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What makes a yearbook layout great? Ideally, it should be the perfect marriage of form and function. The people and events photographed should be the stars, front and center. Ideally, a yearbook layout is clean, but still stylish. You don't have to default to the same layout on every page - in fact, you shouldn't! Keeping the readers flipping the pages is crucial. How do you do this?
Take a little time to think about the people and events you are including in the yearbook, of course. I'd talked about some of these layouts in another article called Sample Page Layouts for Yearbooks, but I'd now like to go into a more in-depth explanation of why you would use these, as well as provide you with a few more examples of what you can do! This article will give you a few yearbook layout design ideas and explains how and why you would use them.
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This is the standard - and best choice - for traditional student pictures. When you've got a lot of images to display across a single page, a grid layout maximizes the space you can use, minimizes the "white space" - the blank space around the images, and looks nice for this purpose. However, this layout lends itself to not feeling very personal, and should be avoided for photographs of events such as club gatherings and prom. A grid layout can also be re-purposed for staff layouts, simply by increasing the size of images and including what classes the teachers teach below their images.
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Activity layouts are layouts that depict something such as a school dance (like Prom), a club (like theater club) or an activity that was held by the school (such as a bake sale). A great activity layout should provide a good balance of larger photographs of the activity, event, or club, with smaller pictures of the people involved and special things that had happened.
Ideally, you will use at least two different sizes of photographs within an activity layout, but not more than 3-4, because you will create strange blocks of white space and a lack of symmetry that can be visually distracting to the viewer. A good activity layout will highlight the event and the people involved well, so you might have to play around with changing the size and orientation of your images. The examples below show two activity layouts that could easily work for a school dance or a club, but could easily enough work for anything else you may need.
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It's becoming a common trend for smaller schools to include short senior biographies within the pages of their yearbooks. These layouts allow for a small paragraph to be added next to a senior's picture detailing their plans for the future. Notice how the images alternate alignment, as this makes the paragraph of text much easier to read. These layouts also work fantastic for a valedictorian and salutatorian page. Below are two examples of pages that you can use for biographies.