Top Tips for Designing a Yearbook with Blossom

Apr 23rd 2019

Designing your yearbook doesn't have to be stressful! At Blossom, we understand how memorable a yearbook can be to a parent, grandparent, or child; and we’re here to help. We put together this list of tips for designing a book with Blossom.

The following tips will help you design and organize your yearbook process and work with the Blossom yearbook software. If you need any additional support, feel free to contact us or use our online design resources. 

1. Plan Ahead - Planning ahead may seem like an obvious one, but you'd be surprised. If you dive into our program without a plan for the layout, design, or message, then you'll end up wasting a lot of time. Try brainstorming everything you’d like to include in your book first and then labeling your pages in your ladder to correspond with those ideas prior to getting started on your design. This will help guide you the rest of the way with which sections go where and how your book flows. 

2. Make a Game Plan - This one is similar to planning ahead, but while you're making that plan it's time to delegate. Father all of your team members and decide who will be designing and putting together each page/section. 

3. Choose a Theme - Using a theme (or a complementary color scheme) helps create consistency throughout your book. Blossom has designed lots of themes for you to use under “Templates” in our design tool, but you can also feel free to create your own! Our themes are also a great place to find inspiration for designing your own theme. 

4. Don't Design Every Page in a Different Style - Make sure everyone on your team knows the theme and sticks to it! Clashing designs can be jarring to the reader – consistency is key.

5. Use Our Page Guidelines - All pages in our online design tool include guidelines to assist in your design. The outermost orange line is the bleed line, the middle teal line represents the edge of the page, and the green dotted line is the safe zone. The cover also includes lines indicating the location of the spine. Keep these in mind as you design your pages. Be sure to stretch your backgrounds stretch to the edges of your pages. This creates a clean uniform look to your pages. 

6. Be Aware of Photo Placement - Don't lose your photos and text in the binding or off the outside edge of the pages. Make sure all photos and text are within the green dotted line that represents the safe zone. This will prevent your important design elements from being trimmed off in the production process or being lost in the binding. Make sure your backgrounds extend all the way past the orange bleed line on your page to ensure there’s no unintentional whitespace at the edge of your pages.

7. Design Your Book in Spreads - Designing your pages as two page spreads helps create a flow and consistency for the reader. Think about actually reading the book and how you would best like to consume the information when deciding the layouts of your spreads. 

8. Use Our Preview Tool - Our preview tool allows you to flip through your pages as if it were a finished book. This can be helpful in visualizing how your pages will come together to create your final product before checking out.

9. Choose Fonts Wisely - We recommend using simple, readable fonts for large blocks of text and saving the bolder, crazier fonts for headers and page titles. Simpler fonts are much easier to read, but we also like unique fonts to highlight something special (like the headers/titles or even a quote). 

10. Don't Use Too Many Fonts - Choose two or three of your favorite fonts and consistently use them throughout your book for a clean, organized yearbook.

11. Include Pictures of Everyone - Not being included in the yearbook can be a real bummer. When putting together the non-portrait pages, try to get as many candids of different students as possible. 

12. Review Your Portrait Pages - Don’t check out without reviewing your portrait pages, you don't want to accidentally miss someone. For this very reason, many schools find it helpful to have each teacher proofread the portrait page for their class to ensure all of their students’ photos are included (and their names are spelled correctly).

13. Use the Orders Tab - Our orders tab is very helpful in tracking all of your online orders. However, if you’d rather not use our online store, you can also use the orders tab to keep track of the cash or check orders you receive as well. You can even export a list of all your orders right from this tab.

14. Set Your Online Store Price - Don't forget to set your online store price before collecting online orders. If you intend to use our online store, make sure you’ve set your online store price before you start advertising your store. You can set your online store price when you start your book or by clicking on “Edit Book Details” from your dashboard.

15. Proofread Everything - After working very hard on your yearbook, the last thing you want is it to arrive printed and to find spelling errors. So make sure to proofread your book front to back. Check names, spelling, extra spaces, and inconsistent capitalization.

16. Don’t Assume - Just because one person said they proofed their section, doesn't mean it's 100%. Assign at least 2 people to proof each section to double check for grammar and spelling mistakes. 

17. Keep Our Timelines in Mind - Although we have no deadlines, printing can take time. It depends on what type of book you have for how long it takes.

  • Softcover Books - 3 Weeks for Production + 1 Week for Shipping
  • Hardcover Books - 4 Weeks for Production + 1 Week for Shipping 

If you’re wondering how much time you have left to design your book, check out your countdown located in the upper right-hand corner of our online design tool. This will tell you exactly how much time you have left to design your book to receive them by the desired delivery date you entered when you created your book.

18. Don’t Procrastinate - We don’t have any deadlines at Blossom, but we do recommend giving yourself as much time to design your book as possible!

19. Use Our Resources - You’ll find our user guide, marketing tools, and video tutorials all under the Resources tab in the online design tool.

20. Contact Us for Help - If you need help or have any questions at all, feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 1-800-893-8902. We’re here to help!