Yearbook design, copy and photo mistakes

Yearbook design, copy and photo mistakes

Over the course of the year, students and advisers work diligently to not make mistakes. They analyze copy for grammar or spelling errors and check spacing with a critical eye. They compare yearbooks from other schools, envying enviable theme packaging, story and yearbook design.

But let me ruin the suspense; mistakes are going to happen.

It’s a part of not only human nature, but also creative nature. Professional publications, movies, posters and businesses have the occasional slip up. When Game of Thrones included a Starbucks cup, we groaned as advisers and students in a communal sigh of relief. They make mistakes, too.

We can excuse this, as we do, because to err is human.

The good news is that some mistakes are preventable in your yearbook. Especially design, copy and photography errors based on often overlooked basic principles.

This presentation focuses on the most common errors I notice when scoring yearbooks and the misconceptions I see in my students throughout the year. When I first started out, this was the resource I wish I had. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.

When critiquing, I don’t have the in-person option of explaining a comment. Often, I make the same comment, wishing I could sit the person down and really show them some examples of what I mean. Beautiful yearbook design is within reach, as is compelling story writing, if you have the right tools and understand the basics.

Part of this presentation is just me giving you permission to have fun making a yearbook. And I hope you do, because that’s why we’re here, right?

My hope is that presentation helps to course-correct and serve as a refresher for those little yearbook design, copy and photography principles and strategies that can fall away as the year progresses.

*This was originally presented at spring FSPA 2019.

Link to presentation download: The Mistakes We Make



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