How To Determine A Yearbook Title

While the theme and content make up the most important parts of the class yearbook, a title is still very important. That is because in many instances the book won’t be referred to as the class yearbook but by its title.

So what makes for a good title? Here are some ideas:

One title idea that will always work is an inspirational type of title. Perhaps “Taking The Lead” or “Only The Beginning”. Both of these provide a sense not of ending one chapter but rather starting a new one.
A title based off the theme of the book is also a great idea. If your theme were current events perhaps you would want to go with a title like a newspaper such as the “(name of school) Times”. The yearbook is meant to capture the events that went on during the school year. This makes this type of title very appropriate.
Utilizing your school mascot is also a great direction to go in for your yearbook title. For example, play off the word Roar if your mascot is a tiger or lion. If your school mascot is the wolves you could play off the word Howl.
If the class had a theme song or chant, a yearbook may relate well if its title includes words from that music. Perhaps “This Is How We Do It.” Or “Once Upon A Time.”
If none of these suggestions work you can always look back at past yearbooks from your school and simply repeat it’s name and just update the year and colors.

Your yearbook title will stay with each of its recipients for generations to come. By making it memorable will make the book that much better.

Creating a Yearbook Without a Big Team

A yearbook is a keepsake that every student will cherish for the rest of his or her life. That is why it is important that a lot of thought and teamwork is put in for making it great.

Unfortunately though, not every school has a volunteer yearbook committee to design and create the yearbook. It may fall on one or two advisors who most likely have other responsibilities at the school as well.

These dedicated individuals shouldn’t feel overwhelmed and discouraged. A great, memorable and professional yearbook can still be created with a small staff. Here’s what to do:

  • It’s okay to ask for help, even if it’s just temporary. Perhaps a teacher with graphic design skills or students in study hall can “pinch hit” and provide a temporary helping hand. Perhaps you can entice students to help out if in return they can get some kind of extra credit in one of their classes.
  • Create a plan early and stick to it. Even if new events and ideas surface remember you are a small crew and you should stick with your original plan. Also do the best you can in allowing for extra time to resolve unforeseen issues. By planning ahead for the unexpected can help prevent a major issue down the road.
  • Utilize YearbookLife as your “yearbook committee.” YearbookLife makes the entire yearbook process simple and seamless.  This one-stop-shop offers design ideas, yearbook software and affordable prices so you get all the compliments and appreciation.

Remind yourself that a simple yearbook is better than no yearbook at all and only do the best you can!

Creating Great Yearbook Page Layouts

Designing the inside page layouts of your yearbook can be one of the most challenging parts of the yearbook process, but it’s also one of the most creative aspects. It does, however, take time and a certain amount of artistic skill.

BookWith an all-volunteer staff and busy students and faculty, creating these great layouts can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Photography: Not all photos on the page need to be the same exact size. In fact, in most circumstances, they shouldn’t be. Showcasing a variety of sizes creates a more creative look. Remember though, the most important photo on the page should be the biggest and be able to tell the biggest part of the story. The smaller photos can then support that bigger photo. For example, if a two page spread shows the prom, the focal photo maybe the crowning of the king and queen with dancing and candid photos supporting it. How about putting a border around some or all of the photos? Borders can make photos looked framed. You may want to put a thicker border around the focus picture and thinner borders around the supporting photos, or make them different colors. Use all of the photo design elements to create a striking look to the photos and the page.

Headers and Headlines: Similar to photography, not every word in the header needs to be the same size. They also don’t need to be the same font or color. There are a variety of ways to be creative with your headlines so they stand out, are recognized and most importantly remembered. What about adding drop shadows, or overlaying one color of text with another? Headlines can also be curved, placed on an angle, or placed vertically down the page.There are many design elements that can be used to manipulate the text and set up a text box. Consider ways other than a standard across the top set up.

The Margins and Bleeds: Understanding the margins will help tell you the amount of workable space you have on each page. Yearbook design software should give you guidelines as to where you can place design elements on a page, before they cross over into what is called the trim zone. While you should put background colors and elements across the whole page, so they bleed from corner to corner; you should be aware of where the trim zone is so you don’t put any significant items past it (for example, someone’s face or the last few letters of a word). This will prevent text or images from getting cut off when at the printer.

