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!