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16 AWARD WINNERS. Learn mo re about all of the Herff Jones-printed yearbo oks honored in last spring 's CSPA Crown & NSPA/A CP Pacemaker compet itions.

AUGMENTED LIGHTING. See how adding these notall-that expensive tools to your photo team’s gear stash can mean more powerful images for your book.

IN IT TOGETHER. A shift in thinking can imp rove the staffroom environment, your staffers’ effectiveness — and their attitudes toward each othe r and your shared goals.


WRITERS DAN AUSTIN Casa Roble HS Orangevale, CA wordsmith extraordinaire // man of too many questions // newlywed


graphic design queen // lip smacker and whip cracker // street taco aficionado

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ann Akers, MJE ART DIRECTOR Samantha Long DESIGNERS Rashaad Bilal Brandon Lee Greg Rutkowski Erin Wilson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jamie Silver, Herff Jones Rep Hawthorn Woods, IL Photos submitted by: // Arvada (CO) HS

NICK BIHM Lafayette (LA) HS new kid on the block // bearded peanut gallery // coffeedependent dog-lover

MICHAEL SIMONS, MJE Corning-Painted Post HS Corning, NY

// Cleveland STEM HS Seattle, WA // Corning-Painted Post HS Corning, NY

photo gear geek // staff unifier // baker of bread



Antelope (CA) HS

Arvada (CO) HS

design divo // exceptional delegater // sushi king

idea factory // design ninja // coffee disciple



Greenfield Jr. HS Gilbert, AZ

Toby Johnson MS Elk Grove, CA

caring coverage guru // heart of the campus // swim mom

marketing master // theme driven // board game geek

Herff Jones‘ Yearbook Discoveries Volume Twenty-two Issue One was produced electronically using Adobe® InDesign® CC, Adobe Illustrator® CC and Adobe Photoshop® CC. This magazine was created on a Mac Pro, 2.66 GHz with 6 GB of RAM and printed by Herff Jones, LLC, at its Kansas City, KS printing facility. The cover was printed on White Vibracolor endsheet stock and the magazine itself was printed on 80# matte stock using four-color process inks. The fonts used in this issue are variations of the extended AHJ Unitus and AHJ Urbano font families. Herff Jones and the Herff Jones logo are registered trademarks of Herff Jones, LLC. Apple and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. Contact yrbkmkt@ for more information. HERFF JONES YEARBOOKS 4625 W 62nd Street Indianapolis, IN 46268

WRITER INTRO QUESTIONS: Reputation among adviser friends? // How editors would describe you? // Unrelated fun fact?


2 SO MANY! SO PROUD. Kudos to the HJ winners of CSPA Crown awards and ACP/ NSPA Pacemaker recognition.

8 ASKING FOR COMMUNITY HELP MAKES A DIFFERENCE This class raises money so the school staff can award free books to deserving students.



Making sure your staff is a reflection of your school can improve coverage and more.

Using unifier-driven coverage strategies advances your theme with identifiable power.



Consider acquiring lighting equipment that helps you craft more dramatic photographs.

No shock here; the adviser’s approach affects the staff’s sense of ownership and pride.

16 22 THE CHALLENGE IS REAL Small books can achieve big results by planning to tell even more stories than ever before.

IT’S HIP TO BE SQUARE New Herff Jones design coverage tools make creating fresh yearbooks easier.

24 HELPFUL HINDSIGHT A second-year adviser shares some things he wishes he’d known as a rookie last year.

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WOO HOO! Most yearbook editors and advisers can remember the first time they held a yearbook they produced in their hands. Many “love” the smell of fresh ink and remember the squeals as staffers first made their way through their masterpiece. It’s a different kind of joy when you see the entire school community engrossed in the volume you created. When students gather and enjoy the book together — gasping, laughing, recalling the moments of the year — it makes the long hours and repeated revisions worthwhile. And when panels of neutral expert judges name a yearbook a Crown or Pacemaker Finalist, there’s yet another kind of

pride and appreciation. A nod to either exclusive list means that industry leaders have selected a volume as exemplary in concept, design, reporting, coverage and photography. Last spring just 110 2016 volumes worldwide were honored in CSPA’s Crown or NSPA’s Pacemaker competitions. Herff Jones printed 49 of those, more than twice as many printed by any other yearbook company. And HJ-printed books also outpaced the others in each of the award categories, in Gold Crown/Pacemaker winners and in books that made both lists. So pleased to have such amazing partners!

Want to see more of the award-winning books? Go to





THEMES FAMILIAR Both 1. Parkway West (MO) and 2. Pleasant Grove (TX) chose Don’t Blink as their unifier, but similarities ended there. HANDWRITTEN ACCENTS A casual accent font connected 2. Pleasant Grove to 3. Casa Roble (CA) and 4. Walnut (CA), both of which added handdrawn art as well.


