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.