yearbook design

Creating Typography That POPS!

Pictavo recently added text outline and drop shadow to the already incredible toolbox users have access to when creating their yearbook pages.

Things work basically the same as they did in Pictavo Legacy although activating an outline or drop shadow and customization tools are in a slightly different place.

Once you’ve placed type on your page, you’ll find outline and drop shadow options in your contextual menu Effects pane.

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Once the box in front of the feature you’d like to activate is checked, use the +/- symbols to change the size of your outline or use the sliders to adjust placement and blur of your drop shadow.

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With the number of fonts, colors and different looks you can achieve by using these tools, your creativity is limitless! Check out these examples of outline and drop shadow in action:

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Notice that the drop shadow examples aren’t excessive and the outline is juuuust enough to give type that little extra something. Don’t be afraid to play around with settings to find your favorite look!

Flexibility: Making Pictavo's Art Collections Work For You!

The design team behind Pictavo works hard at creating libraries that will be not only flexible, but useful. One way we try to deliver on that goal is by utilizing colorable art wherever possible. This is particularly useful in templates, Snippets and collections designed with high school yearbooks in mind!

Sometimes it’s difficult to envision what a layout might look like with your own theme colors and photos, but it might be worth having your staff take some time and try a few ideas out. Take a look at how using school colors and a few extra accents changed the look of the following spreads!

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Template C1T3870 & Accents C1A3586 and C1A3587 turns into this with a few mouse clicks:

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Template C1T3878 gets a little help from C1A3613 and C1A3614 to create an unforgettable football layout:

Template C1T3878 gets a little help from C1A3613 and C1A3614 to create an unforgettable football layout:

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And template C1T3871 keeps even portrait pages exciting when we add candids and accent C1A3611 into the mix!

And template C1T3871 keeps even portrait pages exciting when we add candids and accent C1A3611 into the mix!

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As soon as you start customizing templates, they take on an entirely different look. Have fun brainstorming with your staff and finding just the right look for your yearbook! Don’t be afraid to experiment and take advantage of Pictavo’s creative flexibility!

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!

Now What? Creating Yearbook Templates Like A Pro

Many advisers wonder what to do with their classes once their yearbook is submitted. How about starting on next year's book?

Creating a yearbook is a huge undertaking. What if you could shave off a task or two before the previous school year was over? Obviously it isn't possible to start assigning photography assignments or writing features, but it's possible to start organizing. What went well this year? What needs some work? Make those notes and change procedures now.

If you aren't a school that already takes advantage of templates, now is the time! In fact, spring is an ideal time to start designing a book's worth of custom templates for the following year. This is also a really great design exercise for your students...whether done in the spring or the fall. The most creative version of this exercise is using the internet (Pinterest - or Padlet if your school wants more security than Pinterest offers) to find layouts you're inspired by and applying the same look or feel to a layout for your yearbook. For example, we chose a layout from a newsletter we have pinned on one of our Pinterest boards and recreated it using Pictavo. Do this a dozen or so times and you've basically got a library full of templates to tweak once a theme is decided upon next year. Have twenty students? Have them each choose two layouts as inspiration and recreate, you suddenly have forty templates to choose from.

Original envato designed "student newsletter" template pinned to our Design Inspiration board.

Original envato designed "student newsletter" template pinned to our Design Inspiration board.

Practice layout created using Pictavo. Same basic design elements applied to a yearbook layout, inspired by, but not identical to, the layout above.

Practice layout created using Pictavo. Same basic design elements applied to a yearbook layout, inspired by, but not identical to, the layout above.

Keep in mind that your new library of templates won't all use the same fonts, spacing or design elements. It will be up to the yearbook staff to edit and create a sense of theme or connection throughout the book. For a truly cohesive yearbook theme, we suggest creating a style guide early in the year for your staff to follow.

A Few Tips for Custom Cover Creation

You've taken the time to develop a theme for your yearbook and carefully planned how to achieve just the right blend of theme and school message for the cover...you have a vision and that vision is spectacular. Let's take that spectacular vision of yours and make it a masterpiece! Following the four tips detailed in this post will ensure your yearbook cover will be set up according to our guidelines.

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Find the print friendly version here.

Happy New Year!

January is here. It's time to really buckle down and stay focused on your yearbook milestones and deadlines! Lucky for you, our January checklist is here to help you stay organized...at least for the first month of the new year.

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Download the PDF here.

The January checklist was created using background B5034S.

To Theme or Not To Theme

Fall is winding down, the holidays are just around the corner. The first steps of your yearbook project are, surely, already done. You've decided on the basic layout of your book, you've created a ladder detailing what falls where on your pages, and you've most likely decided on a theme.

We'd like to provide you with a little inspiration from a few schools that did a great job continuing their theme throughout their book.

This first school stuck with school colors through the entire book. A few key design elements (dream catchers, feathers, arrows) made appearances on nearly every page. We suspect these design elements were chosen due to their tie-in to their school mascot. These elements didn't take anything away from the layouts because they were incorporated in a way that didn't overwhelm the page. Other pieces were occasionally added for variety, but always following their school color palette. Custom endsheets and special treatments (matte laminate and embossing) on the cover were just the finishing touches this book needed.

Great use of theme in all parts of a yearbook.

Great use of theme in all parts of a yearbook.

