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Selling advertising space in your yearbook

by ~ March 24th, 2014

girl_c3There are lots of projects on the go now which is awesome and a lot of you are in the process of collecting orders and payments for the yearbooks. If a sponsored silence, car wash or bake sale isnt for you then a good way to raise funds for your project is to sell advertising space in your books.  Here is a quick guide to help you get the ball rolling :)

Approaching a business can be a scary thing, especially when you’re going to ask for money which is why it pays to be prepared. First things first think about your year group, your community and the sorts of places you like to go/ things you like to do. When a business can see you’ve invested some time in learning about them you’re much more likely to get the results you hoped for! Being able to discuss the benefits of promoting their product in your book will help you to get sponsors on board and will add those all important funds to the kitty! Remember, when approaching a local company or society for sponsorship, it’s best to know who you’re talking to! Always try to speak with a manager a.k.a the decision maker- they will be able to give a definitive answer as to whether it’s of interest and you can continue on your quest for a sponsor should they decline. Most of the time you’ll be making a few calls but if you’re going to meet with anyone obviously be cautious and always be safe! Ask a parent or a staff member if they can attend too! If you’re emailing companies, perhaps set up a generic yearbook email account to use. That way your enquiries will be accessible to your editing team and lets face it, AYByearbook2014@gmail.com sounds much more professional than sparklyunicornsandhearts@hotmail.com!

Sponsors can vary depending on your age group and sometimes you wont have to look far! If your school, college or university have an alumni, start here! A lot of schools want to keep in touch with past students so you might find the Old Boy’s Society for example want to promote their group and encourage sign ups from the new leaving class. You might find that including a single page ad will subsidise your yearbook costs and in turn make the book more appealing to the year! More sales, means the price is lower so it’s win-win for everybody :)

If your part of a university project, you might find sponsorship from larger, national companies. Medic yearbooks often get sponsorship from specialist insurance providers for example. If you’re part of a secondary school, perhaps look to nearby colleges, driving schools and more local companies. Perhaps set your year group a mission to speak to parents about the project and see if their workplaces would consider offering sponsorship. If everybody in the year gets one parent to enquire with work then you’ve already targeted 100 companies and that’s a pretty great start.

Also, remember to leave yourselves enough time to liaise with your sponsors. No one likes to be told “we need you to give us money, right now” as this puts pressure on the companies you’ve approached. Leave yourself a few weeks so people can go away, think about the opportunity and prepare any artwork they will need to provide you with. If you’re successful in selling ad space, hooray and congratulations :D You’ve just made your books cheaper! If you have any questions about page sizes and dimensions for artwork, just get in touch. We’ll be more than happy to talk you through this and help out where we can. Sponsors will need to send their payments through to you at school, or to you as an individual, as we usually don’t accept payments from third parties. Again, if you have any questions at all just give us a shout :D

Medic Yearbooks

by ~ March 12th, 2014



Med school is a pretty huge experience and you’re probably going to miss an awful lot of people when the journey comes to an end. After so many years together, you’ll probably be looking for ways to commemorate the times you’ve shared and a beautiful yearbook can do just that! Packed with photos, laughs and probably a few cringey moments, your medical yearbook will help you relive those wild parties and awesome electives.


Making your yearbook is simple. Create an account at allyearbooks.co.uk and set up a group for everybody to join. Within minutes you can get everybody online uploading photos and working on the book :)  Our unique online collage tool lets you create amazing photo collages in an instant and you can also make article pages, awards and lots of other content too!

How much?

So what about funds? You’ve probably got an end of year ball, a few outstanding rounds to buy at the bar and all sorts of things planned right? No worries, we pride ourselves on making high quality books for less! What’s more, you’ll often find companies, such as MPS and Wesleyan, who are happy to sponsor projects in return for a little advertising space in the book :)

If you’re interested in making a yearbook for your med school or society, come and chat to us now! You can reach us on 01223 503259, by email hi@allyearbooks.co.uk or tweet @AllYearbooks for more info!

