After the yearbook cover, the yearbook layout is the second-most important aspect of making a memorable yearbook for several reasons. For one thing, it plays a significant part in determining whether the reader will continue reading the pages or stop at the first page. For another thing, it can make or break the yearbook’s appeal through the ages; too trendy and it will be lost in time, too retro and it will not be relevant in its time.
Indeed, careful thought must be poured into the yearbook layout. You must then keep in mind these five all-important principles for designing great layouts and designs on your yearbook, said principles of which applies to both elementary school yearbooks and military cruise books.
Balance refers to the distribution of the elements (i.e., text, photos and images) across the page, thus, it represents the visual interpretation of the gravity of each element in the entire page layout. For example, large elements with dense textures are more attractive than smaller elements with lighter textures.
Your choices in balance include:
• Symmetrical involves centering the elements evenly
• Asymmetrical pertains to the uneven yet still attractive balance of elements in the yearbook layout from page one to the end sheet
• Discordant suggests action and motion but may also cause disorientation in traditional readers
Contrast refers to the emphasis of the differences between the design elements like the colors, fonts and text lines. It gives the reader variations in the way his eyes take in the images presented on the page.
The best yearbook layout has contrasting colors that bring out the best in each hue while still maintaining a sense of unity. Too much contrast, however, should be avoided in the same way that too much gray is a no-no in any yearbook.
Also called dominance, the principle of emphasis pertains to the placement of the most important elements in prominent positions on the page. Oftentimes, it is a photograph that has the dominant place in the page but it can also be the story behind the picture. The point is that the most important element stands out from the rest of the elements in a compelling way such that readers are drawn to it.
In conceptualizing the yearbook layout for all the pages, the most important principle to bring these pages together is unity or proximity. Think of it this way: The elements placed close together are closely related while the elements placed far apart from each other are less related. So, the pages on the yearbook must be organized according to their specific contents while the elements on each page are placed according to their relation to each other.
Yes, you want to impress readers with your apparent skills in using computer printing software like Photoshop but you also want them to be able to read through the text and appreciate the photos. This is where the principle of simplicity comes in. The simpler the page, the more readable it will be.
With these design principles in mind, you can now achieve the best yearbook layout your school has ever seen. It takes practice to apply all of these principles, of course, but these are easy to learn.