3. 6. 5.

MAKE IT PERSONAL 5. Enochs and 6. Lewis-Palmer (CO) both had themes where the word “you” was prominent. And Lewis-Palmer’s advice was similar to that given by 1. Parkway and 2. Pleasant Grove.

DISTINCTIVE PALETTE Black, white and yellow created a cohesive brand package for both 4. Walnut and 5. Enochs (CA).





Herff Jones schools won 9 of the 21 2017 Gold Crowns.

Herff Jones schools won nearly 70% more Pacemakers than any other company.

HJ schools took 26 Silver Crowns, more than all others combined.

Herff Jones also led the way with 30 Finalists! (37%)

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04 2016 PACEMAKER WINNERS FARRIER, The Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA • WINGSPAN, James C. Enochs HS, Modesto, CA • RAMPAGES, Casa Roble HS, Orangevale, CA • THE PROWL, Powell MS, Littleton, CO • PANTHER, H.B. Plant HS, Tampa, FL • JABBERWOKK, Darlington School, Rome, GA • PARAGON, Munster (IN) HS • PAWESEHI, Parkway West HS, Ballwin, MO • WESTWIND, West Henderson HS, Hendersonville, NC • THE HAWK, Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, TX • LAIR, Lake Braddock HS, Burke, VA • ODYSSEY, Chantilly (VA) HS • SENTRY, Robinson MS, Fairfax, VA • THE CLAN, McLean (VA) HS • AQUILA, Freedom HS, South Riding, VA



RAMPAGES Casa Roble HS Orangevale, CA

THE PROWL Powell MS Littleton, CO PAWESEHI Parkway West HS Ballwin, MO

WESTWIND West Henderson HS Hendersonville, NC

THE HAWK Pleasant Grove HS Texarkana, TX



320= 80= 160= 80= 240= 680= 160= 80= 560= 240= 80= 160= 80= 367680=





2016 PACEMAKER FINALISTS NUGGET, Cupertino (CA) HS • JAMBOREE, Toby Johnson MS, Elk Grove, CA • GOLDEN IMAGES, Chaparral HS, Parker, CO • EAGLE EYE VIEW, Sierra MS, Parker, CO • TRILLIUM, Trumbull (CT) HS • *ARBUTUS, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN • QUIVER, Lake Central HS, St. John, IN • *ROYAL PURPLE, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS • LE FLAMBEAU, Notre Dame de Sion, Kansas City, MO • THE LEGEND, Lafayette HS, Wildwood, MO • TESSERAE, Corning-Painted Post HS, Corning, NY • LION’S ROAR, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Nashville, TN • THE GUARDIAN, Westfield HS, Chantilly, VA • COLUMBIAN, George C. Marshall HS, Falls Church, VA • LEGACY, Potomac Falls HS, Sterling, VA *ACP will announce its University Pacemakers at the annual Fall National College Media Convention in Dallas in October.












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West Henderson HS has been recognized nationally.

Streak for back-to-back recognition.

Herff Jones schools first honored for 2016 volumes.


2017 GOLD CROWNS (2016 BOOKS) CRAG, Turner Ashby HS, Bridgewater, VA • EAGLE EYE VIEW, Sierra MS, Parker, CO • LA VISTA, Mountain View HS, Mesa, AZ • LACONIAN, Salem (VA) HS • PAWESEHI, Parkway West HS, Ballwin, MO • RAMPAGES, Casa Roble HS, Orangevale, CA • THE HAWK, Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, TX • THE PROWL, Powell MS, Littleton, CO • WESTWIND, West Henderson HS, Hendersonville, NC

2017 SILVER CROWNS (2016 BOOKS) BUZZER, Brookville HS, Lynchburg, VA • CALUMET, Arapahoe HS, Centennial, CO • CAYUSE, Walnut (CA) HS • COLUMBIAN, George C. Marshall HS, Falls Church, VA • FALCON NATION, Katherine Albiani MS, Elk Grove, CA • FARRIER, The Mirman School, Los Angeles, CA • GOLDEN IMAGES, Chaparral HS, Parker, CO • HILSBOREAN, Hillsborough HS, Tampa, FL • IDITAROD, Tuscarora HS, Leesburg, VA • INGENIUM, Greenfield Jr. HS, Gilbert, AZ • JABBERWOKK, Darlington School, Rome, GA • JUNIOR APPALACHIAN, Maryville (TN) Jr. HS • LAIR, Lake Braddock HS, Burke, VA • MESQUITE ROOTS, Mesquite HS, Gilbert, AZ • PANORAMA, Suffern (NY) HS • PANTHER, H.B. Plant HS, Tampa, FL • REFLECTIONS, Brighton (CO) HS • SENTRY, Robinson MS, Fairfax, VA • SUNSET, Corona del Sol HS, Tempe, AZ • TECHNIQUES, Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA • TESSERAE, Corning-Painted Post HS, Corning, NY • THE CLAN, McLean (VA) HS • TITANIUM, Antelope (CA) HS • TRAIL, Overland HS, Aurora, CO • WESTWIND, Lewis-Palmer HS, Monument, CO • WINGSPAN, James Enochs HS, Modesto, CA

