7 Amazing Facts About Bamboo Yearbook Teams Need to Know

February blog header

Yearbook planning options in 2020 are endless! If you’re part of a yearbook team, you know how overwhelming making those choices can be. Beyond the tasks of layout and theme selection – which are a vast undertaking by themselves – there are tons of decisions yearbook editors need to make.

And, in addition to creating an aesthetically appealing book, it’s also important to consider how your yearbook will impact earth’s climate.

Wait. What? Why should you consider climate needs when designing a yearbook? Well, because in 2020, you can. 

harvested babmoo stalks waiting to be turned into goods.

To create a yearbook that will last for decades, use sustainable materials and processes that serve to support our planet’s future. Clean solutions that create little damage to the environment are available and, better yet, it’s easy to use them.

Okay. But how?

A simple way to keep your yearbook’s carbon footprint at a minimum is to select paper materials made from sustainable resources, like bamboo. Bamboo paper is perfect for those who want sustainable resource management to be part of their school’s legacy. 

Bamboo by itself is pretty amazing; it already does so much for our planet! How does it do that, you ask? Good question. Keep reading to learn seven amazing facts about bamboo that (we think) every yearbook planner needs to know.

Bamboo Grows Fast

Did you know that bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth? Yep, that’s no joke. In fact, under the right conditions, bamboo can grow up to three feet in 24 hours! Paper made from bamboo is a sustainable option because it grows faster than trees.

What does that mean for yearbook advisors and staff?

Bamboo’s high growth rate means more raw material is produced in less time than it takes to produce the same amount from trees. Choosing bamboo paper for a yearbook means trees are not being cut down to create it, and the bamboo that’s harvested will grow back quickly.

Bamboo Restores Soil

In regions where the soil is depleted of nutrients, bamboo can help to restore the earth. Bamboo grows in thick clumps, or balls, which help keep the ground together. This produces a strong base that supports the bamboo plant and encourages stability in weak soil. Additionally, as leaves from the fast-growing plant fall away, they decompose. The decomposing bamboo leaves act as fertilizer, returning nutrients back into the soil.

Panda bear in a bamboo forest

In areas where over-farming has occurred, bamboo is a healthy option to heal the soil and recharge its nutrient stores. Bamboo paper consumption helps to support farming communities with limited options for crop variety.

Bamboo Prevents Erosion

The root system of the bamboo plant is amazingly strong! As bamboo grows, roots of the bamboo clump intertwine with the roots of other bamboo clumps to create an incredibly strong mesh-like root system.

Bamboo’s mesh-like root system is perfect for keeping erosion at bay.

Pandas Like It 

Most of us know how panda’s love to chow down on stalks of bamboo but, did you know bamboo is the only food panda bears eat? It sure is! Bamboo isn’t as nutritionally dense as other foods available, but panda bears seem to do just fine. They just have to eat 12 – 38 kg of the fast-growing grass every day!

Other animals that love to dine on bamboo are Mountain Gorillas and the lemurs of Madagascar, but they opt to eat different foods in addition to the leaves and stalks of bamboo. 

Bamboo Paper Saves Trees

Paper made from bamboo is a tree-free product. Zero trees are cut down when bamboo is the material of choice for making paper. Wood is considered a non-renewable resource by many; this means the rate of demand for timber exceeds the amount that can be grown back. Essentially, trees are being cut down faster than they can be regrown.

Bamboo products are key to helping preserve our current forests. How cool would it be to have a yearbook that looks great and helps the planet?

Bamboo Plants Produce Lots of Oxygen

Towering forest of bamboo

All plants produce oxygen in exchange for our carbon dioxide, but did you know plants can produce varying amounts of oxygen? And, better yet, bamboo is an oxygen-producing super-hero. 

Imagine two football fields. One of the fields is a forest of trees, and the other is a bamboo farm. Which one would produce the most oxygen? Surprisingly, the answer is bamboo. In fact, the bamboo farm would actually produce 30% more oxygen than the same-sized forest! 

But, doesn’t that mean we shouldn’t use bamboo for things like yearbooks or houses? Good point. However, bamboo grows really fast, which means people can manage bamboo consumption and regrowth more easily than slow-growing wood and timber options.

Bamboo Prefers Being Organic

Bamboo contains a natural antimicrobial, called Kun, which fights off pests and diseases naturally. Bamboo Kun lessens the need for bamboo farmers to use pesticides as the plant is hardwired to defend itself. Supporting the bamboo paper industry also reduces the volume of pesticides released into the environment.

Are you ready to choose a sustainable paper for your yearbook? At Futurebook Yearbooks, we take sustainable resource management seriously. That’s why for every yearbook we sell, we replenish the earth by planting one tree. For more information on how you can plan an amazing yearbook, contact our team!

