The Ultimate Yearbook Tip Sheet: 5 Tips for Success in 5 Key Categories


New yearbook advisers often struggle with yearbook spreads. Experienced advisers look for ways to take their books to the next level. Here’s a tip sheet full of ideas to create a better yearbook. Not everything will work for every school. Take what you want; leave the rest, and don’t try to do everything at once. Just working on one or two strategies at a time will help you improve your book.


  1. Include a dominant photo. Best photo on the spread.  
  2. Cluster your photos – don’t scatter them. 
  3. Use uniform internal margins between photos. 
  4. Bigger photos in the middle. Smaller photos/elements on the outside. 
  5. White space in the corners. Don’t trap white space. 


  1. Strive for the correct exposure. 
  2. Use candids whenever possible. Two eyes, one ear, action, and emotion. 
  3. The dominant is the best photo on the spread. 2-3x bigger than the other photos. It often crosses the gutter. 
  4. Leave some nose room when cropping photos. 
  5. Arrange photos so people are looking into the layout; not off the page. 



  1. Specific is 1000X better than general. 
  2. Write in the active voice. 
  3. Opinions go in quotation marks. 
  4. Commentary is factual. 
  5. Write about what was special/unique to this year. 


  1. Go early, stay late. 
  2. Take more than you need. 
  3. Photograph before, during and after events. 
  4. Get some wide angle and close-up shots. 
  5. Look for moments, wait for the perfect time, then take several.  


  1. Interview the right people. 
  2. Suggest a specific time when requesting an interview. 
  3. Do some research before the interview. 
  4. Verify your research in the first set of questions. 
  5. Ask open ended questions.

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