Yearbook Themes

Yearbook Theme Design Ideas

What is a Yearbook Theme?

A yearbook theme is the central concept or idea around which the coverage and design of the yearbook are built upon. It is essentially a visual and verbal statement that helps highlight the memorable experiences throughout the school year as well as the many students who contribute to the character of the school. A well-developed yearbook theme should contain the following visual theme identifiers: font type, color, shape, pattern and texture.  READ MORE

Ideas for Yearbook Themes

Developing a theme for the yearbook is easy and fun. Consider the theme as the attitude of the year for your school. Many schools may be going through growth phases or celebrating anniversaries or initiating new changes or welcoming new administrations. The yearbook is the perfect medium to tell a story that will be remembered by all. Remember, a yearbook is not a newspaper and should not include controversial issues or include editorials for or against a certain event or policy. Instead, a yearbook should record the events of the year and celebrate the milestones of the year, under a story format that ties into one main theme.

Themes come in different shapes and sizes based upon the attitude of the year. Many themes contain a play on words and are introduced on the cover. For example, the popular “KEEP CALM AND…” phrase could be taken in many directions depending on what the attitude of the year for that school is. Perhaps their school mascot is the Warrior so they decide to play on that and create a “Keep Calm and Warrior On” theme. Or maybe the school is celebrating growth in their district and have re-defined themselves. Their theme might be “We Are” with words that describe how they now see themselves.

The theme can be carried further on an endsheet design with names of the sections of the yearbook that include a supporting word in the title. Also, the school can consider bringing the theme to the endsheet, by bringing over a graphic element to the endsheet pages. As we mentioned earlier, there are different sections in a yearbook.

These sections could be named as follows to carry on the “Whole New Direction” theme:

  • Student Life: New Traditions… • Sports: New Victories…
  • Clubs/Organizations: New Impacts… • Academics: New Accomplishments… •Portraits: New Leaders Of Tomorrow… • Ads: New Business…

Stories and photos in these sections could include thematic elements as well through certain quotes or story developments that tie into the impact the growth has had on the school. The key to developing a theme is making sure you address the theme in every section of the yearbook as well as the cover and endsheets (if applicable). Consider playing off words of the theme as titles for each section, or work on conceptual themes that play of an idea vs. words.

For example, working with an “Inside & Out…” theme:

  • Student Life: Inside our Walls… • Sports: On the Sidelines…
  • Clubs/Organizations: Siding with Others… • Academics: Sides of Success… • Portraits: Side by Side… • Ads: Outside our Walls…


Survival Tip #1:

There is no such thing as a yearbook theme enforcement squad that goes around the country saying you have a good or bad theme in your yearbook. A theme is only designed to unify your entire yearbook around a certain attitude and tell a story about that attitude. Many schools choose mascot- or spirit-related themes that tie in with school colors or anniversaries. Whatever you decide, make sure your team can support the theme.

Survival Tip #2:

The best way to plan a theme is to develop one as a team with your staff. A great resource for catch phrases is NTC’s AMERICAN IDIOMS DICTIONARY, available online or from a local bookstore. This publication has thousands of everyday expressions. If an idiom book is not available, consider using a thesaurus.

Listed below are just a few theme ideas to consider. Take a moment to review some of these ideas for your theme, or develop your own theme. Make sure to introduce it on your cover, endsheets, title pages, division pages, and sections of the yearbook. There is no wrong theme; but a theme might be underdeveloped and difficult to understand. To avoid this, as you select your theme, make sure to brainstorm ideas with everyone on the staff.

Yearbook Theme Ideas

A Day in the Life
A Flash from the Past
A New Awakening
A New Point of View
A Season of Change
A Step Above the Rest
A Touch of Class
Any Way You Slice It
Attention to Detail
Between the Lines
Breaking Thru
Built to Last
Capture the Magic
Catch the Moments
Caught in the Act
Check Us Out
Check It Out
Color me ___________
Come Learn With Us
Days of Our Lives
Deep in the Heart of…
Destined to Be…
Distinct Impressions
Every Step of the Way
Eye On…
Face The Facts
Find Your Place
First Class
For Members Only
Forever Young
From This Moment On
From Start to Finish
Get the Picture
Going In Style
Going Places
Gotta Have It
Great Moments in…

Had to Be There
In Quest Of__________
In the Making
Inside And Out
Into Something New
It All Adds Up
It All Begins With You
It Goes Without Saying
It’s A Small World
It’s About Time
It’s All in Your Mind
It’s Anyone’s Guess
It’s Our Time
It’s Your Choice
Just Passing Through
Just for the Fun Of It
Just Had to Be There
Laying It on the Line
Let’s Face It
Lights, Camera, Action
Listen Up
Living the Dream
Look at The Best
Make Your Mark
Making the Pieces Fit
Moving On Out
Never Had It So Good
Never Say Never
New Beginnings
Nobody Does It Better

On Our Own
On the Edge
One and Only
One Size Fits All
Once in a Lifetime
One Last Look
Only The Finest
Our Time to Shine
Pardon Our Dust
Picture This
Piece By Piece
Pieces of the Puzzle
Reach for the Stars
Remember This
Right On Target
Road to Success
Say It With Style
Seeing is Believing
Seize the Day
Signs of the Times
Simply the Best
Still the One
Sum It Up
Take Another Look
Take a Closer Look
Take It from the Top
The Best of Times
The Show Must Go On
The Spirit Of…
The Times of Our Lives
The Year to Remember
This Is Our Time
Too Hot to Handle
Turning the Page
Under Construction
We’ve Got It All
What’s Next?
Year of the __________
You Had to Be There

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