Inspiration

You Asked For It -- 55 NEW Yearbook Backgrounds You're Going To Love!

After launching a new yearbook creation software loaded with ALL NEW coordinating art, we had customers ask, “but what about sports backgrounds?” Good question, friends. What about sports backgrounds? And clubs? And fine arts? We got right back to the drawing board and developed a set of backgrounds sure to cover all the BASES (see what we did there?).

Take a look inside the backgrounds LIBRARY folder. There is a folder called EXTRACURRICULAR.

Extra curricular folder.jpg

Inside, you will find a series of backgrounds that cover MANY extracurricular activities! We understand there are always schools that have an interest that we may not know about, so on top of creating as many sports/club/group oriented backgrounds as we could think of, we ALSO added backgrounds that don’t have a specific activity assigned to them, just a playing or performance surface. For instance, in the screenshot below, you’ll see a bevy of grass or turf played sports along with a non-activity-specific grass background (L4B7360) to use alone or in conjunction with another background!

extra curricular all grass sports.jpg

For instance, if I wanted to create a Girls’ Soccer spread, I might use L4B7359 and L4B7360 together to create a starting point for my spread.

only backgrounds.jpg

Pictavo also has a few lesser-known sets of templates that you can find by searching GENERIC (for high schools or upper grades) or PLAIN & SIMPLE (geared toward elementary and middle schools). These, like all of our other templates, are a great starting point for your layout!

  Templates T4T5814 were used here as a starting point for a yearbook layout.

Templates T4T5814 were used here as a starting point for a yearbook layout.

Once a template is dragged onto a page, you are free to modify as needed to create the perfect layout!

  The same template, modified slightly to create a layout ready for photos and copy!

The same template, modified slightly to create a layout ready for photos and copy!

This layout is now ready for images to be uploaded and dragged into photo boxes! If you’re happy with your work of art and think you’d like to use it later, make sure to save it as a template!


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.

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.41.22 AM.png

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.

Modular Yearbook Design Made Easy

Ever look at other schools' yearbook spreads and think, "They must have a designer doing their book for them." Guess what? So can you. Pictavo employs a team of professional graphic designers that work year round on art creation, template design and Snippet design for use exclusively in Pictavo! Take a look at just a few ways to use some of the new Snippet designs available for the 2017 school year!

 Interviewing students about non-school related subjects can be a fun way to keep your audience interested.

Interviewing students about non-school related subjects can be a fun way to keep your audience interested.

 Inclusion can be your biggest sales tool! Use Snippets as a way to complete your coverage goals!

Inclusion can be your biggest sales tool! Use Snippets as a way to complete your coverage goals!

 Everyone says something worth reading at some point...quote them in the yearbook!

Everyone says something worth reading at some point...quote them in the yearbook!

You publish an elementary yearbook? Snippets are also great for elementary or middle school books! You choose the topic, fill with images and info from your student body and you're done!

By using the set of tools Pictavo provides, anyone can create a well-designed, modern yearbook that students will love to look at. Have fun with your staff...get creative!

PHOTOGRAPHY - Creating A Yearbook People Love To Look At

We all know good photography is important in a yearbook. Let's spend some time discussing what it is that makes photography good and how to get what you're looking for whether you're the photographer or the staff member laying out pages.

Artful vs. Journalistic - If you're laying out yearbook spreads and have a vision in mind, use the most descriptive words possible. Starting with artful vs. journalistic can head the conversation down the correct path. Artful images are nicely composed, easy to look at...something you might see in a calendar. These images are great filler or background images (e.g. sun setting over soccer fields, cheerleaders' poms in a pile, homecoming floats lined up in the parade). Journalistic images tell a story and draw people in. They're emotional images that deserve to be the dominant piece of your layout (e.g. team winning the big game, faculty member receiving teacher of the year award, the impact a tragedy has on your student body). Beginning with "artful vs. journalistic" and following with specifics of layout, orientation, etc. will keep staff members on the same page and eliminate communication gaps that occasionally happen when working on a large project together.

