September 07, 2018


This is always a hot topic of conversation during the early days of yearbook, should we or shouldn’t we have a theme? No matter what you decide, the most important thing to remember is consistency. What creates a theme? It’s the look and feel of the book that shows up in the overall visual and verbal concept.  This could be something completely obvious like a comic book style, journey through time or social media or it can be classic with white backgrounds, clean lines, and graphics, no matter what you create there are a few theme rules that should be considered.

Let’s get started:

1. Where to Find a Theme
  • What are the current trends and fads
  • Popular graphic designs, colors
  • Songs, TV Shows, Movies, Books, Magazines, Social Media
  • Pinterest, Google
2. Brainstorming
  • Shout it out, do a session of just sharing ideas ( no idea is a bad idea)
  • Write things on the chalkboard/whiteboard and see how you can begin to grow the idea.
  • Use word bubbles or Tree model to see how you can take a theme and develop it into every section of the yearbook.
3. What does a Theme do?
  • Define the main idea and mood through words and graphics
  • Tie the book together cover to cover ( consistency)
  • Portrays a story through the look and feel
  • Represent everyone in the school
  • Shares events that happen inside the school as well as well as local and world events ( this sets the years apart)
4. How does the theme show up?
  • Every page, section, heading, title, event, sport, and class.
  • Through colors, words, phrases, titles, fonts, folios, graphics
  • Be consistent with 3-5 fonts
  • Same colors, shades, tones, and spacing
  • Same size Primary headlines, Secondary headlines, Body copy and Captions
5. Where Theme is represented
  • Covers
  • Endsheets
  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Opening and Closing Pages
  • Divider Pages
  • Folios
You can choose to introduce your audience to a new element of the theme throughout your book or make a splash on the cover and pull things from here throughout the book in various sections and details to tie it all together. The initial process of creating your yearbook is no little task.  Creating a strong theme takes several weeks to develop in great detail, remember this is one of the main foundations of building a great yearbook so having a good base takes time.  No matter what you choose to do as a theme; it may sound easy when you initially throw out ideas however, the challenge comes in growing your theme page by page with every word, graphic, title, headline, caption, color scheme, and design. Make sure when you are brainstorming you are able to take each section down the “tree branches” or “word bubbles” and flush out all the details to grow your theme. Ideas for a Theme Concept Ideas for a Theme Development Design Here’s a Sample of How: 1. A moment in Time: Front Cover image: Clock Face (classic or modern images and colors) End Sheets: watermark of zoomed in the face or just clock hands Backgrounds: Gears of a clock Fonts: Modern or Classic Folios: Clock hands moving throughout the book (changing time) Title Page: School Time….    Headlines:         Class Time = Portrait Section, Missing images = missing in time         Sport Section = Moving in Time, Game Time         Academics = Crunch Time         Student Life = Time of our Lives Whatever theme or look you decide, remember the key to a good yearbook is consistency, brainstorming, personalizing, organizing and growth.  You are the storytellers and representing and showcasing your entire student body. Have Fun and Good Luck Sharon Remillard Friesens Yearbook Consultant