Surprisingly, the most frequently read/viewed section of your yearbook is typically the one that gets the least amount of attention from your yearbook staff. Students will flip through a yearbook numerous times, but will study an index to find their own picture, friends' pictures, and, in the future, to find the answer to important questions like, "who was that blonde, crazy guy in marching band and show choir with us?". It's easy, after working so diligently for so long on the actual pages of your masterpiece to let the index be a black and white list of names. Sure, this serves its purpose, but wouldn't it be nice if it was as pleasing to look at as the rest of your yearbook? Why not continue the look of your yearbook into the final section? Or use the index pages to add info: school-specific trends, current events and milestones that didn't find a home anywhere else in the yearbook.
Take a look at the same index, three ways.
The usual. Black. White. Columns.
Use a font, background and some clipart that matches with the theme of your book to continue the "flow" of your yearbook.
Add candids and you have an index that's completely unique to your school year and to your yearbook!
A few things to consider when laying out your yearbook index:
• Assign the task of "proofing" the index to one staff member. This should be their only job for a period of time and allow them enough time to do a good job. This person should be detail-oriented and a perfectionist!
• Decide early on in your book layout process if you want only students listed or if you'd like staff, clubs, and organizations included as well. Adding clubs and organizations will give people more than one option when navigating the yearbook.
• If your yearbook publisher provides you with software that will help flow an index, USE IT! Manually putting together an index can be a daunting and time consuming task. The examples above were created in software marketed specifically for yearbook publishing and made it easy to flow, change and customize the index we used as a sample!
There is no question as to whether or not your yearbook needs an index. How creative you want to be with the task at hand is entirely up to you!
The Idea Garden Team