Posts in category New & Noteworthy

We’re going BIG for JEA/NSPA Dallas!

JEA/NSPA will host its fall convention this week in the heart of Dallas, which is also the  hometown of Balfour Yearbooks. We are excited this great city was chosen to host some 4,000 plus journalism students, educators and professionals from around the country, who are coming to seek solutions and discover new trends in media, publishing, journalism, broadcast and photography.

Balfour will host more than 400 attendees as they tour our publishing facility, learning about how yearbooks are printed and manufactured once they leave the yearbook classroom. With help from more than 30+ Balfour employees, the tours will focus on the pressroom and pre-press technology as well as innovations in bindery/cover processes. But what sets Balfour apart is the human element and how people are a part of every stage of the production process.

Back at the Hyatt Regency, the Balfour booth will be showcasing its latest yearbook software technology, BalfourGo, a cloud-based, on-the-go yearbook software solution allowing staffs to harness the power of Adobe InDesign on any device. Learn how this solution can work for your staff, or catch a demo of StudioWorks+, ImageShare or myYear.

Be sure to stop by the Balfour booth and grab a copy of our new Elements Magazine, check out our 2017 Yearbook Yearbook and look through award-winning yearbooks published right here in Dallas. Yearbook gurus Kel Lemons, Judi Coolidge and Julia Copeland will be offering critiques on your 2018 yearbooks, and space is still available to sign up. New this year, you can even watch as Juan Valdez, our cover design ninja, designs yearbook covers on the spot.

The booth will also feature a new product launching soon that we would love your feedback on. Receive a free commemorative #nhsjc Dallas patch for checking out our new personalizable line of backpacks.


Get a great shot, get some cash!

There’s a great thrill in capturing an unexpected fumble or a pick-six on Friday night. Seeing a defensive block with the volleyball in the frame and the player in focus is a win. Snapping the shutter at just the right moment is the difference between a great sports photo and a mediocre one. And it could mean some extra spending cash.

With fall sports in progress, it’s an ideal time to submit action shots for our Great Shot Photo Contest, accepting entries Nov. 13-30. We’re looking for your best photos that show sports, action or movement.

And even better, that’s not our only category! You can also enter photos in a brand new category – Creative Lighting. We’d love to see photos featuring unusual uses of sunlight, artificial light or light in motion.

To improve your chances of winning, make sure:

  • Images are sharp and in focus
  • Faces are visible (for the action category)
  • The ball is in the frame (for sports like tennis, volleyball and football)
  • The photo depicts some type of action, motion or movement (for the action category). Avoid submitting emotion photos for the action category.
  • The photo displays some type of unusual or creative lighting, whether it is flash, sunlight or artificial light (for the creative lighting category)
  • The subject fills most of the frame
  • Photos are not overexposed, underexposed or poor quality (noise, low resolution)

Photographers can enter up to three times a day at our Facebook page (Click the “Great Shot Photo Contest” tab on the left) and vote for their personal favorites.

We’ll feature entries on social media throughout the contest and choose first, second and third place winners as well as several honorable mentions. Photographers will receive certificates and the top three photos will receive Visa gift cards, up to $500.

In addition, the People’s Choice category is back and we’ve added a K-8 division for elementary and middle school students to enter. We’ll pick the top three winners and honorable mentions in the K-8 category as well for certificates and gift cards. And don’t forget, advisers can enter too!

Here’s a flyer to hang in your room to remind photographers to enter. #balfourgreatshot

Good luck shooting!

5 states in 5 days: Celebrating yearbook from coast-to-coast for National Yearbook Week

When our marketing team realized 2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of National Yearbook Week, we knew we had to do something big. Unlike other national days meant to celebrate foods or silly hats, National Yearbook Week has some real history behind it.

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed a declaration to officially designate the first full week of October as National Yearbook Week. Reagan acknowledged in his declaration, “School yearbooks not only chronicle educational achievement and school tradition but are a part of them.” We couldn’t agree more.

Yearbooks, even with the influx of digital technology and communication, are still relevant to students today.  There’s just something that ties you to a yearbook that cannot fully be captured in any other form.

