Yearbook design by experience

By Ellie Shoultz
IHSPA Student Board Member
Plainfield High School

When you have a ton of content for a spread, there are mixed emotions when it comes time to lay it all out on the page. There is an infinite number of configurations to choose from when it comes to arranging the content, so how do you know which one is going to make your spread look the best?

Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned throughout my years as an editor of the Plainfield High School yearbook. 

The first step is to put all of the content you have onto the page. Once everything is on the spread, it is much easier to visualize the amount of space and information you have to work with. After all of the elements are splattered across the page, the next step is to decide which photos or infographics you want to be the main focal point. These mods are the biggest, so it catches the reader’s eye. Another helpful tip is to arrange pictures so the subjects are facing toward the center. This helps direct the reader’s eye into the middle and make them want to look at the rest of the content.  

Once all of the photos are placed where you want them, the next thing I do is start to put the captions with their respective photos. I always place the captions closer to the perimeter of the page so there are not too many words in the center. This helps direct the reader to look at the pictures and other content.  

After the photos and the captions are placed, I then add any other content I have and fill in the blank spaces. Sometimes, if I feel like the spread is not colorful enough, I put a colorful box behind a mod in order to help contain it and add color. If needed, I also go over the spread and add any borders or elements I feel would help the appeal.

Finally, I print everything out and read over it to make sure there are no errors. I double-check the names of students, grammar, punctuation and all information. Once I am 100% sure the spread has no errors and I am satisfied with it, I let my adviser know, and she sends it off to the plant.

Then, we wait to see our masterpiece printed in the book at the end of the year!

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