You can do anything. This is what came to my mind when I first discovered the Cabramatta West Public School Yearbook.
You don’t want to be stuck with only one tool to design your yearbook? That’s fine. You’d like to include Google Search in your project to sensitize your students to image copyrights or to teach them how to look for print-ready images? Then do it! Because this is exactly how you’ll help them develop themselves even more.
That’s the magic behind a yearbook project. There’s no limit but your imagination to make the yearbook a creative and developing project. In this example, you’ll see how Cabramatta West Public School has combined dreams and wanderlust in a one-of-a-kind yearbook. For Monica C. (yearbook coordinator) and her students, Microsoft Publisher and Word were pretty familiar. Then why not use them for their project? These are the kind of things you’re about to discover while reading this interview. Enjoy!
Flipping through your yearbook pages, everything feels very positive – which is a delightful reading experience. Did you already have a theme in mind when you started creating your book or did it come naturally during the design process?
To begin with, I needed to be inspired so I had done some research online. Taking into account the passions and interests of my particular cohort, I came up with three top themes. I posed these themes to my students and had them vote on their favourite. World Wonders was a winner.
Throughout the year, many children had spoken of their dreams to travel the world so I thought this was very fitting for theme.
“The world is always open, waiting to be discovered” is one of your many wanderlust quotes. How did you decide to use inspirational quotes in your yearbook and where did you get your inspiration from?
I didn’t want the quotes to be overbearing or take away from the focus of the students, so I decided to include them as headers on every second page. Aligning with the theme of the book, I wanted the quotes to inspire wonder and excitement for travel.
Our students were brilliant and I really wanted to encourage the idea that no dream is ever too big. I found most of the quotes from the internet, and mostly from doing a Google image search.
“I really wanted to encourage the idea that no dream is ever too big.”
It can be challenging to use a lot of different backgrounds and still creating a consistent looking yearbook – and I can tell you’ve done a brilliant job! Can you give us any tips of what to think about?
I wanted the backgrounds to support and again illicit the idea of wonder. There are so many beautiful places in our world to explore, many of which I am sure my students have not heard of before.
I tried to find as many interesting and awe-inspiring images as I could – ones with bright colours and interesting features or patterns. I wanted the students to feel excited by the thought of possibly being able to travel to these places one day.
Again, Google was my best friend. I would put in some key-words related to my theme with ‘HD quality’ at the end. This way I would ensure my pictures would be of high quality and the Google search was able to filter out those that were not.
Your yearbook has some pretty adorable profile pages. Could you tell us how they were designed?
I organised to have 20 profile questions printed on a page and students hand-wrote their responses. I then went through and read them all highlighting 3-4 questions I thought really emphasized that particular student’s personality.
I typed their responses into a Word document which I later transferred into Microsoft Publisher. I chose to have two-three students per page so the layout and formatting would look a little cleaner and neater as well as to give each student their own page to shine.
I organised my students alphabetically and in classes, however I know in previous years they’ve been organised in friendship groups. I tried to compliment the backgrounds with contrasting font colours that would pop.
“I chose to have two-three students per page so the layout would look cleaner”
Which three tips would you like to share with other schools who want to create a yearbook as positive as yours?
- Know your students – their likes, interests and passions. Base your theme around that.
- Give yourself plenty of time! Put your scheduled date forward a little. This will allow some extra time to sort out any problems you may encounter.
- Try and include the students in as many decisions as you can.
So in the end, this is what you’ve learnt in this article:
> You can combine as many tools as you want to design your yearbook
> The yearbook is a great project to challenge your students dreams and imagination
> You Can Do Anything as long as you’re positive!
A big thank you Monica for sharing your story and showing us that there are many ways of creating a yearbook!