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A great yearbook layout is what makes a great yearbook, isn’t that what you’re aiming for?
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When considering your yearbook’s layout, you want the viewer to easily understand the information on each page. Whether you use a photo collage, text, or a mixture of the two, you want to have some common element on each page that gives the book a unified look.
Yearbooks that dazzle their schools (and win awards) effectively lay their pages out with consistent elements that include at least one of the following:
- consistent placement of page numbers,
- using the same font throughout (for headings, text, or both),
- consistent placement of titles and subtitles; and,
- a consistent color scheme.
Yearbook Layout: Subject
The layout of a yearbook page usually has one main subject. When you are laying out your yearbook’s pages, consider the order of importance of both the images and text within that subject.
For example, if a page features baby pictures of each graduating student, the title can be your subject, i.e. “Senior’s Baby Pictures.” In this example, you want the viewer to understand that each page is to showcase a different student’s baby picture, and you also need to make sure each student’s picture holds the same importance. By making the title stand out, it will be easier to understand and treat the students equally.
Yearbook Layout: Size
Our tips on subject and size go hand in hand, because with both of these categories, you are communicating the importance of what is on the page. When either text or an image are much larger than the other items around it, it implies more importance—whether it is intended to, or not.
Typically, either the page title or one specific image will be the largest item on a page. Remember when designing your yearbook layout to make sure you have other elements on the page to balance it out.
Our designers’ advice can be invaluable in this area; for example, you usually want to avoid a layout being “bottom heavy” (putting something big and bold at the bottom of a page), because this can be difficult to balance out.
Yearbook Layout: “Thirds” Rule
The “thirds” rule is a classic rule of design, and it applies in both the arenas of yearbook layout and photography.
Whether vertically or horizontally, imagine splitting your page into thirds. Doing so often gives the page a more modern look, and it allows you to avoid driving your viewer’s focus to the center (or the four corners, for example) and miss other critical elements on your pages.
You don’t have to literally draw three boxes on your page, but mentally following this rule when you design your pages will make for a more pleasing composition.The “thirds” rule is a classic rule of design, and it applies in both the arenas of yearbook layout and photography.
Yearbook Layout: White Space
Don’t be afraid to leave some blank space around your pictures and your text. When used correctly, white space (or “negative space”) can enhance your layout by creating a clean and simple appearance.
Many times, pages are filled to the max with photos and it can be difficult to take in all the information on each page. White space can act as its own design element on the page and can help quite a bit in balancing a layout.
Yearbook Layout: Font Use
A common mistake that many inexperienced designers make is to use different fonts all over a single page to make the yearbook fun and lively and to express how fun a particular even was.
The problem with using multiple fonts on the same page, and even within the same section, is that it often looks cluttered and can be confusing when trying to understand what the subject of the page is supposed to be.
Our designers recommend that you choose one to three fonts for each page, section, or spread (view of two adjacent pages). This is one of the easiest ways to make your yearbook layouts look more organized and professional.
Yearbook Layout: Color
If your yearbook will be in living color, we recommend you choose your color palette before you even begin designing the pages.
You need to select the color scheme of your individual pages, each spread (view of two adjacent pages) or, for the easiest & most consistent yearbooks, the color scheme for your entire yearbook.
Try choosing only a couple complimentary colors, and then choose variations of these colors to determine the most pleasing palette.