Creating a Yearbook Style Guide

Creating a Yearbook Style Guide

Jul 27th 2016

Working with Blossom this year and want to get a headstart on your curriculum planning or yearbook design? Start here. By creating a yearbook style guide, not only will your finished yearbook look professionally-designed and cohesive, it will come together quicker and communication will be stronger for all members of your yearbook design team!

A yearbook style guide is a categorization of every element category of a yearbook including photos, headers/titles, subtitles, subheaders, index, preface, templates, etc. It then focuses on each and every category section, featuring a compilation of fonts, styles, colors and more that could be used in each element category.

The point of a yearbook style guide is consistency. Creating and using a set style guide can also help to keep different groups working on different sections cohesive throughout. You can have two or more groups assigned to and working on specific school clubs who are able to keep their sections in harmony without previewing each other’s work. Below are some tips for creating a harmonious yearbook style guide to avoid conflicts and to promote cohesion throughout the entirety of the book.

The voice of the yearbook is one of the most important aspects to establish before any writing begins. Many people we’ve spoken to have admitted to overlooking this aspect of writing. All too often, especially in situations where there are multiple groups creating one book, a voice is not established before writing commences and it leads to a non-cohesive story. The voice refers to the tone and language used, such as inspirational, professional, conversational and more. Decide on a voice for your yearbook and ensure all interested parties understand and agree.

The speech used differs vastly from the voice. The voice encompasses tone and direction for the language. The speech is the actual language itself. For example: if you decide to employ technical writing, ensure that all writing follows suit. However, for yearbooks, it is best to use plain English wherever possible. Remember some of the basic rules of writing in general:
• Cut out any language that is group or age-specific. If your yearbook is for high school, remember, these books will be read 30 years from now. It must still speak to the reader then, as it should now.
• Anytime a word can be cut out, cut it out. There is never a need to lengthen a sentence or a point that has already been made clear.
• Whenever possible, use everyday speech to explain a point. Never substitute a smaller word for a longer one.
• Always ask yourself, “What point am I trying to make?” “Have I made my point clear?” “What have I left to interpretation?”

When it comes to font, experiment. You need to establish your title font, your subtitle font, your body text font, caption font, and subheader font. Once you have decided on the best looking font for each of those, you must then find the right size for each font group.

You should always have a set color palette. This should apply to all text color, content modules, and image frames. Once the palette is established, each group will have a set of guidelines to go by.

Establishing a layout will help to define where images are to be placed by way of content modules. Content modules also help to separate areas on each page through side bars, etc.

While designing your own yearbook is an adventure in itself, there is no reason to not make it as fun as possible. Blossom allows you to design, create and publish your yearbook at any scale. If you run into any trouble, our dedicated support staff is here to help. Feel free to live chat, email us at [email protected] or call 1-800-893-8902.