 

What Makes A Picture Great? - Photography tends to be one of those "I know it when I see it" things. It's hard to put your finger on, exactly, what it is that makes your brain say "Yeah! I like that!" There are, however, some factors to research and consider before heading out on an important assignment!

Rule Of Thirds - Dividing your frame into a 3x3 grid. Place your subject, or the focal point,    along a vertical or horizontal line and a point of intersection.

Leading Lines - Using strong lines in a photo will help move the viewer's eye from the foreground to the background.

Point Of View - Changing the point of view can bring the view into the image by creating tension or showing scale. Consider taking both "worm's eye view" and "bird's eye view" photos of a few different subjects as a photography exercise.

Framing - Use a foreground object to help frame-in and draw the viewer's eye to your subject.

 

Two More Tips You'll Thank Us For - Making Ordinary Extraordinary

1. When the opportunity for portraiture arises, take it! Oftentimes, a student feature requires an image of a student. Just as often, a member of the yearbook staff will go find said student, ask them to 'stand against that wall right there' and take their photo. NO! After all of the fast-paced sporting events, poorly lit gymnasiums and boring rows of students in their club/activity photos, you finally have the opportunity to take an interesting photo of an interesting student! Student of the week for Art Club? Take the photo in the art room while the student works on a piece or cleans brushes after. Student went to the State Fair showing their horse? Absolutely arrange to photograph them on their prize-winning show horse! Show students in the environment that pertains to the reason for the photo. This will generate interest and draw the viewer in. Wanting to know more is the only way someone will read what your staff has worked so hard researching and writing!

2. Get in on the action! If you have been trusted with capturing images for a game or event, take it seriously. Get BRAVE and get down on the sidelines, court-side or into the front row of whatever event you're photographing. You're documenting history for your school...it's okay to get up close and personal! Don't forget about the fans, either. Turning your camera on the crowd will get some fantastic candid images of school spirit at its finest!

 

Keeping Things Interesting

Yearbooks are, by definition,  a record of the year. An annual publication containing statistics, commemorating school activities and student accomplishments. A history book of life at your school, during a period of time.

Of course, the goal is to make the yearbook interesting and engaging. In order to do this, the yearbook staff’s job is to combine both fact and entertainment. The big question is: how?

One foolproof way to add interest is to include as many people as you can onto the pages of your yearbook. This means not only triple checking that a photo of every person in the student body is included, but also adding those ‘student interest’ pieces that are going keep pages turning. These shouldn’t be full features, but mini-interviews or surveys. They don’t need to take up much of the valuable real estate in your book, consider them a 'high-interest page filler'. Using a PIctavo Snippet to contain the information creates a great design package that you can use on any student page.

How in-depth you’d like your student interest pieces to be is entirely up to your yearbook staff. Some questions are suited for both an entire school survey OR a “man on the street” style photo and answer. Others will require more lengthy answers and each package will only allow for a single interview subject to be represented. We’ve created a few examples to get your creative juices flowing!  

 

 People love to answer questions about themselves. Use survey results to fill in a Pictavo Snippet. Shown above: S1010N

People love to answer questions about themselves. Use survey results to fill in a Pictavo Snippet. Shown above: S1010N

 Ambush interviews are great for that entertainment factor we've been mentioning. Keeping subject matter light and fun will ensure that students will want to be interviewees!  Pictavo Snippet used above: S1249N

Ambush interviews are great for that entertainment factor we've been mentioning. Keeping subject matter light and fun will ensure that students will want to be interviewees!

Pictavo Snippet used above: S1249N

Being able to get content for your yearbook from the student body not only keeps your yearbook accurate, it also gives readers that 'day in the life' reality that is indicative of the time. Make your interviews casual and fun. In doing so, your replies will be conversational and real. Survey questions should be multiple choice so creating infographics is easy and straight forward.

Still looking for more ideas? The Snippet pages of the Pictavo Design Guide are loaded with more ideas. Take a look and get inspired!

