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    The Yearbook: Perspective

    With one year of advising the yearbook class under my belt, I felt a little less overwhelmed this time around. I had ten students and we had about 18 weeks to finish our files.


    The yearbook staff


    I kept the same class structure as last year. We discussed publication design and I taught them the basics of the computer programs during the first four weeks of class. Since we had less than a semester, I set the graphic styles and created a design template. Students then made mock ups, wrote and edited articles, and edited and placed photos. We used Gmail and Google Docs throughout the entire process. I constantly referred students to my Spread Assignment Sheet for page numbers and due dates. We used a very specific file structure on the school server, and I graded everything up until the end on the computer.

    Our yearbook is a full-color, 125 page hardcover publication. We used Scribus to layout spreads and Gimp to edit photographs. Some students worked in Inkscape and Blender to create vector artwork. We use a local print company. I can’t believe their turn around – just one week!


    Yearbook delivery piles


    This book was extra special because this year is the tenth anniversary of our school. The students decided on the theme “Perspective.” I had all of the kids create a cover option and they voted for their favorite. A senior designed this year’s cover. Our school is built around an atrium. This is a view of the ceiling and the flags we display for each home country.


    Yearbook cover


    The full cover:


    Full cover


    Title page:


    Title page


    Table of contents:


    Table of Contents


    Letter from the director:


    Letter from the Director


    Every grade had a mugshot page and a feature page:


    Class mugshot page

    Class feature spread


    The seniors were highlighted in their spreads:


    Senior spreads


    Most extra curricular activities had one-page spreads:


    ECA spread


    Sports teams had two-page spreads:


    Soccer spread


    A couple of students were creative with cutouts:


    Spirit Weeks spread


    Two students wrote a fantastic article about the beginning of our school. Our director provided information for a timeline:


    Decade spread


    Year favorites spread:


    Year Favorites Spread


    I have all but one yearbook in the library. It’s exciting to see Volume 10 join the shelf!


    Oasis yearbooks


    The kids did a great job and I’m so proud of them and their finished product. We’ll distribute them on Monday. I can’t believe there’s only two half days of school left!


    » Read about last year’s yearbook here.
    » Download my Spread Assignment Sheet resource here.



    The Yearbook

    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.

    Click here to download my spread assignment sheet.


    Yearbook spread assignment sheet


    We spent the first 4 weeks of the semester learning about publication design, copy writing, 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.


    Yearbook editing marks


    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.


    Yearbook comps


    I was so excited the yearbooks arrived today!


    Yearbook delivery


    The class voted and decided on the theme “A Lion’s Tale.” Our mascot is the lion.


    Yearbook Cover


    The students did excellent work! One of the seniors created the table of contents with absolutely no art direction from me:


    Yearbook table of contents


    Every grade had a “mugshot” spread and an additional feature spread that included an article about the class:


    Yearbook mugshot page


    We had 14 seniors this year. Another senior came up with the idea and design for these pages:


    Yearbook senior spreads


    We highlighted all of the school’s extra curricular activities. Most of these ended up being 1 page spreads:


    Yearbook 1 page spreads


    School events were 2-page spreads:


    Yearbook 2 page spread


    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?


    A fun page where students mixed the faces of the staff


    I put together the index page with the help of several students:


    Yearbook index page


    A junior designed the front and back cover. Most students created cover options and we voted on our favorite:


    Back cover of the yearbook


    Today was the first of the half days for finals. We’ll distribute the yearbooks on Monday. I can’t wait!