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Yearbook Sections & Design

A basic yearbook will include the following page types:

  • a cover (front and back)
  • an inside cover: the first page of the book, possibly including a dedication or a mission statement
    and/or a table of contents.
  • a message from the principal / administration: photo of the principal, and possible the vice-principal or other administrator with words of welcome or a summary statement for the year.
  • staff portraits: portrait grid of the staff. This page may be organized alphabetically by last name, or the staff may be broken into their departments, with office/admin, homeroom teachers, specialists and support staff in separate categories.
  • student portraits, organized by homeroom (elementary) or grade (middle, high school). 
  • activities and events pages
  • autograph page(s).

Larger, more complicated books will include:

  • candid photo layouts to complement the staff page
  • candid photo layouts for classroom or grade specific activities (eg: Mrs. Kerry's Kindergarten's artwork page, a Grade 3 field trip)
  • special sections for sports teams, clubs and other organized activities.
  • pages dedicated to activities, such as concerts, dances/prom, homecoming, fundraising events, and seasonal celebrations.
  • dedication pages for members of the school community (retirements, in memoriam)
  • volunteer appreciation page
  • cap & gown graduation portraits, often including individual mottos, future school name, and/or a short paragraph sharing special memories or hopes for the future.
  • student poll results - best of the year (music, movies, sports teams), in and out lists
  • superlatives pages: "most likely to..." "best smile" "cutest couple" awards
  • cover contest entries: a page filled with cover designs submitted to the yearbook
  • baby pictures: photos of the graduating class as babies or in kindergarten, sometimes formatted as a guessing game ("who's that baby?)
  • notes and quote: a section of funny or touching quotes from members of the school community ("As overheard in the playground" or funny things teachers say)
  • general photos of the school grounds, particularly if there were renovations, gardens or special projects
  • An All-About-Me page: a form where the yearbook's owner can write their name and some other details about themselves, to personalize their books.
  • Senior ads: a fundraising section featuring parents' tributes to their kid (usually in the graduating year)
  • a yearbook staff page
  • General advertising: a fundraising section where ads from local merchants and service providers appear
  • an index: list of all the people and activities in the book and the page number they appear on (not recommended for books on a tight deadline!)

Pick a theme

Create a palette of 2-3 colors, select a limited range of fonts (title, subtitle, paragraph text).

You can apply the theme book wide, or on a per section basis. For instance, your sports section can be themed to uniform colors, and portrait pages use a single texture of a background in a rainbow of colors.

Don't clutter your page

The focus of your yearbook is the photos and text you use on your page - not all the fun backgrounds and clip art. To keep your book tidy, use Memento Yearbook's layout as a starting point. Many designs include "negative space" around the photos and text, to give the page breathing room and allow the reader to appreciate the content.

Keep areas with text clean, or frame them out with a background shape, so they are legible.  Use only your absolute best photos, as few as possible: every extra photo on a page makes the other photos less impactful. A page cluttered with dozens of photos means that no one person will be visible in any photo - you aren't capturing a memory of a time and place if you can't see any details. 

A cluttered page: too many photos, clipart over the images, and unreadable text on a dark background. Getting better: using a template to give the page some breathing room improved the visibility of the images, which have been added selectively. Text still is hard to read.Best: selective images, clear text, simple and easy to enjoy.

Invisible text: using a strong background with text makes it very hard to read.Use shapes in a coordinating solid color (with reduced transparency too) to make a block around the text.

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