Down Time? Read A Book!

What to do with your high school yearbook staff once your book is submitted.

As the year winds down, it's important to keep your staff engaged. Not sure how to do that without a yearbook to work on? We suggest reading a book.

Not just any book–choose a book that cultivates the environment that you've created in your classroom. Find a book about leadership, team-building or collaboration. A great resource for finding books like these are the JEA One Book selections.

JEA is the Journalism Education Association. Not familiar with JEA? The mission statement from their website states: The Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.

To gain access to the vast array of resources, you'll need to pay for a reasonably-priced membership. If you're looking for a little help in your classroom in the way of curriculum, the membership is a small price to pay! Visit the JEA website (http://jea.org/wp/) for more information about curriculum, conventions and membership benefits.

JEA chooses two books each year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring that foster a forward-thinking, growth mindset for your team and classroom.

This Spring's selection is Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know by Jill Geisler. Geisler has coached and trained countless professionals who want to build their leadership skills, help employees do their best work and make workplaces happy and successful. She is currently the Leadership and Media Integrity Chair at Loyola University, Chicago, and was formerly a TV news director.

Former JEA One Book selections include: The Smartest Kids In The World And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley, How Children Succeed by Paul Tough, Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids For The Innovation Era by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith and A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman.

Even if reading a book doesn't seem like the right fit for the last few weeks of your school year, giving a reading assignment to next year's staff leadership may be just the right way to initiate open and honest conversation about expectations, collaboration ideas and how to build a solid team. Choose a book that speaks to your teaching and advising style.

We'd love to hear from you about what books you recommend for building a successful yearbook team...leave a comment below!

 

Proofing Your Yearbook Pages

It's so rewarding to reach the end of a project that you've devoted so much time to. It's hard not to get caught up in the can't-wait-to-submit excitement, HOWEVER, we cannot stress enough that you can never proof your pages too many times!

When you've been staring at the same pages for months, it can be tough to "see" things that need correcting. Asking someone else to look over your pages for you can be a big help. By using the 'share' icon (found in the top bar, looks like a square with an arrow in it) you can create a PDF to share with all those willing to proof your pages. Print or email the PDF file, whatever process makes the most sense for your situation, then ask for a list of potential edits your helpers find.

  Use the share icon to create PDF files.

Use the share icon to create PDF files.

Once you've had a chance to take a little break from your own pages, go back and start looking at your layouts in a different way. Think like a designer as you flip through pages. Are elements lined up?  Are all of your headlines the same size and font? Are any portraits covered by candids or Accents? Are there any warnings (You'll know because elements will have red or orange frames. Click on the ! in the corner for more information.)? Take the time to correct any issues you find–then go through pages again the following day. You'll be glad you did!

  Find out if resolution, placement or overset text is your issue by clicking or tapping this icon on a warning frame.

Find out if resolution, placement or overset text is your issue by clicking or tapping this icon on a warning frame.

Cropping Images Into Shapes

Pictavo is full of design tools to help make your pages unique works of art. Add a playful twist to your layout by using a photo box in a shape that will complement the rest of your design!

Sometimes it's hard to foresee when cropping an image into a shape might be just the finishing touch a page may need, have no fear; we've got you covered.

Once an image is placed on a page, you can resize, crop, rotate, etc.

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If you decide that you'd like to see what this image would look like cropped to a shape, simply select a SHAPE (not a photo box) and drag then drop onto your image.

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Notice that the shape takes on the proportions of your image. If your photo is landscape (wide), your shape will widen to fit to the constraints of the photo box.

 

If you'd like to try a different shape, simply select another shape and repeat the drag and drop process.

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Not happy with where the shape cropped your image? Use the crop tool to either resize the image or adjust the new "frame" to adjust.

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Customizing Your Yearbook With COLOR!

We know every yearbook is truly unique because your year is like no one else's. But, how can you create a truly unique yearbook if you aren't a designer? Lucky you–Pictavo has got you covered!

Every piece of colorable art in Pictavo is just waiting for you to customize it.

