How to Design a Yearbook That’s Stunning And Affordable

Stunning and Affordable Yearbook Design

Yearbooks are a traditional and nostalgic way to commemorate the successes and experiences that develop over the course of a school year. They have been an annual tradition for North American elementary, middle, and high school students for about 200 years. And, while it’s important to capture memorable moments to reflect on in the future, yearbooks must be as appealing to the eyes as they are on the student’s wallet.

Combining affordability with aesthetic excellence is a fine balance that yearbook teams and yearbook advisors know all too well. Every yearbook committee faces several decisions each year that require choosing between producing a dream yearbook product and current budgetary constraints. Those yearbook design choices are often quite frustrating.

Can yearbook teams design a yearbook that meets the team’s wants and needs while remaining affordable? At FutureBook Yearbooks, we know you can! In this article, we’re sharing great tips and tricks to help your yearbook team create their dream yearbook.

Avoid Hidden Yearbook Costs

Many yearbook teams discover that changing plans and preferences can quickly add unexpected costs and additional fees from their yearbook publishing company. To avoid being stuck paying unanticipated charges, choose to partner with a yearbook company that prides itself on its integrity pricing.

At FutureBook Yearbooks, we clearly communicate costs to our clients and provide updated budgets when changes inevitably occur. We understand that producing a yearbook is just as much of a creative process as it is a systematic one; this means flexibility is essential.

Create a Classic Yearbook Cover

Affordable yearbook covers

When yearbook production costs start climbing, consider selecting an alternate cover. Hard book covers are the ideal choice to protect a yearbook’s pages easily, but if affordability becomes an issue, soft covered books are a reliable option. Still completely customizable and made of superior quality, soft-covered yearbooks can ultimately lower final production costs.

Or, consider keeping your yearbook cover simple and avoid using popular cover upgrade options. Another way to make the cover sleek-looking is to select one or two upgrade options that will make the final cover pop with sophistication. 

Cover upgrades we recommend for simple and stunning covers include:

  • Customized embossing
  • Spot UV gloss on some text
  • Cover foil application

Preview Your Final Yearbook

Viewing a sample of your finished yearbook design before sending it to the printers is a key tool FutureBook Yearbook clients especially appreciate. ProofBooks allow yearbook committees to see an accurate depiction of their yearbook design before it goes to the printers. 

When you have a printed yearbook in your hands, it’s much easier to see if your yearbook design is seamless, fluent in theme choice, and elicits the feelings and tone your yearbook staff has worked tirelessly to create. It also allows you to glean a good understanding of what elements are missing from building that dream yearbook everyone envisioned.

Often, after viewing their ProofBook, many yearbook planning teams opt to add elements to make their theme more vivid and cohesive. The ProofBook is a valuable resource when deciding how to maximize design integrity while staying on-top of budget limitations.

Consider a Publisher With a Yearbook Design Program

Licensing fees for yearbook design programs can absorb a large amount of a yearbook team’s annual budget. With intuitive and user-friendly software options from your yearbook publisher, yearbook staff can keep their budget in check while creating a stunning and beautiful school yearbook. At FutureBook Yearbooks, we provide access to some of the top yearbook design programs, including Pixami, to our clients. And, with our commitment to integrity pricing, these programs come at a fraction of the cost required for costly licensed software programs.

While free software design tools may seem appealing at first glance, they often end up causing more harm than good to a yearbook team’s annual budget. Inexperienced user knowledge coupled with minimal resources and zero-support can have disastrous effects on a yearbook committee’s design and production process.

financially viable yearbooks

Controlling how much you want to delve into the publishing and design process is a cost-saving benefit of partnering with an established yearbook company that provides online software options. They’ll be there alongside you and your yearbook staff to teach you exactly how to navigate publishing design programs.

