The foundation of a good yearbook is a good theme. The theme is a visual and a verbal message that a yearbook surrounds. This year, our visual theme is travel magazine and our verbal theme is hear us roar. According to YearbookLife, yearbook themes are the core of the yearbook as they control the font type, color, shape, pattern, and texture. It guides the yearbook to showcase the best of the year. In Asheville Middle’s Journalism room, we start thinking about the theme of the next yearbook as soon as we the deadline for the current yearbook. Seventh-grade students attend the Jostens Yearbook Conference located at the Biltmore at the end of March to brainstorm ideas. There, they will also begin the process of designing the cover with an artist.
Once the theme of a yearbook has been decided. The focus in the class will be towards designing templates for the pages. A template is an outline of what a page will look like. Using the visual theme will help us decide a list of fonts to use and using the verbal theme will help us write captions and headlines. Each page’s template is customized to the subject of the page. For example, a sports page may have an infographic of the teams overall score while an elective page can have a section dedicated to an interview. Designing the template is arguably the most time-consuming part of making a yearbook, but it is one of the most crucial parts.
In A Page
Every year, AMS journalism students take over 10,000 photos combined! Pictures in the yearbook help with the storytelling of the book. On a normal page, you will find a dominant photo. The dominant photo is the biggest photo on the page. It catches your eye and keeps your attention. Depending on the spread, there will be around 6-10 photos on a page. Where do we take yearbook photos? We can often be spotted at sports games, pep rallies, field trips, capturing moments throughout the school year. On special pages, we also invite students into our room for photo shoots, which is set up with studio lighting and colored backdrops. Every page is different, therefore the style of photos on each page can be different.
Other elements on a page may include quotes or interviews. There are two ways of obtaining them, over email or in person. Email interviews are good when the schedules of the interviewee and the interviewer don’t align. They allow the interviewee more time to think about their responses and for the interviewer to get a more straight forward answer. In person interviews can help the interviewer gain a deeper connection with the interviewee. In person interviews can help journalism students write the body paragraph of the page, even if every answer is not included.
Advertising and Release
You’ve probably heard the phrase 100 times: “Buy your yearbook before it’s too late.” Advertising is a huge part of making the yearbook possible every year. By hitting sales goals, we are able to add more pages every year without raising the overall price up for the student body. Journalism students speak on the announcements, create posts for @ams_cougarpride, post on their own social media, and more to help spread the news of the yearbook. Did you know that you can purchase your very own at cougarprideavl.com?
The final deadline for the yearbook is in early April. Books are shipped to the school sometime in May. Books are delivered by Journalism students to homeroom teachers. Before you know it, the school year is over, but don’t worry, yearbooks will keep track of your favorite memories and will be there for you to look back on in future years. So order yours before it's too late!
Story by Erin Chen
How To Have A Great Yearbook by Jostens
Photojournalism by Jostens
Photo source: Josten’s Yearbook Avenue