July 3, 2009 / Idea File Supplement

Individualization of each spread or package

Written by Idea File Staff

For years, consistent design has helped unify each section. Today, cutting-edge books seem to be moving away from this. The Hauberk from Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kan., was the front runner of this move six years ago. The 2002 Hauberk continues to experiment with color, photo placement and font usage to create the unique spreads that are a trademark of this book. These four spreads are all from the student life section. Although their creativity is unbridled, font usage has been limited to five headline and byline choices throughout the book.


“The biggest thing in design is more individualization of each spread or of each little package of coverage. When we first started using PageMaker, we used to develop templates, and then everything in the section would look very similar. Now we’re moving toward more customizing in each individual section.”

Jim Jordan
Decamhian
Del Campo High School
Thousand Oaks, Calif.

The Lair from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, Shawnee, Kan., has been creating nontraditional sections for several years. In their 2002 book, they took a new direction, combining student life and academics on the basis that academics are the student part of student life. Clubs and sports were combined because both occur outside the academic day. Mini-mag and world and community combined to form a section on specialized coverage featuring profiles, issue stories, round table discussions, and current events. The reference section includes panel pages, group photos and the index. No stories are included in this section. Staff members found that taking stories out of the panel pages cut the section by almost 40 percent, giving them 40 additional pages that could be used elsewhere in the book.

Trying another unconventional approach, the Wings staff from Arrowhead Christian Academy, Redlands, Calif., decided to forgo sections altogether. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? The staff found that although they loved the freedom of their sectionless book, determining the appropriate placement for each story was more difficult without the organizing effect of sections.

“People shouldn’t be afraid to switch up their book. Just because sports were on pages 170-225 last year and the year before doesn’t mean it has to be that way this year.”
Renee Burke
Legend
Boone High School
Orlando, Fla

Idea File Staff

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