2016 Caught Our Eye

These outstanding spreads, images, graphics and more from 2016 yearbooks will make you stop and take a second look. Your next yearbook idea is waiting here.

Photo by Katie Kuhlman

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  • 2016 Lock & KeySouth County High SchoolLorton, Virginia

      Theme: "New Again"
      Adviser: Leana Jensen
      Editors: Mina Farah, Lindsey Otto
      Walsworth representative: Brian Flamm

      Winter Break(s) – There’s so much to love in this spread on snowy weather. The high technical quality of the dominant pic is what draws the reader in first; it’s a superb photo that leads your eye into the story. If you can design so that your dominant subject is looking directly at the drop cap in your copy, you’ve created a winner. The two infographics are excellent as well, incorporating thematic graphics and connected coverage to complete the package. Both are great examples of readable and unique alternative story forms; this staff has clearly pushed past the dreaded “hey, let’s create a horrific-looking pie chart in Microsoft Excel” stage. We could all learn something from their ingenuity here!

      – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

    1. 2016 The Golden EagleWilkes Central High SchoolWilkesboro, North Carolina

        Theme: "A B16 Year"
        Adviser: John Elledge
        Editors: Sydney Delbridge, Trent Craven, Simone Cutler
        Walsworth representative: Brooke Smith

        In 60 Minutes I can… – A great example of the type of coverage that can be generated from your theme, this spread pulls its inspiration from the “B16 Year” theme developed throughout the book. It also starts with the modular color block motif that is used on the cover and elsewhere, but here it has morphed into a starburst of school colors. A total of 13 students/staff are featured, giving The Golden Eagle staff a high level of readability. The cutouts are well done and match nicely with the design. Designing a swirling spread like this can be a chore, particularly when you don’t want to frustrate readers by forcing them to rotate your book a million times to read the quotes. But this one is unique and visually appealing at the same time.

        – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

      1. 2016 Walled Lake Northern ExcaliburWalled Lake Northern High SchoolCommerce, Michigan

          Theme: "Day & Knight"
          Adviser: Donna Ramin
          Editors: Emma Totin, Donovan Wallace, Ashley Koenig
          Walsworth representatives: Deanne DeMare, Lisa Sparks, Nora Guiney

          The day we were asked – If you’re an old person like me, you might be thrown off by the elaborate plans put into place by enterprising high school students during Homecoming-ask season. I really don’t remember anything other than saying, “umm…would you go with me?” and then turning bright red. But today, students are WAY more creative with the process, and it’s a great idea for yearbook coverage as well. The signs they used are almost captions in themselves, and this is an excellent way to add personality to your student life section.

          – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

        1. 2016 Lincoln Southwest TalonLincoln Southwest High SchoolLincoln, Nebraska

            Theme: "That One Time"
            Adviser: Brandi Benson - CJE
            Editors: Hailey Humiston, Makenzie Waller
            Walsworth representative: Mike Diffenderfer

            August Calendar – Now that so many staffs are converting to chronological coverage, that in and of itself is no longer enough to qualify as unique. But incorporating the calendar design into the theme package and creating a completely different type of calendar… well, that WOULD qualify. The Talon staff, with their “That One Time” theme, was able to design a super-cool triangle calendar that works well to get a variety of events covered. A combination of photos and cut-outs adds to the effect, allowing these dividers to look like they came straight from a trendy magazine.

            – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

          1. 2016 LegendBrookfield Central High SchoolBrookfield, Wisconsin

              Theme: "Changing Perspectives"
              Adviser: Thomas Juran
              Editors: Emma Kumer, Sean Linnihan
              Walsworth representative: Shelley Mosley

              Cross Country by the numbers – This is an uber-cool melding of the two components that every brilliant infographic must have: visual appeal and intriguing information. You see plenty of graphics that have one or the other, but rarely are they both so apparent. Here, a partial-cutout photo serves as the backdrop for a bar graph on runner improvement times over the course of the cross country season. The use of bold clearly indicates which runner is featured in the photo, and the deck provides an explanation in case the reader might not fully understand the concept. Using the photo in black and white helps with ease of readability and also sets it off from the rest of the spread.

              – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

            1. 2016 The ArchiveRichland Northeast High SchoolColumbia, South Carolina

                Theme: "React"
                Adviser: Jenny Proctor
                Editors: Yeji Bang, Katherine Grant
                Walsworth representative: Jim Channell

                Once in a thousand years – Our job is to tell the story of the year. In doing that, it’s critical to avoid shying away from the elements that make that year memorable, regardless of how positive they might be. Of course, oftentimes incredibly uplifting stories result from the most trying of times. The staff of The Archive decided that covering a devastating flood was crucial to being able to tell their story, and the resulting spread is incredibly powerful. The story’s lede draws the reader immediately into the coverage: “The waters came swiftly, suddenly, but in no way silently.” The photos show people from the Columbia community helping others and pitching in to give back. This is a package that will resonate for years.

                – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

              1. 2016 The Blue DevilBremen High SchoolBremen, Georgia

                  Theme: "Journey"
                  Adviser: Lisa Scott
                  Editor: Lexi Covalsen
                  Walsworth representatives: Shannon Minninger, Brooke Smith

                  Together Again – Whenever you have a chance to tell an emotional story, TELL it. The Blue Devil staff included a fantastic sidebar story in their coverage of the year’s first pep rally, capturing a moment that will live forever. In this case, a student is surprised during a blindfolded activity by his father, who had been serving overseas for nearly a year. These stories enable the staff to distinguish that year from any other. Including coverage of these powerful and emotional moments can elevate otherwise standard coverage.

                  – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                1. 2016 The ChancellorWinston Churchill High SchoolSan Antonio, Texas

                    Theme: "Big"
                    Adviser: Dolores Caamano
                    Editors: Allegra Acosta, Edith Shaw
                    Walsworth representatives: Brian Darland, Jerry Griffin

                    What Emoji are you? – Here’s a great way to get more of the student body involved in the book, and potentially a solid way to cover some students who might not otherwise be too involved in clubs and sports. This is one of those spreads that’s fun now, but will likely be REALLY enjoyable in 10 or 20 years. The story is told completely through the quotes of the students, which is absolutely acceptable for a design piece like this one. This spread definitely gave me a smiley face. Maybe even a smiley winky face. 🙂

                    – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                  1. 2016 HeritageCousino High SchoolWarren, Michigan

                      Theme: "In Focus"
                      Adviser: Lise Blades
                      Editor: Rebecca Gieleghem
                      Walsworth representatives: Deanne DeMare, Lisa Sparks, Nora Guiney

                      Generations of Patriots – Here’s an ingenious story idea that has great reader interest and could be replicated anywhere in the country: students whose parents graduated from the same school as them. The Heritage staff had each of these students pose with their parent’s yearbook, and gave them an opportunity to talk about the coolness of their experience (sample: “My dad tells me all the weird things that went on back in his day and how easy-going everything was.”). And there’s a tremendous bonus to a spread like this one: readers will realize just how important it is to capture moments in the yearbook. You might just increase your sales without intending to!

                      – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                    1. 2016 ExcaliburVillage Christian AcademyFayetteville, North Carolina

                        Theme: "The Days of Our Knights"
                        Adviser: Emily Barrett
                        Editor: Maggie McFadyen
                        Walsworth representatives: Davis Gamble, Tyler Craig

                        What can you buy with $2016 – A few different purposes are served with this fun, engaging pop culture spread. Ostensibly a fun feature on how far you can stretch a dollar, it also sneakily makes the yearbook into an important time capsule by featuring items that are important to students at the time. This is a sometimes undervalued aspect of the book; don’t forget that people will be looking at your work for a LONG time!