An eye for design: Proofing visual elements of your yearbooks

by ~ March 7th, 2014


When most people think of proof-reading they place the emphasis on the reading part but it’s just as important to cast an eye over the design of your yearbooks! When proofing your books, look out for the 4 C’s; copyright; content; cropping and colour schemes:

  • Copyright- A term that’s been mentioned a lot recently but it’s important that you check you have the necessary permissions to print your images. For more info, take a read of the copyright notice on the Pics tab!
  • Content- Content  is usually very important for staff proof-readers and they’ll look out for anything school may deem inappropriate. To avoid getting anybody into trouble, it’s best to find out what they’re happy to include and what’s considered unprintable. Images containing nudity, alcohol and swearing are usually the ones flagged by staff so be responsible and remove anything you think may be off-limits. Similarly keep an eye out for any duplicated pictures in the book. You might find someone has already used a photo on their profile so there’s no need to give up room on your collages to repeat the image.
  • Cropping- Check no-one’s been accidentally decapitated in your photos by moving your photos in their frames and ensuring everybody fits. You may need to enlarge the frame slightly to squeeze everybody in so think about how this may affect your layout and have a play around with your page in general.
  • Colour- It’s easy to go a bit wild with colour when you’re creating your pages so it’s worth taking another look at your colour scheme and try to avoid clashing colours. Whilst blocks of colour can make your content pop, you might find that bright red or luminous green is a little overpowering in hindsight. Look also at the layers of colour to ensure your text is vibrant and easy to read. A white font on a yellow background for example will be far harder for everybody to read than a black font!

Other important things to look out for are:

  • Headers and footers- check they’re visible if you’re including them and ensure they are consistent across all pages in your book
  • Snap to grid- if your collages have been made using a grid format you can easily check if your frames are aligned used the snap to grid feature. If anything is out a place, you’ll be able to spot it and correct as needed :)
  • Font sizes- especially important if you’ve made pages offline and uploaded them as custom pages. If you’ve created your page in Word, chances are it’s set to be A4 sized as a default. When you upload this page to you’re book this is then resized to B5 and as such your fonts will be smaller! Do check you’re happy with the actual printed size and that it’s easy to read (without the aid of a magnifying glass)!
  • Fit methods- again, important if you’ve made pages offline. When you upload pages you can choose from bleed off the page, fit to the page and add a border. To help you decide which fit method is right for your pages, check out this handy guide!
  • Backgrounds-check your backgrounds don’t obscure your content! A nicely designed background should enhance your page not detract from it so avoid anything that’s overly busy.

Most importantly, ALWAYS CHECK YOUR PDF WHEN PROOFING! The preview you see online is obviously not to size and isnt full print resolution. You must check your PDF file to view the print resolution file and check all pages for errors.

Extended office hours :)

by ~ February 28th, 2014

screenshot2sOk guys, we’ll keep this short and sweet as it’s Friday and you’re all probably getting excited about the weekend! Following the half-term break, projects tend to really kick it up a gear so we’ll be extending our office hours and chat cover until 7pm as of Monday :) For those of you in the last month of print preparations, this is great chance to ask any questions you may have and we’d be more than happy to provide you with to-do lists to avoid any last minute panicking!

Awesome Awards

by ~ February 21st, 2014

A good awards page can be a real talking point which is why we’ve been developing an awesome new awards designer for you to use this year. Most of you have set up your awards categories by now and have voting well under way but if you’re just getting started, dont panic! Check out our guide to yearbook awards and crack on! For those of you who have results in hand, you can now start to design your pages- horray! First things first, make sure you’ve set up an awards section in the book! To do this, just click into the sections tab and on add awards section. You’ll then get a screen like this to work with :)


When you create a new awards section, the page will default to use 12 awards per single page. You’ll notice there is a mixture of pie charts, bar charts, text and photo awards to help you get started but you can change these options should you want to. At the top of the page, you’ll find your award categories and a few design tools to allow you to change your page background and add text and titles.


You can also play around with the layout of the awards by merging the 1×1 spaces on the grid. You’ll notice in between each allocated awards space a little connecting bar and it you click this, the two squares become one larger rectangle which will fit a bar chart/pie chart showing your voting results and the winners photo :) If you want to change a certain space on the grid to show a different typoe of awards, simply click on the space and choose either pic, text, bar chart or pie chart using the drop down menu! You can also use this options box to delete spaces entirely to make room for titles or other text :)


Once you’ve decided on your preferred layout, you can start to add in your awards! Clicking on each award categories at the top of the page will drop them into a random position on the grid or you can drag and drop them :) With photo awards, you can choose which image to use by clicking on the award space and then on the pic drop-down. You can use a members profile photo, find a photo from elsewhere in the book or if you’ve been clever enough to add in an awards label, you could filter by label too!

