January 26, 2018 / Coverage / Design

Spicy sides for your yearbook coverage

Written by Gracie MacDonell

Updated by Walsworth Yearbooks

You can add flavor to your yearbook coverage by using different ways to serve up the information.

Meat and potatoes are satisfying, but vegetables and fruits are essential, and appetizers and dessert are fun. When you think of how to present a story, think about a meal. Does it need a filling feature story with a sweet pull quote? Or maybe a veggie plate of charts will suffice.

When you need information pulled out and explained further, or in a different way, consider using pie charts, surveys, lists, quote boxes, timelines, tables and fast-fact boxes to tell the complete story – and leave readers pleasantly full.

Good reasons to use these items:

  • Lets you include information that does not fit the traditional copy/caption mold.
  • Enhances other content with supplemental facts and opinions.
  • Uses and saves space in a new and interesting way.
  • On this page about exercise from the 2017 Hinsdale Central yearbook, the staff included a chart about popular gyms where students like to work out and a graphic comparing the Apple Watch and the Fitbit.

    Whisks art and copy together to inform and entice the reader.

Secondary coverage can carry your theme throughout the book.

  • Create a survey with questions related to your theme that goes out to all students at the beginning of the year. Use the answers throughout the book.
  • Use your theme colors on your infographics.
  • Create sidebars and personality profiles to incorporate your theme.

Coverage using these secondary methods is still coverage, and it takes work to get the information. You must still interview students, take surveys and do research to come up with the information.

What’s in your meal?

  • Include information obtained from student polls or surveys, and other opinion-based information such as interesting quotes, trends or viewpoints.
  • Round out a story with the necessary ingredients, including general club, class and team information – dry data made interesting.
  • Add interesting tidbits such as cultural references or related facts.
  • Make needed statistics, such as team scores, numerical data and timelines palatable.

Polls and surveys

  • Polls provide a quick-read of relevant information.
  • Answers can be presented as graphics, graphs, pie charts, bar charts, pull quotes and more.
  • Brainstorm questions to incorporate your theme throughout your book.

Charts

  • In the 2017 North Allegheny yearbook, a spread about girls soccer included a quote box from players talking about their favorite part of the team uniform.

    Think about the best type chart to clearly and quickly disseminate your information.

  • Consider using your theme colors for the different areas.
  • Use one of these types: Fever chart, Pie chart, Bar chart, Table (think scoreboards), Fast fact boxes

Lists

  • Gives you a great format for presenting information in a clear, obvious manner.
  • If the list has an order, use numbers. If not, use bullet points, such as a small theme graphic.
  • Lists efficiently shorten a feature story by pulling out information such as names and awards.

Timelines

  • A logical way to present chronological information
  • Great idea for anniversary books
  • Does not have to follow the traditional, straight-line format – consider a bar or fever chart

Quote boxes

  • Interesting quotes grab readers’ attention and leave them hungry for more information
  • Visually appealing when used as an independent design element
  • Excellent way to tie content to theme

Sidebar copy

  • Shorter than a feature story
  • Provides an in-depth look at one aspect of the main story
  • May include a pull-out quote, image, graphic element and some statistics

So, like a little spice and variety makes a meal more interesting, add spice and variety to your coverage by using different ways to present information to your readers.

Gracie MacDonell

Gracie MacDonell is a former Walsworth Yearbooks sales rep and teacher in the St. Louis area.