FIRST-TIME WINNERS TOP TO BOTTOM Darlington School, Rome, GA H.B. Plant HS, Tampa, FL Hillsborough HS, Tampa, FL Katherine Albiani MS, Elk Grove, CA Potomac Falls HS, Sterling, VA Trumbull (CT) HS Tuscarora HS, Leesburg, VA

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“I don’t really want a yearbook anyway.” That response — along with a prolonged look at the ground — really pulled at my heart a few years ago. I knew students at our school really did like our yearbooks and that many of the kids who weren’t on our distribution list wanted one, they just truly couldn’t afford a copy... so saying they didn’t want a book was just easier. A few years ago, my staff wanted to give back to the school community and provide yearbooks for kids who couldn’t afford one so they created an angels program, designed to grant yearbooks to deserving non-buyers. In addition to ad sales, they started offering a $20 sponsorship option to purchase yearbooks for students who couldn’t otherwise afford one. That year, they raised enough money to purchase and award 10 books.

After seeing the reactions from the students who had received gifted copies in 2015, my students were motivated to try and do even more. In the second year of our angels program, the staff raised enough money to allow teachers to award 55 books. They loved what happened when more students had books and when the joy of having a yearbook was even more widespread and inclusive. In 2017, my students raised enough money for every adult on campus to award a free yearbook to a deserving student; that was 106 extra books in students’ hands. The yearbook angel program has become an important component of our yearbook traditions; helping my students acquire life skills and knowledge and become directly involved with their school and local communities in a different and meaningful way. // LAURA ZHU, CJE

HOW DO YOU GET STARTED? FIRST, WORK WITH YOUR REP. Calculate your real price per book. Factor in any ad sales, technology purchase needs, equipment /software upgrades, fundraising, etc. Really take some time to look at your budget. The cost of each book you make varies year to year so work closely with your rep to determine each year’s true cost. We make sure our angel book price covers the cost of the books and contributes to our program’s needs, but not the “fun stuff” like pizzas and staff shirts. We’d rather gift as many books as possible to delight students for years to come.

START SMALL. You might begin by asking for $20 donations. You can send donors thank you cards or list them on a sponsorship page in the yearbook. Businesses really liked the staff photo thank you cards we made; some posted them in their business windows.

USE YOUR YEARBOOK STAFF NETWORK. My students send letters to their connections in the community and parents are informed about our goals before the school year starts at a Yearbook Parent Night. This year we had a parent with strong community connections who was able to help us connect with some big local sponsors. The sponsors asked us how we could support them in return so we displayed their banners at our distribution party, thanked them at the event and gave them positive shout-outs on our Instagram page so the sponsors earned some actual promotional value. Another school in our area made deals with large corporate sponsors. If this works for you, your theme and your district policies, it could be worth a try.

MOTIVATE YOUR STUDENTS. In my class, students earn JAMBOREE Toby Johnson MS Elk Grove, CA

With inclusive spreads featuring lots of students, Jamboree staffers tried to preserve faces and memories to help the year last longer. // In 2017, that goal was theme related. // A staff photo turns a thank you into signage suitable for display.

their yearbook sweatshirt when they sell three ads or get four sponsorships. Five “no” responses earns them the equivalent of a single ad sale; at least they are actively asking for support. It’s a really incredible feeling to provide a student with a yearbook. In addition, it builds positive relationships and goodwill between the yearbook and school staffs. Our teachers are even better about providing story ideas and advance notice for great photo opps since we involved them as a massive yearbook angel selection committee.

