Layout styles for the cover of your thesis

The cover of your thesis is essentially the business card of your entire manuscript. Therefore, the design of the cover should be exactly as you’ve imagined it! To give you a good idea of the possibilities, we’ve determined a few cover layout styles. The most important thing, though, is that we can design/make anything you want – but sometimes it’s convenient to establish some frameworks, which is why we made these categories.

The examples below are a mix of standard and custom covers. They’re here for you to find out what style speaks to you, regardless of the design package you chose.

Styles for the thesis cover

Based on our experience, we differentiate six categories:

  1. Typographic
  2. Photo / Image
  3. Iconic
  4. Illustrative
  5. Combination of Photo / Image, Iconic, Illustrative
  6. Paint

Per category, we’ll show a few typical examples. With every category we’ll try to explain the characteristics of that style as best as we can. When you’re eventually in contact with your designer, you can always refer back to these categories to clarify and illustrate what your wishes are.

1. Typographic

Every cover contains the title of the thesis and the name of the author. In all cases, we design this text. With a typographic cover, we further design the words and letters – the words basically become the image. Minimalistic covers where only a standard text is applied also fall within this category. Combined with embossing, UV-spot or foil-print, this can end up looking very nice.

Covers with a typographic design (click on the image to enlarge it).

2. Photo / Image

This category consists of covers we’ve made based on a supplied image. In many cases, these images are found on stock photo websites. You can also supply us with an image of your own to be used on your cover; in this case it’s important to remember that the quality has to be good enough for it to be used. Your designer can advise you on this. Editing of the image, like minor colour corrections or cropping, is possible. Keep in mind that the proportions have to be right: for example, a vertical portrait-image is not suitable to be used for the entire width of the back and front of the cover.

Covers with an image or photo (click on the image to enlarge it).

3. Iconic

An icon is usually an image designed in a sleek way, that displays a concept in a simplified way. An example of this concept (to give you an idea) would be traffic signs.

On an iconic cover, you’ll find that an icon goes well combined with a typographic design. There’s a lot of room there for coloured areas and the icon itself is the central part of the design. Our designers can make icons for you, but there’s also plenty of databases online that supply a wide variety of icons. You can then supply these to us, whereafter we could edit them for you if necessary.

Covers with an icon or an iconic display (click on the image to enlarge it).

4. Illustrative

An illustration can sometimes overlap with an iconic design, but has a higher complexity. Usually, illustrations give a more broad display of an idea, yet still simplified. The image of the illustration can take up the entire cover. When it comes to style, we roughly differentiate between sleek/modern/digital illustrations and hand-drawn, sketch-like illustrations.

Covers with illustrations (click on the image to enlarge it).

5. Combination of Photo / Image, Iconic and Illustrative

The styles mentioned above can, of course, also be combined! Below you’ll find a few examples where that’s the case. Something to watch out for with combined styles is that the initial message/idea of the cover design could ‘get lost’ in the combination or complexity of the designed styles. This is something your designer can always advise you on.

Covers with a combination of Photo / Image, Iconic and/or Illustration (click on the image to enlarge it).

6. Paint

Paintings are often used as the image on the cover of theses. In the examples below, you see how this comes together in different ways – though these all have somewhat of a similar appearance in style. A few of our designers; based upon their availability, can make a custom painting for you. For this option, additional and/or separate prices apply.

Covers made with paint (click on the image to enlarge it).


Apart from the cover style-examples stated above, we also have a page focused specifically on examples of theses inside designs.

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