DESIGN STUDIO It’s more than a look, more than an attitude. If you’re going for highest impact, the
VOICE YEARBOOK OF YOUR
by PAUL ENDER
For decades, staffers have bought into the fact that visual identifiers make a yearbook’s theme or concept easy to identify. They have used color, type, shapes and patterns to link the cover, the endsheets, the opening, dividers and closing to create a cohesive visual package that distinguishes each volume from its predecessors and successors. Through discussions on tone (or personality), it’s generally understood that the “look” of the theme and the context of the message need to be similar. It’d be crazy to use wild, over-the-edge visuals with a “Classically Central” theme or a script reminiscent of a wedding invitation on “The Ultimate Challenge” or “Those are Fighting Words.”
is all of that and more.
As we move on to books whose voices are even stronger and more developed, there may also be an effect on the book’s organization. The “requirement” of a theme followed by six traditional sections has been replaced by books with two sections, three sections or more. The thing that’s important is this: the book needs to be easy for the readers to use and the change to a completely new and different book format should make sense once they’ve read the opening copy. If you decided you want to do a three-section book and then chose “Two Sides to Every Story” as your theme or a pattern of five photos as your graphic, we’d be right back to the mixed messages we want to avoid. The most amazing thematic work takes conceptual development a step further, adding coverage modules and specific stories based on their relevance to the central idea and the contributions they make to the overall message. This could be an array of first-person stories or adding actual signatures in a volume themed “I Am” or a library of mods tied to the concept “Either/Or” with labels like “Pro/Con” and “He Said/She Said” or “Better/Worse” and “Pass/Fail.”
More staffs are working on really creating a unified verbal voice as well. The word choice, the flow, the cadence can have an amazing influence on the stories you choose to present. Just as it’s important that all of the designs feel like they work together, it’s usually best if a single writer or team provides all of the theme/concept copy. And consistency in message is equally important here; a sassy visual with concise, polite sentences will have less impact than a loud, proud Remember, the voice of the book should be strong and unified; the look accompanied by staccato sentences paired with power verbs and look, the feel, the tone, the organization and even the coverage will be concrete comparisons. united by the strongest of themes.
hARDCORE STAFFERS WROTE SECONDARY headlines tHAT WERE 10 WORDS LONG. This was not the case on every spread, but there were lots of 10-word headlines for those who sought them out.
Y e a r b o o k DIS C O V ERIES
DISCOVERIES VOL15 ISSUE 1