Photo Contest

FutureBook Yearbooks is pleased to announce our 1st Annual Photography Contest! Grand prize is the opportunity to be published and a Canon EOS Rebel T7i.

Open to all students in North America enrolled in a yearbook program, we are now accepting entries in the following four categories: Student Life, Sports, School Spirit and Creative/Photo Manipulation. Students may enter one photo per category, to a maximum of four total photos.

Winning entries will be featured in a wall calendar published and distributed to schools across North America. We will also award the following winners: Top overall image, Top image in each category and People’s Choice. People’s Choice will take place via public voting on Facebook.

Email photos@futurebookyearbooks.com to enter or inquire further. All entries must be submitted by May 15th, 2018 extended to June 15th! Full details below.


Contest closes at 11:59 pm PST, June 15th, 2018. Entries submitted after this date will not be accepted.

You may enter one or all of the following four categories, but only one photo per category per student will be accepted:

Student Life: capturing the essence of day-to-day activities as a student

Sports: active moments in athletics

School Spirit: capturing school pride

Creative/Photo Manipulation: a photo that you have taken that has been posed or digitally altered

Prizes: All winners will be published in FutureBook Yearbook’s 2018/2019 wall calendar, to be distributed across North American schools. As well, the Grand Prize winner will receive a Canon T7i camera kit; the winners with the top images in each of the four categories will receive $100 to spend at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca, where applicable; and the People’s Choice winner will receive $100 to spend at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca, where applicable.

Winning images will be judged on their merits of storytelling, originality, level of impact and overall photographic quality.

To submit, please provide the following information, along with a signed model release and your entry via email to photos@futurebookyearbooks.com Your image must be submitted in the following format: firstnamelastname_category For example: joesmith_schoolspirit.jpg

Only completed submissions will be accepted.

Along with your submitted image and your signed model release (detailed below), please provide the following information:

Your full name

Your email address

Your phone number

Your submission category (sports, student life, school spirit or creative/photo manipulation)

The full name and full address of your school

The name of your yearbook advisor

Your advisor’s email address

The name of your local FutureBook Representative (if known)

The date your photo was taken

To be eligible for the contest, each photo will need a model release form signed by anyone who is identifiable in the photo.   

Photo Contest Model Release Form

All images must be 300 dpi, a minimum of 8” x 10” in size, and submitted as a jpeg or tiff.

Your submission to this contest grants FutureBook Printing, Inc. (FutureBook Yearbooks) a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from and display the entry, in whole or in part, in any way the company sees fit, including entertainment, education, and promotional purposes. Your submission represents and warrants that you have obtained all appropriate licenses and/or consents necessary to grant the rights granted to FutureBook Yearbooks hereunder (including without limitation any applicable model releases) and will indemnify the company for any and all claims arising from your failure to do so.

Winners and their yearbook advisors will be notified by email and/or telephone by July 31st, 2018. We do not have the ability to respond to each entry.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Contest is open to all students enrolled in a yearbook program in Canada and the United States.

Having Trouble With Submissions?

File submissions made easy with this simplified checklist of the most commonly made mistakes:


*Before any exporting is done check for these things*

-Do all images on the edge of the page go to the red bleed line?

-If you have a background color, does it fully extend to the red bleed line?

-Is everything spelt correctly? Have someone different proofread the copy. Often the author of the copy will overlook simple mistakes because they know how it is supposed to read.

-Do any of your images look funny? They may not be proportionately fitting to your frame. If this is the case… <Right Click> and choose the fitting option <fill frame proportionately>

-Do you have any errors? Check the bottom of the InDesign workspace. You will either see a green dot that says “No Errors” or a red dot indicating how many errors you have. Double click that area if you have errors and it will explain what the problem is. Errors may be in linking or overset text.

-Do you see any random boxes on your spread? You may have accidentally created an empty frame. Using your selection tool select the empty frame and just click the backspace or delete button on your keyboard.


*No mistakes? You are ready to set up your PDF export*

-Go to File >Export >Choose file format Adobe PDF (Print)

-Save in the following format: XXXX_002-003_MonthDay


-XXXX is your job number. If you are unsure of this number it will be listed in the slug of your templates

-002-003 is the range of pages you are exporting. This could be 002-003 or 122-193. Make sure this area matches the page numbers you are exporting. If you are exporting your cover this will say cover, not a page range. If you are exporting your endsheets, this will say endsheet-back or endsheet-front, not a page range.