We knew yearbooks were important to us, but we wanted to find out what students felt about them in other parts of the country, so we sent Amanda Reynolds, our Consumer Marketing Manager, on a week-long, cross-country mission to celebrate yearbook with staffs across the country. Coupling Amanda’s passion for yearbook (she was a high school and college editor, turned yearbook rep), and her passion for travel (she’s been known to travel to Europe in just a backpack), we put her on a different plane every day traveling from Texas to California, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida. Check out to recap of each day by watching the videos below.

October 2: California

October 3: Ohio

October 4: Tennessee

October 5: Florida

October 6: Texas


Watch a recap of National Yearbook Week here.


National Buy Your Yearbook Day: Here are the contests!

It’s almost here! National Buy Your Yearbook Day (NBYYD) is Wednesday, October 25th.

We created this day to designate a special time of the school year to focus specifically on yearbook sales and to allow schools to join with other schools in a coordinated national event. Schedule your main yearbook sales period around NBYYD and build excitement and a sense of urgency for the yearbook.

This year we have four contests you can enter. Two lucky winners will be named in each category and will receive a $100 gift card!

CONTEST 1: Staff Spirit

We want to see your staff’s spirit and enthusiasm! Wear your staff shirts and snap a creative photo showing off your love of all things yearbook.



CONTEST 2: Who’s your PAL?

Grab your principal and post a pic of him/her helping your staff promote the yearbook.



CONTEST 3: Lights, Camera, ACTION!

Create a video to help promote your yearbook, and post it on your school’s website or social media page. Send us a link (or tag us) so we can see your hard work. Remember to keep your video short & sweet–and extra points if you make us laugh!


CONTEST 4: Spread the word

How do you promote your yearbook? Show us your best and most creative marketing campaign techniques. These can be created at a very low-cost and include techniques like homemade flyers and posters, sidewalk chalk, and social media posts.


How to enter

You can send us your submissions in two ways:

1) Submit Entries via Social Media: Post your submission on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #GottaGetAYearbook and the category.

2) Submit Entries via email: Entries can be submitted to our email address with your school name and category.

Winners will be announced on Thursday! Learn ways to promote NBYYD on your campus.

Get ready to #celebrateyearbook with National Yearbook Week

It seems there’s a national week for everything these days: National Headache Awareness week (June 4-10), National Split Pea Soup Week (Nov 12-18). There’s even a week to recognize handwashing, which we fully support (in case you were wondering). But the week we look forward to the most here at Balfour is National Yearbook Week, and it is taking place next week, October 2-6!

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first full week of October as “National Yearbook Week” to recognize the important role yearbook serves in our lives. An excerpt from Proclamation 5703 states: “School yearbooks not only chronicle educational achievement and school tradition but are a part of them. For nearly two centuries American students have produced yearbooks to commemorate the accomplishments of the school year and to compose a lasting record, written and pictorial, of campus, classmates, teachers, and school staff.”

Join us for a fun week of contests celebrating National Yearbook Week. Simply follow us on Twitter (@BalfourYB) or Facebook (BalfourYearbooks) and tweet or post your photo each day with the hashtag #celebrateyearbook. One lucky staff will take home a $100 gift card each day.

Monday, Oct. 2- “Show us your Selfie”

A yearbook wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the dedicated individuals who serve on the yearbook staff. So get creative, and take a “staff selfie” to show off your staff’s personality.

Tuesday, Oct. 3 – “Show us your Space”

We know you spend just as much time in the yearbook room as you do your own room, so we want to see your space! Send a photo of your yearbook classroom or workspace.

Wednesday, Oct. 4 – “Show us your Spines”

Yearbook spines, that is! Line up your yearbooks and send us a photo of all your old volumes. The school with the oldest volume 1 yearbook spine wins!

Thursday, Oct. 5- “Show us your Snacks”

What fuels your yearbook staff? Show us the fun foods that get you through those tough deadlines and all-nighter work sessions.

Friday, Oct. 6- “Show us your Support”

We know creating a yearbook takes a village, so show us your support system! Send a photo of your adviser, principal or another individual in your school who goes above and beyond to help with the yearbook.

Winners will be chosen by Balfour’s Marketing Team and recipients will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card. Here’s a recap of the daily contests you can hang in your classroom.

Be sure to check your email and our social media page Friday for a BIG yearbook week announcement you won’t want to miss!