Exploring Themes for Next Year


Selecting a theme is one of the hardest things a yearbook staff does. I mean, how exactly does one choose a theme for a year that hasn’t happened yet? A lot of it is an educated guess.

First step: Take an inventory of what you know about next year. What is changing next year? New principal, new curriculum, new procedures, new class schedule, new four-day week?  What will be unique about next year? Write down some key ideas.

Second Step: Listen carefully. Maybe even record the brainstorming sessions. What phrases do people keep repeating? What ideas keep coming back up? Listen to leaders in the school – what are they talking about? Make a list. Highlight your favorite ideas.

Third Step: Look at the theme suggestions in the Balfour Adviser’s guide. Or use an idiom dictionary to help you find that perfect turn of phrase. Now test it out.

Fourth Step: Make a plan for how you would use this theme in your book. What would you write in the theme copy? What tone are you going for? How would you graphically illustrate this theme? What colors and fonts help you tell this story?


Keep thinking and considering options until your staff can explain exactly why this is the perfect theme for next year. 

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