Each year around this time, the leaves begin to fall and the predictably warm days of summer begin to cool with the autumn breeze. Ghouls and goblins begin to make appearances on lawns of decorating enthusiasts. While school festivities like homecoming, football, pep rallies and school dances cross the calendar, one thing often gets mummified and entombed: the yearbook theme. That’s a scary thought, but easily avoidable with a little intentional attention.
Don’t wait until spring to reconnect your theme and bring it back to life. Do it now. A yearbook’s theme should guide your coverage, content, sidebars, and sets the entire tone for the publication. Many staffs are so busy this time of year prepping pages and scrambling to meet deadlines that the theme seems to die. Here are a few ways to bring it back to life like the zombies in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
First, discuss your theme with staff members and rediscover why you all chose it. When reviewing your theme, include the nuances of it-not just the obvious statement(s).
Second, review each completed spread for relevant theme copy. Plan alternate coverage (modules, polls, student quotes, infographics) to take advantage of theme language. Make sure to check the page designs themselves for visual connections to your theme (logo, fonts, colors, shapes). Theme connections are both visual and verbal.
Third, plan ahead to keep the theme alive. Look at how it will be implemented on your student/people pages, your ads (if applicable), the index and closing page(s).
As we celebrate the Spooky Season, let’s not be afraid to resurrect our book’s theme.