                        – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                      1. 2016 The LegendEl Dorado High SchoolEl Paso, Texas

                          Theme: "Whole..."
                          Adviser: Vanessa Juarez
                          Editors: Danielle Miller, Exodis Ward
                          Walsworth representative: Lori Garcia

                          Make your mark – The deck explains how, “In a text-crazy world,” it’s nice to see the personalized touch in handwritten notes. And the feature goes further, actually including the thoughts of three seniors in their own writing style. As techno-crazed as we can get, there’s something refreshing about good old-fashioned notes. Considering ways to incorporate low-tech graphics packages will give your book a personalized feel that’s sometimes difficult to obtain.

                          – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                        1. 2016 LakerWindermere Preparatory SchoolWindermere, Florida

                            Theme: "Taking Shape"
                            Advisers: Jay Kleinrichert, Danielle Elsayed
                            Editors: Sanobar Valiani, Alex Schwartz
                            Walsworth representatives: Missy Green, Adam Livesay and Tracy de la Feuilliez

                            Fresh off the runway: This feature has strong reader appeal, both in terms of the clean design and the student-centered content. The students involved are also given a chance to answer interview questions about the runway event. Color choice mirrors that used throughout the opening section of the book, adding continuity to the coverage. A subtle graphic touch in the word “Fresh” extends the staff’s ‘Taking Shape” theme and can be seen throughout the book.

                            – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                          1. 2016 FlightFort Worth Country Day SchoolFort Worth, Texas

                              Theme: "Together"
                              Adviser: Lisa Wallace
                              Editors: Molly Englander, Savannah Norman
                              Walsworth representative: Lisa Llewellyn - CJE

                              Multicultural: A striking black and white photo with spot color highlights this grade-level division page in a yearbook for a K-12 school. The use of the frame graphic accentuates what is already a beautifully composed shot; notice her eyes help lead the reader directly into the content of the page. The verbal-visual connection is strong as well, with the globe and headline colors matching nicely and contrasting the minimalistic approach of the rest of the spread. The divider also connects to the staff’s chosen theme of “Together.”

                              – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                            1. 2016 TalismanSaratoga High SchoolSaratoga, California

                                Theme: "You at Your"
                                Adviser: Michael Tyler
                                Editors: Yena Jeong, Michelle Huang, Alisha Thanawala
                                Walsworth representative: Nicole Gravlin

                                Confessions of a Shopaholic: The Saratoga staff keys on a topic that is near-and-dear to the hearts of most of our readers: shopping. And they do so in a way that provides a ton of great information organized so it won’t hurt people’s eyes. I often tell my yearbook staffs to “stuff your pages,” that is, try to make the coverage rich enough that people will feel compelled to spend as much time on it as possible. This isn’t an easy task, of course, as many times these spreads can come out feeling very much over-stuffed. Working with mods simplifies the process, and this is a prime example. The staff has picked four different feature ideas that all revolve around the same general topic of shopping. Together, they form the perfect combination of reader interactivity, student body participation, and time-capsule relevance – all tied together with a lovely and subtle color scheme.

                                – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                              1. 2016 TalonCrescenta Valley High SchoolLa Crescenta, California

                                  Theme: "That One Time"
                                  Adviser: Tyraysha Peterson
                                  Editors: Audrey Black, Kristin Crowder, Angela Kang
                                  Walsworth representative: Michelle DiSimone - CJE

                                  Soleful Diversity: A nice study is done here, combining a fun feature on shoe styles with an expression of the school’s diversity. Readers also have a chance to get interactive with the coverage, in a feature allowing them to pair shoes with their owners. It’s a strong example of the type of coverage that can be fun but also highlight important observations about the student body. And, to their credit, the staff didn’t use the phrase “WHAT ARE THOSE?!?” even once on the spread. Bravo!

                                  – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                1. 2016 LeavesSherwood High SchoolSandy Spring, Maryland

                                    Theme: "On Point"
                                    Adviser: Lori Leonard
                                    Editors: Alyssa Moran, Shannon Armstrong, Ade Adeola, Laudan Kalantary
                                    Walsworth representative: Jill Burns - MJE

                                    Children of the Corn: Full disclosure: clowns scare me. But they also make for powerful yearbook visuals, particularly when freaking people out in corn mazes. The Leaves staff has created a memorable spread with a combination of great photos and storytelling. And of course, capturing silly Halloween costumes and the stories of students working at local terrifying attractions allows the reader a glimpse of life in your community. These types of spreads can often serve a secondary purpose of capturing the current events culture of the time. Include these in your book, even if it means more scary clowns!

