What do yearbook inspiration and a surfing guide have in common, you ask? Lots, actually. It’s February, and often during these last few weeks of winter, yearbook staffs are desperately seeking new yearbook inspiration. For decades yearbook advisers have had their staffs maintain inspiration folders, whether that be a graphics notebook or a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine articles for copy inspiration. But who gets magazines anymore? The Internet, now the default “go to”, is both the best and worst place for resources. But if you know how to surf it, you can get amazing ideas to implement in your book today.
With all the resources out in cyberspace, it is easy to get bogged down in a deluge of information. But by organizing your search into specific categories like general yearbook, copy, design, journalism and photography, you can find and bookmark the sites most appealing to you.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite sites listed by category. (This list is a starting point. Most of these sites contain links to other great sites, so go ahead…surf away!)
Herff Jones Yearbooks: www.yearbooks.biz
Yes, this is a shameless plug for our company’s site, but you really can find thousands of resources created by the geniuses at Herff Jones. There is everything you need from marketing to page design. Need help with indexing? Need lessons for InDesign? The FAQ tab is your one stop shop for everything yearbook.
Yearbook Discoveries: www.yearbookdiscoveries.com
Welcome to the world of Yearbook Discoveries, an online magazine where the latest yearbook information is at your fingertips. It’s a magazine about yearbooks for advisers and editors, as well as others who share the passion. There’s yearbook information galore! Details on the newest technology, time-saving tips, layout ideas, educational support materials and organizational tools, all displayed in an easy-to-use format.
Want to boost your presentation skills? Head to Prezi to create a PowerPoint on steroids. But, before you start creating your own, check out the “Explore” section and search for “Yearbook”. You’ll find more than 1,000 presentations. But don’t limit your search to “yearbook”. Search “headlines”, or “infographics” to find a plethora of great, topic-specific resources.
Before and After Magazine: www.bamagazine.com
Arguably one of the best design blogs on the internet. John McWade and others will teach you and show how to design something beautiful from start to finish. There are lots of how-to videos, as well as examples of “before and after” designs.
Itself a beautifully designed blog, Abduzeedo is filled with design inspiration as well as tutorials. Be forewarned: you will spend hours on this site. You can even submit your own work to be featured.
A site of online portfolios. You can search for just about anything and then see various artists’ portfolios for everything they have to offer. Most portfolios specialize in the following creative fields: graphic design, photography, interactive design, art direction and illustration.
Use Pinterest for more than just wedding dresses and recipes. Search for anything yearbook related and you will find tons of boards dedicated to that topic. Check out our own boards at The Yearbook Ladies, as well as those offered by these great sources: Herff Jones Yearbooks, Ginger Thompson, andMO’reYearbooks. Or search these terms for even more inspiration: yearbook, page design, headlines, infographics.
Journalism Education Association: www.jea.org
The best place to find all the guidelines for creating an award-winning yearbook and information on their national conventions. The bookstore is also filled with books to help with any question you may have related to journalism.
National Scholastic Press Association: www.studentpress.org/nspa
Check out the Wheel section so you don’t have to reinvent a process someone else has already created. Also, their magazine Blend is a great resource for all your journalism questions.
Student Press Law Center: www.splc.org
Wondering if you can print that story or that picture? The Student Press Law Center is the place to learn about your First Amendment Rights.
Columbia Scholastic Press Association: cspa.columbia.edu
Use their magazine, The Student Press Review for inspiration from award-winning books from around the country. Information about their yearly national convention can also be found here.
The Radical Write: www.radicalwrite.com
Arguably the best book written on scholastic journalism writing. Bobby Hawthorne is the premier authority on writing in newspapers and yearbooks. His Blog is filled with great advice.
The New York Times http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/
The more you read the better writer you will become. But, that’s not all you can do on the New York Times website. The Times has an entire section, the Learning Network, where staffs and advisers can go to find quizzes and lesson plans on how to learn with The New York Times.
These are just a few of the sites out there. Remember: you should use all the resources you can to find inspiration for your yearbook. Print things out. Compile an inspiration notebook. Keep updating throughout the year. Use a service like Evernote to create an online notebook with all your inspiration finds.
Wherever you go to find the inspiration, establish a method to re-find that great inspiration when you need it.
Where do you go for yearbook inspiration? Share links to your favorite sites or blogs in the comments section below, and we’ll do a follow-up post with your best suggestions.
Written by guest contributor Dmitri Conom, former Yearbook Advisor at Bellarmine College Prep and currently an honorary Yearbook Lady.