The Awards Designer will provide an idea of how each award will be displayed, but you will need to click Save at the bottom, and then view the page in the Yearbook preview tab to see how it will look when printed.If you have lots of awards (e.g. many more than 24!) or you would like to display them in text form rather than image form, then you can delete the boxes and simply add text boxes as displayed on the right hand page in the example below. Alternatively you can take complete creative control by using our collage tool to put together more text/photo based awards and most likely to pages :)

We will be adding more features to it over the coming weeks, so do tell us your feedback :)


Staff Proof-readers for Year 11 and Year 13 Yearbooks

by ~ February 14th, 2014


Throughout the yearbook process, you might stumble upon some rather shocking stories and photos, some of which may need editing or removing entirely to avoid any upset or embarrassment. As yearbook editors this is something you can monitor and you can always block/delete troublesome members if they’re misbehaving! In the same way that you want everything to be perfect so will your school. Schools work hard to provide you with a positive, safe and respectful community and it’s no surprise that they want to protect this! If your yearbook bears the school’s name and logo you will need to approach a staff member to proof the content before printing, that’s just how it is! They don’t need to be fully involved and they won’t take over your project but we do need that person to either:

  •  Agree to proof all content in the yearbook before printing


  • Give the Chief Editor of the yearbook permission to proof.

It’s best to do this early on in your yearbook’s timeline – we all know how busy teacher’s are, and we don’t want proofing problems to delay your yearbook delivery. Often it’s the Head of Year, or perhaps the Business/Marketing Manager, or the Pastoral Heads of Year who get involved so have a chat to your favourite teacher and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to help :)

Alternatively, you can create an Unaffiliated Yearbook. This would not bear any information that can be directly related to your school, and there are several conditions that would need to be met.

Awesome new collage features :)

by ~ February 5th, 2014

Our online collage tool is awesome, there’s no denying it! Not only can you make fab photo pages that fill your book with happy memories but you can also use it to make all sorts of interesting content for your books too :) Gone are the days of faffing with word docs and pesky PDF files! Intrigued? You should be! With a little creative thinking, you can make pages and pages of lovely yearbook goodness and here I am to prove it! Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing lots of video tutorials to help you create lots of different page types using our lovely collage tool but for now I’m talking templates, text and the freedom of design :)

If you’ve not been online for a while,  shame on you! We’ve introduced fab new collage  features for you to enjoy :) To make quick and easy pages, you can now use choose from a range of templates in our collage tool. These don’t just cover collages but also divider pages, articles and form group spreads! Everything a happy yearbook ever needs! To find these templates, simply click into the collage and on ’choose template’- this will give you a drop down of all sorts of layouts so be sure to check these out!


If you’ve designed your own page layout that you’d like to apply to multiple pages in your book, just let us know. We have a nifty little button we can press to make your saved layouts available as templates too :) You’ll notice some template layouts have multi-line text boxes (Hooray!) which means you can now make beautiful article pages for trips, events and decorate them using our themed backgrounds and your own photos! Another new feature you may have spotted is the quick tips button in your collage tool. If you click this, a drop down will appear with lots of design tips from Lee :) He’s essentially the collage king here in the office so have a read before you get started and you’ll be making awesome collages in no time!


Pop back next week  for our short video tutorials on how to make dividers, articles, lookalikes, baby photos and other page types! Remember we’re here to offer help and advice so don’t be afraid to ask if you’d like us to double check what you’ve made or if you’re unsure on anything :)

Unaffiliated books for friendship groups

by ~ January 29th, 2014

girl_c5aWe make lots of yearbooks and part of our standard procedure is to make sure the school is aware of the project and to determine how involved they want to be. Every year we get enquiries about making unofficial or independent projects for friendship groups,without staff involvement, so we wanted to lay down the ground rules for making these types of books! As you are making your yearbooks without school involvement there are several conditions we will need you to adhere to. It’s important to remember that failure to meet any of these may result in delay to your books being printed so please ask if you’re not sure on anything! You can always give us a call on 01223 503259 to chat to your coordinator :)

So here are the rules:

~ The school name and logo cannot be used for your cover, or in the internal pages of your book (unless we have it in writing from school that they are happy for you to do so).

~ You will need to pay for your order in full before we can send it to print, and we cannot deliver it to school premises.

~Schools often request that teachers names, school photos, or photos of people in uniform do not appear either.

Please be aware that we cannot make unaffiliated books for Primary and Junior schools. If you are looking to make an unofficial book for anyone under the age of 16, you will need to get a staff member involved in your project. It is your responsibility to ensure these conditions are met. As with any project, we reserve the right not to print any content that is deemed inappropriate or offensive so even if school aren’t involved, still be mindful of the content you plan to include. You will also need to accept full responsibility for any complaints or repercussions that might arise.

We do encourage you to seek the schools cooperation with the project, a yearbook is a great record of your time at school and the majority of schools are very happy to be involved whilst still giving you free reign creatively – most will just want to read the final book before print. Why not have a quick chat with your favourite teacher and see if you can get them on side?

