I was the new yearbook teacher this semester. Yearbook was an elective for secondary students. I had 14 kids in the class: 2 freshmen, 1 sophomore, 3 juniors, and 8 seniors. Luckily half of them were in my Computer Graphic Design class in the fall, so many were familiar with design principles and the computer programs. We used Scribus to layout the spreads and Gimp to edit photographs. Some students used Inkscape to create vector artwork.
I was a bit intimidated to teach the class since I was never on yearbook staff in high school or in college. I was, however, on my college’s newspaper staff, so I had experience with publication design. I am very thankful to one of my college professors who gave me some fantastic resources.
The first week, I had all of the students sign up for a Gmail account if they didn’t have one already. For almost every step of the process, I had students refer to documents on Google Drive. We had a spread assignment sheet, student and faculty lists, style guide information, and more. Every student was assigned a grade level mugshot and feature page. After that, they were assigned various spreads. We referred to these as spread #3, #4, and #5. If a student couldn’t remember what their next assignment was, I told them to look it up online.
We spent the first 4 weeks of the semester learning about publication design, copywriting, yearbook spreads, photography, and photo editing. After that, we had less than 15 weeks to write and edit articles, create mock ups, edit photos, make revisions, and finalize the pages.
While I had students print out some of their spreads, a lot of my grading was done on the school server. Our tech director set up preferences so I had access to all folders and files. This made it easier for me to check alignment, resolution, file links, etc.
I was so excited the yearbooks arrived today!
The class voted and decided on the theme “A Lion’s Tale.” Our mascot is the lion.
The students did excellent work! One of the seniors created the table of contents with absolutely no art direction from me:
Every grade had a “mugshot” spread and an additional feature spread that included an article about the class:
We had 14 seniors this year. Another senior came up with the idea and design for these pages:
We highlighted all of the school’s extra curricular activities. Most of these ended up being 1 page spreads:
School events were 2-page spreads:
The yearbook class was so creative! They thought up and executed a staff face-swap page. Can you find David’s and my face or body?
I put together the index page with the help of several students:
A junior designed the front and back cover. Most students created cover options and we voted on our favorite:
Today was the first of the half days for finals. We’ll distribute the yearbooks on Monday. I can’t wait!