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It’s time for a reality check. More often than not, I hear advisers say it’s hard to get diverse students to sign up for their yearbook or newspaper program. My question to those teachers is, “What is your definition of diversity?” Every year in September, when I get my first look at my journalism class roster, the first thing I do is examine the list under my diversity lens. Whose name is the easiest to pronounce? Check. How many girls? Boys? Too many girls. Who might be Muslim? Any Asians? Plenty. Are any of these students out and proud? Mexican? Black? Yes, yes and yes. Athletes? A few. What about white students? Uh oh! At Cleveland STEM High School in Seattle — where the student body is 93 percent students of color — recruiting white students can be problematic. It’s a tactic most schools don’t have to worry about. But at CHS, white students are in the minority. In a school of 850 students, fewer than 70 are white. As advisers, we get excited when students — especially the good ones — return for another year. It’s easy to have them recruit their friends, who usually look like them, participate in the same activities or play the same sports. But to be a successful journalism staff, your team must reflect the makeup of your student body in more ways than that. Yes, it is important for students to see themselves IN the yearbook. It’s just as

ADVISERS STRIVE FOR BALANCE ON THEIR YEARBOOK AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS STAFFS TO ENSURE BETTER COVERAGE, MORE CREDIBILITY AND AN ACCURATE REFLECTION OF THE SCHOOL’S STUDENT POPULATION. RECRUITING WITH INTENTION CAN MAKE ALL ASPECTS OF THE PROCESS BETTER. important to see a reflection of themselves ON the yearbook staff. At Cleveland, we take great strides to recruit a staff that celebrates the diversity of our school. In doing so, we can cover news from perspectives that we never anticipated. Stories about what it’s like to be a white student in a school that is predominantly Asian and Black. Stories about the few teachers of color or the importance of correctly pronouncing names. Including stories like these will not only carry weight with the student body, it also teaches your staff to think beyond their own experiences and see high school through the lens of someone else. When we actively recruit students who don’t generally sign up for our program, we end up coming out ahead. Having true diversity — of all kinds — on our 21-student staff has given us varied perspectives on stories we never even would have known existed. Their stories became our stories and our stories are a reflection of our student body. It’s what gives our yearbook so much flavor. // TERESA SCRIBNER, MJE

// Dakaria Heru, Han Eckelberg, Tina Dang, Cornelius Cambronero, Hewan Mengistu and Ronnie Estoque made up Cleveland’s 2016 -17 diverse leadership team. // Writing staffers of Cleveland Publications work on their yearbook stories after editing page proofs. Just 13 reporters wrote for both the yearbook and newspaper. Each added a different flavor because of the clubs they participated in, the sports they played and the neighborhoods they lived in.


RECRUITING SUCCESS QUESTION YOUR OWN INTENTIONS. If you’re not sincere, students will see through you right away. When you are looking to bring diversity to your staff, view it as a way to learn more about an individual or group that you may not already know. It’s not just about race, religion or sexuality. Find students who have different political beliefs or live in a different neighborhood or speak another language. (Have you ever included a story in Spanish or Mandarin?) Students who feel your intentions are genuine will appreciate the ways you include them.


NETWORK. Does your school have an LGBTQ club? Do you regularly attend your school government meetings? Have you observed Muslim students as they pray? Having yearbook staffers attend meetings lets students and faculty know you are serious about including their voices, their stories and their experiences in the book. Plus, it’s a great way to find a wide range of stories.

RUN A BOOT CAMP. As inclusive as we would like to think we are, there is one sector of students we don’t allow on our staff: freshmen. The first year of high school is difficult enough, so we give them time to learn the ropes. But students who are interested in joining the staff for the next year can participate in a five-week, after-school boot camp, to learn what it’s like to write a story, take photos and design a layout. Last year, we had two white students — both female — and six students of color sign up for our boot camp. Those same white girls attended our state journalism camp this summer. Allowing these students to feel like they could contribute has helped us build relationships for the future. And, our organization is able to find stories that only a freshman could tell.

EMBRACE DEAD WEIGHT. As an adviser I hate it when counselors use my journalism classes as a dumping ground for students who don’t want to be there. But the worst thing you could do is reinforce the idea that they don’t belong. Of course, there are students who will truly make you want to gouge out your own eyeballs on a daily basis, but I offer this challenge: think differently. Instead of seeing them as a problem, see yourself as the problem first. It’s your job to train and teach them, not their job to like something they didn’t want to do to begin with. I look for things we might have in common. Once I am able to forge a personal relationship, students are more willing to accept an assignment. And I don’t start with a soft piece. I throw them the hardest curveball I can so that they know I am trusting them to do well. If it doesn’t work out, they can always leave at the end of the semester, but, until then I make it my mission to find them a place to plug in.

