September 28, 2011 / Design / Fab Factor / Fall 2011

Fab Factor: Not just for the eyes

Written by Marketing Staff

Create a cover that engages the senses of sight and touch.

At distribution, when you hand out yearbooks, the students say “wow” as they see the cover.  What if they said “wow” a second time, once they hold the book in their hands?

That is something matte lamination can give your yearbook – soft and luxurious to the touch, with an expensive feel. When you can reach two senses with your yearbook – sight and touch – your cover certainly is doing double-duty.

But matte lamination can also do more to improve the look of your cover.

  • Matte lamination makes the colors on the cover more vivid and vibrant.
  • That goes for whites, too. Matte lamination makes white appear whiter, bringing out the contrasts between the white and colors.
  • Embossing, especially sculptured embossing, appears more 3-D. While raised text or elements add to the feel of a cover, with matte lamination, they add to the look.
  • Matte lamination also can make your cover not appear to be flat because its weathered appearance adds tones. This look can be achieved with a clear silk screen over four-color.
  • A quarterbound look is easy to do by combining matte lamination with another material, such as Litho.

Matte lamination does make foil and even metallic colors dull, so if you are using a metallic color or foil on text or graphic embellishments, be sure to add a clear silkscreen.

Lodi High School

Lodi High School

An example of matte lamination is Walsworth’s Possibilities book, Volume 4. The four-color cover shows what gold hot foil, embossing, debossing, deluster lamination, clear silkscreen and a die cut look like with matte lamination.

The yearbook from Lodi High School in Lodi, N.J., incorporates the senses of sight and touch into a cover. Softness comes from matte lamination, and texture is created with the sculptured embossed horn and face of the ram. The “2011” in the horn and “Unleashed” are printed in a darker blue than the cover and silk screened so they catch the light.

The yearbook cover for Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, Ind., demonstrates the brightness of a white matte lamination cover and how the silk screen makes the colors pop.

Deer Valley High School

Deer Valley High School

Here’s another idea for the look of a quarterbound book. The cover for Franklin High School in El Paso, Texas, is entirely matte laminated, and an embossed gold line – coming from the letter ‘l’ in the theme word “filter” – goes up the page, dividing the image from the solid black.

Red and black make the cover of the yearbook for Deer Valley High School in Glendale, Ariz., appear textured on this matte lamination cover. The gold foil of the graphic is silk screened to bring out its luster.

A cut above

Die cuts and laser cuts can add interest, depth and illusion to your cover. With a cut in the cover, your endsheet will create one look for your cover and another when readers open the book, as in the 2011

Coronado High School

Coronado High School

Legend yearbook from Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas. You also can use laser cuts on endsheets. Think of the cover design possibilities of using laser cuts on your cover and endsheets, revealing part of your title page.

Elemental appeal

Branding, a new technique offered by Walsworth, enables you to get a light-colored design element onto a cover by burning, which changes the element’s color and feel. At 10% the cover color is lightened, and at 20%, the cover board shows, changing the color.


Half Hollow Hills East High School

The brownish hand print was created with branding on the red cover.

Another way to make an element stand out is to use graining. The staff at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Dix Hills, N.Y., used graining to mimic a varsity letter. This adds texture to the cover without a tip-on.

Want to learn even more about what yearbook cover trends schools are using right now? Check out this video.

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Marketing Staff

Marketing Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.