chapter 4 - design tips

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Once you know the structure of your book and have collected all the content, you can start with the most fun part of the project: design! Simply follow these steps and get stunning results you will all be proud of.

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Part 1 – The secrets of a good layout

Design is a mix between creativity and technique. It’s main purpose in a publication is to ensure a pleasant visual journey and help organize information, all while following a global visual style. Here are some of the fundamentals you should consider before you start designing.

01. The anatomy of a page

Here is a typical page we could find in a yearbook. We chose an article page to allow you to identify the different things that are usually used to build a page. 

How to make a yearbook - Anatomy of a page - design tips

GRID – Organize your text and content into multiple columns.
Tip: to enable the grid in Fusion, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+; (or Cmd+;).

TITLES & SUBHEADINGS – Use title fonts to catch attention and revive interest.

– Edit images to add style and mood.
Tip: You can apply photo filters to your images within Fusion’s page editor.

– Use graphic elements to create your visual identity.

– Don’t put faces or text too close to the edge.
Tip: Stay within the danger zone guides to ensure your content won’t be trimmed off.

02. Know your fonts

Typography is made up of two main categories. Body fonts are designed for continual reading. Title fonts are made to catch the reader’s attention. Choose from over 150 fonts, select your favorites while considering what works well together. Here are a few examples of good font pairing.


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TITLE: Vast Shadow
SUBTITLE: League Gothic

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TITLE: Montserrat Black
BODY COPY: Montserrat

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TITLE: Dr. Sugiyama

Guide to Yearbook Fonts

Want to see more examples of font pairing? Read our Guide to Yearbook Fonts

03. Use Visual Markers

Visual markers are a great way to help your readers understand where they are in the book. Use them to define a visual hierarchy and identity. You can find multiple styles available within the page editor.

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Thousands of graphic elements to improve your designs.


04. Be consistent!

Hundreds of options are available in Fusion… but that doesn’t mean you should include them all in your book. Less is more — so stay consistent. Good new though, you can duplicate your saved templates to save time!

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Build your own yearbook theme.


Part 2 – How to create a stunning yearbook cover

Despite what people tell you, first impressions are everything! The cover is the first thing people see – it has to be appealing and engaging. There are infinite ways to craft a cover that will just beg to be opened, and we’re here to give you the tools and guidance to make it happen.

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05. What’s on the cover page?

– School name, logo, or motto
– The year
– Title or slogan
– Organize a photo or illustration contest at your school and use the winning art as the cover masterpiece!
– Use a special photo or hire a professional photographer for a unique shot.
– Use graphic elements to create a unique composition.
– Use a photo collage to show a snapshot of the year’s events.
– Play with fonts to create a trendy typographic layout.

– School name, logo or motto
– School contact information, such as phone number, mailing address and website
– Perhaps add an inspiring quote that represents your school spirit

– A full page image
– A texture or plain color background
– Autographs / Signature Page
– Ads from sponsors
– Special thanks or messages from the yearbook team


Guide Yearbook Covers

Looking for yearbook cover examples?
Read our Guide to Yearbook Cover.

06. Create a cover page in 4 easy steps using Fusion Yearbooks

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Browse through a selection of styles to find the look that suits your school’s yearbook

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Upload a single or multiple images, drag them onto your page or arrange them as you want.


Create a stunning yearbook cover in minutes.


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Add your title, slogan, year and whatever you wish. Choose from over 150 fonts, and write the right words that will encourage people to read on!

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Change the colors and sizes of your elements, use photo filters and give the final touch that will make your cover one-of-a-kind.

07. Use divider pages

Divider pages are like the covers of your sections. On these pages you can include a title, introduction, a section table of contents, a full-size photo or decorate with graphics. Depending on your book, you can separate your sections with single or double page spreads. It’s the perfect occasion to set up a dedicated graphic mood for each section.

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Part 3 – Create a beautiful yearbook style

Earlier, we highlighted the significance of building a publication that makes sense. For design, it’s the same. Set up a style guide and stick to it from cover to cover. It doesn’t mean that your design will be boring; you can use a large variety of page types and play with them to create a singular journey.


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So readers know exactly where to find what.