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I’ll get right to it: The kit lens that comes with your entrylevel DSLR camera is, in most situations, probably not doing you any favors. Though professionals like Chase Jarvis are fond of saying “the best camera is the one you have with you,” there are inherent limits in how those ubiquitous 18-55mm kit lenses function — and when your staff needs to use one in a dimly-lit hallway or other area of your school or campus, it’s an uphill battle to produce crisp, properly exposed images for use in your book. While one option is investing in the “Nifty Fifty,” a 50mm f/1.8 lens that is, itself, a game-changer because of its generous, wide-open aperture, advisers and yearbook students alike will find a trove of creative opportunities available to them with the purchase of a hot

shoe strobe, also known as a speedlight or accessory flash. As with so much other photography equipment, yearbook photographers and staffs can save a lot of money by buying an off-brand unit. Canon and Nikon both have a range of speedlights in their lineups, but my flashes of choice come from a third-party manufacturer, Yongnuo. The Yongnuo flashes are, for yearbook photographers, absolutely up to the task and come at a fraction of the price. Check the shopping list in the extended content for more details on my flash of choice, the Yongnuo 568EX-II. Once you’ve acquired the flash and four AA batteries to power it (again, see the shopping list for a recommendation for rechargeable batteries), the first goal will be to have your



// This simple lighting scheme is called a “45/45” — the light (a single strobe with a shootthrough umbrella on a stand) is 45 degrees to one side of the photographer (camera left) and aimed down at a 45 -degree angle above the subject. HELPFUL TIP: Grab an assistant who can stand out of frame, camera right with a foam core board to catch and reflect some light on the subject’s left to increase separation from the background.


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THE MAGIC BEGINS THE MOMENT IT CLICKS! ON- AND OFF-CAMERA SPEEDLIGHTS CAN HELP CREATE MORE DRAMATIC STUDENT IMAGES. IT IS WORTH THE INVESTMENT! // Pointed straight up, a ½- power light behind the subject is all we need to make a dark hallway work for a fun portrait opportunity. // Using a two-light setup, the main light is 45/45 camera left, and a hand-held bare flash with a red gel to create the rosy glow is 45 degrees behind the subject; the assistant’s hand blocks bleed from the light hitting the lens.

photographers learn how to use the strobe in its on-camera position, mounted in the hot shoe above the viewfinder. The basics are easy: with very few exceptions, you want your photographers using the pan and tilt hinge on the light to bounce the flash off ceilings and nearby neutral-colored walls when in use. It is seldom the right solution to point the flash straight at a subject — the light is harsh, hard-edged, and often contributes hot spots (areas of extreme brightness) to the complexion of the subjects. Instead, pan and tilt the head of the flash to create a softer, more sculpted light. It is also important to note at this point that an accessory flash is at its best in indoor settings — you simply cannot reach a distant athlete or subject outdoors, generally speaking. The light won’t reach. Conversely, a speedlight can be a valuable difference-maker in the hallways, gym and classrooms of your building (I am never a fan of using flash during performances by ensembles and actors on stage; it is far too distracting to everyone in the house. Please, do not use flash in performing arts situations!) Try this: with your new speedlight mounted on a camera, and with camera settings established for the environment you’re in, keep the flash off and take a picture. Then, turn the flash on, and with the mode set to E-TTL and the head in the neutral, normal, face-on position, take a picture. Next, pan it 90 degrees to the left or right, and take another picture. Tilt it up 45 degrees, or point it straight up, and take another.

Experiment with different positions and surfaces off of which you can bounce the light, and get familiar with the impact that the subtle changes you make has on your images. You will need to learn about EV, or flash exposure value compensation. These settings, which are easily accessed in the strobes, allow you to cut or boost the flash’s output as needed. A little too hot? Try EV -⅔. Need a bit more punch and light? Try +1, or more. Once a photographer has an understanding of how to bounce and control a speedlight in an on-camera configuration, it’s time to add in wireless triggers like the YN-622 (see the shopping list for details) and get the flash offcamera. For me, this is where the real fun begins! First, understand that in this article I can only set the stage for your exploration. As with so many topics for yearbook staff members and photographers, Google is your friend! Search for “off-camera flash,” “Yongnuo speedlight,” “off-camera flash portrait,” and related terms, and you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds, of tutorials, instructional videos and blog posts. The simple explanation, though, is this: off-camera speedlights can help photographers craft more planned, controlled, sculpted and dramatic lighting in their compositions, particularly with portraits like those that accompany this article. One trigger, acting as a receiver, attaches to your flash. The other, acting as a transmitter, is attached to your camera’s hot shoe. You will use the camera’s menus to manually control

the output of the strobe in fractional amounts ranging from as weak a pulse as 1/128th power up to ¼, ½ or even 1/1 (or full) power. One important thing to remember is that in an environment with bright or daytime ambient light, it’s difficult to make the flash do much of anything except fill in some shadows — it’s a challenge to overpower the sun. But in dim or dark situations, a little bit of flash can go a long way.

Again, experimentation will be key. The YN-622 triggers from Yongnuo recommended in the shopping list have a range out to nearly 300’, and multiple sets of triggers can control two, three, five or even 10 lights or more — so the possibilities for creativity and experimentation are limitless. Add other modifiers, like umbrellas (see the shopping list), softboxes and snoots, and you can shape light to meet the needs of your vision and planned composition.

