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May 17, 2018

5 Fantastic Ways to Engage your Reader!

An author’s primary objective is to keep the reader’s attention. If unsuccessful, the reader will start to skim the pages or give up and put the book down. Things are not much different in the yearbook world, perhaps with the exception of a single author; we speak of people in terms of Editors, Designers, Writers, Photographers, etc.  It is a team effort, but both of these books have a similar goal, to catch and keep a reader’s attention. Typically in a book, this is done by writing a captivating story. In a yearbook, the story is told in words, but also by carefully choosing photos. We don’t stop there though, because we also use layout & design along with graphic elements to help tell the story of this past school year.  That means we have so many more tools to catch and keep the reader’s attention, but also more ways to lose it.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Consistency and continuity; keep to a set of rules to the design of the book – spacing both vertically and horizontally (usually keeping one pica apart).
  2. Fonts should be the same type and size – headlines on one spread should match the headline settings for all of the other spreads.  The same goes for subheadings, captions, body copy, pulled quotes, etc.
  3. Colour use – having too many colours can look like a paint store exploded inside your book.  While colour is great, try and limit them to 3-5 colours maximum. If black is only being used for fonts, then you don’t necessarily need to consider it a colour.
  4. Keep similarity to your designs – a great way to do this is to build a template and use slight variations of that template throughout the yearbook and or even throughout the sections.  Folios and footers can help with this too as would graphic elements. They should all help tie back to your theme.
  5. Review your work – look at it compared to the work of other pages, do you see a maintained theme?  Is there consistency and continuity? If so, HIGH-FIVE! If not, what is breaking them apart and separating them?

Bonus tip, have fun, cliché yes, but it really helps you stay on track and in theme.