Posts in category New & Noteworthy

JEA selects two Balfour advisers as Rising Star recipients

Two Balfour advisers, John Horvath and Tim Ryckman, were named 2017 Rising Stars by the Journalism Education Association, Thursday, Jan. 26.

The Rising Star award honors student media advisers who have completed five or fewer years of advising and have shown “exceptional promise as an adviser and in service to the profession.”

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JEA honors Balfour adviser with national award

The Journalism Education Association recognized Leland Mallett, Legacy High School, Mansfield, Texas as a yearbook Special Recognition Adviser in their Yearbook Adviser of the Year program on Monday, January 23.

Leland Mallett began his teaching career in Big Spring, Texas, a small rural community in west Texas. There his publications won three state awards. After seven years, however, he was offered a position at a new school in Mansfield, Texas that he couldn’t refuse.

Even though he only had four girls in yearbook and six students in newspaper (none with experience), “they had heart and an incredible work ethic,” Leland said. The fresh start paid off, when the second volume of the Legacy yearbook won a CSPA Crown and was a NSPA Pacemaker finalist. “It was the first national award for me and for Legacy,” he said.

According to Leland, whether students are scheduled for yearbook, photo, newspaper or Journalism I, they are contributors. “It doesn’t matter what their schedules read, they are all storytellers. That’s still our motto today.”

After only four years, the program grew to more than 85 students in newspaper, yearbook and photo. Then broadcasting was added to the curriculum. Ultimately, the program needed a second teacher. In 2010, Rachel Dearinger joined the team as the broadcast and Photo I teacher and the co-adviser of the yearbook.

Leland Mallett has been recognized as a teacher and adviser, winning state and national awards: Legacy HS–Teacher of the Year (2010); ILPC–Edith Fox King Award (2012); Texas PTA—finalist for Teacher of the Year (2013); Texas Association of Journalism Educators–Trailblazer Award (2013); Dow Jones News Fund–(2015); Max Haddick UIL–Texas Adviser of the Year (2015); Journalism Education Association—Yearbook Special Recognition Adviser (2016).

In addition to advising the print and online publications at Legacy, Leland shares his expertise by teaching at workshops, seminars and conventions from Orlando, Florida to Sacramento, California. To reach an even larger audience, he has written articles on scholastic journalism and journalism education for Balfour in Elements magazine and on JEA’s digital media site.

Since winning national recognition in their second year, Legacy’s yearbook, newspaper, and its students have accumulated accolades: Silver and Gold Stars from ILPC (Texas), Gold Medalists, Gold Circles, Silver and Gold Crowns from Columbia Scholastic Press Association; All-Americans, Pacemaker finalists, Pacemakers and Best in Shows from the National Scholastic Press Association.

The awards and recognition aside, the students are most important to Leland and he is important to them. Just ask them.

“It’s really awesome that he’s here to teach us what he know,” yearbook staffer Ashton Williams said. “I appreciate how open he is with us as a mentor and a friend. He’s awesome. He’s definitely my favorite teacher. I wish more of my teachers were like him.”

His No. 1 priority, however, is his family: his wife Harmony and his children Ryland (9th grade), Raylee (5th grade), Reese (4th grade) and Riker & Remus (cats). To create an amalgam of home and school, Ryland joined the yearbook staff as a photographer. Follow Leland on Facebook and discover his weekend, summer and vacation adventures with his family.

Leland is always soft spoken but always heard because of his impeccable character, and his professional and personal integrity. Congratulations, Leland, for this well-deserved recognition as a JEA yearbook Special Recognition Adviser.

New Launch Lab Officially Opens in Dallas Office

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Staff members gathered for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 18 to officially open the doors to the new space. The work stations and meeting rooms came to life immediately as some employees moved into the space that day.

Create. Connect. Captivate. Those are the pillars of the new Launch Lab collaborative workspace that officially opened for business in Balfour’s Dallas publishing plant in November.

The Launch Lab, an open office environment, includes teams of digital, e-commerce, IT, marketing, product and creative services working under the same roof supporting all areas of the business. The Launch Lab will be active in supporting each and every product launch and lifecycle, from yearbooks to championship rings and new product development.

It’s named Launch Lab for a reason. When you think about a launch – there’s energy, there’s many moving parts working together, a significant amount of planning involved, there’s excitement, and the trajectory is upward, fast and forward. That’s the vision for the Launch Lab.

The naming of the different rooms was a project of its own. Avoiding corporate cliches and buzzwords as best we could, names like Pixel, Hashtag and Connect were selected for small huddle rooms. Larger meeting rooms sport names like Sandbox, Wonderwall, Captivate, Inspire and Amplify.

As schools tour our Dallas plant, they’ll be able to take a look at the new workspace and see some of our behind-the-scenes departments that play a huge part in yearbook production, namely our IT teams.

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The open space towards the back will be used for monthly company meetings to promote new product launches and celebrate employee accomplishments.

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Once full, the Launch Lab will house more than 85 employees.

Make them LOOK! Customized banners lend a professional touch

Moorhead JH Yearbook Banners

Balfour’s  SayIt! Custom Signage lets you and your staff put your  “mark” on yearbook marketing. With the design portal, you can order custom posters, banners, postcards, window clings and more. Use the tools we provide to design your marketing pieces or upload your finished masterpieces to the portal.

Matt Tullos of Moorhead Junior High in Conroe, Texas ordered two coordinating X-stand banners to help his staff promote their pricing structure and give buyers 10 reasons why they should purchase a yearbook. They debuted the banners at open house to help drive pre-sales as well as sell past yearbooks. The result? Success.

“Having professional signage has taken our public image to a whole new level,” Tullos said. “These days paying such a high price for a student-centered and student-created book is a stretch for some kids and their parents. The level of professionalism by which we present ourselves can speak volumes to a wary buyer.”

Prices of the custom items range from $24 for a back of 50 postcards to $100 for an 8′ outdoor banner.

“Having quality visuals at our booth has really helped lend much-needed credibility to our brand,” Tullos said.

To order your custom marketing materials, log onto StudioBalfour and click Sales and Orders>SayIt! Custom Signage.

Fun with Fonts

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One of the best ways to illustrate a yearbook’s theme is through the font choices. Whether you’re going for a fun, flirty look or an elegant, classic feel, the typography can emphasize, clarify and support the theme. Consider these suggestions as you narrow your font choices:

  • Select a font that has a large family with plenty of weights – Choosing a font family with lots of brothers, sisters and cousins (i.e. thin, book, medium, medium italic, etc.) allows you to have versatility, but the consistency of the same typeface. Use a book or regular weight for body copy, but consider using an italic, medium or condensed version for secondary coverage type. Mixing light and bold weights are a great way to add contrast in headlines.
  • Establish a type hierarchy and stick to it – Once you choose a size and leading for body copy and secondary coverage, keep to those sizes throughout the book for consistency.
  • Not sure what sizes to use? Try 9 to 10 pt for body copy, 7 to 9 pt for secondary coverage, 16-24 pt for secondary headlines and 48 pt and higher for headlines. Before submitting spreads, we recommend printing pages at 100 percent and comparing to the previous yearbook and other books to verify the size is big enough for readability, but not too large to distract from the other elements on the page.
  • Consider adding an accent font – A fun, decorative or bold font can reflect the personality of the theme and accentuate the tone in a fabulous way. Just remember, it’s an accent for a reason. A little goes a long way.

Did you know? With a new year, we’re excited to provide a host of new typography choices. New font posters will arrive in a few weeks, but in the meantime, here’s the full list of our new fonts and smart combinations.