Create Stunning and Affordable Yearbooks with FutureBook Yearbooks

FutureBook Yearbooks is a leading agent in the yearbook industry focusing on sustainability, affordability, and flexibility. We understand the current landscape of education and community organizations is changing rapidly; we are excited to be part of the transformation. We believe yearbook staff and yearbook committee members don’t have to choose between yearbook design and budget. With the right tools and experts by your side, you truly can have both.

Exceptional pricing is why yearbook teams switch to FutureBook Yearbook’s for their yearbook design and publishing needs. For more information about our prices and how we can help your committee create the perfect yearbook, contact our team.

Want to receive yearbook design tips and tricks from industry insiders? Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our newsletter.

Planning Tasks To Do Before Starting Your Next Yearbook Project

Yearbook planning ideas

When is your ideal time to start working on the next school year’s yearbook project? Do you use the charge of sending the final yearbook draft to the publishers to propel you towards starting your next one immediately? Or, do you take time to recollect and review what you’ve accomplished before venturing on the next yearbook journey?

Whatever your ideal time is for organizing plans for your next yearbook project, we have tips that can help you maneuver the process. At FutureBook Yearbooks, — we’re experienced yearbook publishers, and we know a few things yearbook advisors can use to plan a successful and extraordinary yearbook.

Before diving head-first into yearbook themes, yearbook covers, yearbook calendars, pagination woes, and template selections, read the following yearbook planning tips. They’re sure to help you get your next yearbook project started on the right page!

Yearbook Team Recruitment Strategy

What is your vision of a successful yearbook team? Is it in-line with your yearbook goals?

Until you know what you want your upcoming yearbook committee to accomplish, resist making posters, and drafting emails to entice students to join the yearbook committee. Do some pre-planning steps to understand what yearbook resources are available to you and the direction you want for your next yearbook team. 

To begin, start by organizing what you already know about your next yearbook team.

yearbook planning ideas
  • Will there be returning yearbook staff that can take on large tasks, and potentially mentor new members?
  • Is there a large turnover of staff requiring significant amounts of time needed for yearbook team training?
  • Are there extenuating circumstances that may make recruitment challenging, like school closures or on-line only class instruction?

Once you understand what you want in a yearbook team, prepare a list of potential team positions and review which ones will need filling. Then, focus your recruitment strategy on attracting students who fit the bill.

Are you concerned about keeping your yearbook budget in-check? Learn here about eight digital resources your yearbook team can use that are completely free!

Consider Your Yearbook Staff’s Training Needs

How much training will your staff require? How will you accommodate individual needs?

Having a healthy number of students return to a yearbook committee is considered ideal by many yearbook advisors. And, it’s no wonder why, — building a yearbook staff member’s unique skills, over multiple years, generally leads to better connections and quality yearbook results.

However, all students must inevitably vacate their long-held yearbook staff position upon graduation. The student who fills that role will likely be new to your team and will need training as they adapt to their new position. To ease with training costs, consider working with a yearbook publisher that prioritizes reliable service and training.

Draft a Schedule Ahead of School Session

How will you manage your yearbook’s timelines? Is there room for flexibility and error? 

Timeline maintenance is vital for a yearbook project to run smoothly and be finished on-time. Having a proposed timeline and schedule ready before in-session classes resume is an effective and organized way to kick-off your yearbook project. However, being flexible and adapting to unforeseen circumstances is equally as important.

Some examples of what to include in your yearbook timeline are:

yearbook collection tips
  • Image collection strategy. Collecting images of students should begin as early as possible to ensure maximum student representation. Consider making photography and image collection strategy a priority early-on.
  • New member recruitment. Recruit new members early!
  • Theme Selection. Yearbook theme selection should be nailed down early in the year. Aim for before winter break, at the latest.
  • Yearbook Event Planning. Promote your yearbook and engage student participation by hosting yearbook events. Themed events are a great way to solidify the look and feel of the book’s chosen theme.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, we hope it demonstrates the importance of drafting a yearbook schedule before the school year begins. The need to be flexible and adaptive is important for the role of the yearbook advisor. However, having a general outline of the year will help keep your team focused and on-target.