Last, you might visit your theater department and get some of their old spotlight gels — colored bits of transparent plastic — or buy a small pack online, and add beautiful hues in side, rim and backlight accents in your images. More than anything, I want to encourage you to make the investment in equipment, then get it in the hands of your students who will experiment and push their images to a new creative level, with off-camera light! // MICHAEL SIMONS, MJE

TESSERAE Corning-Painted Post HS Corning, NY

// Each of the 10 environmental portraits that accompanied the profiles in our 2017 yearbook was shot with two 45/45 lights, one in front of the subject and the other behind. // In the set-up shot above, the photographer has the subject standing in the tree’s shadow to control ambient light, while a bare-bulb flash back right provides separation on her left side.

IT CAN SOMETIMES BE A CHALLENGE TO TURN THOSE GREAT IDEAS FROM WORKSHOPS INTO REALITY, BUT THESE QUICK TIPS SET THE STAGE FOR EXPANDING YOUR COVERAGE WELL. One purpose of going to yearbook workshops and conventions is to get BIG ideas. But for those of you who advise or edit smaller books, it’s often hard to implement those ideas in a volume that’s fewer than 150 pages. Fortunately, you need not sacrifice BIG coverage with the help of a few small ideas.



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// Utilize folio designs that allow you to

// Design your spreads with meaningful

// Quote sports team/club members in

sneak in an extra picture or quote.

white space and avoid empty dead zones that could be used instead to add in another small story.

your copy who are not already pictured or quoted on your spread.

// Design modular spreads that tell

multiple stories on a spread instead of just one. // Make a master list of classes, clubs

and sports to highlight as you cover them, so you’re sure to get them all in the yearbook at least once.

// Don’t put “no image” placeholders

in your mugs section. Use that space for a fun spotlight or alternative student coverage instead. // Consider using art sparingly. You can

still have eye-catching design without all the clip art. Let your photos shine!

// Tag everyone in a photo who is not

used in a caption so they end up in the index more than once. // Include group action photos in your

layouts to showcase more people. // Use your school’s student enrollment

list to highlight who you’ve already used, so you’ll know who still needs to be used for quick quotes and pop outs. So, my fellow petite and fun-sized volumes, it’s true; we, too, really can cover more of the year. We just need to get even more creative with how we use the limited real estate on our pages. // JENNI PARSONS

To see more small books that have big coverage, go to

INGENIUM Greenfield Jr. HS Gilbert, AZ

// Modular design and use of a scaled-back dominant photo allow each spread to include more students and cover additional topics.

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RAMPAGES Casa Roble HS Orangevale, CA

// The book’s chronological approach — dictated by the concept — took a turn when the staff realized “Day Dividers” would best advance their theme. // An ACD capturing memories from each day of the school year further strengthened the time-based concept.

“WHEN I WAS A LIT NERD IN COLLEGE, I LEARNED NOTHING IN LITERATURE OR FILM WAS ACCIDENTAL.” The character George in Of Mice and Men didn’t just play cards — he played solitaire to foreshadow that he was doomed to live alone. David Lynch didn’t film The Elephant Man in black and white just for cinematographic effect — he was exploring good versus evil through the parallel contrast of black versus white. This literary construct applies to yearbooking: nothing in the book can be accidental. Especially coverage. On every spread, staffs should look for as many ways as possible to tell the story, and each of the storytelling methods should be driven by the book’s theme. The best yearbooks get on message and stay on message with every story in the book. The trick to this, of course, is to find a theme that allows for multiple storytelling approaches. Stop beating your head against the wall looking for a theme that is unique to your school and year only — the storytelling will take care of that for you. Instead, it’s important to look for a theme that opens coverage doors. For example, my 2016 staff picked “You Can Learn a Lot in 180 Days” for their theme. That allowed them to create story concepts — both primary and secondary — focused on “learning” (such as stories on mistakes made and how they were fixed, or

