Five Mid-Summer Classic Yearbook Tips

This week the Boys of Summer (major league baseball players) are getting a little break—except the best of the best. The game’s best sluggers square off tonight in the Home Run Derby, and tomorrow night, we’ll gather around the TV (or join the festivities at Chase Field in Phoenix if you’re one of the 48,000 lucky enough to score a ticket) to watch the year’s best players in each league go head-to-head in the All-Star Game.

What does all this baseball talk have to do with yearbook tips, you ask? Well, despite the break, the best of the best in baseball are still playing. Are you? Here are five yearbook tips to do during the summer break to help make your yearbook one of the best of the best.

  1. Keep an eye open for design ideas. As you flip through magazines while relaxing on the beach or flying to your vacation destination, look for beautiful layout designs or pages that simply draw you in. See any interesting secondary package ideas? What about graphics or info-graphic ideas? How about type treatments? Profile photo possibilities? Collect these pages in a folder or notebook to share with your staff in the fall to inspire and motivate.
  2. Explore new resources.  Purchase a few magazines or design collections you wouldn’t normally read. For example, if you’re a Real Simple reader, buy a surf or skate magazine like Transworld Surf or Skateboarder. If you’re an avid O or People Magazine fan, how about looking at a business/tech periodical like Entrepreneur or Wired. If you read mainly news magazines, check out ESPN for a change of pace.  Splurge and get a copy of Communication Arts’ Typography Annual or a subscription to see what’s hot in the world of typography design. Purchase/check out from the library a book or two on design or typography.  Try Graphic Design The New Basics, Layout Workbook, or Typography Workbook for starters.
  3. Do some web surfing. Look for interesting typography. Here’s a great place to start: 42 Amazing Resources For Inspirational Typography. Look for color pallets you like, or even build your own. Try for inspiration and a place to play with color.  Or, how about honing your own design skills by viewing some tutorials? For InDesign tutorials, check out Both those website also have tutorials on Photoshop, but check out as well. Of course, our very own Herff Jones website, also has all kinds of tutorials for our customers.
  4. Develop your photography skills. While you are vacationing, dedicate some serious photography time. Concentrate on getting some photos you can use while teaching the importance of content, framing, rule of thirds, action, reaction, and emotion. Or, designate one day to go on your own urban/suburban photo safari. Chose a location or event near you that would make for some varied and interesting pictures. Need some direction? Go to for some “assignments” as well as tips and tutorials.
  5. Critique last year’s yearbook. Now that you’ve had a little time to recover from the year, it won’t be so painful to go back and take a harsh look at your work. Look over each page with fresh eyes. Don’t just focus on the negative, but do look critically. Note three things you did well and commit to continuing that level of success. Note three things that need improvement and make a conscious choice to improve at least two of those things in next year’s book. Want a professional’s opinion? Both National Scholastic Press Association and Columbia Scholastic Press Association offer critique services with their memberships. Go to (NSPA) or (CSPA) to download forms for these services.

Oh, and don’t forget to take in a ballgame! It just wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the yard, a ballpark dog, and some garlic fries!


Know of other great sites to share? Post them in the comments section below.


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