Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A yearbook, also known as an annual, is a book to commemorate the past year of a school. Virtually all American and Canadian high schools, most colleges and many elementary and middle schools publish yearbooks. A well-designed yearbook can be a treasure for the alumni of a school for years to come.
How it's put together
A yearbook takes a lot of careful planning. Usually, the editors will meet with a faculty adviser to plan the content of the book at the beginning of the year. The editors then meet with other student members of the yearbook staff to discuss their ideas, obtain suggestions for a running theme and determine assignments.
They will also ask someone to design a cover, create templates for pages in the book and create a ladder, or master list of each page's content in the book. This is a crucial roadmap for making a coherent book.
Sometimes, editors will attend a yearbook camp during the summer to plan for the task ahead.
Yearbook staffs often include:
- Editor-in-chief: Usually a senior who has worked on the yearbook staff during their underclassmen years, who is in charge of directing the staff and overseeing the book's layout. He/she may be served by one or more assistants.
Often, the editorial staff also promotes the sale of yearbooks to students, usually in September or October.
- An adviser: Usually a journalism teacher or other member of the language arts department.
- Section editors: In charge of a specific section of the yearbook (see below).
- Photographers: In charge of taking pictures and editing images. This staff may also include an art editor, who designs the cover appropriate to the running theme; and places art (either his/her own creation or using Clip Art from a CD-ROM).
- Sales manager: In charge of selling advertising to local businesses, and copies of the completed books to students. He/she must keep track of all payments received.
- Other staff: Usually underclassmen, who assist the editors with various duties and writing articles for the yearbook.
Laying out the book
In the past, most yearbooks were laid out by hand, with photographs physically cropped and placed on layout boards. The work was tedious, and required multiple deadlines and contact with a yearbook publisher.
Today, virtually are yearbooks are computerized, which allows for quicker deadlines and easier editing.
Students typically paginate, or lay out pages using a computer program, such as Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress. Students are quickly able to size photographs and place copy, leaving minimal white space (blank area) behind.
Layout is the appearance of the page and includes photographs (along with captions identifying the action and people), copy (the text and its typefont), headlines and white space. The idea is to have a uniform appearance to the pages, especially those of a specific section.
At many schools, students use a digital camera to take photographs and download selected photographs using a card reader. Other schools that still use 35-mm cameras often have a special negative scanner, which allows users to obtain more detail from a photograph than from a print.
Copy is the main story on the layout, and is often typed and edited using a word processing program such as WordPerfect. The copy is saved to a hard drive or disk and later imported onto the pages.
White space is the empty area between the other elements of the layout.
Most yearbooks have a similar format, which includes individual photographs of students; information on activities; sports; and other activities.
Self explanatory; arranged in alphabetical order by class (freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors), these include individual pictures of the students, accompanied by their names. Often, these sections have candid photographs of students, placed with their appropriate class.
Usually, the senior photographs are larger than underclassmen's photographs. Usually, the seniors are dressed formally or semi-formally. Sometimes, the senior pages will also include information about their accomplishments throughout high school, and their future plans (if known).
Usually in the front of the yearbook, these pages chronicle major school activities of the year, such as homecoming, trips to athleteic state tournaments, and special visitors to the school. Sometimes, this section also includes articles on issues concerning teen-agers and a page recapping local, state, national and world headlines from the past year.
At many schools, these pages are published in color.
Done one of two ways:
- In two sections – one containing an alphabetical, photographic listing of teachers; and a separate section with the activities of each academic department.
- In one section, with separate pages for each academic department. The teachers' photographs are listed by department on the appropriate page.
These pages detail the activities of the schools various bands and choirs, as well as plays presented by the school's drama department. These pages also detail accomplishments by groups such as the debate club and public speaking. If a school has a thespian group, a page is dedicated to that group as well.
Included as a way to chronicle contributions by students. A listing of organizations would be impossible to list in their entirety, but often range from social (Fellowship of Christian Atheltes ) to academic (National Honor Society, science club) and vocational (FFA).
Often listed by season, these pages chronicle the accomplishments of the school's teams. Along with a short article listing the season's highlights, these pages include team photographs, action pictures and a listing of scores from that season.
A good high school yearbook includes pages for all levels – varsity, junior varsity, sophomore and freshman teams – of each sport. Outstanding accomplishments by sports teams are often included in the front section of the yearbook, in addition to their usual page.
Sadly, students often must deal with the deaths of one or more classmates, or a teacher(s) for whatever reason – illness, car accident, crime victim, suicide, etc. – during their high school years. Should that happen, these pages are set aside to acknowledge the death(s) and eulogize the deceased. Content usually includes a picture of the student or teacher, along with his/her life dates, candid pictures of the deceased from happier times, a brief article explaining the loss and perhaps an inspirational verse or poem written by a close friend.
Most yearbook departments receive much of their revenue through advertising from local businesses. Students sell these advertisements, which are often included in a section at the back of the book. Many of these advertisements congratulate seniors on their accomplishments.
Self explanatory; an alphabetical listing of everyone included in the yearbook, along with the pages they may be found on. Usually, an editor keeps a master list of who is included on each page, to ensure accuracy.
Typically the last page of the book, the colophon lists staff members and acknowledges everyone's hard work. Often, this page includes a brief statement from the editor or adviser.
In some schools, this page will also serve as a dedication page, usually to a retiring long-time faculty member, a prominent school supporter or the senior class.
Herff Jones (of Indianapolis) and Jostens (based in Minneapolis, Minn.) are two major yearbook printing companies in the United States. Many other companies publish books as well. The yearbook plants send representatives to work with the yearbook staff at each school.
Yearbook companies typically require that groups of pages be sent periodically, rather than all at once, to the plant. This is done to stagger the work required to complete yearbooks for all the schools they cover.
About a week or so later, the adviser and editors receive proofs, or full size prints that closely match what the final product will look like. This gives them a final opportunity to make adjustments or changes. After all the pages have been sent, the publisher will print the books and send them to the school for distribution.
Often, yearbooks are distributed at the end of a school year, to allow graduating seniors to obtain the books and signatures from classmates. Those that distribute at this time often publish a supplemental insert with photographs from these events.
However, some schools distribute them later – such as at Homecoming or other designated time – to include year-end activities such as graduation and prom. In some cases, yearbooks are mailed to the parents' homes of graduated seniors.
Most colleges that publish yearbooks follow the same format as high schools. However, most only publish photographs of seniors, and some (particularly larger colleges) may include game-by-game summaries of football and men's basketball games.
Elementary and middle schools often have a designated staff member who is in charge of putting together that school's yearbook. Students may or may not be involved with contributing to the book. These books are usually considerably smaller than a high school or college yearbook.
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