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Colorable art elements in Pictavo will appear black in the menu, but once they're dragged onto your page, that's when the fun begins! Choose any color available within Pictavo to customize your art and make it exactly what your yearbook calls for. So many Art Collections contain dozens of pieces of colorable art: so many backgrounds, so many accents, SO MANY different options! Your design capabilities are truly endless.

The templates and Snippets we've designed with High Schools in mind are loaded with colorable elements, as well. When you peruse our Inspiration Guide or download our Art Catalog, keep your yearbook in mind! What colors are you using? What's your theme? With a few clicks, the look of any layout can change to whatever you need!

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Not sure how you want your book to look quite yet? Take a tip from the design industry and try using the Pantone Color of the Year: Ultra Violet.

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Use this beautiful shade of purple with a trendy galaxy visual theme and your yearbook will be out of this world!

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...or get inspired by a lightning storm. Your layouts will be electric!

Flex your design muscles, try out some colorable artwork in your layouts and see where this design freedom takes you!

Happy yearbooking!

Not sure what elements are colorable?
Watch for the color wheel indicator
to help you find what you're looking for!
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Another Four Reasons To Love Pictavo

We've already mentioned that Pictavo's art library is the best in the biz. We're here to prove it by finishing up some introductions...last post we showed off four of our new Art Collections designed with Elementary and Middle Schools in mind. Before we start bragging on our eight upper grade Art Collections, we figured we'd better give some spotlight time to the other half of the Elementary family.

 

 CHEVRON is full of funky patterns, banners and emblems in a bright, vibrant color palette sure to infuse a little cheer into your yearbook.

CHEVRON is full of funky patterns, banners and emblems in a bright, vibrant color palette sure to infuse a little cheer into your yearbook.

 Filled with hand-drawn doodles and whimsy, the SCRIBBLES collection is a fun, unique style to pair with your photos and stories from the year!

Filled with hand-drawn doodles and whimsy, the SCRIBBLES collection is a fun, unique style to pair with your photos and stories from the year!

 Nothing says memories like a hand-crafted SCRAPBOOK! Washi tape, construction paper and stickers fill this collection with heart-warming charm.

Nothing says memories like a hand-crafted SCRAPBOOK! Washi tape, construction paper and stickers fill this collection with heart-warming charm.

 Show everyone you've had a super year with the COMIC BOOK collection! Fill your pages with art inspired by comic books and you'll be everyone's hero!

Show everyone you've had a super year with the COMIC BOOK collection! Fill your pages with art inspired by comic books and you'll be everyone's hero!

4 Reasons To Love Pictavo

Aside from being an industry leader in technology and capabilities, Pictavo has one other fantastic feature: OUR ART LIBRARY. 

Absolutely no one, NO ONE, else in the industry has an art library that compares to ours. And what's even better? It's exclusive to Pictavo. That means the art you see in Pictavo is only available there. Our staff of designers created that art just for you, wonderful user of Pictavo...with your yearbook in mind. 

See, when we set out to re-vamp how we serve up art to our users, we sat around a big table and said "what do our customers need? what do they ask for?". We went through emails, talked with tech support and looked at usage reports. We researched design, color and font trends. With that information, we set out to create art collections that top all others. We agreed that what our users DESERVE is to be able to create a beautiful yearbook without having to guess at what matches or complements. And guess what? That's just what we did. 

There are eight Art Collections that have been created with Elementary and Middle Schools in mind and eight that were created with Junior High and High Schools in mind. We'll take the next few blog posts to introduce you to these new additions to the Pictavo family!

  The CHALKBOARD collection is bold, bright and dynamic - fun and just a little bit retro. Get creative with fonts and word art with this delightful collection!

The CHALKBOARD collection is bold, bright and dynamic - fun and just a little bit retro. Get creative with fonts and word art with this delightful collection!

  Each and every accent in the ABSTRACT collection is colorable, making this collection the most customizable in our library! Use the color palette provided or create a look unique to your school—your options are truly endless!

