May 28, 2009 / Spring 2009 / Staff Management

Critiquing your own yearbook

Written by Idea File Staff

Constructive criticism of last year’s yearbook can help assist in producing your next yearbook. Use the criteria on the checklist below, which is often used by state or national yearbook critique services, to critique your book in five categories. Be as objective as you can. Write down any recommendations your staff sees for improvements.

1. Coverage

Do stories in all sections reflect the student population?

Are stories in all sections from students’ viewpoint?

Is coverage in all sections year round?

Are stories, sidebars and captions enticing to readers?

Is sports, clubs and other coverage action-oriented?

What additions to the ads or index make those sections interesting?

2. Concept

Is theme package development comprehensive?

Are section titles and book organization logical or contrived?

Does the cover and title page contain complete information?

Is the table of contents accurate?

Is the tone of the book consistent throughout with the theme?

3. Design

Are spread designs in a grid or column pattern that is easy for the reader to follow?

Are sections consistent yet have enough variety to set them apart?

Are graphic elements used effectively?

Is white space used effectively?

Are the fonts easy to read?

4. Writing/editing

Is body copy well-written, with secondary coverage where appropriate?

Do quotes and statistics demonstrate thorough reporting and research?

Are captions complete, answering the 5 Ws and How?

Are headlines specific to the content and written to pull in readers?

Do you follow your publication style regarding grade levels, times, dates and other styles?

Are grammatical and spelling errors minimal?

5. Photography

Do photos feature action and emotion?

Do photos have a clear center of attention?

Are a variety of photo sizes included in the book?

Are photos cropped to eliminate unwanted content?

Are photos of high technical quality?

Idea File Staff

Idea File Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.