-MonthDay is the date you exported your documents or the day you are submitting for proofs. For example: If you are submitting XXXX_002-003, XXXX_004-005 and XXXX_006-007 but you exported them on different days, the days should all be the exact same day, today’s date (the day you are submitting) So they might all read 1234_002-003_Dec18, 1234_004-005_Dec18, 1234_006-007_Dec 18



Packaging is a very important step. It will ensure that all images and fonts used in your design will be included with your saved documents. You will only need to package your document if you are submitting a cover, dust jacket, GradBox or MovieBook. Otherwise you will be ready to submit after STEP TWO.

To Package your InDesign file go to:

File >Package

From here you will save your packaged file in the same naming format listed in STEP TWO. Once everything is packaged into your folder you can right click the folder and compress it to a .ZIP file and you are ready to submit!

Are you missing out on what your DSLR can really do?

When using a DSLR camera the ultimate goal is to shoot on fully manual to get the most out of your camera and have maximum control of your shot. But understanding how to shoot on manual can be very cumbersome and takes dedication and practise and without formal training this can be very difficult. This is why the majority of yearbook students will shoot on Automatic mode or one of the pre-set shot modes (i.e. the running man for sports shots or the face for portraits.) But did you know those settings could be making your photos worse?

The pre-set shot modes are meant for whatever type of photography their picture describes but in a perfect light situation. And let’s be honest, “perfect” light is hard to come by. I’ll give you an example: typically a lot of school sports happen inside of a gymnasium with dark, terrible fluorescent lighting and reflective orange/brown floors and by using the pre-set sport mode, it isn’t accommodating for the low light environment. This will give you either a blurry or dark, non-white balanced photo.

So you are probably thinking, if I don’t understand how to shoot on fully manual and I shouldn’t use automatic or the pre-set modes, what should I be using?

On a Canon you will see two settings on the exposure wheel: Av and Tv and on a Nikon these same two settings will read as A and S.

Av or A stands for our Aperture Value. What this setting does is gives you the freedom of choosing your own Aperture and the camera will read the lighting situation and automatically adjust your ISO and Time Value depending on the Aperture you have chosen. This is great when you want full control of the depth-of-field in your photograph but are unsure of how to use the camera on manual.

Tv or S setting stands for Time Value or Shutter Speed. This setting will do the same thing the Aperture setting does but instead, it will just effect the shutter. This setting is perfect for sports photography because it will give you the freedom to change your shutter fast enough to “freeze action” your shot but then your Aperture and ISO will automatically change depending on the available light you have.

Be sure to give these two settings a try. It is a great semi-automatic middle ground to have some control over your camera settings but still give you the assistance you may need from your camera!

Summer Campers warmed up for the new season

FutureBook hosts camps and workshops during summer and fall months to kickstart creativity and yearbook training. The largest workshop, taking place over three days at St. Michaels University School, in Victoria, BC, recently wrapped up. It was the warmest camp on record, with temperatures reaching up to 32 degrees! Plenty of cold water, a raucous game of Chuck the Chicken and a refreshing auditorium helped to keep the students cool.

Photo courtesy of Sid Akselrod

Photo courtesy of Sid Akselrod

“Throughout the camp, the students were challenged to bring together the ideas and techniques the they learned and create their own layout. It was also an opportunity for students to meet new people and get inspired from what other schools have done. It goes without saying that the three days were not only filled with work but also excitement!” Joanna Zhang, Vancouver Technical

Adobe InDesign training was the focus of this workshop, but education was rounded out with copywriting, file management, deadline scheduling, infographic creation, photoshop manipulation and much more. Some students and advisors return to the summer camp yearly to freshen their skills, while others are just joining a yearbook staff for the first time. As always, the evolution in skills and design the campers show in only a few days is incredible. This is certainly thanks to passionate and amazing yearbook advisors: Rainer Mehl from Kitsilano Secondary, Noah Choy from Delview Secondary and Nigel Reedman from Vancouver Technical all helped to provide training and expertise during the camp.

We love seeing the camaraderie as yearbook staffs unite from all different schools and cities. Whether they’re swapping stories over a glass of chocolate milk in the Hogwarts-esque dinning hall, getting a taste of college life rooming in dorms, busting a gut watching their peers get called into a improv show, the camp really allows for a journey of discovery for future editors.

“I went to the yearbook camp in 2015 and 2016, and it has been a blast! From the lectures, classes, taking photos and even messing around in the dorm room; the whole experience was amazing and it’s going to be disappointing when I’m graduated and don’t get to come back!” Brooke Vibert, Brookswood Secondary

View student layouts here: https://youtu.be/N_dOMf9pk90

View student photos here: https://youtu.be/MQOHtS-tY7w


Photo courtesy of Sid Akselrod

Photo courtesy of Sid Akselrod