Each and every accent in the ABSTRACT collection is colorable, making this collection the most customizable in our library! Use the color palette provided or create a look unique to your school—your options are truly endless!

  A modern twist on a classic look! Get creative with bright, simple backgrounds and traditional school-themed accents in a rainbow color palette.

A modern twist on a classic look! Get creative with bright, simple backgrounds and traditional school-themed accents in a rainbow color palette.

  The eclectic style of the KRAFT PAPER collection combines a cheerful color palette with the look of paper crafts for the perfect mix of fresh and fun. 

The eclectic style of the KRAFT PAPER collection combines a cheerful color palette with the look of paper crafts for the perfect mix of fresh and fun. 

We can't wait to see what our creative users will do with these new collections! With more colorable art available than ever before, options are truly endless! Have fun and get creative!

Taking Something Great & Making It Even Better

It’s finally here!

Introducing... PICTAVO.

Okay, that doesn't seem that exciting when it's typed. Let's try again.

Introducing...

THE ALL-NEW

(insert fanfare and confetti cannon here)

When we say "all-new", we mean we started over, kept the things you loved about Pictavo and improved on everything else. New interface, new art, new fonts, new templates...all of it. New, new, new!

The best part? It's not just new.

It's better.

We'll use the blog to help introduce you to all of the new features -- and even though so much is new, the same helpful, friendly support is available. Tech support is only an email or phone call away and we're diligently working on filling our brand-spanking-new help system with articles and videos that will make the transition easy!

Keep in mind, the version of Pictavo you may already know and love is still available but will be referred to as Pictavo Legacy moving forward. Nothing about Pictavo Legacy will change, but the underlying technology will be obsolete within a few years. Knowing this, we took the opportunity to create a new and improved version of the software that was already an industry-leader. If you have questions regarding either version, please contact your yearbook provider.

5 Tips For A Fantastic Yearbook Distribution Day

You did it! You organized, planned and designed your heart out. You submitted your yearbook in a blaze of glory. Now what? Your work of art is going to arrive and needs to land in the hands of your students. You need a distribution day plan. Take the time between submission and delivery to plan a distribution and signing day your students will never forget! Here are some of our favorite tips for a successful distribution day:

PROMOTE AND PUBLICIZE - In order to have a successful distribution day, students, parents and staff need to know when and where it’s happening. Once you’ve cleared your ideas with school administration, hang posters around the school and request the information be shared via school website or email announcements. Download our distribution day posters here and here - just add your own details and you're done!

 Use posters to announce your distribution day to the student body!

Use posters to announce your distribution day to the student body!


GET ORGANIZED - You already have a list of students that purchased yearbooks. Set up tables dividing up the number of buyers into groups according to alphabetized last names. Utilize volunteers to man each table and provide them with a list of buyers that corresponds with the table they are at. Add a smaller table off to the side for questions or any problems that may arise. If you can move "hiccups" out of the way, the process will be smooth sailing! Make nice big, colorful signs so students can easily see where they can pick up their yearbook. The kids are going to be excited, get ready for some fun!

 Dividing the students that purchased yearbooks alphabetically by last name will keep distribution organized and moving quickly!

Dividing the students that purchased yearbooks alphabetically by last name will keep distribution organized and moving quickly!


PLAN A SIGNING PARTY - Everyone loves to look back at their yearbook and read what their friends wrote. Giving students time to exchange yearbooks for signing keeps yearbooks from being a distraction during class and can be a great memory-making experience!

MAKE IT A FUNDRAISER- Take advantage of the level of participation and make a little extra money for next year’s book! Sell markers or pens in school colors or colorful packs that will make signing that much more fun. Try selling snacks such as popcorn or cookies donated by local businesses for students to enjoy while they socialize and wish each other well.

HAVE FUN! - Time for you to sit back and relax while you enjoy all the smiling faces that appreciate the hard work you’ve done!

Yearbook Font Pairing - Part 2

Middle and High Schools...you didn't think we'd forget about you, did you?

We pride ourselves on the fact that our art library is, hands down, the best in the industry. This means delivering useful art, Snippets and templates for every grade level.

