Yearbook Equations - How much of what is enough?

One of the first steps in successful yearbook creation, is PLANNING your yearbook. Knowing what sections fall where and how many pages can be devoted to each will prove instrumental in laying out your yearbook in a timely and efficient manner. The idea of doing this before having content can seem daunting, but we promise you, you'll be happy you had a plan of action in the end.  So...the big much? This is where your math skills will come in handy!

Generally speaking, when laying out a well-rounded yearbook full of class head shots, activities and awards, student life, clubs and organizations, there's an equation that we suggest you stick to. (Of course, we understand that each school is different and there is always room for creative freedom!)

Our yearbook formula goes a little like this:

• 35% Class Head Shots

• 35% Clubs, Sports and Organizations

• 15% Classroom Activities and Academic Awards

• 15% Student Life

Class Head Shots: These, of course, are a major part of any yearbook. This is the section full of the standard professional photographer's shots of each and every student. Divided by grade and alphabetized, this section will make it easy for every student to find themselves and their friends. These spreads can become a little monotonous with row after row of student head shots; adding a 'feature' with some class candids, some copy or a quote will help make them more interesting and pleasing to the eye.

Clubs, Sports, Organizations: When working on these sections, we cannot emphasize this point enough: FAIR AND EQUAL COVERAGE IS A MUST.  If varsity football gets a two-page spread, so should varsity girls' basketball. If the kids on the academic decathlon have a full page devoted to them, the four guys that make up the chess club get just as much. It's your job as a 'reporter' to keep the 'news' of your school year fair and just. Doing your best to keep students from feeling slighted in the yearbook is definitely a job requirement!  Include team pictures and keep your photo identification consistent from one club/team/group to the next. These pages and spreads should also contain major highlights from the season/year and events that the groups took part in. Don't forget to include the people integral to any team or organization's success (i.e. managers, fans, trainers, coaches, advisors etc)!

Classroom Activities and Academic Awards: Readers are going to assume this section will be all work and no play...prove them wrong! Emphasize classroom activities and student participation rather than courses taught and what is learned. This is a fantastic place to highlight quotes from students AND teachers about what life is like in the classroom and what it's like to achieve academic distinction. The students that excel academically deserve their time in the spotlight just as much as the star quarterback!

Student Life: Focus on students. How do they spend their 'spare time' at school? What were the fashion trends this year at school? Are there students that look alike at your school? How about siblings? Did your school have dress up days this year? Was there a pep rally before a big game? What about homecoming? All of these are great topics to cover in the student life section. These can be some of the most fun memories to look back on, have fun laying these spreads out!

Again, we understand that there will always be variation from one school to the next, or even one year to the next. This is simply a guideline for you to follow when trying to maneuver the tricky terrain of creating a yearbook ladder.

Happy organizing!

The Idea Garden Team