10 STEPS TO A GREAT YEARBOOK

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1 10 STEPS TO A GREAT YEARBOOK A TreeRing Publication

2 By Clara Wallace Clara is a graphic designer and artist that volunteers her time as the yearbook editor for Lisa J. Mails Elementary school in Murrieta, CA. She loves to inspire others to explore their creativity. PAGE 1

3 BUILDING A BETTER YEARBOOK Getting started is always the hardest part, right? Who will help you, what should you do and how will you get it done? At the risk of sounding like a motivational speaker by downloading this ebook you re already steps ahead. So read on and take a few tips from another yearbook advisor. PAGE 2

4 CONTENTS How to Recruit Your Team 04 How to Pick a Theme 07 How to Make a Plan 11 Assigning Tasks 13 Get Help From Teachers 16 How to Market the Yearbook 19 How to Improve Photos 22 Design Basics 26 Stick to the Plan 30 Be A Great Editor 32 PAGE 3

5 Chapter 1 HOW TO RECRUIT YOUR TEAM PAGE 4

6 RECRUIT YOUR TEAM You can t do it alone no matter how awesome you are. You ll need a team of dependable volunteers to help. Put the word out at the beginning of the school year that you are looking for parents and teachers to help with the yearbook. You ll need help in a variety of areas photography, marketing the yearbook, layout and proofreading. Be organized. You ll want to have an idea of how to divide the tasks. PAGE 5

7 School Leaders Ask the school principal for help. He or she can put the word out to the teaching staff to help you identify others for your team. PTA Reach out to the PTA. There is usually an historian on the PTA board whose job it is to keep a record of the school year. Parents Room parents are a great help. They are happy to assist with various school projects and can often keep you informed of activities in specific classes. Photographers Identify the shutterbug at your school. You ll want this person on your team as they will be a great source of quality photography. PAGE 6

8 Chapter 2 HOW TO PICK A THEME PAGE 7

9 THE RIGHT THEME The most important thing to consider when choosing a theme is the spirit of your school. What fits best? Try to pick a theme that best represents your school specifically. Starting with school colors is a great way to narrow down your decision. PAGE 8

10 TEMPLATES Yearbook software, like TreeRing, offers a variety of professionally designed themes and templates to make getting started easier for you and your team. PAGE 9

11 Pinterest and other online sites are an excellent source of ideas. ONLINE INSPIRATION Pinterest is an awesome place to find yearbook inspiration and share ideas. The visual layout is ideal for getting the creative juices flowing. Once you have narrowed your decision down to a few themes, open it up to your school for a vote. Follow the Pinterest board #yearbookideas PAGE 10

12 Chapter 3 HOW TO MAKE YOUR PLAN PAGE 11

13 PLAN IT Laying out the sections of your yearbook is a process that takes time and should be started early. Get together with your team and brainstorm on the different sections you ll need and the number of pages for each. You will want to make sure you include all the important events, groups and activities at your school. Go through past yearbooks to get an idea of what you should include. Talk to the PTA, they often have a plan of the school activities. Ask other teachers what major school wide projects are being planned. Make sure your yearbook software has a to-do list or checklist to keep you on track. PAGE 12

14 Chapter 4 HOW TO ASSIGN YOUR TASKS PAGE 13

15 ASSIGN PHOTOGRAPHERS When it comes to building a school yearbook, you can t do everything yourself. That s why you ll not only need a great team you ll also need to keep them busy. Make sure your volunteer photographers capture as many students as possible. A key to a successful yearbook is having a large group of parents to take photos of classroom activities and school events throughout the year. It s best to choose parents from different grades or classes, so that the distribution of photos is greater. PAGE 14

16 ASSIGN PAGES You ll need to split up the individual page creation amongst your team. If you have students as part of a yearbook class, it s best to divide them by skill set. If you are working with a group of parent volunteers, start by having each parent take their child s class and all the other classes in that grade. They can combine the responsibility of photographing the class with completion of the page layouts. For parents with a student in a club or team, give them the option to complete those pages. For all other pages look for volunteers make sure your volunteers are excited and committed to completing their tasks. PAGE 15

17 Chapter 5 GET HELP FROM TEACHERS PAGE 16

18 Getting all of the teachers at the school involved in the process is a great step to ensuring a successful yearbook. You need their support they can help with getting the word out about the yearbook, taking photos, getting pictures from parents and letting you know when their will be special photo opportunities events, field trips, projects and awards. Get the teachers at your school on your side. PAGE 17