Once again, on pages 18-25 of the Pictavo Design Guide, you'll many examples of how our coordinating backgrounds, clipart and templates can be used together. In the following graphics, we've added font groupings that our design team suggests pairing with some of the most popular art collections provided only in Pictavo!

Directional.jpg

Yearbook Font Pairing - Part 1

You've got the software, you've got the art, you've got the fonts. Now, how do you put all the pieces together? We'll show you!

You'll notice that on pages 18-25 of the Pictavo Design Guide, we show many examples of how our coordinating backgrounds, clipart and templates can be used together. In the following graphics, we've added font groupings that our design team suggests pairing with some of the most popular art collections provided only in Pictavo!

 

Pictavo Yearbook Comic Art Set

Yearbook Design Arcade

Yearbook Layout Design Artsy

Yearbook Chalkboard Theme

Yearbook Design Layout

Responsible Reporting

Reporting? Isn't that just for newspapers and broadcasting? Nope...it applies to yearbooks, too! While you may not fancy your staff as "reporters", that is exactly what you're sending them out into the world to do: report.

When publishing a high school yearbook, equal weight should be placed on both journalism and photojournalism. It's easy to get lost in the imagery of your yearbook layouts: big beautiful photography that tells a story in itself. It's not enough! Those images need a well-written piece of journalistic magic to fill in any gaps there may be. In today's social climate, it becomes increasingly important to report accurate and pertinent information to your audience. What your audience (student body) is looking for in their yearbook is, essentially, a volume of your school's history. So, how does one decide how to caption photos or choose information for features? It's called news judgement.

News judgement is a phrase used to describe the act of vetting a news story and judging whether or not it's of importance/novelty to your audience. Those journalists said to have good "news judgement" are inherently good at delivering the type of story their audience wants to read at the right time in the right tone. Because, let's face it, if a publication misses the mark, people will notice and in the age of social media with terms like "fake news" being tossed about, it's best to not take any chances.

What should you consider when choosing how to report on a year-in-the-life of your school?

Timeliness - is the feature you're considering pertinent to the year in question?  This is particularly important for those that lay out their yearbook using a chronological format.

Novelty - is the story as rare as it is entertaining? If the answer is yes to both, your story will deliver on more than one level.

Conflict & Consequence - does your story deal with two or more opposing sides? As long as equal coverage is given to all sides and your story reads without bias, stories of rivalry are of high interest to many audiences. Following up the story with the outcome or consequence completes your news circle. In a publication like a yearbook, interviewing people from the opposing sides during and after the conflict is the most complete and thorough way to cover the story. There is no "next issue" to follow up in, so don't leave your readers hanging!

While there are many aspects of reporting to consider while choosing content for your yearbook, these are solid initial guidelines to follow. A great place to look for more journalism curriculum is the Journalism Education Association. JEA provides advisers the tools for teaching students responsible and effective journalism. With a JEA membership, teachers have access to a well-thought-out curriculum written and curated by industry professionals.

Taking the opportunity to not only organize a bunch of photos with captions on pages, but to actually report on the happenings of your school year will make publishing and distributing your yearbook not only fun but oh-so-rewarding, as well. Deliver a piece of history your staff can be proud of!

Pantone Announces 2017 Color of the Year!

It's official, 2017 is the year to make other schools green with envy about your yearbook. Pantone has announced "Greenery" as the official Color Of The Year. According to Pantone, "Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew."

Aside from feeling fresh and new, this shade looks pretty cool in quite a few different color palettes.

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Those color combos not quite your school's cup of tea? How about taking advantage of the professionally designed covers and layout templates available to you within Pictavo? This collection uses basic black and white with a pop of green. So cool!

Still not 'sold' on the idea of using green in your yearbook? Don't forget all of the pieces in the above layout templates are editable...meaning you can change them to match your school colors!

Playing around with some bright hues in your yearbook layouts can be fun and you may be surprised at what your staff ends up falling in love with...even if it isn't the color of the year.