Yearbook Planning: Balancing Control & Flexibility 

How your yearbook plans look in September is likely to change over the year. Yearbook staff changes may occur, shifts in roles and responsibilities can happen, and unexpected circumstances might pop up. However, if you have a schedule that provides a general sense of organization and allows for adaptability, you and your team will easily maneuver throughout the year.

3 Tips to Easily Select Yearbook Fonts That Deliver Stunning Results

Tips to Select Yearbook Fonts

Deciding which fonts to use in a school yearbook is no easy task. First-time yearbook staff members are often surprised to learn how many decisions are made when selecting the right fonts to use in a yearbook. Not surprisingly, almost anyone who has spent a hot-minute in the publishing industry can quickly tell how calculated, and strategic font selection can get.

Why does font matter so much? Is font selection really that important? Actually, yes, it is. In any published work, font selection matters because of its ability to impact a person’s reading experience. A reader’s mood, reading speed, and even reading comprehension ability can be influenced by the font style being used.

Yearbook committees looking for ways to add an unspoken wow factor to their year-long yearbook project should not overlook the power of a well-chosen font. How can your yearbook team select a font that will deliver stunning results? Keep reading for our easy-to-follow tips.

Yearbook Pages Copy: Keep Your Font Simple

The copy on your yearbook pages should be easy to read and support the images presented on the page. For page copy, select a font that’s appealing to the eye but doesn’t compete with images to be the star of the page.

Both serif and sans serif fonts can be used successfully for page copy. Traditionally, serif fonts have been standard for printed materials, and sans serif fonts are more widely used for digital content. However, font crossover between publication media is growing in popularity. However, the general rules for serif and sans serif are still as follows:

  • Use serif fonts to create a professional or traditional looking publication. Examples of serif fonts we like include Cambria, Georgia, or Century.
  • Use sans serif fonts to instill a modern appearance and vibe. Examples of sans serif that do well in print are Open Sans Serif, Arial, or Helvetica.

The number one rule when selecting a font for a yearbook’s body copy is to choose one font for text and use it consistently throughout the book. By using just one font, you enable the reader to quickly move amongst pages with minimal disruption. It also lends to the yearbook appearing polished and cohesive.

To learn more editing tips yearbook committee’s swear by, click here.

Yearbook Headlines Font: Be Free to Be Bold

Page titles give less information and details than copy, so you have more room for bold and creative font selection. After all, published headlines are meant to be attention-grabbing and a source of allure. 

Allow titles and headlines in your yearbook to become irresistible. Pick a font that’s equally as compelling to the eye as the words being shared. Headlines and titles are an excellent way to support the tone and personality of the book. Select a font that your yearbook staff feels accurately conveys the spirit of the yearbook.

When choosing a font for your yearbook’s titles and headlines, make sure it’s complementary to the page copy font. Just as with your selected copy font, choose only one font to use wherever titles and headings exist in your yearbook.

Yearbook Font Size: Let the Golden Ratio Lead

After selecting your yearbook fonts, it’s time to decide what font size(s) your team will be using. A font that is too big can appear clunky and awkward, while a font that is too small is difficult to read. Additionally, when combining different font types, like the body copy font with a heading font, for example, the two should be well proportioned. 

When determining what size your fonts should be, let the golden ratio be your guide. The golden ratio is a mathematical constant used by artists, engineers, and typesetters to create aesthetically appealing designs. Its numerical value is 1.618.

To use the golden ratio to determine optimal font size, start with your body text size and base other font sizes on that. To find the ideal headline font size, simply multiply the body font size by 1.618 to determine what headline font size to use.

For example, if a yearbook page’s body text font size is 12, multiply the font size by the golden ratio, 1.618. This will determine what size font to use for headlines and titles. 

Aim for Attractive, Yet Easy to Read

As always, the points above are the general rules we recommend for publishing an attractive, easy to read yearbook that students will hold onto for years to come. When planning your font styles, start with the rules and bend where necessary to achieve the look you desire, as long as overall cohesiveness is the result. 

