Yearbook Production Process   — Latest version as of 2010-04-18 04:40:16

Yearbook Production Process


Every year, 5th graders work together to create the yearbook. The process of designing it is largely hands on (as opposed to digital). This has always been a tradition at The Neighborhood School. It begins by collecting as many photos of the students as possible. They are cut out by hand and made into a collage on a sheet of paper. Each class gets a page. The 5th graders are responsible for all the classes of all the grades. Many of the titles and headlines are hand-written also.

Once all the pages are composed by hand, they are scanned into a computer, and imported into Adobe InDesign (a desktop publishing program). The InDesign file is sent to the printer where they produce 48-page full color booklets. They are given out to the 5th graders as graduation gifts, and are sold to others who want them.

Parent Involvement

The idea is to let the students believe they did everything, but in reality a significant amount of work must be done by the parents. It starts by organizing a meeting in January to determine who will be in the yearbook team. It makes sense for the parents of the 5th graders to take the lead, but it is also important to get 4th grade parents involved so that the know-how can be passed on smoothly.

There should be at least one parent who is good at working with kids; someone who can organize, motivate, and guide them through the whole process.

There should also be someone who is familiar with a photo editing program and a desktop publishing program (e.g., iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop, Aperture, Lightroom, InDesign, QuarkXPress, etc..).

Yearbook Sessions

Every week after school, the 5th graders gather in the Science Room for about an hour (from 3 to 4PM) to work on the yearbook.

The first session would involve brainstorming with the kids to decide exactly what they want to do. Although the format and the style of the yearbook have stayed relatively consistent, the contents have varied year to year depending on what the kids wanted to do.

How to divide the tasks must also be decided. Here are some potential tasks:

  • Drawing borders, illustrations, and background artworks.
  • Drawing titles
  • Go take pictures of missing students
  • Select photos on a computer for each class (using iPhoto).
  • Some kids may be able to do some photo editing (scanning, scaling, printing, etc..).
  • Cut out the photos and make collages.
  • Gather information and write content.

Ground Rules and Guidelines for the Students

  • Keep their hands clean. Over time, the materials can quickly get dirty if their hands are dirty.
  • Every student must be represented in the yearbook.
  • Each child’s face should be at least 1 inch

Tips and Guidelines for the Parents

For submission of photos, digital files are preferred. Printed photos may be too small or too large, and if so, they would have to be scanned in and scaled to proper sizes.

Encourage people to submit the original files without resizing.

To create a collage, use masking tape (as opposed to glue) to affix the photos, so that it can be moved around later if necessary.

Have the students draw the titles big. Scan them into a computer, scale them down, and print. Use the printed titles on the collages.

We used a lot of group shots during school activities.

The photos were carefully selected and printed at desired eventual size to minimize the printing cost.

A lot can be done in iPhoto with simple editing tools to crop, red-eye.

We had different sources for printing photos (to be used for the collages) each year. Good prints can make big difference.

The collages were scanned at hi-rez and often rearranged and replaced with hi-rez digital files in photoshop.

Store the collages in Ziplock bags so they would not get damaged, lose pieces, or get dirty.

The layout was done in InDesign by a parent, and collected for the printer.

We had attendance sheets from each class and had teachers proof them before going to the printer.

Have snacks and pizza party on the last day.

Submit the file to the printer by May 15th.

Usually printed 250 books at $4.80 total $1,200. (PTA pays for it.)

We had leftovers, but more economical to print at this quantity.

Each copy was sold for $10.

Yearbooks are nice to have during tours and makes a nice gift to donors and supporters of our school.

Printer Information

Contact is Julie.
She has always taken good care of us.

Deadline: Paperslam can print them in few days.

Here are the specs for the non-bleed 4 color booklet, 48 pages plus covers:

48 pages is the maximum number of pages you can have (otherwise the price would go up).

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