 

DEVELOPING YEARBOOK THEME IDEAS

Developing your yearbook theme can be one of the most exciting parts of putting together your yearbook. So what better way to help you get started than to provide you with a huge list of yearbook theme ideas!? Use this extensive list of yearbook theme ideas to help get your creative juices flowing as you sit down with your team to determine what your theme will be this year. Then make sure to apply it to your book in the following ways:

PHRASES TO INSPIRE YEARBOOK THEME IDEAS

A PART APART

A SEASON OF CHANGE

AS ONE

A STEP ABOVE THE REST

A THOUSAND WORDS

AT LAST

A TOUCH OF CLASS

A TO Z

ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT

AS WE KNOW IT

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

ATYPICAL

A YEAR TO REMEMBER

BLINK

BRAND NEW

BREAKING THRU

BREATHE

BUILT TO LAST

CHECK IT OUT

CHOICES

COLOR ME…

COME LEARN WITH US

CONNECTED

CONTRAST

DIFFERENCES

DISTINCT IMPRESSIONS

DOT DOT DOT…

DREAMS REFLECT REALITY

EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

EYE ON…

FORWARD

FORWARD MOTION

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

FROM HERE

FROM THE INSIDE

FROM THE OUTSIDE IN

FROM START TO FINISH

FROM THIS MOMENT ON

GOING IN STYLE

GOING PLACES

GOTTA HAVE IT

GREAT MOMENTS IN…

HOW DO YOU MEASURE

HOW IT’S DONE

INTO SOMETHING NEW

INSTANT REPLAY

INVISIBLE

IT ALL ADDS UP

IT ALL BEGINS WITH YOU

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING

IT’S A SMALL WORLD

IT’S ABOUT TIME

IT’S ALL IN YOUR MIND

IT’S A LOT LIKE NOTHING ELSE

IT’S ANYONE’S GUESS

IT’S COMPLICATED

IT’S OUR TIME

IT’S YOUR CHOICE

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT

JUST HAD TO BE THERE

JUST SAYING

KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN

LIKE IT OR NOT

LIKE IT/LOVE IT

LISTEN UP

LITTLE BIG TOWN

LIVING PROOF

LIVING THE DREAM

LOOK AT THE BEST

LOOKING BACK

MEET IN THE MIDDLE

MIXED SIGNALS

MORE THAN

MOVING ON UP

MOVING ON OUT

NOT GONNA LIE

NOT JUST ANOTHER…

NOT ON THE ITINERARY

NOT WHAT YOU THINK

NOW AND THEN

ON THE OTHER HAND

OPEN YOUR WORLD

OR NOT

OUR TIME TO SHINE

OUT OF THE BOX

OUT T[HERE]

OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW

OVER IT

OWN IT

PIECES OF THE PUZZLE

PLUS AND MINUS

POINT BEING

POWERFUL

PULSE

REMEMBER THIS

REPLAY IT

REVOLUTION

RIGHT ON TARGET

RIPPIN’ BEYOND BELIEF

ROAD TO SUCCESS

SPARK

SNAPSHOTS

STANDING PROUD

STAND OUT

STATUS UPDATE

STILL THE ONE

STORIES MATTER HERE

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

SUM IT UP

SYNERGY

THINK ABOUT IT

THINK AGAIN

THINK FAST

THIS IS OUR TIME

THIS MUST BE

TOGETHER AS ONE

TOO COOL TO HANDLE

TOP SECRET

TOTAL IMPACT

TRACES

TRIED & TRUE

TURNING THE PAGE

UNPLUGGED

UNTIED

UNITED

UP DOWN ALL AROUND

VOICES

WHAT’S THE STORY

WHAT WE’RE MADE OF

WHEN EVERYTHING CLICKS

WHERE AMAZING HAPPENS

WHO KNEW?

WHY NOT?