Particularly helpful to separate the different classes in the profile sections, they also let your reader breathe a bit between two stories.

Try a full page photo to illustrate information, or a photo-montage to make your story come to life.

By mixing text and images, article pages are your storytelling tools! Through a single page or multiple spreads, you have many options to entice your readers.

A simple way to have everybody in your book. Choose a layout depending on your number of students, then duplicate it as much as required to be consistent.

Profiles are one of the most important parts of your book, where everyone can share something. With Fusion, you can automate your profile pages to save time.

Class or friend photos: try plenty of templates and arrange them as you like – from the academic to the artistic!

Leave some space for real signatures! Cherish your yearbook and keep a part of your friends with you forever.

3 Designer Tips


Lynneal Santos
Lead Designer
Fusion Yearbooks

Use negative space to give visual rhythm to your design.
I know you’re tempted to fill your pages at their maximum. However if a page is too busy or not well organized, your reader could just skip it.

Use larger images and shorter text to balance your layout.
It’s definitely become a major trend in publishing design: images have taken over text. This makes the publication more pleasant to flip through and adds professionalism to your design.

Use colors to differentiate sections from each other.
Create a color palette for each section. 2 colors should be enough, because your photos will be in full color. Use this palette for your titles and visual markers.

Guide Yearbook Design

If you want more design tips, read our Guide to Yearbook Design.

Part 4 – Get students to fill their profiles

Profile pages used to be a real challenge. With Fusion, it’s now easy: create a template, invite students to participate and get all your profile pages done in no time.

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Firstly decide if you’d like to create a section for the entire school, per grade/year or per class. We recommend that you sort per class, so that you’ll be able to vary the design from one class to another. Choose the number of students per page and number of photos per student, then pick your favorite layout.

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This is the online questionnaire that will be sent to all your students. List up to 6 questions you want to ask your students (beyond that, it won’t fit on your page…). Give a title to the photos you want from them (ex: funny photo, baby photo, serious photo, etc.).

A few ideas for questions:
– What’s your favorite subject and why?
– Happiest school memory?
– If I had $1 Million, I would…
– My dream job is…
– I’d like to thank/mention…
– I hope to be remembered for…
– What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done?
– Who would you take to help you survive a zombie apocalypse?
– My secret agent pseudonym would be…


Guide Yearbook Questions

Browse hundreds or examples in our Guide to Yearbook Questions.

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– Set up a password, copy the link and send all the details to your students.
– When connecting, they will see your questionnaire and will be able to fill it in a few minutes.

A few ideas for photos:
– Silly photo: Make some faces!
– Baby photo: Cute and makes everyone go “aww”.
– Creative photo: Use props to express yourself!
– Message photo: Use a sign to display a quote or message.
– Future career photo: Dress up as your dream profession.

You will be able to check and edit all the profiles that have been filled by your students in the same place. Ideally you can use this to remove inappropriate content, correct spelling errors or replace bad quality photos.

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When you’ve got all your data from the students (or teachers if you’re making a teacher section), you can now generate your whole profile section with a click. The template you’ve built will duplicate based on the number of student responses. It’s that simple!

Part 5 – Yearbook design and customization

Customization has become a modern trend. People can customize their shoes, their T-shirts and even the cars they buy! Yearbook creation is no exception — use backgrounds, clipart, shapes, illustrations or upload your own to make your yearbook one-of-a-kind!

A few design trends

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Add some flair using photofilters

Create a mood with our photo editor. Adjusting contrast, brightness and colors, is now at your fingertips directly in our page editor. Bonus: up to 15 photo filters (just like Instagram!).

Try our photo filters.
Start here free

Guide How to Make a Yearbook

What’s next?

I hope you’ve learned some new things about yearbook design here. Next chapter – which is also the last one – we’ll talk about proofing, printing, marketing and selling your yearbook: Last Steps Before Success.

Remember! There’s also a printable version of this guide (a free 40 page eBook) that you can download here.

To make the most of these resources, we recommend you access your trial account. As you try your favorite tips and tricks directly, it will be easier for you to understand!

NOTE: this guide is part of our collection How to make a yearbook. You’ll find more guides like this here.

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