OK, so your school has made the decision to publish a yearbook. Awesome! This is a cool thing to do on many levels and will be a lifelong keepsake for the children involved and appreciated by parents and staff. The thought of creating a yearbook can be overwhelming. You may be thinking “I’m in over my head” or “I don’t have the design software or experience to create a great looking book.”
No worries – Inkwell Yearbooks has got you covered! Our service provides all the tools, advice and any help you need along the way and we will seamlessly deliver a high-quality yearbook once you finalize your design. Our free, online layout software makes the process simple. For details on the many features and benefits, check out this video. Please contact us for more information or to request a free sample.
The best tip we can give you as you start into the yearbook publishing process is to be organized. Taking time to do some planning at the start will make the process of designing and building the actual pages go much faster and eliminate a lot of potential delays and frustrating moments. The following are some other suggestions to help keep you on track.
The yearbook team
Recruit one or more people for the yearbook team. This can include photographers, designers, helpers, and someone to be the administrator. For older school grades, consider recruiting responsible students to help. Many schools have photography, literature and yearbook clubs. If you will be selling the yearbook to students, someone should be in charge of budget planning and advertising. Often, schools will come up with fundraisers to defray or eliminate the cost to students.
Plan, plan, and plan some more. Get together with your team and come up with a rough idea of which school events and functions that need to be included in the yearbook. Think about events like field trips, dances, clubs and sports teams. Don’t forget about holiday function. You will probably want to spotlight the school staff and teachers. And of course, many pages will be portrait pages for the children involved. It’s also important to have all the students represented in the yearbook. One way to feature lots of kids is to have “candid” pages, with picture collages. You will also want to think about what kind of a “feel” your yearbook will have. Some schools use a common theme throughout the yearbook and others use a more eclectic style.
Once you have a rough idea of what will be included in the yearbook, sketch out a page ladder or layout. This will show where in the book a section will go and how many pages you plan to dedicate to the section. One benefit of the layout plan is that you can assign people on the team to work on specific sections.
Capturing school events
Now that you have decided what will be included in the yearbook, you will need to capture those events. Create a timeline of when school events will be happening as well as when certain tasks need to be completed. Take lots of photos and gather any other information for each specific event or section. Our software allows you to upload your images to be used in the book design. Ideally, you would create a “yearbook” and have subfolders for each event or section of the book and upload any appropriate photos to it. It’s best to go through images and choose the best before uploading. Now, when you are designing the ‘Field Trip” section of the book, all you need to do is drag your photos from this folder onto the canvas.
Become familiar with the design software
You should have any team members who will be doing the actual design and layout work start to become familiar with the software. Our tutorial videos will get you off to a fast start. Each team member can access the software from their own desktop and be working on the same book. The administrator assigns sections to the appropriate people and they have the ability to design and make changes only to their section.
Before you start into the actual book design, we recommend “playing” with the different tools and functions to get a feel for how things work. You should spend time reviewing the hundreds of pre-designed template pages as the templates allow you to pick a theme and drop in your type and photos, creating pages easily and quickly. There are even complete yearbook files you can use and simply customize for your school. Creating your own custom pages is simple as well. The software has a library of background designs as well as clip art and picture frames. So the idea is to figure out what your section or overall book will look like, then decide if you will be using templates or doing your own custom designs. Most books are a mix of both.