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How to Make and Publish a Yearbook - process, ideas and more!


Publishing a yearbook isn't as easy as it looks. It will require a lot of scrutiny, time, effort, stress and etc. before you can successfully publish one. You may even encounter situations wherein you need to repeat some of its parts that will definitely prolong the process. Hence, this article will give you a general idea (including some helpful guidelines) regarding publishing a yearbook that will aid you in doing your own, especially high school seniors.


Publishing a Yearbook Summary

This tedious process can be summarized into four sub-processes:

  1. Gathering Data and Content
  2. Organizing and Encoding Data Gathered
  3. Designing the Layout of Each Page
  4. Sending the Work for Publication

Senior Year

Senior year is definitely the most enjoyable and unforgettable year as high school students. Nevertheless, it is also the saddest year of all because they need to part with their friends whom they have been with for many years. And so, seniors do not want to leave high school without having a souvenir, or any remembrance at all. They want to have one tangible memorabilia that would remind them of their colleagues and alma matter.

The most common souvenir prefered by students is the yearbook. It may sound easy but coming up with an astounding one is a tedious task to do. Publishing a high school yearbook can be divided into four procedures: gathering data and information, organizing and encoding data gathered, designing each page and sending the work for publication.

Data Gathering Procedure

The initial step in publishing a yearbook is to collect data and information (the content or meat of the yearbook). Since yearbooks contain a lot of text, gathering the final write-ups of contributing writers must be given priority.There are times when other writers will not give their write-ups on time; therefore, will cause delay in the process. Hence, you must collect them as fast as possible – give deadlines.

While waiting for the submission of the write-ups, co-yearbook staff must conduct interviews to school personnel, proficient students and other important individuals. Their inspirational messages and quotes will make the yearbook more substantial. Pictures, besides texts are very valuable in making the yearbook more outstanding, so you should organize photo shoots and get the soft copies from the photographers afterwards. Also, let the students scan photos including those during their younger days.

Organizing and Encoding Data

Encoding data gathered after organizing them will be the next procedure. It is very vital to categorize all the hard copies of your files as well as their soft copies. Categorizing would make it easier for the yearbook staff (especially the layout editors) to locate files needed for each page, resulting to better efficiency. So, as much as possible, you have to store files in an organized manner to prevent any losses because losing some files will cost vast amount of time in replacing or retrieving them, making the process slower. Also, you must encode immediately every data gathered in a word-processor to hasten the process.

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Designing the Layout

One of the crucial steps in publishing a yearbook is to design each page. You need to utilize every encoded file using Adobe Photoshop (or a similar software). Properties of each page should be set accordingly with the theme of the yearbook. Page width and length may vary, and so there is a huge necessity for them to be specified, as well as the resolution, which should be at 300 ppi. Arrange layers of each page because their order will have huge impact on your work. Fix opacity of each layer, including the fill, and be sure to be consistent with the settings. Final touches should be made, so flourish pages using brushes, gradients, effects and templates.

Four years back, I was the layout editor of our yearbook. So let me show you the layout and design of our yearbook (as a sample layout). The theme was Renaissance, if I remember it correctly.

Sending the Work for Publication

After the three preceding steps, the work must be sent for publication. You will need to burn all PDF files in a DVD and number each file according to its page number. In some cases, files exceed beyond 4.7 Gigabytes and therefore would need more than 2 DVDs to be burned. After that, forward the DVD (or DVDs) to a publisher or a publishing company and wait. In a few months, publication will be completed. Afterwards, all the copies will be directly sent to your school and will be ready for distribution.

There you have it!

There are a lot of procedures to follow in publishing a yearbook. It would not be finished in just a short span of time. Each procedure will take days in order to be accomplished, thus needs to be done carefully to avoid delays. Also, each step should be chronologically followed because one cannot be finished without completing its prerequisites. In addition, a staff, and not a single person, should do the yearbook; therefore, cooperation and teamwork are very vital to be efficient and productive.

Comments and Feedback

Renz Kristofer Cheng (author) from Manila on April 18, 2012:

Thanks vinner! I decided to share this because during our time, we had encountered several problems in making the yearbook. We got really delayed, that the yearbook was released about a year after. And I don't want that to happen to others. :)

vinner from India on April 18, 2012:

Really useful article. Nice way of presentation also. Thank God I found you. Thanks for sharing such useful articles.

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