 

Next up, a school that was very theme-conscious, but also took some liberties when designing for a specific club or organization (as seen on the "fabric & fashion" spread). The use of a specific color palette, design elements (arrows, again...do we spot a trend?) kept the flow of the book smooth even with a rule-breaker spread thrown in here and there. Once again, custom endsheets and special treatments (spot UV coating and matte lamination) on the cover add high quality, classy finishing touches to this yearbook.

Great use of theme in all parts of a yearbook.

Great use of theme in all parts of a yearbook.

We do realize there are schools that don't necessarily choose a theme for their entire book, rather, they enjoy designing pages based on the holiday or activity contained on the spread. For those schools, we offer some suggested Pictavo artwork that may not be categorized as "seasonal", but would work great when used in conjunction with the right clipart and fonts!

Using fall colors in yearbook spreads.

Using fall colors in yearbook spreads.

Using fall colors in yearbook spreads.

Using fall colors in yearbook spreads.

Happy Yearbooking!

{and Happy Thanksgiving}

The Pictavo Team

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!



Nailed It! 5 Helpful Tips To Finishing Your Yearbook

Spring is in the air! And over here in Pictavoland that meant a fun 6 inches of snow showers (and no flowers) over the weekend. But the calendar DOES say we’ve reached the first day of spring, so we remain hopeful the future forecast will include warmer temps with more green and less white lawns.

By now you’re either in the home stretch of your yearbook creation, or close to it (or you’re already done, in which case you’re a rock star and can stop reading now). Whatever the case, here are five helpful tips to get your yearbook polished, finished and submitted. You got this!

1. Page Fillers
As you get towards the end of designing, you may find some pages needing a little extra something. Pictavo Snippets are the perfect design elements to complete those pages. Browse through the options in your printed Snippets Guide, or search through them in Pictavo. They’re fully customizable so you can edit them to match your theme or size to the space you have on the page. And they are a great way to get more people covered in the yearbook! Current events are also a great way to fill space in pages…

2. Current Events
Pictavo has revolutionized the way current events or year-in-reviews are added to your yearbook, giving you more control and flexibility. Choose only the ones appropriate for your school or age level and simply drag and drop them onto your page. Not only can you select an entire pre-designed background page (just search “current events” in the Backgrounds area), but you can also pick and choose individual stories (just search “current events” in the Clip Art area). Use the individual stories to create your own page(s), or sprinkle them anywhere throughout your book!

3. Index
An index is a great way for readers to quickly find people in the yearbook. (And it’s a great way to ensure you’ve got the coverage you want). Sound’s tedious, right? Not in Pictavo. We’ve got an automatic yearbook index flow that makes it suuuuuper easy to add an index to your yearbook. Just go to the page you’d like to start your yearbook index on, click on the “Portraits/Index” button and choose “Flow Index”. Our handy dandy Flow Index Wizard will walk you through all the options and choices and PRESTO – your yearbook index is created! You can easily add elements and make edits right on the page. If you need specific help, just visit the “Help” section in Pictavo or contact tech support.

4. Proofing
When you’ve worked for this long on your yearbook and you’re this close to being done, the last thing you want to do is go through the painstaking process of proofing it. But you know you need to. We’ve established some great tips on tackling proofing your yearbook, so be sure to review our previous blog with 10 Quick Tips For Proofing Your Yearbook and check this to-do off your list. Our high-resolution preview that allows you to view your yearbook in full-screen is especially helpful during the proofing process!

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5. Submission
Is it just us, or does “approving” your yearbook pages make your heart flutter a little bit? Maybe it’s the excitement of realizing they’re done, or maybe it’s the anxiety of their finality (are they really done?). Either way, there’s something thrilling about determining your yearbook is complete and ready to be submitted for publishing. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing to submit your yearbook (For specific questions, visit the “Help” section in Pictavo or give us a call):

  • Pictavo keeps your due date front and center in your dashboard so you always know when you’ll need to have everything submitted. The dashboard also gives you a snapshot of the status of each page and your cover. Your goal is to get everything BLUE!
  • Make sure you are happy with the resolution of all photos in the yearbook. Pictavo automatically flags any low-resolution photos so you can easily replace them with a better quality one.
  • If you’re offering personalization, make sure you’ve indicated your chosen options and your spreadsheet is complete and sent to your yearbook rep.
  • If you’ve submitted your book and then realize you need to make a change, don’t panic. There is a way to unlock your book (assuming it hasn’t gone into printing yet). Contact your yearbook rep and they will help you get your change made!     

The end of a marathon is always the toughest, but when the finish line is in sight you are reminded of all the hard work you did that brought you this far. Let that reminder carry you through as you wrap up the end of your yearbook creation and you’ll soon bask in the satisfaction at the finish line that you NAILED IT!

Creating Yearbook Pages: Bleeds and Margins - Simplified

Bleeds and margins and tigers, oh my! Don't worry, it's really not as complicated as you might think. Understanding how bleeds and margins work when designing pages in your yearbook will ensure your yearbook pages look exactly how you want - with nothing getting cut off the page and no white borders where you didn't want them. Keep this detailed overview on hand when creating your yearbook pages to know how to use the margin guides in Pictavo and how to have a photo bleed off the page.

Happy yearbooking!