19 COMMUNICATE. Send an that includes important information about the yearbook and the contact information for your team. Offer teachers the opportunity to play a role in the content, especially as it relates to their class. Give them a chance to review the content. Be open. Teachers are busy, so don t ask for too much. Make sure that it s easy for them to fulfill your request. Most importantly: be organized. PAGE 18

20 Chapter 6 MARKET THE YEARBOOK PAGE 19

21 Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising. - Mark Twain To successfully market the yearbook, you ll need to start at the beginning of the year. Plan ahead and have flyers ready for open house, back to school nights and assemblies. Some yearbook software companies create automatically generated, downloadable flyers. Be certain to utilize every form of communication your school has available. A flyer in the backpack of every student is a great start, but it s not enough anymore. PAGE 20

22 School Marquee Banners Newsletter Morning announcements Teachers lounge School news bulletin board School newspaper Facebook Twitter School blog Regular reminders Text message PAGE 21

23 Chapter 7 IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOS PAGE 22

24 Great photographs make a great yearbook. After all, they make up 75 percent of the book! This is where having volunteer photographers capturing events and activities throughout the year pays off. Now that you have so many great photos, make sure to use them wisely. Whether you use TreeRing s built in zoom and photo cropping tool, or do some editing in your favorite desktop software, it s important to zoom in on those smiling faces. It s also helpful to provide your photography team some simple, but powerful tips. Great photographs make a great yearbook. PAGE 23

25 Fill the Frame Get close really close. Make sure you fill the frame with the faces of your subjects! When you think you are too close, take 3 steps forward. See the Light Think about lighting. If you don t have an expensive high quality flash, you shouldn t be taking photos for the yearbook in low lighting scenarios. Shots in low light will generally not print well. PAGE 24

26 Rule of Thirds Think about the rule of thirds. Divide your view finder into thirds horizontally and vertically. Play around with it, but the general rule is that images are more interesting when not centered. Highs and Lows Take shots from different angles. Get on the floor, stand on a chair just continually mix it up. Have fun. PAGE 25

27 Chapter 8 CREATE BETTER DESIGN PAGE 26

28 There is only one type of designer the type that cares about type. Rohan Nanavati Design is a broad topic, so we ll cover four things that you can implement today and see immediate improvements: Working on a grid Varying photo sizes Use of white space Consistent use of type sizes PAGE 27

29 Working on a Grid Working with a grid makes it easier to organize your content. Aligning photos and text create white space and a cleaner design. Varying Photo Sizes Using various photo sizes calls attention to specific photos. It also creates contrast on the page which makes the spread visually appealing. PAGE 28

30 Using White Space Leaving white space around your images draws the viewer's eye in and increases the attention to the page. White space also makes a design feel more sophisticated. Consistent Use of Typography Use specific font sizes for your headers, subheads, and captions so that you call attention to what you want the reader to look at first. PAGE 29

31 Chapter 9 HOW TO STICK TO YOUR PLAN PAGE 30

32 Goals are dreams that we convert to plans and take action to fulfill. Zig Ziglar Completing a great yearbook for your school is an achievable goal, but as with anything we set out to accomplish, it helps if we stick with the plan. You may be great at working under pressure, but it s not a good practice to rush your team or to give the impression that you are not going to finish on time. Here are a few tips to keep you on track: Create a calendar with clear goals and share with your team. Review the calendar on a regular basis. Create a shared folder or use a program that allows photo sharing. This way you have a regular inventory of your create assets. Use a yearbook software program that has a built in checklist or create one offline. Be sure to market the yearbook throughout the school year. PAGE 31

33 Chapter 10 HOW TO BE A GREAT EDITOR PAGE 32

34 Your yearbook is almost finished, but there is one last important step proofreading. Your yearbook provider should be able to give you a free PDF and printed proof. Your printed proof is an exact copy of the yearbook your school will receive, so look over it carefully. Focus on the following things: Check photo resolution and photo brightness Proofread your text and have at least one other person review your work. Check your font sizes. Provide the printed proof to the principal and assistant principal to check for accuracy of student names and school information. PAGE 33

35 LET US HELP WITH YOUR YEARBOOK In order to create a better yearbook you need great software. Talk to one of our product experts to see how TreeRing can help.

BUILDING A BETTER YEARBOOK

BUILDING A BETTER YEARBOOK By Clara Wallace Clara is a graphic designer and artist that volunteers her time as the yearbook editor for Lisa J. Mails Elementary school in Murrieta, CA. She loves to inspire others to explore their

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