Play around with the different options your Pictavo software offers and before you know it your page will not only look great, but also unique.

Why a Yearbook is Still Important in the Digital Age

Yes, with Facebook, Instagram and the internet many think that a yearbook isn’t a necessity for students anymore. They think all their moments and excitement during the school year can be captured and looked at within a social network on a mobile device.

While that is potentially true, a printed yearbook chronicles what is most relevant to students and allows them to physically have something to touch when revisiting the book in future years.

Why is a yearbook important?

  • For one, it doesn’t exclude anybody. Everyone is mentioned and no one is left out or snubbed. In contrast, if you rely on a social network and the web to showcase the school year, there is a good possibility sections, stories and photos can get deleted. This could lead to tension between students and perhaps lead to a memory that only few will want to remember instead of the entire class.
  • Yearbooks are permanent keepsakes. Just like a wedding band and a piece of fine china, a yearbook will last forever. You will have the ability to go back to it and reminisce with future generations including your own children and grandchildren. In contrast, as quick as technology evolves, web-based sites may change their format or go out of business tomorrow and all of your memories could potentially be gone. A printed yearbook guarantees these memories will last forever!

While technology and trends change, good traditional storytelling never goes out of style and that is exactly what a yearbook is. Students will flip through the printed pages of their yearbooks, ask friends and teachers for their autographs and to share stories. Something that just isn’t the same on a mobile phone, tablet or computer.

Marketing Your Yearbook: How to Sell Your Yearbooks

The importance of marketing and selling yearbooks is often overlooked, yet it is just as significant as creating the book itself—if not more so. If you hit your sales goal, you can pay for your yearbook. If you surpass your sales goal, you can use the additional revenue to add more pages to your yearbook or add features like a supplement, or autograph pages. On the flip side, if you miss your sales goal, you may owe money or have to cut part of your program. Whatever the case, marketing and selling your yearbook is vitally important.

As with any project, proper planning and organization will go a long way in helping you accomplish your goals. In this case, the first step is to assess your school’s past yearbook sales success and build on it. This means taking some time to ask and record answers to the following questions:

  • What worked well in last year’s sales process? Why?
  • What didn’t work well in last year’s sales process and why?
  • If you are new to your school, ask the school secretary and the teachers how well the marketing and sales process worked. great questions to ask could be: What did you like the most about the process? What one thing would you improve about the process?
  • Review all materials that are available from your publisher pertaining to marketing and selling your yearbook. Do you have everything you need? Posters, flyers, money collection envelopes, etc.? What else do you need in order to be prepared for your campaign?

If your school has a tradition of keeping the yearbook a secret, consider changing that tradition. The yearbook is one of a few items where a person is asked to pay in advance with the promise of receiving a high-quality product later. Simple things like including the student body in the design of the book or taking peeks into the yearbook by sharing cover ideas are ways that can increase awareness and connection to the book which, in turn, drives a student or others to purchase one. Learning from last years’ experience is an important first step in building a successful sales and marketing plan for this year’s book.

How to Not Procrastinate During the Holidays

The holiday time is exciting! It is a time for parties and gifts and upcoming vacations. It’s also a time when most of us like to “loosen our belts” and tend to lose focus on everyday tasks and goals. That includes the yearbook committee.

So how can you keep your committee productive and avoid procrastination during the holiday season without being called “the Grinch?” Here are some tips:

  • Provide your committee with a work party. While this may sound counterproductive, work parties can motivate the team to continue working while simultaneously enjoying the season. Maybe have a Secret Santa for just the staff and bring in special holiday food for the committee while they work.
  • Implement a rewards system. Reward systems are spectacularly beneficial during the holiday season because there are so many unique activities that will for sure entice team members. For example, reward team members that finish their tasks with a gift card that they can then use on holiday gifts for their friends and family.
  • Create looser goals. Yes everyone wants to slow down the pace during the holidays. That doesn’t mean the great yearbook you are creating should be neglected. By giving the team lighter written goals each day you can help them stay motivated but also reward them with free time that they can enjoy. Remember a little bit of work is better than no work at all.

The holidays are about being together. Productive yearbook committees will more than likely continue to enjoy each other’s company while they are staying productive and creating a great yearbook!