The definitive guide to Yearbook Awards!

by ~ January 27th, 2014


Awards and “Most Likely To…” pages are the best :) We love watching you create them, and they are still fun to read in 5 or 10 years time! Our Awards page designer will be up and running mid-late Feb, so now is the perfect time to start adding your awards and encourage everyone to get voting :)

Top Ideas

You can add funny or serious awards, or perhaps a mix of both. Perhaps some awards for things currently at school (e.g. Best Smile) and some “Most Likely To Be…” future-oriented awards. We’re always amazed by the inventive categories that crop up but here are some of our favourites.

What to Avoid

Everyone has inside jokes, but it is a good idea to remember that something you find funny may not be so funny to others. For example, the person who wins the “Most likely to go to prison” award may not be very chuffed, and neither will their parents.

We will not print your book without your staff proofreader checking it, so please don’t include anything upsetting or offensive as the odds are pretty good that you’ll be asked to remove it!  We don’t want your yearbooks to be late because there needed to be a last minute change to delete inappropriate awards, and we reserve the right to refuse to print anything particularly questionable.


Casting Your Votes

To add an award, click on the “Sections” tab, scroll down and click “Manage awards”. Here you can add/remove awards, and choose the nominees.manage_awards

There are two ways to set up nominees for the awards:

  1. Default option: everyone who is a member (or editor) of the yearbook will appear as a nominee for every award
  2. Custom option: you can set up a list of specific nominees for each award. This is good for joint awards, or gender specific awards :)

Once everyone has finished voting, you can close the awards. This means that members will no longer be able to cast votes. Within “Manage awards” click “Close all awards now”.


Design Ideas

Our new Awards page designer will be ready mid-late February.

81st Academy Awards¨ Press Kit Images You will be able to create fantastic pages using the data collected from voting, and use fun images and graphs to display the results :) It will be similar in style to the Collage Designer interface, and you will be able to add pie charts, bar charts, trophies and ribbons, as well as using photos of members.

You can also create your own Awards pages if you prefer – use the software of your choice and then upload the page/s as a custom page from the “Sections” tab.

Understanding image resolution

by ~ January 24th, 2014

It’s all starting to feel a little more real now the new year is out of the way and many of you are starting to think about developing your yearbook designs which is fab! If you’ve been chatting to us about your design, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrases ‘high resolution’ and ‘print quality’ bandied around quite a bit – that’s because we want you to be amazed with the finished quality of your book. Getting your head around image resolutions and why they actually make a difference can be a little tricky so here is a little overview to explain more :)

Put in simple terms, the quality of your image is tied to the resolution. Every image you upload is created from lots of tiny dots, each capturing a little piece of the overall image. The greater the DPI (dots per inch) the more detail you’ll capture in your images.  If you have a low resolution image (anything >150dpi), you’ll find it looks a little pixelated, blurry and lacking in detail. With higher resolution images (300dpi), there is more information stored giving you a crisper, more defined image (and a bigger smile when you open your books) which is better for everybody! Whilst you’re uploading images, for profiles, your cover, collages etc, you’ll notice resolution warnings and these are here to help :)

image resolution

You might find an image and think ‘this looks spot on’ and then be a little surprised when we ask for a higher resolution version. This is because print resolution is generally much larger than screen resolution, take at look at this if you don’t believe me :) quite a difference right?

So now we have a bit of an understanding about resolutions, lets see it in action! Lets say I want to make my yearbook cover using our logo…

AYB Logo


The logo looks fine here right? Nice and clear and no problems. As we start to enlarge this towards print resolution, you’ll see the edges have started to get a little pixelated and it’s all starting to look a little fuzzy  :( AYB Logo1

You wouldn’t be pleased if your books arrived looking less than perfect and nor would we be, so as a general rule for logos, you’ll need to chat to a staff member- usually anything you’ll find online is teeny-tiny and sadly there is no magical way to make transform them into beautiful high quality images for you. As you collect photos you’ll also notice varying degrees of quality; this is normal and this is due to a lot of factors such as improved camera technology (mobile phones of yesteryears had pretty bad cameras!), whether you’ve got the original camera file or scanned printed photos etc. If the image isn’t swamping your laptop screen it’s probably going to be low resolution and unsuitable for printing on a larger scale i.e. as your cover/ endpapers/double page photos or as a custom background. The key is to look at your image objectively and check:

  • clarity- does the image look sharp and clear?
  • source- where has this image come from? Could I find a better version from somewhere else?
  • size- what are the dimensions of the image? Check our guides to covers and pages for more info :)

I hope this helps a little and let us know if you have any questions. We’ll be holding a yearbook photography workshop soon to help you get the most out of your yearbooks so keep in touch using our online chat, facebook and twitter :)