Yearbook August Updates

Herff Jones

You will notice many of the communications coming from HJ YBK this year to use the words Essentials, Next Level, & Expert. We know yearbook advisers are busy, and we love to send you tons of resources, so we have broken the content down for you.

Get to the “Essential” content first and as you have time, work your way to the “Next Level” and “Expert” content.

Download this check list in the link below for all the tasks to get the year started off right! August-Checklist

August-Checklist

Alternative Copy

eDesign, Herff Jones, Infographs, Inspiration, mod design, Square One, Yearbook, Yearbook Content

Looking for more ideas for Alternative Copy? Check out a 30 minute presentation by Beth Marshall, Yearbook Adviser at Richmond-Burton HS. The presentation is from the 2017 KEMPA Workshop.

We also have mod ideas listed on the Square One page of this site. Click Here

Improve your Profile Photos

Better Photography, Environmental Portraits, Herff Jones, HJeDesign, Mobile Photography, mod design, Photography, Photography Challenge, Square One

Adding mods to your yearbook spread is common practice, and including a head shot by a quote is a great way to include more student voices in your yearbook. Unfortunately too often, little thought is given to these head shots.  There are some simple changes you can make to your process that will greatly improve the photos in your book, and the people your photographing will thank you for it when the book is printed and they look amazing!

BAD – BETTER – BEST

  1. the first is the typical, slap your subject against the lockers. The result, they look like they are in a lineup.
  2. The second is better by simply turning the subject sideways and having them lean on the locker
  3. The third is the best, you not only have the subject lean on the locker, you also walk down the hall where some natural light is coming in behind you, removing the shadows from her face. Be warned adding a harsh flash will not give you the same effect.

These photos were taken with the help of the Libertyville High School Staff.

There are other options for getting a good head shot, that are just as easy. Invest in a backdrop.

TO CUT OUT OR NOT CUT OUT

  1. The first example is from New Trier High School. They invested in a gray backdrop that is attached to the wall of their yearbook room. This option gives a clean even background, with no need to cut out your subject.
  2. The second option is to invest in a green screen like Maine West High School. As you can see, they also have a light that helps illuminate the subject in a more natural way. Using a green screen will help you when cutting out your subject in Photoshop. Please review the short video on making a cut out posted on this website. Click Here.

In both cases, the subject should not stand up against the backdrop and you should avoid a flash on top of the camera.

The last option would be to take an environmental portrait. This type will take the most time and planning, but get you the biggest wow factor. The idea is to plan the environment that makes the most sense in telling the story of the event being covered.

IMPORTANT FACTORS IN PLANNING AN ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAIT

  1. Angle and leading lines
  2. Depth of field
  3. Vertical or horizontal
  4. Foreground – background relationship
  5. Lighting
  6. Props

As always, if you need help achieving your goal, please reach out to us.

Maureen & Melissa

Improve your caption writing and Photoshop skills in less than one hour

Herff Jones

Our goal is to help you train your staff. Two areas we see staffers struggle is caption writing and Photoshop skills. In this post you will find two videos, the first is a 26 minute video by the Yearbook Adviser at Waunakee High School, Mr. Willauer. He presented this session at the 2017 KEMPA Fall Conference at UW Whitewater.

Have your students be prepared to participate in the presentation, practicing writing captions. You can pause the video for them to write at the prompts.

 

The second video is just over 5 minutes and will help your students create cutouts with smooth edges and realistic hair.

Both videos can be revisited on their respective pages on this website. These are just the beginning in a series of videos we are going to offer. Our goal is to provide you with a variety of guest speakers.

 

October Photo Challenge

Herff Jones, Instagram, Mobile Photography, Photography, Photography Challenge

By this time of year, you should have already taken a ton of photos for your yearbook. The reason we want you to participate in the monthly photo challenge is to challenge yourself to become a better photographer.

Contest rules at #yearbookphotochallenge and ybktraditions on Instagram.

Make sure you use the correct hashtag for each challenge. All photos featured here are taken by Maureen Olofsson and Jamie Silver.

The categories for October are:

#Yearbookphotochallenge_5
Depth of Field


#Yearbookphotochallenge_6
Stopping Motion


#Yearbookphotochallenge_7
Fall Colors


#Yearbookphotochallenge_8
Teachers and Students

#YBKStrong – organize an effort of hope

Herff Jones, Inspiration, YBKStrong

It seems like every week we hear about another natural disaster. It is hard to wrap your brains around how you could help. Below is a message from our Florida Yearbook Reps giving us an update. If you are looking for a way to help just email:

ybkstrong@herffjones.com

and they will let you know how you can start a campaign in your school to help a school in need.

A message from our Florida reps: “Florida Christian School led our Yearbook Strong campaign last night at their football game by donating over $2,200 worth of gift cards to Marathon High School during what would have been their Homecoming Game. The parents in the stands from Marathon stood to their feet during the presentation with tears in their eyes. In addition the Florida Christian cheerleaders, SGA and football coaches served the Marathon students an amazing dinner after the game.

