A colophon is a one centimetre squared multi-coloured, shimmery chip that is implanted in the bottom left corner of the back of your yearbook cover, to track your yearbook. If you lose your yearbook we can return it to you through the tracking system embedded within the colophon!
Not really. But if that was my Balderdash answer, you’d totally choose it, right? Thank you.
While not so high-tech and flashy, a colophon is actually still pretty cool. It’s a collection of information appearing at the end of your yearbook. It tells readers what program was used to make the book, what cameras were used to take the photos, what typefaces were used, what stock was used for the paper, what treatments were used on the cover, who printed the book, the name of the yearbook representative, how many copies were printed, and anything else that yearbook staff feel is necessary to include.
Colophons date way back. Back to The Bible. Adam and Eve included colophons in their children’s school yearbooks (though they were obviously homeschooled). Ancient colophons provide fascinating historical information.
In the context of yearbooking, colophons help future yearbook staff to know how to maintain consistency of style and quality (if they so choose), or how to avoid things they didn’t like about the previous year’s yearbook. For anyone considering joining yearbook, a colophon gives them a glimpse of what sort of things they’ll learn and do there. For anyone interested in bookmaking, design, or photography, a colophon is full of very interesting information. Imagine if every book, every art piece you like, every photograph came with a colophon: It’s like HTML code for art. It’s like hacking into a work of art, except that the information is just freely given. Basically, it’s nerd paradise. (It’s also a necessary yearbook addition for anyone wanting to enter yearbook contests.)
So, if you have time and extra pages at the end of your yearbook, consider adding in a colophon. For future years, consider making it a permanent fixture in your yearbooks. Then you have a legit reason to just casually drop the word “colophon” around and you’ll sound super-smart.