December 02, 2019


You have been working on your theme and have brainstormed some ideas, now comes the time to start finalizing your page design.  One way to streamline this process while creating a consistent look throughout your book is to create a yearbook style sheet. To take the layout portion of your style guide to the next level you can create a page template.

It is a good idea to begin with your colours and fonts already selected.

To jump start  both your yearbook style sheet and template building process follow the 8 steps below.  Once the spreads are completed, have the whole yearbook team vote and use the winning spreads as the template base for the book.

1)     Start with a column grid and make sure all exterior margins are established.

2)     Place a dominant photo that is a least 2 to 2 ½ times the size of all other elements.

3)     With the second photo, start an eyeline from which other elements can be set on or hang down from.

4)     Add additional photos of varying sizes and shapes.  If possible, repeat some of the same sizes in odd numbers.

5)     Keep inner spacing consistent between elements.  1 or 2 picas is standard.

6)     Place headline and copy blocks, remember to use the fonts you have chosen.

7)     Add captions so that they are close to their corresponding photos, avoid placing them between elements.

8)     Add graphic elements that will further your theme.

These are basic guidelines to building a template.  You can include more elements if you wish and have a  fully finished page or you can build individual element templates that can be layered on top of one another.  For example; a page number template, a headline template, background template and so on. By building page templates, you can eliminate looking at a blank white spread in panic and thinking to yourself “Where do I even start?”.  Like a style guide, templates keep your yearbook consistent and allows your staff to focus their attention on the content.