Fabulous Yearbook Design

Creating your school yearbook is a lot more than choosing photographs and cute sayings. There is a great deal of hard work that goes into yearbook layout and yearbook design, which is another reason they take all school year to complete! If you are on the book design staff or an administrator overlooking the process there are a few things you should know about putting together an excellent copy.

Font

Variety may be the spice of life but too many fonts on a single page is confusing and ugly. You could equate it to wearing striped slacks with a polkadot shirt! If you want to change things up on the page or add emphasis to certain elements you can use up to two different fonts on the page, just make sure the changes are integral to the yearbook design and not because you want to play with all the fonts on your hard drive.

Print Copy

Computers are a wonderful tool that allow us to do all sorts of things, including creating awesome yearbook layouts. However, you should know the computer screen is not always being 100% honest with you. Therefore, as you create pages with pictures, borders, font and more it is a good idea to do a trial print run at 100%. This will give you a good idea what the finished product will look like once you get it back from the publisher. It is better to print multiple copies of a page now rather than wind up with extensive repairs later.

Spacing

A very basic, yet somewhat overlooked, element to yearbook layout and design is spacing. Line, word and element spacing is very important to the look of your yearbook. Areas where type touches or nearly touches an image or other element make the book difficult to read and tells everyone a novice designed the copy. There are some basic rules for spacing such as one pica between elements and indentation, these can be bent if the situation warrants but try very hard not to break them completely.

Colors

There is definitely a rainbow of colors to choose from, but resist the temptation to use them all! The last thing you want is a yearbook design that looks like a bag of Skittles exploded during the print process! One handy tip is to use the dominant color from a central photograph for borders and fill color. Caution: neon purple from the dance team outfit may not be pleasing to the eye as a page color element. When the dominant color on the page is over the top, opt for a neutral color instead.

Design Meetings

It is very important for yearbook design staff to get together on a regular basis. During these meetings, the entire team should view the project in its entirety. This will give everyone the opportunity to look for inconsistencies and problem areas. Occasionally a page look fantastic as a stand-alone piece, but when viewed in context it stands out or is incongruous with the rest of the project. Meeting regularly will keep everyone on schedule and help you to prepare the best yearbook layout possible.

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