WITHIN

WRITE YOUR STORY

YOU TELL ME

YOU WERE HERE

YOU WOULDN’T KNOW

YOURS

YOUR STORY

Y[OUR] STORY

 

A CUT ABOVE

A DAY IN THE LIFE

ADJUST ACCORDINGLY

A FLASH FROM THE PAST

ALL IN THE MIX

ALL OF THE ABOVE

A LOOK BACK

A LOT CAN HAPPEN BETWEEN…

AND EVERYTHING INBETWEEN

AND THE STORY BEGINS

A NEW AWAKENING

A NEW POINT OF VIEW

ANY SECOND COULD BE THE SECOND

BEFORE NOW

BE HEARD

BE KNOWN

BETWEEN THE LINES

BITS AND PIECES

CANVAS

CAPTURE THE MAGIC

CATCH THE MOMENTS

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

CELEBRATE

CHECK US OUT

DAYS OF OUR LIVES

DEEP IN THE HEART OF….

DEFINED

DESTINED TO BE…

ELABORATE

EMERGE

EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING

FACE THE FACTS

FIND YOUR PLACE

FIRST CLASS

FLASHBACK

FLEX

FOCUS

FOR MEMBERS ONLY

FOREVER YOUNG

GET THE PICTURE

GIVE AND TAKE

GLIMPSE

GOING BEYOND

HAD TO BE THERE

HELLO GOODBYE 

IDENTITY

IF YOU ONLY KNEW

IMAGINE THAT

IMPRESSIONS

IN A BLINK

IN A FLASH

IN OTHER WORDS

IN OUR OWN WORDS

IN QUEST OF…

INTERTWINED

IN THE MAKING

INTRODUCING YOU

INSIDE OUT

IN THE KNOW

JOURNEY

JOURNEY THROUGH THE YEAR

JUST PASSING THROUGH

KEEPING IT REAL

LAYING IT ON THE LINE

LEARNING TO FLY

LEAVING OUR MARK

LET’S FACE IT

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

LIFE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

LIGHT IT UP

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION

MAKE IT COUNT

MAKE IT LAST

MAKE IT YOUR OWN

MAKE YOUR MARK

MAKING THE PIECES FIT

NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

NEVER SAY NEVER

NEW BEGINNINGS

NOBODY DOES IT BETTER

NO FILTER

OLD SCHOOL IN A NEW LIGHT

ONE AND ONLY

ONE SIZE FITS ALL

ONCE IN A LIFETIME

ONE LAST LOOK

ONE TO ONE

ONLY THE FINEST

ON OUR OWN

ON THE EDGE

PARALLEL

PARDON OUR DUST

PHASE 2

PICTURE THIS

PIECE BY PIECE

REACH FOR THE STARS

REALITY

REALLY…

REBUILD

REFINED

REFLECTIONS

SAGA

SAY IT WITH STYLE

SEEING IS BELIEVING

SEIZE THE DAY

SETTLED IN

SHINE

SHOUT OUT

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

SIMPLY THE BEST

SO MUCH TO SAY

TAKE ANOTHER LOOK

TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

TAKE IT FROM THE TOP

TAKE OUR WORD

THAT’S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE

THE BEST OF TIMES

THEN AND NOW

THERE’S MORE TO IT

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

THE SPIRIT OF…

THE TIMES OF OUR LIVES

THE WAY WE SEE IT

UNBELIEVABLE

UNCOMMON THREAD

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

UNLEASHED

VESTED

WE HAD A PLAN

WE’LL SHOW YOU

WE’LL TELL YOU

WE STAND PROUD

WE’VE GOT IT ALL

WHAT GOES AROUND

WHAT MAKES US

WHAT’S NEXT

YEARBOOK CONFIDENTIAL

YEAR OF THE…

YEAH, THIS IS HAPPENING

YOU ARE HERE

YOU GOTTA

YOU HAD TO BE THERE

 

Flashback Friday: Inspiring Yearbook Page Design Ideas From The Past

When you follow basic design principles, the results are classic masterpieces that can be looked at for inspiration for years to come. Like these 2008 NSPA Yearbook Pacemaker Award-winning yearbook page spreads. Though font styles and color trends may change over time, contrast, proximity, repetition, alignment, balance, hierarchy, white space and interesting photo angles all remain core elements of basic design. These yearbook spreads provide great, timeless examples we hope inspire you as you work on coming up with your next yearbook page ideas!

