Planning your design

Before you get started building your yearbook you need to plan what your yearbook is going to look like. Here is where you need to determine the basics elements of your yearbook:

  • What is the overall 'theme' or concept for your yearbook?
  • What fonts do you want to use?
  • What colours do you want to use?
  • What type of backgrounds do you want to use?


Choosing your yearbook theme:

The best yearbooks have a theme...a central message that underpins the content and tone of your yearbook. A theme can be sentimental, humorous, emotional or even sarcastic. Was there a new phrase that became popular this year? Or a memorable event that is relevant to you and your classmates? Is there a clever take on your school motto?

Maybe you've recently had your school modernised and want to use that as the theme. You could use images of the modernisation throughout your yearbook and have a general theme of 'old to new' or 'that was then, this is now'.

Want a more socially relevant theme? You could do a Facebook themed yearbook with text message style headings and Facebook themed class pages.

Want something more sentimental that sums up your time at school? You could use a 'Through the years' or 'You had to be there' theme with lots of pictures of you and your classmates in different years.

It's important to get your theme right as a lot of your other design elements will evolve from this. It's a great idea to involve all of your classmates in the development of a theme - you never know where the best idea is going to come from!


Choosing your fonts:

It is always tempting to use quirky, over-the-top fonts and type treatments...but bear in mind these fonts can quickly become a hindrance and take over your design.

  • Simple, clean fonts work best for body copy.
  • If you want to use an elaborate font, limit its usage to page or section headings.
  • Watch for special characters - not all fonts have usable special characters or even numbers - check the font you want to use has all the characters you are going to need.
  • Don't use more than a few fonts on a page - the end result will look cluttered and busy.
  • The energi online yearbook builder comes pre-loaded with a good set of fonts - if you can stick to using these your project will run a lot smoother.


Choosing your colours:

It's a good idea to build a colour palette before you start designing your yearbook. Choosing consistent, complimentary colours will make your yearbook look more professional and 'fit' together better.

  • Choose a main colour for elements like header or footer bars.
  • Choose a palette of colours that compliment this colour for fonts, accents and background.
  • Good designs work best using a maximum of three colours.


Choosing your backgrounds:

Be careful here as backgrounds can be tricky and used in place of doing a good job designing your yearbook. When looking at using a background try to keep these tips in mind:

  • A background should accent a page - not dominate it.
  • A background should never be busy, loud or bright - the less fussy the better.
  • Keep it simple, keep it consistent - don't use different backgrounds on every page, a background should bring your yearbook together, not make it look disjointed.