Setting Up a Custom Hard 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 take a look at how to use Pictavo's design tools and art to create a custom cover.

Topics covered in this article are: custom cover backgrounds, colorable art, adding text to a cover, adding a photo to a cover, using a Snippet on a cover, and using 'search' in the art palette.

Let's start by taking a look at what the template within Pictavo looks like.

  • The yellow outer edge of the template is called the WRAP. Any art you’d like to extend out to the edge of your 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. Often, art from the front or back cover will wrap onto the spine.
  • The green lines signify the CRIMP. Crimp is the little indent between the spine and the cover board. Any elements you do not want to fall into that indent should stay between the crimp line (green) and the wrap line (yellow area).
  • Also notice that the front cover is the RIGHT SIDE and the back cover is the LEFT SIDE. People often confuse these when first setting up a yearbook cover.

When you're ready to start designing your cover, head in to the art library. If you haven’t already done so, we suggest taking a look at your Inspiration Guide or the online art catalog (available for download here) to view what’s available in Pictavo. With an art library like Pictavo’s, you’re sure to find endless inspiration for your masterpiece!

For this article, we're going to start with a custom cover background­–let’s open the Custom Cover menu.


Inside many of the 'first level' menus in Pictavo, you'll see both a Library and a User Upload album.

Anything the Pictavo design team has created and loaded for all users will appear in the LIBRARY album.

Anything that YOU have designed and loaded for use on your project will be in the USER UPLOAD album.

We've chosen a colorable custom cover background from the Library album. All colorable art will appear black when dragged onto your page. Click the black box next to Colorize to be taken to the color picker.

Use the Color Wheel along with the Saturation and Values sliders to customize the exact shade needed for this piece of art.

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

Drag and drop onto your cover.

Once a Snippet has been dragged onto your cover, it can be edited.

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

Next, maybe you’d like to add an Accent. Choose the Accents menu.

Search for a specific term, like MASCOTS. Pictavo will return search results for each type of design element (Backgrounds, Accents, Templates and Snippets).

In this case, we’ll choose Accents. A menu will appear and be populated with the search results that were returned.

In the Mascots library, there are both full color and colorable options to choose from. Colorable art always has the color wheel next to it to signify that it is colorable.

Drag, drop, 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 tools available in your Effects and Properties palettes (Contextual Menus) to customize your photo. Add accents (like this Washi Tape from the Scrapbook cool!) to add the perfect finishing touch. 

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


...and submit!

Need a little more review about the margins and guides you see on your templates? Watch this quick video to get more familiar.