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  • Yearbook Creation: 7 Steps to Creating an Outstanding Yearbook

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    Digital Printing

    Yearbook creation can seem like a daunting task, but schools, camps, and organizations are some groups that enjoy offering yearbooks for their members. This type of memory book is often put together every year to commemorate the membership as well as all of the activities the group shared over their time together. However, yearbook creation takes more planning than crafting a typical photo book since it usually represents the varied activities and events shared by the whole group or clubs and teams within the larger community.

    But making yearbook content your group will love isn’t too complicated if you have a clear plan to follow from budgeting to printing the books. Follow our seven easy steps to help you take your yearbook plans from concept to beautiful yearbook creation, ready to put into your group’s hands.

    1. Do the Math for Yearbook Creation

    Before you get started making a yearbook creation, the critical first step is to crunch the numbers related to the process from start to finish. Knowing how much money you need to complete the project can help you plan for a basic book and help in the decision-making process about the extras you might want to include in the yearbook creation.

    Estimated Cost per Book: Whether you are thinking about a yearbook creation with just a few pages or yours is shaping up to be in the hundreds of pages, researching the potential cost to print your yearbook is key to making your budget work. The style of the book’s cover and the size and weight of the paper you plan to use all figure into the cost of printing a yearbook, so planning for the estimated length and style of your yearbook can help you arrive at an estimated final cost per book.

    Number of Copies: One of the key planning numbers to determine ahead of time is how many books you plan to produce. Offering a pre-order option can help groups pinpoint this number for a group of any size, but most groups also print a few extras to have on hand for those who forgot to order the yearbook as well as one to keep for the organization’s historical record.

    Overall Budget: Consider what kind of funding you have for the yearbook, from yearbook creation to paying professional support staff to printing the books themselves. You may have a firm budget in mind that includes all seed money while many groups rely on pre-selling yearbooks to help fund the creation process. Considering a pre-pay option for your yearbook project can help provide a cushion for the upfront costs if the budget is slim.

    Professional Support: Many groups making yearbooks work with a combination of professional and volunteer photographers. A large number of donated photographs or pictures taken by student or volunteer photographers are critical for yearbook creation that doesn’t break the budget. But paying a professional photographer to efficiently produce quality photos of groups or organizations you plan to include in the yearbook can ensure that the photos of your members all look great and are produced with a consistent color, quality, and style so your yearbook will look appealing to members.

    2. Create a Content Plan

    Once you have a clear budget in mind, it’s time to begin planning what you want your yearbook to look like and how you want to structure it.

    Consider the activities the group works on together and separately to determine how to best represent the group’s time together. Many yearbooks are organized by themes that capture the essence of the group over time while content sections covering clubs, teams, or popular activities are also popular. While creating a content plan, don’t forget to leave a few blank spaces or dedicated pages for the time-honored tradition of signing yearbooks.

    3. Gather Content for Your Yearbook Creation

    Bringing together the pictures, names, stories, and memories of the past year is the next step in yearbook creation.

    • Divide the tasks up among group members or dedicated yearbook volunteers who can devote time and resources to the task they are given.
    • Contact and schedule the services of a professional photographer if you are using one.
    • Consider setting up a photo donation spot for group members if you anticipate needing more contributions to make a meaningful yearbook. For donated photographs, request high-resolution photographs with a 300 dpi if possible to ensure clear photos on the pages of your book.
    • Set deadlines for content collection so your team will have plenty of time to organize, edit, and print the yearbook by the date you want to distribute the book to members.

    4. Choose Templates to Organize Yearbook Creation

    Save yourself time and a lot of effort by using a pre-designed template created especially for yearbook creation. Free templates are available for just about every type of book content, and many are also editable so you can alter them to fit your book’s pages or insert graphics or other design elements to personalize your book. Yearbook creation from scratch is a lengthy process but using a template can help you meet your deadlines so your members can enjoy their yearbook by the date it was promised to arrive.

    5. Format the Yearbook

    Once your book content has been organized into sections, chapters, or categories, it’s time to put it all together. Formatting your yearbook includes putting the content together into a logical order, numbering the content pages, and then creating the extra pages found at the front and back of the book that are commonly found in a published yearbook.

    The front matter pages of a literary book may include a title page and a Table of Contents, and both of these are not only helpful but necessary for yearbooks that represent large groups with many organizations, clubs, and teams on the pages of the book. Some yearbooks also include an index at the back where each member’s name is listed along with the pages they can be found inside the yearbook.

    The book’s format should be consistent from the first page to the last, including the font sizes and styles used for each category or type of content and the style and placement of recurring content like page numbers.

    6. Edit and Proofread the Yearbook

    While beautiful yearbooks are the result of many hours of planning, organizing, and writing content, editing and proofreading are also necessary to ensure that your book doesn’t go to print with grammar, spelling, or content mistakes.

    Not only will these small errors look unprofessional but members who pay for their yearbook can feel slighted, as if their money was not well spent. And no editor wants their name attached to a big project like a yearbook that is riddled with errors. Plan on asking multiple people to review each section of the yearbook, some searching for errors in spelling, word choices, or punctuation.

    A proofreader should also review all yearbook content to make sure that photos and stories include the correct names, details, and stories are factually correct and content is placed in the right context in the yearbook before finalizing the yearbook.

    7. Printing a Yearbook

    Congratulations! You can see the finish line now, but the last stage of yearbook creation is partnering with a digital printer that can help you turn your hard work into a gorgeous yearbook that your members will love. Dazzle Printing can help you with a quick turnaround.

    Once your book PDF file is complete, place your order with the printer and set up your distribution plans so when the book boxes arrive, you will be ready to get the yearbooks into the hands of your group so they can start enjoying the fabulous book of memories you have created.


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