What is a Yearbook Theme Package?

Two yearbook volunteers look at colors to create a yearbook theme package

When I say yearbook, you say theme. Yearbook! Theme! While that’s not the actual rallying cry of yerds everywhere, it’s pretty close. Yearbook themes dominate our club meetings and search history. Graphics, layouts, and backgrounds comprise the visual aspects of a yearbook theme package. Idiom dictionaries and pun generators comprise the verbal.

The Value of a Theme Package

If you’re not ready to create your own style guide from scratch, a theme package will help save you time and simplify the design process by

  • Taking the guesswork out of creating a color scheme
  • Organizing graphics and text in collections
  • Modeling quality design
  • Unifying your book with a consistent look

Fully editable layouts complete each yearbook theme package, like the portrait spread below. In addition, your chosen yearbook theme could also become the foundation for the yearbook marketing campaign. Create social posts or share PDF proofs in displays around campus.

Three Ways to Choose a Yearbook Theme Package

The main purpose of a yearbook theme is to capture the uniqueness of the school year while setting the tone for the story the yearbook will tell.

Without a unifying theme, our yearbook contains only arbitrary events and students. Theme functions as the understated but essential ingredient to make this year’s story meaningful. We like to ask our students these questions to help them select the right fit for this year. (Our curriculum’s theme module has these and more.)

  • What’s popular with our students this year?
  • How are our students different from others?
  • What issues are our students passionate about?
  • Who are our students’ role models?
  • What makes this school year different from all the others?

Theme 101: Visual and Verbal Elements

When it comes to yearbook themes, many of us stop at the visual. When you have a great theme package, it’s easy to do. Combining both visual and verbal theme elements take your design to the proverbial next level.

Graphic elements from the theme package plus a clever title make this STEM spread a shining example. (See what I did there?) (Theme used: Stay Gold)


This is the easy part: making it pretty. When you have a codified collection of graphics plus a color palette, you can use your visual elements to do more than make your book pretty. Check out the example above: graphic elements are used to draw attention to the pull quotes. Stylized numbers (really an editable shape under a text box) match the photo to the caption.


The vocabulary you use in your yearbook further communicates your yearbook theme. These verbal elements can be punny headlines or idiom derivates from your theme. While you don’t want to overdo it (think the Coco Chanel rule), take time to add a lexicon to your theme brainstorm.

Here’s what it looks like: the yearbook theme is Stay Gold. Students look up idioms for gold and compile lists of how they can be used. For example:

  • Golden Age of the Bulldogs (opening)
  • Heart of Gold (staff section)
  • Gold Feet (soccer)

Whether you’re a Treering user or not, we hope your students’ stories are told beautifully and authentically from cover to cover.

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