Ready to be amazed? Here’s an interview with Jason H. from Wauchope High School who created the 2015 yearbook almost on his own!
His secret? Making good use of the templates and tools at his disposal – without looking for complications! To all yearbook coordinators out there looking to save time and still get professional result: This article is for you.
The very first thing I noticed flipping through your yearbook pages was that you’ve used a lot of the templates that are available in Fusion. Can you explain us your typical process for creating a page?
Knowing that I had 100 pages to work with, I first set out the draft order of my book, dividing into sections (eg. “Activities and Events”, “Administration Reports”, “Sport Activities and Events”, “Year Groups”).
I then allocated pages to what I thought each event would need (eg. Sport Carnivals 2 x pages) and browsed and chose a template. I tried to keep a theme (similar group of templates) for each section in order to tie them together (eg. Year Advisor Report + profile questions). The templates were a huge help and time saver. I was not given any concessional periods to complete the magazine and so the use of the templates saved a huge amount of time.
It didn’t limit the uniqueness or my creativity however, as I could edit or modify them to make them my own and then duplicate the edited template in order to use for another page and maintain uniformity.
“The templates were a huge help and time saver.”
To go a little further on this way of working, could you share with us the way you organised your content (topics, sections, etc.)?
I organised content by first breaking it into thematic sections. For example: “Sporting Events/Activities”, “Year Groups 7-10”. Then, within these, I kept similar pages/structure/templates adjusting them to what I wanted (eg. colour, more or less text). Finally, I duplicated the pages I liked and simply changed text and photos (eg. Year Advisor + Year profiles for each 7-10).
The yearbook has over a hundred pages, which is a pretty decent size for a yearbook. How did you proceed for content production and collection?
My team consisted of little old me. I commandeered 3 Year 10 kids late in Term 3 for two days straight of chasing photos/profile questions/answers etc. and they did a great job. Otherwise, I largely wrote the reports myself and chased/took photos.
This was why the templates were such a great help. Luckily we have a great office lady, who does the publicity for the school including website, social media, newsletter plus duplicating in her spare time and I largely used the newsletter and her photos to complete the majority of reports.
We are trying to get a Media Studies elective off the ground which could double as an editorial committee for the magazine. But starting early and completing pages/events as they occur is the best.
What did you learn from this project? Do you think it could be considered as project-based learning?
I learnt that teachers are busy and a school magazine coordinator who is a teacher is even busier. With a project like this it is difficult to get others to take on more work when they are already flat out like the proverbial lizard.
For example, it is sometimes too much to ask the teacher who has just organised a sporting trip to also take the photos and write the report upon returning from an excursion without break.
But students are already taking photos all the time. The trick is to find the ones with a talent for it. With a little training they can become great assets.
“With a little training, students can become great assets.”
Finally, could you please share your top 3 Do’s and Don’ts for a yearbook project in general?
> Use the templates, modify and duplicate
> Use newsletters, the school website to make your collection of photos and reports easier
> Collect these photos and reports as you go
> Leave it too late
> Reinvent the wheel
> Work from a bad computer (In the end, I had to largely work from home, as the work computer kept crashing)
Thank you Jason for sharing your story and congrats again for this yearbook success!
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