                                    – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                  1. 2016 FlashbackRock Bridge High SchoolColumbia, Missouri

                                      Theme: "Focus"
                                      Adviser: Robin Stover
                                      Editors: Levi Smith, Marco Rea
                                      Walsworth representative: Tracy Tuley - CJE

                                      Future Grey’s: Here’s exactly what many readers want: a feature that’s specific to your school but also includes elements of pop culture they’ll be able to cherish in the future. This great spread on the biomedical class opportunities at Rock Bridge also provided a chance to poll students (200 of them!) about their favorite television doctors. And rather than deal with any potentially sticky copyright issues, the staff enlisted one of their own artists to do the dirty work. This provides a powerful visual, allows your staffers to best utilize their specific talents and, at least in this case, gives us a lovely representation of Dr. McDreamy’s stubble. Be still my beating heart!

                                      – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                    1. 2016 WildcatHar-Ber High SchoolSpringdale, Arkansas

                                        Theme: "Under the Same Roof"
                                        Adviser: Karla Sprague
                                        Editor: Rose Dollins
                                        Walsworth representatives: Jill Chittum - MJE, Kelly Sereikas

                                        Always on the go: Rock-solid coverage highlights teachers who don’t have a classroom to call their own, including a fun feature on the different designs of specific nomadic teachers’ carts. Another mod focuses on how students themselves get around, showing that the staff has a strong awareness of secondary coverage to go with their more dominant feature ideas. A great mixture of cutouts, smaller photos and matching colors enhances this fun and unique spread.

                                        – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                      1. 2016 StampedeMillard North High SchoolOmaha, Nebraska

                                          Theme: "Shift"
                                          Adviser: Sarah Crotzer
                                          Editors: Kate Smith, Geordi Gonzales
                                          Walsworth representative: Greg Adams

                                          New Year, New Looks: The staff at Millard North does something that all books should do: include readable and fun secondary coverage in their people section. This spread has a nice mix of light-hearted questions with a more in-depth feature story. The Q&A’s are geared toward that particular grade level as well, such as this question in the sophomore section: “How has your style changed from freshman year to sophomore year?” The color and design accents are pulled from the book’s theme and allow for a nice continuity.

                                          – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                        1. 2016 AerieMarjory Stoneman Douglas High SchoolParkland, Florida

                                            Theme: "Exposure"
                                            Adviser: Sarah Lerner
                                            Editors: Catherine Stout, Samantha Puleo
                                            Walsworth representatives: Veronika Levine - CJE, Tamara Moore

                                            The Force Awakens: OK, I admit. I’m a “Star Wars” mega-geek. So when I got to this spread, of course I had to pause. This staff does a great job covering a major cultural event, but maintains the focus on students to bring as many of them into the coverage as possible. A lovely but simple graphic of Darth Vader’s helmet serves as the backdrop for some fun facts about the series. Fun photos of students at the local theater are a must for this type of coverage. Once again, the fact that this staff was working chronologically helped them fit in an important event that might have been otherwise missed.

                                            – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                          1. 2016 HoofbeatsBurges High SchoolEl Paso, Texas

                                              Theme: "things happen"
                                              Adviser: Pat Monroe
                                              Editors: Jordan Steyer, Jasmine Tabler
                                              Walsworth representative: Lori Garcia

                                              It’s a family thing: This is a great way to report on historical aspects of the student body and it could probably be done in most schools where students’ parents (and grandparents) have attended as well. Getting the elder members of the family back together for fantastic photo shoots was probably educational and loads of fun, and it led to some great photos on the spread. Powerful quotes come both from the current students, including members of the class of 2019, and alumni from as far back as 1971. A definite crowd-pleaser, done in an innovative way.

