way for students to reminisce and showcase the bonds they’ve formed with their classmates. 

#11. Mind Maps

A mind map cover design can visually represent the different aspects of high school life, such as academics, extracurriculars, and social events. Students can use symbols or images to create a unique and colorful representation of their high school experience. It’s a great way for students to reflect on their accomplishments and memories from throughout the years.

#12. Pathways to Success

High school is a stepping stone to the future, and this cover theme represents the different paths students can take after graduation. Students can create a design that showcases different career options, college choices, and aspirations for the future. This idea promotes forward-thinking and encourages students to set goals for themselves.

#13. Harmony in Chaos

High school can be a chaotic time, but it’s also where students learn to balance different aspects of their lives. This cover theme uses contrasting elements like light and dark or chaos and order to represent the highs and lows of high school. It’s a great way for students to reflect on their growth and resilience throughout their journey.

#14. Sports and Spirit 

Celebrate school pride and team spirit with a sports-themed cover. Students can create artwork representing their favorite school sports teams or showcase their athletic talents. This idea is perfect for schools with a strong focus on athletics.

#15. Eco-Warriors

This cover theme is a perfect fit for schools that prioritize environmental awareness. Students can use elements like nature, sustainability, and eco-friendly practices to create a design with a powerful message. This idea promotes activism and encourages students to positively impact the world around them.

Want more Yearbook theme and cover design Ideas? Check out the video content below.

How Do You Run a Yearbook Cover Contest?

What to do to organize a yearbook cover contest in school? Follow the steps below.

Step 1. Select the Cover Theme

First of all, determine the theme for your yearbook cover. The yearbook staff can decide this, or you can open it up to student suggestions. 

However, in the above discussion, I have provided 35 unique and creative cover themes to choose from. You can also develop a theme that best represents your school’s identity and values. You must consider the overall tone and message you want to convey with your cover. 

Step 2. Launching the Contest

Kick off the yearbook cover contest by sending out an announcement to the whole school. The announcement should include the contest’s purpose, rules, deadlines, and any other pertinent information. Present the event as an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their creativity and talent and encourage all students to participate. 

Step 3. Setting the Rules

Define the guidelines of the contest clearly. Specify the acceptable mediums (digital artwork, photography, hand-drawn art, etc.) and the required dimensions of the cover design. Make it clear that the work must be original, and set rules regarding the appropriate content. 

Explain the judging criteria in detail, including creativity, relevance to the school or theme, and visual impact. 

Step 4. Promote the Contest

You have to promote the contest extensively to get maximum participation. Spread the word through announcements, posters, flyers, social media posts, and other popular channels among students. 

You can easily make a yearbook cover contest template using an online design tool like Canva and share it on social media platforms using appropriate hashtags. You can also collaborate with other school clubs or organizations to help promote the contest. 

Encourage teachers to post about it in their classrooms and make sure the information is easily accessible to all students. Share this template to inspire students and give them a starting point for their designs. 

Step 5. Submission and Judging

Create a smooth submission process for the entrants. You could use an online platform for digital submissions or designate a physical location within the school for physical artwork. Assemble a diverse panel of judges, which could include teachers, students, and administrators. Be transparent about the judging process to ensure fairness.

Step 6. Announcement of Winners

Plan a special event or assembly to announce the winners. Ensure to appreciate all participants’ efforts and highlight some of the standout entries. The winning design will be the cover of the yearbook, so celebrate this achievement in a grand way that acknowledges the winner’s contribution.

Step 7. Replication of the Winning Design

Once the winning design is chosen, work with a professional printer to replicate the design on the cover of the yearbooks. Ensure the final product maintains the integrity of the original design. 

Prize Ideas for Yearbook Cover Contest

Look, all the participants of the yearbook cover contest are students of different grades. So, if you are running a contest, you must select a prize that will be valuable, fun, and attractive to students. It may not necessarily have to be expensive, but it should reflect the effort and creativity put into the winning design. Here are yearbook cover competition prize ideas for students.

Prize ideas for elementary school students:

  • A gift card for a local ice cream or candy shop
  • A certificate of recognition and appreciation from the school
  • School merchandise like a t-shirt, mug, or water bottle with their design on it.
  • A special lunch or pizza party with their friends

Prize ideas for middle school students:

  • A gift card to a popular clothing store or online marketplace
  • An opportunity to have their design displayed on the school’s website or social media pages
  • A yearbook signed by all the members of the yearbook staff and administration 
  • A feature in the school newsletter or newspaper

Prize ideas for high school students:

  • A cash prize or scholarship for college
  • A personalized yearbook with their design on the cover
  • An opportunity to attend a leadership or creativity conference 
  • A feature in the school’s alumni magazine 

By following these guidelines, you can successfully run a yearbook cover contest and engage your students in creating a memorable and unique.

FAQs on Yearbook Cover Contest Ideas

What should I put on my yearbook cover?

Your yearbook cover should represent the overall theme and message of your school. It could include elements like the school mascot, colors, logo, and relevant images related to the chosen theme. You can use creative fonts, borders, and graphics to decorate the cover.

How many designs can a student submit for the contest? 

It will depend on the rules set by the organizers of the contest. Some may allow only one submission per student, while others may allow multiple entries. It’s essential to clarify this information in the announcement and rules of the contest.

Can students collaborate on a design for the yearbook cover? 

Yes, students can collaborate on a design as long as they follow the submission guidelines and clearly credit all members involved in creating the design. Make sure to specify this information in the contest rules to avoid any confusion.

Who can participate in the yearbook cover contest? 

The yearbook cover contest should be open to all students in the school. You can also include staff and faculty members if you want to involve them in the creative process. Encouraging participation from a diverse group of students will help create a more inclusive and representative design for the yearbook cover. 

How do you make a yearbook fun?

Apart from running contests like the yearbook cover contest, you can also include fun elements in the yearbook itself. For example, you can have a section for senior superlatives or create an interactive page for students to write memories and messages to their peers. You can also incorporate games, puzzles, and creative layouts to make the yearbook more engaging. 


Whether you are a participants or host of a yearbook cover contest, remember that the cover is the first thing people see and sets the tone for the rest of the yearbook. Choose a theme that best represents your school and allows for personalization and creativity. Most importantly, have fun with it!

Remember, these are just ideas. Feel free to brainstorm and come up with your own unique concepts. 

Julia Nancy
Julia Nancy

I have vast experience arranging online voting contests for hundreds of clients worldwide in the last 8 years. I also helped countless clients to win their online competitions. Here, on royalvotes.com, I am just sharing knowledge from my experiences. If you need any help regarding the online contest, email me at julia@royalvotes.com