COVERAGE STRATEGIES AND BOOK ORGANIZATION MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOUR BOOK IS ON MESSAGE COVER TO COVER. on learning technical lingo), on “numbers” (such as listicles on number of assists in a game or dollars spent on an event), on “days” (such as what happens in a teacher’s room at specific times of day) and on “quantity” (stories on what it took a little of or a lot of). The staff created around 50 storytelling concepts and kept them in a story library they could mix and match on each spread. The ambitious staffers, of course, would create three to five new story concepts for each and every spread that both marry to theme and to the concept they selected to drive the spread. This is how professionals work. The same construct applies to specialty pages. The staff realized the theme “You Can Learn a Lot in 180 Days” demanded chronological coverage, so they created Day Dividers that told the story of key days throughout the year to knit the book together. And they added an ACD (All Coverage Device) that asked every student enrolled what lesson he or she learned on a specific day of the school year. The construct applies to magazine sections or interrupter stories also. My favorite magazine spread from that book was an interrupter that profiled students through stories personifying their shoes. The shoes told the story of a particular day in the students’ lives — and the interrupter was titled “Walk a Day in My Shoes.” Square One, with its new Swiss grid template, should help staffs with their storytelling. Some may misinterpret it merely as a tool that makes sophisticated design easier — but remember the verbal ALWAYS drives the visual — not the other way around. We don’t use the grids, separators and mods to create empty spaces where some story will be placed. If we want our staffs to work the way professionals do, we will encourage them to think of multiple ways to tell a story first — then use the template to design spreads that allow multiple layers of coverage to work together. That way, the design, the coverage strategies and the stories are all on message — and nothing in the book will be accidental. // DAN AUSTIN

volume twenty-two issue one




Not many advisers get to experience their first year for a second time, but starting over helped me realize that perspective is a choice. The first time I became an adviser, I saw myself “inheriting” the previous adviser’s staff. When you inherit, you have no choice in the matter. It’s hard to trust someone when you think you have no choice. I concentrated on “fixing” the book, which meant training the staff. After all, they had limited knowledge about layout, design and journalism. They did not even understand why this book was so important. I was excited to share my expertise with them: I come from a family of journalists and graphic designers, and I grew up in both of those spheres. They would finally know all the right things. I

taught. I hovered. I edited. But, all that didn’t matter to them. They felt they were merely the cogs in this machine. So, while we “worked together,” there was a distance. In the end, they learned that there was a right and wrong way of doing things. That was it. They were happy to have a better yearbook, but it didn’t really feel like it was theirs. Something was missing (their sense of ownership). Most of them finally saw some value in what they had done when they heard the compliments that spring. That’s when they finally became my staff. But by then, the year was over, and I had a new staff to train. It took a while before I felt comfortable loosening the reins to trust the yearbook staff to do their own thing.

team building activities at least once a week. Each scenario or problem became an opportunity to make choices (not decisions) about staff processes. There were mistakes, of course. There were conflicts and complaints, too. But, we chose to examine them AS A STAFF, WE CHOSE THREE MAJOR together to see what we could GOALS THAT FRAMED ALL OUR CHOICES resolve. (EVEN THE SKILLS WE WORKED ON) AND Early on, I CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE BOOK. guided the conversations, // to tell stories that matter asking questions // to capture as many moments as possible that prompted // to represent our school accurately and proudly them to think through and explain their choices. Later, A few days later, we landed they guided their own on our final theme statement conversations using some of — “If you took the time…” — those guiding questions. and that was exactly what We reflected... a lot! After we had done together. each deadline, we discussed We took the time to build what had worked and what trust. We invested in doing During theme discussions, the staffers clarified their desired message. “We want people to know who we really are instead of just making assumptions about us,” they said. But the question was how could we tell that story?

had not. Then we made adjustments as necessary to improve our process. We also reflected on personal contributions and growth, setting personal goals for the next deadline. By the time the books arrived in May, we knew we had accomplished something incredible, and the book itself was a product of that. Comparing these two experiences, I can see the effects of each approach. When I inherited a yearbook staff, I set up expectations, which meant they didn’t want to let me down. When I adopted a yearbook staff, and acknowledged that everyone had a stake, they didn’t want to let themselves down. Perspective definitely makes a difference in what any yearbook staff can achieve. // SERGIO LUIS YANES, CJE


Last year, I moved to Colorado, and got the chance to start over as an adviser. This time, I knew that I didn’t want to wait five years to have a strong, comfortable rapport with my new staff. So, I saw myself “adopting” a staff instead of inheriting one. When you adopt, you choose to build and grow together, which involves a lot of trust on both sides. You have to trust people if you want them to trust you. I went in trusting that this staff would make the book they wanted and deserved. As a result, I found myself free to make choices instead of stuck making decisions. I chose to help them make a yearbook, not just fix it. On day one, we made goals as a staff. We didn’t concentrate on what was wrong with the previous book; we saw things we wanted in this book.

