There are a lot of hands that go into creating a class yearbook, and just like a big business, there needs to be proper communication in order to create a fantastic finished product.

Color chart with woman hand choosing pink

One extremely important part of the yearbook that needs to stay consistent throughout is the style of it. That includes for example, how the photos are cropped and what fonts are utilized throughout the yearbook.

For this reason, it is definitely a great idea to create a consistent style guide that everyone on the yearbook staff can utilize when creating and doing his or her portion of the book.

Basically, a style guide can be a master document that provides guidelines on how the yearbook should be presented after it is printed.  Here are some elements it should define and include:

  • The tone of the yearbook: This area should explain the theme of the book and how that theme is approached. Should the book have a serious tone? Maybe more of an academic or educational type tone? In this section of the guide your tone should be defined clearly so that everyone is on the same page.

  • How the yearbook should speak to the readers: Should the book include sarcasm or should it include more dry and matter of fact type humor? How should photo captions be written? It is here where you will define the voice of the yearbook.

  • The visual component is another important area: It is here where you will showcase the approved typography that should be used as well as font and image sizes as well as any approved logos. In addition, a color palate should be created with CMYK colors so no one gets confused with the shades of a particular color that is being used.

  • Defining the potential variables in the book needs to be mandatory: For example, dates and times. Should it read April 8th or April 8?  Maybe it should read the 8th of April? As for times should you use 12 noon or 12:00p.m.? While either of these methods can be used it is important that the book is consistent throughout.

  • Lastly, every yearbook style guide should include a checklist: This will help make sure nothing gets missed. Some bullets on this list should include – I have run a spellcheck, I checked spacing and I have saved the work in the proper file. This is a great way to make sure “no stone is left unturned.”

A style guide is a great “bible” that everyone on the yearbook committee should have a copy of to make sure the book exceeds all expectations for everyone on the yearbook committee as well as everyone in the graduating class.