The ISA Yearbook Cover Competition: Design Tips from ISA Graphic Designer

The Yearbook Cover Competition is an annual tradition at ISA that has been running almost as long as there has been a yearbook. Every winter, students from both Lower and Upper School have the opportunity to take part in designing a yearbook cover with the chance to have their design featured as ISA’s Yearbook cover. 

Some years, students are given a theme or several themes to inspire their artworks, with past themes including strength in unity, shaping the future, friendship and school spirit. In other years, including this year, the theme is open, giving students the opportunity to find their own inspiration and unleash the full range of their creativity. Students are free to design either a print or a digital cover but need to pay special attention to how the cover will look once it is printed on the yearbook.

Once the deadline has passed, and the submissions have been collected: voting opens! Everyone has the opportunity to cast their vote for the best cover from each division. The winning design from both Upper and Lower Schools is featured as the yearbook cover.

Joining the annual Yearbook Cover Competition is a way for students not only to exercise their creativity and design skills but also to become a part of ISA history. The competition is also an opportunity for students to explore their passions and take on a new challenge with confidence and belief in their potential as they make creative decisions and take design risks, pushing their boundaries to discover how rewarding that journey can be. Every year, we are consistently impressed by the quality of the designs that are submitted!

ISA’s Graphic Designer, Emma Wendt, has designed and created the ISA Yearbook for the last three years. Here, she gives her design tips for budding designers and shares what she’s looking for from yearbook cover competition submissions.

What do you think is important for designers to consider when starting a design?

“The most important thing is to find your inspiration and then think about what medium you want to use. Then, think about what you want to communicate with your art piece and what emotions you want to provoke in your viewers. Lastly, consider the composition of your artwork.” 

Do you have any tips for aspiring designers?

“Don’t be afraid to do something different and push your own boundaries!” 

What do you look for when assessing the cover submissions/what makes a good yearbook cover/what do you like to see?

“During the Yearbook Cover Competition, we hold a vote so that everyone gets a say in who the winner is. When I cast my vote, I look for unique art pieces where you can see the student has taken risks and created something non-conventional. Also, it is important that the student has thought about the layout of the yearbook cover and how the art piece will look from all angles when printed. As a graphic designer, I also look for composition, line, and colour when assessing the covers. However, for me, the most important is the emotional aspect of the artwork.” 

What do you hope students will gain from taking part in the competition?

“I hope students will feel inspired by creativity, full of ISA school spirit and become more engaged with the yearbook process.”