Good yearbook page design is not random or haphazard. Need some help?
Just about every staff is getting very busy with their page creation right now, and spring yearbook schools should be VERY busy. Yet it's the rare teenager who is what I call a "design expert." Every staff, and many advisers, need a little extra help when it comes to designing the look of their yearbook.
How about THREE resources here to check out for assistance?
First off, I mention to everyone that Jostens Yearbook Avenue online or our YearTech software has so many ready-made page templates for your use it's amazing. Using a template means you're following basic design rules because our design professionals never do anything random. Instead these great templates have a variety of elements following many of the basic rules such as dominant elements, a solid eyeline, column design and modular items, etc.
And here's a basic idea - using templates means much less time making boxes on pages and much MORE time focused on content, the most important part to your yearbook readers. In my 17+ years as a yearbook representative I've noticed that by far the biggest time waster for staffs is page creation - I've seen weeks and even months disappear as kids work a page again and again and again. Using templates means your pages will look great and you'll spend a LOT less time doing it.
Of particular note, check out the cool and easy to use modular design templates in both YTO and YearTech. Modular design is gradually gaining in popularity as you tell a story in parts, but with many elements in those parts. Modular pages make for interesting reads that your students and parents will value for years. Here's my familiar mantra - "how many stories will you tell this year?"
But if you're determined to create your own page designs, where can you get some advice to your students on how to do it? How about my instructional video on Basic Yearbook Page Design? In 17 minutes I'll show your staff all the tips you need to create your own pages so let me do the teaching. Click on the videos link in the left column, turn on your speakers and watch away.
But along with that be sure to check out the Jostens yearbook creative website at yearbooklove.com. If you haven't yet discovered this cool resource NOW is the time and check out the material on page design. There you'll find tips for better layouts, files you can download and use in your yearbook class or club, instructive videos to watch, even tie-ins to the new Common Core and 21st Century Skills standards.
Click on the Design tab on the Yearbook Love website to find a lot of great information to use with your group. Especially check out the section on following grid structure for good design, something few students or staffs do, as well as the section on typography. Few staffs also give much thought to what fonts they are using and why.
The bottom line here - page creation should NEVER be random, yet that's how many staffs create their book. Advisers, just allowing your staffers to be able to create their pages any way they wish is a recipe for trouble - inconsistent coverage, little to no variety, little to no writing, and not giving your yearbook buyers their money's worth.
Remember what I tell yearbook kids all the time - your yearbook will last for the rest of your LIFE. Years from now do you want folks checking our weak looking pages? Of course, no one wants that. And it doesn't have to be that way when you use the resources that Jostens and I provide you. Let's make a GREAT book this year!
Is your yearbook staff using a cool Jostens Yearbook Widget to showcase some of your work, along with including quick links for buying your book or sharing images with you? Below is my own fun yearbook widget - ask me today about how to start yours. It's FREE, easy to use and could bring your yearbook effort some big dividends!