Going Retro with Your Yearbook Ideas

Everything come full circle – fashion, food and even technology. Yearbook ideas are not exempted from coming full circle every few decades or so, which does not come as a surprise as the overall design of yearbooks are considerably influenced by the trends in diverse areas like graphic arts, fashion and technology.

A yearbook idea: Go Retro!

You will then not be surprised to know that many yearbook designers are choosing retro themes for their covers, layouts and content. In fact, it is now becoming hip to be retro! Just make sure that you don’t get too retro, too trendy or too conformist because yearbooks, after all, should ideally reflect the schools’ and classes’ values, character and aspirations. Here are our suggestions on going retro with your yearbook ideas.

Get on the Research

Before going retro, you must do your research on the characteristics of the decade. You will then be able to get many insights and inspirations into the tentative theme, layout and content of your current yearbook.

Keep in mind that the term “retro” refers to post-modern mass media, art and advertising, and fashion, among other aspects of society, with a vintage of 15 to 20 years. Thus, even fashion dating from the late 1980s to the early 1990s can be considered retro in nature but given a contemporary twist. Your inspiration for yearbook ideas can then span the decades starting from the 1920s to the 1990s.

For example, the 1960s were characterized by psychedelic colors while the 1970s were focused on earth tones (i.e., brown palette) with bursts of color here and there. Even the vibe of pop art was different between these two decades.

Get Inspired with the Oldies But Goldies

Get off the Internet for a few hours and start scouring public libraries as well as your attics and basements for old books, magazines and yearbooks. These are great sources of inspiration for retro yearbook ideas because of their articles and photos.

If these traditional sources are still insufficient sources of inspiration and insight – or perhaps, you just prefer the Internet – then go online once again and scour the sites. Many sites even specialize in everything retro, thus, making your job easier.

A great tip: While scouring the ink-and-paper and online sources, play movies from that era. You will find that the vibe becomes more pleasurable to work in partly because you are transported to that particular decade, in a manner of speaking.

Get Inspiration from These Ideas

Just to provide useful insights and inspirations on retro yearbook ideas, here are our suggestions:

• Use simple fonts such as a typewriter-style font for a 1960s look.
• Mix colors from the era. For example, the “browning of the 70s” meant that brown tones from light brown to dark brown as well as combinations like red-brown, green-brown and even orange-brown became the trend. This was attributed to the about-face in fashion from the psychedelic 1960s.
• Place black-and-white photos with old negative films as frames for a 1940s look in most pages of the yearbook.
• Pick a theme from the era, say, 1920s Flapper or 1970s Saturday Night fever, for a school event like the prom. Click away and write away on it.

With these retro yearbook ideas, you will, indeed, be going places with your current yearbook.

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