10 Tips For Yearbook Design

Here is a list of the some commonly overlooked errors
made in the designing of a Yearbooks.
Click MORE INFO Under Each For A Description!
1. Use 1/2" Margins!

Having the same margin around the pages will give your yearbook a professional look. You should keep all items inside the margin or bleed them off the pages.

Don't have some items partially in the margin.

2. Use Paragraph Styles!

They are called Paragraph Styles in Adobe InDesign and Text Styles in Microsoft Publisher. Paragraph Styles can be a LIFE-SAVER in the layout process, will save you a ton of time, and give your yearbook continuity.

You want to create Styles for your Titles and Captions, as well as any other items you want to standardize. Stop scrolling through your pages and remembering Font Type, Sizes and Color!

3. Place Your Photos Properly!


"Copy & Paste"ing is a very common error! Place your photos directly from the photo source file! (File>Place or Ctrl>D in Adobe InDesign... Insert>Picture>From File in Microsoft Publisher). This will place the actual photo into your document with the SAME RESOLUTION instead of a low resolution copy of it. Make certain you keep the original copy of the photo in the same folder on your computer until after your magazine is printed.

When you copy and paste, it may look the same resolution on your screen, BUT IT IS NOT! Another very common error is "Stretching" photos to meet certain frame sizes or fit in certain articles or collages on your page. This does not look professional in the finished product! If you have a 2"x3" picture that needs to fit in a 4"x1" frame, it is strongly suggested to crop the photo or redesign your layout to fit its proportions. .

4. Don't Forget Time For Shipping!

Take note of your printer's turn-around time and shipping! You should know when yourYrarbooks will arrive before you even submit your pages!

SPC allows you to set your own deadlines. OUR TURNAROUND TIMES are very fast, but you still need to account for the time it will take UPS to deliver your magazines to the school. UPS Ground Shipping is FREE if you pay for your books when you submit your pages!

Below is a chart of shipping from SPC throughout the US. (Business Days)


5. Did You Check For Overset Text?

Overset Text means not all of your text is fitting in your frames. Sometimes, it is as simple as a couple of blank "Return"s at the end of an article, but other times, you are actually missing some of your content! You can check for this very easily in most Publishing Software.

In Adobe InDesign, Overset text is identified with a small Red Plus sign in the bottom right corner of your Text Box. There is a picture of it below.
You can also click "View Errors" in the bottom left hand corner of your screen in InDesign to view all of your Overset Text throughout your document.

The Overset Text icon in Microsoft Publisher is an "A...". There is a picture of it below.

6. Start Your Page Spreads On The Even Page!

You must keep your page count to a multiple of four. Also remember that two pages spreads always start with the even numbered page.

You can have a spread go from page 2 to page 3, but you cannot have a spread go from page 3 to page 4.

7. How Did You Create Your PDF?

All PDF files are NOT the same! Check the parameters of your PDF before creating and submitting it.

Most printers generally want High Resolution images (300 dpi) and all fonts embedded. Sending a low res PDF can cause unwannted printing errors and missing fonts.

SPC sends instructions on how to properly create a PDF file for printing and is available for phone or email support whenever you run into trouble! From InDesign you can choose the PDF Preset PDF/X-4 to ensure your yearbook will print properly.

8. Don't Oversize Your Headlines!

It is very easy to get caught up in the "in your face" look of a HUGE BOLD headline. Generally a font size in the 18 to 30 point range is more than enough.

Many of SPC's customers win awards for their publication as far as layout and printing quality.
9. Know Your Printer's Restrictions!

Know your printer! Every printer is different. Some only accept files from certain software. Others require very specific parameters on PDF files.

Turn-Around Times, Shipping Method, Quality, Customer Service. Whoever your publisher may be, get familiar with their restrictions and what they offer.

SPC accepts nearly all file types and we're available for support via phone or email Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Eastern Time!
10. Use School Publications Company