Capturing All Four Seasons In Your Yearbook

We mention it every summer - that your yearbook should include all four seasons, not just the seasons that school is in session. So if you're out there gathering photos and stories, great job! If not, don't fret. There is still plenty of time. 

In the meantime we've put together a list of fun summer-inspired phrases, page titles and headlines for you!



Service Dogs Featured In Yearbook

  Photo courtesy of KARE 11

Photo courtesy of KARE 11

It's not everyday that you see a dog's photo in the portrait section of a yearbook. But these dogs are not someone's pet! (We'll spare you from a groan-worthy pun about "teacher's pets."). Carmel and Dakota are service dogs and very much a part of Blaine High School of Minnesota. We think it's pretty cool that the yearbook staff decided to include them in their yearbook, as both provide assistance to specific teachers and interact with students. (View the full story)

  Photo courtesy of KARE 11

Photo courtesy of KARE 11

Does your school have any "untraditional helpers" that you might want to consider featuring in your next yearbook? Even if you don't end up putting them in the portrait section, you could feature them in a callout or even have a page dedicated to them. Capturing the essence of your school sometimes includes thinking beyond the traditional. What untraditional things have you included or featured in your yearbook?

Summer Yearbook Coverage

Five Tips To Covering Summer In Your Yearbook 

Just because you’re not IN school during the summer months, doesn’t mean there aren’t important things going on, begging to be captured and included in your yearbook. After all, isn’t the purpose of your YEARbook to tell the story of the entire year?

So how do you identify those stories and cover them? Check out these five great tips to follow as you enter into your summer months. Remember – sometimes the stories and happenings of the summer can be the most interesting! What happens in summer shouldn’t stay there—it should be captured in the yearbook!

1. Prepare in Advance 
Create a detailed plan with specific assignments for each staff member broken down by week. This helps make the tasks more manageable and easier to track progress. Your plan should include actionable items that each student can accomplish to contribute.

2. Make a Coverage List
Create a laundry list of coverage ideas (summer school, camps, jobs, vacations, volunteer activities, events, retreats, summer sports, fundraisers, etc.). Use social media to stay in the loop and find interesting stories to cover. 

3. Pair Up
Have a photographer and reporter pair up to cover an identified event together. Both can offer differing perspectives and help each other better capture the heart of the final story. Don't forget to use your "Press Badges" (or create some) to give your staffers credibility and make it easier for them to get interviews and photos. 

4. Don’t Forget School Staff
Teachers and other school staff use their summers to do all kinds of cool things. Some continue to teach or have other summer jobs while some travel, do research, take classes, vacation or spend time with their family. Be sure to include them when investigating potential story ideas and photo opportunities!

5. Be Ready for Back to School 
A lot happens in the final weeks before school starts and these activities provide great opportunities for coverage (sports tryouts, freshman orientation, classroom and school grounds preparation, club meetings, school board sessions, back to school shopping, etc.). 

2015 NSPA Yearbook Pacemaker Winners Announced at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention

Check out the 2015 winners of the National Scholastic Press Association's Yearbook Pacemaker award! The winners were announced at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Denver this past weekend and we got to be there! JEA (Journalism Education Association) and NSPA (National Student Press Association) are among the largest scholastic journalism organizations in the country. If your school isn't already a member, we would highly recommend you consider joining as they offer tremendous insight and resources to help you create an amazing yearbook. Congrats to all of this year's yearbook award winners and finalists!

 

"Since 1927, NSPA's Pacemaker competition has been considered by many to be student journalism's highest honor. All NSPA yearbook and magazine members are eligible to compete in their respective national Pacemaker competitions. Yearbook/Magazine Pacemakers are judged based upon the following criteria: writing/editing, design, content, concept, photography, art and graphics." (source: Studentpress.org)