As yearbook publishers, FutureBook Yearbooks has seen how selecting the right fonts can set the overall tone for a yearbook. For more tips to keep your yearbook team on track for creating the best yearbook your school has seen, be sure to sign-up for our newsletter!

Top Editing Tips Successful Yearbook Committees Should Know

Yearbook Editing Tips

Anyone with yearbook planning and execution experience knows just how valuable proper editing is when crafting an extraordinary looking yearbook. Editing tasks may seem tedious and boring, -they’re often not as exciting as capturing important moments like photographing a top school sports game, or documenting student elections. However, detailed and focused editing is essential to make your final yearbook draft an outstanding product.

Often, yearbook advisors and staff members can become easily overwhelmed by the seemingly unending mound of editing tasks. When that happens, mistakes may go unnoticed and lead to a poor-looking yearbook. After laboring for months on gathering content that reflects the school year and your yearbook team’s chosen theme, don’t let simple editing errors destroy all your hard work!

Here are some of our top editing tips that we feel every yearbook committee should know.

Maintain Yearbook Layout Consistency

A yearbook’s layout should reveal a content pattern, – a general sense of consistency, from the title page to the closing farewell. This will create a cohesive experience that tells the year’s story clearly and in a way that is meaningful to the reader. When yearbook staff don’t have a defined layout plan or deviate from a predetermined strategy, the result can appear messy, clumsy, and as a poorly planned product.

The best way to maintain a consistent layout throughout the yearbook is to establish a layout plan and then stick to that plan. When defining your yearbook layout strategy, consider the following questions to help direct the layout planning process:

  • Do you want the book to be based on chronological order? Or, is sectioned by grade a better fit for your yearbook team?
  • Will each school class have dedicated pages? Will each class be presented individually or, will the focus be more on the student body as a whole?
  • Are class photos the defining feature of the yearbook, or should student experience images be more prevalent?  

Carefully Manage Yearbook Images 

Yearbook Images

Catalog yearbook images as they are being collected. Don’t wait until late spring to start sifting through the mounds of jpeg files potentially stored across multiple devices and inboxes. If images aren’t accurately labeled and stored shortly after collection, problems could quickly develop. For instance, you could risk losing a beautiful image or, even worse, erroneously use an image in a place it doesn’t belong.

Protect months of painstaking picture collection by creating an organization system for your images that yearbook staff can easily follow. The system doesn’t have to be overly complicated, in fact, the more simple the system is to use, the better it will be received. Even a defined system just for labeling and storing image files will make the yearbook editing process more manageable.

Did you know there are multiple digital resources for image collection and editing that are completely free? Learn more here.

Represent Yearbook Classmates Accurately 

Telling the story of an entire school year requires keen attention to detail, primarily to ensure the year’s students are accurately reflected across the pages. While some faces are bound to show up more than others, -some people love the camera while others actively avoid it, do your best to include everyone.

To reflect a fair representation of all students, consider different ways to track how much each class, team, or activities group are being photographed and documented. Keep different folders -one for every grade level or type of group, to store specific content ideas and related images. 

Start this process early. At the beginning of each year, jot down the names of each school club, sports team, or other known social circles, and make a plan on how to best capture their story.

High School Yearbook Committee

Be Creative but Remain Consistent

As the year progresses, there are undoubtedly going to be yearbook features and ideas that come and go. This is a normal part of every successful yearbook production process, and it’s important to let the year’s events influence the yearbook. Unplanned events spring up, yearbook budget priorities shift, and sometimes, changes in staff members can occur.

While it’s essential to let the story of the academic year sway a yearbook committee’s decisions and creative process, it doesn’t require starting the yearbook over from scratch with every twist of events. If unexpected circumstances pop-up that severely alters the yearbook’s direction, try to keep the chosen layout, font selections, colours, or other details that will leave the consistency of the book unchanged. 

