Setting Up a Custom Soft Cover

If you've chosen a custom cover, Pictavo has plenty of art to inspire and all the tools you could need 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 on a custom cover.

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

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

The green lines (MARGINS) signify the 'safe area'. Any elements you need to keep safe, should stay inside these lines.

The yellow area outside the cover (BLEED) shows where your art needs to extend out to if you want the color to go all the way to the edge of your cover when produced.

The center green line is the SPINE (actually a fold in the case of a saddle-stitch book which is what this template is for).

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 into the art palette. Here, you'll find tons of inspiration for your masterpiece. We're going to start with a custom cover background so we'll open the Custom Cover menu.

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

LIBRARY - everything inside the Library is art the design team at Pictavo has created for you to use.

USER UPLOAD - anything that you've loaded to your project yourself will appear in a User Upload folder. 

We'll go into the Library and choose a custom cover background to start designing with.

We've chosen a colorable custom cover background. 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 as well as the Saturation and Values sliders to customize the exact shade you need for your project!

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

Drag and drop onto your cover.

And now it's time to customize!

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

Next, maybe we'd like to add an Accent. Choose the Accents menu.

You can search for a specific term, like MASCOTS. Pictavo will return search results for you to click on.

Your menu will appear and be populated with the search results that were returned with your search word.

We'll choose a colorable mascot to customize.

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

Let's add an image to the back cover 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 palette and on your Contextual Menus to customize your photo. Add accents (like the Washi Tape from the Scrapbook Collection...so cool!) to add interest. 

Add a little copy by using the Text tool for a finishing touch!

Save....

...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!