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Prep for Yearbook Summer Camp

Think. Bond. Create. One of the best ways to jump-start next year’s book is to attend a summer workshop. Here are three reasons to sign up:

Theme development Whether you’ve chosen a theme or starting from scratch, a workshop is the perfect place to test drive a concept. You’ll see lots of ideas, consult with journalism experts and discover innovative ways to develop the theme throughout the book.

Staff bonding The social aspect of yearbook keeps students invested in the program. Sharing dorm space, working late into the night and goofing off together enhances the camp experience.

Creative inspiration In addition to learning about theme, design and coverage, your staffers will see stunning visuals. Cool covers, showstopper spreads and trending topics will inspire their own design and theme choices.

Bonus: Most journalism workshops are held on a university campus giving staffers an opportunity to experience a college environment. Contact your representative for workshops in your area or check our list of summer camps.

Thank a Teacher!

Thank you for everything you do as a teacher. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we offer inspirational messages about the importance of education.

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” -Robert Frost
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” -John Dewey
“I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.” -Lily Tomlin
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”    -Nelson Mandela

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” -B.B. King

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” -Bill Gates

“It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” -Michael Morpurgo

Here’s our heartfelt thanks for all of your hard work. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

What’s a Colophon?

Providing details about a book’s publication, colophons have been included in books and manuscripts as early as the 6th century. Today, a colophon provides a description of printing notes relevant to the yearbook.

Located at the end of the book, it gives facts about the publishing process including production and technology details. It should include information on:

  • Publishing: volume number, staff name, high school, city, state and publisher
  • Theme: theme concept, when and where it was developed
  • Production: number of pages, cover and endsheet materials, paper stock, computers and software used
  • Sales: book sales, book cost, ad costs
  • Graphics: fonts and colors
  • Photography: portrait photographers, staff photos, cameras
  • Awards: state and national recognition
  • Acknowledgments: names of people who supported the staff

Staffs may also include policies regarding portraits, group shots and sensitive issues (death), etc. A colophon can run at the end of the ads or index section, or possibly on the back endsheet.

 

Staffs often place the colophon on a spread with their staff list, editor’s note and pictures. Use the editor’s note to talk about the significance of the theme or the concept’s evolution. Explain how the staff overcame obstacles (weather events, computer crashes, etc.) and thank the staffers and adviser for their hard work. Remember, it took help to create that beautiful book.

 

Bonus tip: Here’s how four staffs presented their colophons in 2016.

Yearbook Resolutions for 2017

Lose weight. Save money. Spend more time with family. We all think of ways to improve ourselves at this time of year. Let’s also take that energy and focus it on our staffs.

 

Take a day and reflect on the fall semester. Discuss what worked well and what could be improved. Ask students to share how they could individually make things run smoother. Here are some suggestions:

  • Start each day with a 5-minute catch up. Let staffers share good news or what they’re looking forward to this week.
  • Meet with editors to go over individual responsibilities and expectations. Praise what they’ve done well. Encourage them in the areas that need work.
  • Assign a staffer to doublecheck name spellings and grades. It’s easy to mess up names, a sore spot for buyers. Having an extra set of eyes ensures there’s less mistakes.
  • Update the list of who has been in the book and how many times. Post it in the room. Compare it to who has bought a book. Encourage staffers to use students not on the list first and be wary of choosing a student who has already been included multiple times.
  • Rearrange seating or pair different students. If you’ve noticed some staffers distract each other, now is the time to play musical chairs. Also, create new pairings of students on spread assignments. They can share the workload and working with a different staffer helps them get to know each other and bond.
  • Don’t put off club pictures, team photos or index planning. It’s never too early to start thinking about those pages. Start doing the math and sketching ideas on paper to make these sections run smoother.

Bonus tip: Weekly self-evaluations make students accountable for their work, track spread progress and provide an additional grade.

Showcase your work while building a personal brand.

The skills you’re learning today on your school’s yearbook or student media staff can have enormous real-world application. A photo editor might one day own a photography business. Graphic skills can transform into careers in advertising or digital marketing. Social media content created to help sell yearbooks is extremely valuable as more and more companies understand their need for a social presence. With digital portfolios on the rise, there’s no better time than now to start building your own brand with a personal website.

So where should you start? There are many free web development platforms available today including Wix.com and Squarespace. Dunked even caters specifically to portfolios for creative types. If becoming proficient in WordPress is on your bucket list, you may look into building a site using the tools they provide.

 

What do I put in my portfolio?

A great portfolio inspires and informs your audience.  Show off your best yearbook spreads or infographic designs. Capture attention with stunning photography. Entertain with a video project. Leave readers inspired with a well-written feature story. Adding a personal blog gives your audience insight into who you are as a person. Tailor your portfolio to your strengths, and don’t forget to keep it up to date with new and fresh content.

 

Proceed with Caution.

Be mindful of the personal information you make public on the internet. Most websites allow for generic “Contact Me” buttons to keep your email and phone number out of the hands of potential spammers. Consider linking to your social media pages as an alternative contact method. (And it’s a great way to show off your skills and connect with other socially savvy audience.)

 

Get a jumpstart on your future.

Regardless of your future career ambitions,  a personal brand instills confidence, helps you hone your craft, and allows you to make mistakes that may go unnoticed before you’re applying for your dream job five years from now. Plus, having a digital portfolio gives you an impressive advantage over someone with twice your experience vying for the same job or internship.

 

Be Inspired!

Not sure what your site should look like? Here are 16 beautiful examples from The Muse’s  “Best Personal Websites of 2016″ contest.