Every year schools across the nation form committees to design their yearbooks. In most cases, the students are doing most of the legwork, while a teacher or administrator watches over the process. Of course, as with any school project there are bound to be problems and issues. If you want your yearbook printing to be the best it can possibly be, everyone has a part to play.
It is exciting to be chosen for yearbook staff, you will have a great deal of influence on how your class is represented for years to come. As excited as you are there is one thing you need to keep in the forefront of your mind as you make decisions about the yearbook layout or yearbook design, this is not your personal photo album. You will be tempted to put a little more emphasis on your friends, teams and significant other (if you are dating) but you have to remember your other class members. As you compile information and pictures do, your level best to make sure each graduating class member has at least one candid shot in addition to their professional pose.
Teachers are super busy, often times managing a classroom as well as extracurricular activities. This can make it difficult to provide top-notch supervision of the yearbook design team. Difficult, but not impossible, you simply need a system that will work with your current schedule. Consider the following:
- Meet with your Yearbook staff weekly
- Lightly proof captions, commentary and reports as they come in
- Pull school student list for correct spelling of names
- Make sure you are free the week before the final draft is sent for printing
Probably the worst mistakes in yearbook design is lack of proofing. Students generally love putting the yearbook together but have no such affinity for proofreading and fact checking. Whether you are on the yearbook staff or the teacher assigned to monitoring its progress, proofreading needs to become your new best friend. Imagine pulling this book out 20 years from now to show to your children only to discover your name is misspelled! This is not a term paper where you lose a few points for one or two misspelled words but a memory book for your entire graduating class so it is imperative to take proofreading serious.
Reprints and multiple proof copies can run into big overages on the yearbook budget, so ideally you want to get it right the first time. As mentioned earlier proofing, is a big part of this process. There are a few other things you want to keep in mind as well, when working on your yearbook design, these include but are not limited to:
- Captions- at 17 and 18 it may seem fitting and funny to caption photos with nicknames or practical jokes. When you are an adult looking back on your high school years or a parent who has paid for the book, it is not so funny. Instead of getting creative and possibly offending classmates, allow everyone to submit their own photo caption.
- Fair and Balanced- to the best of your ability include all school teams and organizations in the yearbook layout. It is easy to focus on the things you are involved in and ignore everything else.
- Colors- choose your color scheme before you select the first image!
- Proof- proofread once and then proofread again! Checking for errors or oversights is super important.
Additional Reading: Yearbook Photography Tips