Setting Up a Custom Cover

If you've chosen to create a custom cover, Pictavo has plenty of art to inspire you––not to mention, all the tools needed to create a yearbook cover that's truly one-of-a-kind! In this article, we'll define the areas of a soft cover and hard cover design space and how to use Pictavo's design tools and art to create a custom cover. If you haven’t already done so, we suggest taking a look at our virtual guide for custom covers

If you’d prefer to watch a video tutorial, check out Setting up a Custom Hard Cover Book or Setting up a Custom Soft Cover Book. Find your binding type in the Project Specs on the right side of the Dashboard. 

Let's start by taking a look at the design space for a HARD Cover within Pictavo looks like. 

  • Notice that the front cover is the RIGHT SIDE and the back cover is the LEFT SIDE. It is easy to confuse these when first setting up a yearbook cover.
  • The yellow outer edge of the design space is called the Wrap because it wraps or folds around the hard cover board. Elements that extend to the edge of the finished cover should extend all the way to the outside edge of the yellow shaded area.
  • The center pink lines are the Spine. If specific art or text should be on the spine, it needs to fall well within these pink lines.
  • The green lines signify the Crimp which is the little indent between the spine and the front or back cover. Any elements you do not want to fall into that indent should stay between the crimp line (green) and the wrap line (yellow area).

Now, let's take a look at the design space for a SOFT Cover within Pictavo.

  • Notice that the front cover is the RIGHT SIDE and the back cover is the LEFT SIDE. It is easy to confuse these when first setting up a yearbook cover.
  • The yellow outer edge of the design space is the Bleed. Elements that extend to the edge of the finished cover should extend all the way to the outside edge of the yellow shaded area.
  • The Margins (green lines) identify the 'safe area'. Any elements that fall outside of the safe area could be trimmed when the cover is printed.
  • The Spine (center green line) indicates where the cover of a saddle-stitch book will be folded.
  • The Spine of a soft perfect bound book is identified as two pink lines. If specific art or text should be on the spine, it needs to fall well within these pink lines.

To begin designing the cover, from the Dashboard select Outside Cover from the Design menu.

Click on the Art palette and open Custom Covers.

You'll see both a Library and a User Upload album.

The User Upload album is where you’ll find custom covers designed and uploaded by someone on your yearbook team. Find cover templates and other details here

The Library includes cover backgrounds professionally designed by the Pictavo team.

The Library is organized by Art Collection albums.

Drag and drop a custom cover background on the cover design space.

Colorable art will appear black. Once placed on the cover, the color picker will automatically open allowing you to easily choose which color to apply. Use the Saturations and Values to find the exact shade.

Once you've chosen the perfect background, take advantage of Snippets to help your design process along.

Drag and drop a Snippet onto your cover.

To customize a Snippet, Ungroup the elements.

By changing the colors of the accents and modifying the fonts, we've created a unique cover.

Next, add an Accent.

Search for a specific term, like MASCOTS and the results will be categorized by art type (backgrounds, accents, and snippets). In this case, we’ll choose Accents.

The results offer a variety of both full color and colorable options. All art with the color wheel next to it identifies colorable art. Drag and drop the accent of your choosing.

Re-size and apply a color to create exactly what your cover needs.

When designing a custom cover, images can be added to your design by going to Candids.

Find the image you'd like to use, drag and drop it onto your cover.

Use the corner handles or the Properties menu to rotate the photo. 

Add a Border and adjust the Border Size from the Effects menu.

Add accents to add the perfect finishing touch (like this Washi Tape from the Scrapbook Collection...so cool!).

If needed, add a little copy by using the Text tool.

Save....

...and submit!