 

Photo Oct 14, 17 52 26.jpg

Sadly, the Keys and East Collier county (East of Naples) are still hurting badly. Patty and Jose will be going to see all of our Keys’ schools this week to get a better assessment on how you all can help us execute Florida Yearbook Strong to these schools in need.Please help us get the word out. Schools have been sent semi-truck loads of items but the families have no where to store them. Many, many families are displaced. Some are living in hotels. Others are living five families in one home. Others are still living in tents. The schools are requesting gift cards from Publix, Winn Dixie, Home Depot, Walgreens or CVS. Please help us help them.”

There is more help needed, with the fires in California, even more schools will be in need. Thanks Maureen & Melissa

 

Using Infographs in your Mod Design

eDesign, Herff Jones, Infographs, Inspiration, mod design, Square One, Swiss Grid

infograph1

When you make yearbooks for a living, it’s hard to look at any design without thinking about how it would work as a mod. This morning I saw a brochure with infographs, so I snapped a photo of it and created these three infographs in eDesign.  I also added 2 links to infograph generators in the copyright section of this website.

Look for inspiration and let us help you recreate it. Most designs can be created directly in eDesign, so lets make each yearbook unique. If you want to use any of the three infographs I already creates, let us know, and we will transfer them into your eDesgin site.

We are looking to connect schools

Herff Jones, School Partners, YBKStrong

We stand beside our neighbors affected by recent natural disasters. If you and members of your staff want to help, email us at ybkstrong@herffjones.com and we will pair you with a yearbook adviser at a school in an affected area.

Our connections are more than ink on paper. Stories endure because people persevere. And those are impressions that last.

Organizing Yearbook Content

Chronilogical Yearbooks, eDesign, Herff Jones, HJeDesign, Yearbook, Yearbook Content, Yearbook Ladder

It used to be that there were formulas for all aspects of yearbook. Today’s approaches offer lots more flexibility. If it’s logical and provides a better way to tell the story, it just might work.

One of the most significant changes has been in our overall approach to planning the yearbook. We’ve been freed from the days when section size and order were predetermined and a sectional template meant placing a quote collection on every spread. Today, concept drives coverage which drives design. Yearbooks can provide the readers with a great range of meaningful information while maintaining strong, reader-friendly designs. It’s all in the planning.

What the idea of concept has done for the world of yearbooks is open up more possibilities for organizing our content. Instead of just renaming the traditional sections with spinoffs, we think in broader terms – more conceptually.

Formulating a theme/concept is probably the first decision a staff makes. Once they make that decision, they need to decide how to organize their content. The decision on how to organize the story of the year should be based on the unifier. The theme/concept gives us the angle or focus of our whole-year story. The next question is how to organize that story so it is easily accessible by the average reader and makes some kind of sense.

It’s an important decision. Here are some things to think about when making it.

EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES

Options for organization range along a kind of continuum. On one end would be the traditional student life/sports/academics/groups/people format. The other end of the continuum would be pure concept. In between would be different ways of grouping the standard sections.

Chronological order presents another option that has regained popularity in recent years. With chronological organization, the book is organized by time, and the story is told by days, months or seasons as the year progresses.

BE CREATIVE BUT LOGICAL

After exploring all the possibilities, think about what might make the most sense to the reader. The best answer may be the standard, traditional five-section format, and there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel you have to do something different just to do something different.

On the other hand, your theme/concept might logically lend itself to another form of organization. If your theme/concept is ‘Pieces of Eight,’ for example, it would make sense to organize into eight sections. If your theme/concept is ‘Eight Days a Week,’ some kind of chronological organization might make more sense. These kinds of unifiers present easy choices.

But what if your theme/concept doesn’t deal with numbers or time? Those choices take more thought and discussion. Let’s look at the process the East Lansing staff went through a couple years ago to illustrate how that process might work.

The theme/concept was ‘Freeze Frame.’ The editors decided on a pause sign (two vertical bars) as their graphic element. For months, as they planned, they discussed having four sections: life, sports, academics and groups. The people would be placed in a separate reference section. Then one day, as they were struggling to organize those four sections, it hit them: two words, two shapes in a pause sign, two sections!

But what would those two sections be? So the question became ‘What are the two big pieces of high school?’ Living and learning. Student life fit logically in living. Academics was a no-brainer in learning. So they decided to just repackage the traditional sections. They placed sports along with student life in living and clubs along with academics in learning.

BE ALL-INCLUSIVE

Whatever plan makes the most sense and opens up the best ideas for coverage, be sure it allows coverage of every aspect of the year. You are, after all, creating a yearbook.

BE REASONABLE

First, remember not everyone is a yerd. The story – and the way we organize it – needs to make sense to the average reader.

Last, don’t force the fit. Every aspect of the theme/concept from organization to coverage to design should work together to make the story stronger. Don’t restructure your sections just because the idea looked cool somewhere else. You’ll be sorry as you try to fit things into a structure that just doesn’t work.