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.
1. 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?
2. Carefully Manage 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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!