                                              – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                            1. 2016 AyrieLiberty North High SchoolLiberty, Missouri

                                                Theme: "Know Limits"
                                                Adviser: Ronna Sparks-Woodward
                                                Editor: Shelby Adkins
                                                Walsworth representative: John Kelley

                                                Let me take a selfie: What a great example of the type of coverage that is possible with some advanced planning. Students on the Ayrie staff feature the girls of the golf team taking fun selfies with their opponents. They are quoted explaining what they chat about while walking the course, how they root for their opponents to do well, and what it’s like to build sportsmanship. This feel-good coverage is unique but at the same time taps into a cultural phenomenon (the selfie, of course!) with which readers can easily relate. It makes me happy on a lot of different levels!

                                                – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                              1. 2016 The MarauderMarcus High SchoolFlower Mound, Texas

                                                  Theme: "Together As One"
                                                  Adviser: Allison Miller
                                                  Editors: Samantha Asbell, Abby Klingensmith, Rebecca Griggs, Emily Munro, Haleigh Stark, Cayla Dorsey
                                                  Walsworth representative: Lisa Llewellyn - CJE

                                                  For the record: Striking a balance between “fun” and “in-depth” isn’t always easy, and many times yearbooks are only able to accomplish one or the other. Not the staff of The Marauder, however. Their coverage includes a ton of graphics and visuals that enhance the story of their year and tie into the overall look of the publication. The triangles and colors used here very much mirror the visual representation introduced on the cover, and the ancillary graphic packages satisfy the reader’s appetite for engaging school info. See? We can provide information and make it fun at the same time!

                                                  – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                                1. 2016 ChamhianChamblee Charter High SchoolChamblee, Georgia

                                                    Theme: "This Is How We Feel"
                                                    Adviser: Amy Knapp Branca
                                                    Editor: Anna Folger
                                                    Walsworth representative: Brooke Smith

                                                    Taste of Life: These days, it isn’t always enough to just provide interesting coverage; great staffs are also thinking of ways to make their coverage more interactive. One way to do this is to tune into the recent recipe craze that has been sweeping social media. You know the one: “Look how easy it is to make vegetable lasagna by watching this 20-second video!” Here we see a feature spread on foods from around the world. There is great secondary coverage involving some of the students’ signature dishes from their families’ cultures and, even better, a recipe for “DIY Banan Peze,” one of the dishes discussed on the page.

                                                    – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School


                                                  1. 2016 HorizonBlue Valley Northwest High SchoolOverland Park, Kansas

                                                      Theme: "Direction"
                                                      Adviser: Jim McCrossen
                                                      Editors: Jordan Joyce, Monica Sewell
                                                      Walsworth representative: John Kelley

                                                      We took the crown: Blue Valley Northwest’s staff does good work in covering important cultural and social events that are happening outside the school’s campus. In this case, they share the stories of students with connections to the Kansas City Royals’ World Series championship. Don’t forget, there are plenty of events that have an impact on your students but don’t happen at school! This also illustrates the value of chronological coverage; a traditional book with a traditional ladder may not have made room for something that no one knew was going to happen until it actually did.

                                                      – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School

                                                    1. 2016 OviedianOviedo High SchoolOviedo, Florida

                                                        Theme: "You First"
                                                        Adviser: Alicia Pope
                                                        Editors: Jacob Bushey, Ashley Krummenacker, Elana Vernikos
                                                        Walsworth representatives: Missy Green, Adam Livesay and Tracy de la Feuilliez

                                                        Summer vacation: Your folios don’t have to be spectacular, but if you have an innovative way to work them into the content of your spreads or the theme of the book, go for it. The staff of the Oviedian chose the theme “You First,” which allowed them to focus on stories about “you” and work in some number coverage. Their folios, as evidenced here, were positioned at the top of each spread and also served as mini-headlines for the sidebar coverage under them. It’s a subtle, non-overwhelming reader service that serves multiple purposes and is thematically connected.

                                                        – written by Brian Wilson, adviser, Palo Alto High School