Aim for Simple and Steady

As yearbook publishers, the FutureBook Yearbooks team regularly sees how the role of a clear and thoughtful editing process affects the overall quality and aesthetics of published yearbooks. To keep your yearbook team’s editing efforts impactful and easy to follow, aim for a simple approach that strives for continuous, steady progress. For further tips and ideas for your yearbook, be sure to sign-up for our newsletter!

Fun Ways Yearbook Staff Can Promote Sustainability

Sustainable Yearbook Ideas

Yearbook staff working together to promote sustainability in their school can do so by creating fun and enjoyable activities for their yearbook committee and classmates. Hosting eco-friendly events benefit yearbook production efforts because it encourages both student involvement and brings awareness to sustainability issues.

When deciding exactly what type of event your yearbook team may want to organize and plan, think about how it will improve the outcome of your yearbook. Consider the following questions:

  • Will the event encourage student yearbook participation?
  • Does your idea promote the yearbook theme?
  • Is the event accessible for all students to join?
  • How will the event be eco-friendly and support sustainability?

To help you answer the above questions and guide you towards planning a successful event, the FutureBook team has compiled six ideas yearbook staff can use to promote sustainability.

Challenge Yearbook Classmates To Go Fossil Free

Yearbook team sustainability challenge

Promote sustainability by challenging students to avoid using petroleum-powered transportation options for a week. Ask students to ditch the fossil fuels and then send the yearbook committee snapshots of their emission-free excursions. Encourage students to ride their bikes, walk, rely on emission-free vehicles, or select other modes of eco-friendly transportation to get around town. 

For an enticing incentive, consider offering challenge participants the opportunity to win a free yearbook! For every picture submitted to the yearbook team of a student engaging in a renewably-resourced transport option, add their name to a ballot for the draw prize. 

Want to try fossil-free, digital resources that experienced yearbook teams love? Click here!

Use A Sustainability Themed Poll For Image Free Yearbook Pages 

While a yearbook’s strength is telling a schoolyear’s story through pictures, it’s a good idea to include image-free options to include camera-shy students in a meaningful way. Creating a poll is a good way to learn what your classmates think and feel about sustainability issues. While it may not capture student’s faces, it does represent the values and opinions shared among the year’s pupils.

What does the FutureBook team think and feel about sustainability? To find out, read our sustainability policy.

Participate in a Local Tree-Planting Initiative

Get your school involved in the community and help the environment by arranging a tree-planting event. Connect with your local government officials, like the town mayor or recreation department, to learn about available tree planting opportunities. Other community connections to consider for a tree planting event are local business owners, community centers, or seniors residences.

During the event, be sure a yearbook staff member is available to take photographs to be used for sustainability-themed yearbook pages. If tree planting isn’t an option for your school, consider working with a company that can yield similar results. For example, at FutureBook Yearbooks, we partner with Trees For The Future. This non-profit organization plants trees on our behalf. For every yearbook sold, a new tree is planted!

Have Your Yearbook Teams Host A Swap Meet

yearbook staff hosted swap meet

Incorporate the three “R’s” of sustainability, -Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, with a school-wide swap-meet hosted by the yearbook team. Free swap events are useful for turning your yearbook committee’s sustainability ideals into results that your classmates will likely appreciate. It also provides another option for all classes to get involved and participate.

Reusing everyday things, like clothing, electronics, or board games, will lengthen the life of the items and prevent them from ending up in a landfill. Other donation ideas could include fiction books, gaming accessories, sports equipment, and collectibles. Additionally, items that aren’t collected by the end of the event can be delivered to a local charity.

Commit to Producing an Eco-Friendly Yearbook 

While it is easier than ever in 2020 to use sustainable products and eco-conscious resources for the yearbook production process, it still requires commitment. Yearbook advisors and staff need to focus on their environmentally-friendly yearbook goal to produce a book that is as stunning as it is sustainable.