Every year, schools and organizations all over the country plan to create, print, and sell or distribute yearbooks. These novel tomes collect photos and information from students, employees, or participants for a given time period – and organize this information in a fun and interesting way.
If you want more people to buy your yearbook, or if you want your yearbook to make a bigger impact, it’s important to think proactively about your yearbook assemblage and printing. In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most important ways to do it.
First, let’s think about your yearbook goals. Most of your book planners are looking for some combination of the following:
· Quality. You’ll want to make sure your yearbook is the highest quality possible, to please the people buying it and potentially sell more copies. Plus, whenever people look back at these memories, higher quality yearbooks will make them feel more connected and more nostalgic.
· Consistency. You also need to make sure the quality is consistent. If you have some yearbooks that are practically perfect, and some that are falling apart, some of your purchasers are going to be disappointed.
· Speed. Ideally, you’ll have your yearbooks printed in a timely manner. If you’re dealing with strict deadlines, this is even more important.
· Cost effectiveness. It’s also a good idea to plan your budget intelligently. If you spend too much money on design and printing, you may not be able to recoup your costs through sales.
How to Improve Your Yearbook Printing
So how do you achieve these goals?
· Choose the right printer. The right online printing company can make literally everything about your book printing easier. They can give you a reasonable price, so you can save money. They can offer you a wide range of options, so you can build exactly the yearbook you want. They can provide you with a proof, so you can adequately judge the quality of their work. And they can assure you that the job is done properly with proper quality assurance protocols in place. Online printers vary in quality, so make sure you do your due diligence before making a final decision.
· Explore many options. There are many viable options to consider when building a yearbook, especially in terms of binding, cover options, and paper stock. Splurging on fancier and higher quality materials can make your yearbooks stand out, but also make them more expensive; it’s up to you whether this tradeoff is worth it. No matter what, you should explore many options so you know exactly what you’re getting.
· Get high-resolution photos. Yearbooks are much better when they rely on high-resolution photos. If you’re relying on people to submit their own photos, make sure they adhere to minimal standards so everyone has a photo that shows up well in print.
· Do touchups. Be ready to do some touch ups for your yearbook photos. For example, if a photo is too dark, you may need to lighten it up. If a photo isn’t adequately framed, or if you need it to fit in a specific location, you may need to trim it.
· Get creative, but not crazy, with the layout. It’s a good idea to get creative with the layout of your yearbook, but at the same time, you shouldn’t go crazy. Trying to stuff too many elements into a single page can ruin your layout efficiency while compromising the aesthetics of your yearbook; also, deviating too far from common standards may compromise the integrity of your project overall. People expect some degree of tradition in their yearbooks.
· Go through many rounds of revisions and editing. It’s easy to make mistakes, no matter how meticulous your planning is. Accordingly, your yearbook should go through many different rounds of revision and editing, under the direction of multiple different people. Hire thorough proofreaders to check every detail of your project.
· Adhere to recommended formatting standards. Your printer will likely have some standards to which your yearbook digital file will need to conform. Make sure you understand and adhere to those standards. If you have any questions or run into any issues, consider reaching out to the printer and/or coordinating with a graphic designer.
· Order a proof. A proof is simply a copy of your order, meant to demonstrate the quality and final appearance of your yearbook. While this is technically optional, everyone should order a proof of the yearbook to make sure it fully meets expectations (and give it a final proofreading).
With these strategies, you can master the art of yearbook printing, save money, save time, and ultimately please more people. If you plan on overseeing or coordinating your books in the future, all your experience will come in handy indefinitely.