We’ve already discussed organizing your team and assigning responsibilities to team members. Your team should also have completed its yearbook planned layout or “ladder.” This is done by determining which people, events and subjects will be included in the yearbook. You should plan out the page order and how many pages will be dedicated to each section or subject.
A book ladder, as shown below, is often helpful in getting a good visual feel for how the book will look. We realize it’s not possible to know exactly what the final book will look like, but the more detailed you are in planning, the easier it will be to proceed in an organized way. Additional pages can always be added once you get going.
Downloading the Design Software
Most schools will be using the desktop version of our yearbook layout software. In this scenario, you will download and install a copy of Yearbook Fusion onto your computer. While the software runs on your computer, all files are saved online. This will insure that nothing is lost if your computer malfunctions. This workflow also allows your team to collaborate on the design of the book from different locations using their own computer.
Setting Up Your Software
When we send you the link to download the software, we include your user ID. The point person or manager, for your yearbook team will need to enter this ID information as well as create a password. Other team members will need to follow this procedure on their computers, too. Once you have logged in, you will see the My Book tab at the top left of your screen.
The next step is to set up and assign team roles. This is done under the Team tab. As the manager, you can designate the specific roles and responsibilities for people on your team. Often team members have designations such as Co-manager, Advisor, Editor, etc. Their roll will also define their level of access to the book. For example, a Co-manager can edit, add, remove, reorder and approve pages, while an Editor can only edit pages specifically assigned to him. Setting up your team using the interface is a simple, intuitive process. Changes to permissions and responsibilities can be modified in the future.
Adding Pages to Your Yearbook
Now let’s add some pages to your yearbook. This process should be guided by the page layout/ladder you planned. You should add pages for each of your planned sections. Under the Book tab, you will see an add pages button. When you click on the blank page icon, a “new section” box pops up, allowing you to name the section. Specify how many pages will be in this section and decide if you want pages to be designed as single pages or 2-page spreads. Once this information is entered, click create section to generate these pages in your yearbook layout.
In the example below, we have added a page for the “principal’s message, 5 pages for “Teachers and Staff” and 2 pages for “First Day of School.”
Continue setting up sections and pages in the yearbook, completing your planned layout. Once you have all pages set up, hover over the section or page and select ASSIGN THIS SECTION FOR PAGE EDITING. You can assign and make changes to which team members will be responsible.
Pages versus Sections
A section is a group of pages that will always remain together in the layout. If you are not sure how many pages you will need for a section, you should estimate on the low side, or simply set it up as one page. It’s easy to add more pages once you get into the design. A big time saver is to design a page for a section and then copy it to use in the rest of the section to pick up the design attributes. Reordering pages in the book at any time is easily done, but pages within sections must always stay together.
Pages versus Spreads (double pages)
Pages are single pages in a book and are designed one at a time as you go. These can be reordered and moved to other parts of the book. Spreads are double pages showing the left and right sides on your desktop. Spreads are nice because you can see pages side by side as you layout your design. The drawback is that the pages will not fit as well on your computer screen and you will not be able to delete just one page of the spread if you determine that you don’t need it.
When your pages are set up, you can start designing. Find the page you want to work on in your pages layout, hover over it and a toolbar will pop up. Click on the pencil tool and a full-size page will open and you are ready to begin your layout.
In our next blog post, we will go over the yearbook design tools you will be using to design and edit pages.