// Yanes and his 2017 Arvadan staffers present their first book together. Setting group goals helped them make decisions throughout the year.

volume twenty-two issue one




DESIGN WHEN THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH SQUARE ONE CONCEPTS. Teaching at design workshops around the country, a comment I often hear from participants is, “Wow! You really love your staff’s mods.” Guilty! The reason mods have been emphasized in my design training for years is that those small coverage packages are linchpins to many design/coverage issues that trip up some staffs — and to the successes of others. That’s one of the reasons it was so interesting for me to watch the rollout of Herff Jones’ Square One at workshops from coast to coast last summer. Square One is a design system that should help more schools achieve the award-winning layered look and — if they take the opportunity for true brainstorming seriously — improve the number and kinds of stories they tell as well. Some staffs at the workshops I taught were trained at a fairly high level, so they already strived for consistent internal space, repeatable mods and advanced coverage packaging. However, there was palpable enthusiasm in the room when Square One was introduced. Students were excited to practice and advisers appreciated that the process was easy for designers and staffs at all levels to understand and use. If you take a deep dive into the top

yearbooks in the country, you see some similarities from book to book, but not every staff has the same resources or training opportunities. Now, Square One makes the process accessible to more staffs and easier because eDesign users simply turn on the underlying Swiss grid and can now use pre-designed mods and save their pop-ins in their library palettes. InDesign users could already save to their library palettes and many had created a master grid before — but there is a pre-built grid associated with Square One and a shared collection of pre-designed mods will get staffs new to the concepts started. Plus, the Yearbook Spread Planning Sheet will assist all staffs in brainstorming to create a wider variety of story types and mod angles. Watching students learn to use Square One, I quickly saw mods scaling down while consistent white space and patterns of separation developed between mods and other design elements on the spreads. One word of warning here. I did see some students (and advisers!) using their pink separators between all design elements. More than once this summer, I watched beginning designers separate the supporting photo package from the

To see more spreads showcasing Square One principles, go to

The space between the grid area and the trim line is your external margin. Only “bleed” photos should extend into this area.

dominant photo. This issue was easily remedied once they understood that elements meant to be consumed together should be separated by the standard spacing, not a rail of isolation. As with any new plan, there were plenty of opinions about Square One among the advisers and yearbook representatives in the room; the consensus was that Square One is an excellent way to help more schools raise the bars for design, brainstorming and extended coverage. It’s important to remember that Square One isn’t changing any design principles; it’s simply making some sophisticated design and coverage concepts even more teachable and more knowable. Square One doesn’t change the fundamentals of good design — and it was never intended to. The use of grids, dominance, design hierarchy, scale to create the roadmap of where the reader should go first, second, then third and, of course, high-impact photography and contemporary typography continue to be principles designers need to understand. And don’t forget about those mods… and the amazing stories you’ll be able to tell when you brainstorm ideas with the intent of sharing more moments — large and small — with your readers. // PETE L EBLANC, CJE


// While the rails of isolation

clearly set the layers apart, the oversized full bleed dominant and the supporting photos anchor the spread's image with power.

PALLADIUM Northville (MI) HS

// Another take on a main package

containing both visual and verbal components, this spread features three additional layers of coverage.

LION TRACKS Cottage Grove (OR) HS

// Rails of isolation separate

elements on the individual pages; the gutter allowed dual topics to coexist on the spread.

volume twenty-two issue one


LOOKING BACK, I WISH I’D LISTENED TO SOME OF THE ADVICE I RECEIVED AS A BRAND NEW ADVISER. The yearbook allows readers to relive the coverage year whenever they desire. As I begin year two advising, I’d like to share some things I wish I had known (or believed) last year at this time.

MAKE DEADLINES SEEM CLOSER THAN THEY ARE. By setting your staff deadlines a week or two ahead of your plant deadlines, you will give yourself some buffer room that will be your salvation in the end.



took my Yearbook Representative, Customer Service Adviser and Technical Support Adviser for granted. I figured that they would be as useful as the Customer Service number found on the back of a box of cereal. I eventually figured out that whether my issue was a relentless parent, eDesign work-a-rounds or just needing someone to sit with me and walk me through my first “portrait flow,” I always had someone to call and help with my concerns before they became major problems.

TRUST YOUR STAFF MEMBERS MORE. Giving your staffers a real stake in the decision-making process of your yearbook will ensure that they become more excited to work on the yearbook. They’ll become more interested in selling the yearbook and be more cooperative in working with you and the rest of the staff.

HELP THEM EXPAND THEIR VIEW. Yerds go absolutely crazy when they get a chance to look at other school’s yearbooks. Allowing them to peruse a book from across the country or across the street will undoubtedly get them pumped for their own spreads.

PREPARE TO BOOST MORALE. Lastly, when in doubt, throw some Herff Jones flair at your staff members, and they’ll literally think you’re showering them with gold. I cannot express how many times a tiny badge that says “Talk YERDY to me” was fought over in my class as an incentive. I am ready for the new ideas, new experiences and new joys this year’s staff will deliver during their turn at the helm. // NICK BIHM

Image from Senrey Robinsn MS



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