Yearbook Profile Ideas-Part 1-The Design

Quite a few of my recent school visits have involved discussions on new yearbook profile ideas . Yearbook staffs have planned space on their portrait pages, or full pages, or entire spreads, or, in some cases, dedicated mini-magazines to these individual stories. There is a lot to consider when planning these pages, and so, what started out as a short blog post to help inspire creative layouts and writing has turned into a 2-part series on the trend of personal profiles in yearbooks. In this post we’ll focus on design, and in part 2 we’ll focus on the copy.

So, let’s get started:

  1. If you don’t have profiles in your yearbook, why not? It’s a great way to increase coverage. Focus on students who are not usually in the spotlight. Do some digging–find those students who quietly go about the business of doing amazing things, either on or off campus. Highlight the true stories of your campus’ unsung heroes. Every school has them–ask around.
  2. Yearbook profiles can turn your faculty and staff into real people. Yes, the adults on your campus are all real human beings with real lives and real stories, too. And what better way to share how amazing some of them really are than with a creative profile.
  3. Profiles are a great way to showcase some creative photography, introduce eye-poping graphics, play with typography, and a great way to add some creative writing to your book. These are the pages where you can break all the rules, break out of the box, break away from the status quo and break into pure creativity. There are no “right” ways to present amazing people with amazing stories to your yearbook readers and school communities.

Here are some examples of awesome profile creativeness:

2009 Skjold, Corning-Painted Post West High School

2009 Skjold Profiles Section Divider

Expanding on the idea of personal profiles, this book featured a special magazine section that included 25 profiles of both students and staff. A photo composite made up of sections of all their faces served as both introduction and table of contents.

2008 The Buzzer, Brookville High School

The Buzzer Brookville High Profile

The staff took students off campus and photographed them in settings that enhanced their stories. The integrated visual and verbal elements created strong, emotional pages.

2008 Scandia, Inglemoor High School

2008 Scandia Student Profiles

The Scandia staff chose this colorful, playful way to profile their selected students on one spread.

2008 Teresian, Santa Teresa’s Academy

2008 Teresian Profiles on student portrait pages.