Climbing the Yearbook Ladder
If you haven’t started working on your yearbook yet, you’re probably not alone. Just because over here we are in yearbook frenzy all year round doesn’t mean we expect everyone to be. Heck, you probably just finally got everyone’s name correctly matched with their face. So we figured now would be a good time to post about the beginning stages of organizing your yearbook. The Ladder Stage! We know, we know, it’s not NEARLY as exciting as picking candids or deciding on yearbook theme ideas. But it is an essential part of the yearbook creation process and will make your life a whole lot easier after it’s done.
The great thing about your Yearbook Ladder is it will help you determine how many pages to allocate to each specific activity and section (portraits, sports, organizations, academics, advertisements, student life, etc.). It will also help you organize the sequencing of sections to give a nice flow to your yearbook. Even better, it can be used as a checklist during the year to help track progress. So many functions. So helpful. So cool, right? (We’re trying here.)
To get started, whip out that Ladder Worksheet (need one? download one here) and determine the approximate number of pages you are going to need in your yearbook. Base this on the number of students and staff members you have, number of grades, extracurricular activities, special events and clubs or organizations, you will be including. It is helpful to know at this point what type of yearbook binding you will be doing. Most yearbook binding types work in increments of 4 pages, so if you aren’t sure that’s a good increment to stick with. If you know you are doing a Smyth-Sewn yearbook though, your page count should be divisible by 16. Also, keep in mind the inclusion of things like Division Pages that separate one section from the next, Current Events pages and Autograph pages when factoring your page count.
Oh! And we suggest using a pencil. One with a good eraser.
Okay, so you’ve got the page count determined (or at least a rough estimate), now what? Figuring out what will be on every page can be daunting. But alas! No more! That is what we’re here for! We’ll walk you through the “how to figure out what to include in my yearbook!?” question so you can keep some of that hair on your head.
Below is a list of yearbook content ideas to help you determine what sections to include in your yearbook. We gleaned from thousands of yearbooks to come up with this sample list so if it’s missing something or you have an awesome idea for a section…let us know! We’re sure other schools will appreciate your insight as well.
- Title Page/Colophon
- Table of Contents
- Divider Pages
- Letter from Principal
- Opening Theme/Story
- Portrait Pages - Staff Portraits - Student Portraits
- Candid Pages
- Student Life Pages
- Sports Pages
- Clubs/Organizations Pages
- Events Pages
- Advertisement Pages - Recognition Ads - Business Ads
- Current Events Pages
- Autograph Pages
- Closing/Yearbook Editor Page
So how many pages should you allocate for each section? That is completely up to you! And completely dependent on what you are including. But don't stress. You don't have to have that all set in stone right now. The same goes for the order of your sections. You can choose any order for the sections in your book. That’s part of the fun of making it unique! But it doesn't have to be concrete this early in the game. For now, just focus on getting the sections determined and a rough estimate of pages allocated. You can always change the order and content later, even after the pages are already laid out.
Yearbook ideas are WONDERUL. We’re full of them. And we can’t wait to share more of them with you as the school year progresses. Hopefully you’ll share some with us as well!