Awards page creator now online!

By now, you probably have your awards voting underway and you might be thinking about how you want to design your pages. On Monday, we launched a shiny new awards page designer for you to play with and I’m excited to tell you more about how it works and how to get the most out of these pages in your book!

Let’s start with creating your page… If you’ve not set up an awards page as yet, click the add pages button in the top left of your screen and then select awards. If you click on the awards icon in the toolbar, you’ll see a variety of different layouts you can choose from under awards layouts or you can can create a quick awards grid in the same way as you would do for a collage.awards1

Add award to page  lets you drop individual awards onto a page so if you want to start from scratch this is the place for you. Don’t forget you can add awards to any page of your book so if you want to pop a plaque onto a profile to show they won an award, you can use this option to do so!

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Once you’ve created a layout, you’ll have a page that looks a little like this :D You’ll notice lots of awards styles on the page but you can always change them to all charts or plaques or remove some  from the page to add in lists or photos from your award ceremony! When you’re happy with the layout, click onto awards categories in the awards toolbar. You’ll find all of your awards here and you can drag and drop them onto the spaces on your page.

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You’ll notice your award winners will appear in the spaces along with the award category. You can then drop your photos into the spaces and adjust the award options by clicking onto it in your grid. When you click onto an award, you’ll see an options box like this! Here you can change the background colour to your awards box (or make it transparent), adjust the fonts and font colours, add borders or even change the winners (if you want to fix the results!).

Unless you’ve chosen to change the winners manually, your awards page will update according to who’s winning in your online voting :D We hope you’ll agree that you have loads more flexibility to make your awards pages really special this year and if you have any feedback or questions, we’d love to hear them!

#Makeitmonday: Contents Pages

The first page is important to setting the tone of your yearbook and often a contents page is a great way to introduce a certain style or design idea. You want a book to grab your attention from the onset and often a contents page can be a bit of an after thought. To change this way of thinking, we wanted to introduce a selection of lovely designs to help inspire you :)

DESIGN 1: BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL

Take this bold and colourful band design, it’s playful and vibrant but in a clever way. Throwing colour onto a page doesnt always work but by introducing a tonal palette you can create contrast in a sophisticated way.

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To replicate this design, you’ll first need to add a fill shape to the page. Drag this out across the full width of your page and adjust the height accordingly. Got lots of sections to include? Opt for skinny colour bands instead of these chunky ones :) Once you’ve created your first fill shape, duplicate it using CTRL + D, this will ensure the boxes are all exactly the same size. Now you’ll want to apply your colours to each of the bands- You can do this easily in the shape options box.

The next step is to add your text. Use the add title button to do this and drag the titles onto each of your fill shapes. Now add a second set of ‘titles’ but just include the page number that section starts on. To really make an impact, ramp up the font size to 98pts and apply your colours!

DESIGN 2: MEGRIM MAGIC

As you all know, the font options you have this year are incredible. 600+ fonts and this Megrim font has got to be one of my favourites. Add it to your font palette by jumping to page 38 of the options in the font selector. It instantly has a strong and modern design that’s been enhanced with a few simple tricks.

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Once you’ve added this font to your palette, open your page and use the add shape button to create these very skinny fill shapes across the page. By making some of bands slightly wider, you trick your eye to seeing certain things first. The bold line on the right is the first to stand out as you’ll instinctively read across and then down the page. This brings you to the page title and the vertical arrangement of this draws your eye down the page too.

Now use add title button to add in each of your section titles. The alignment here is ever so slightly of centre but you’ll be filling the space with a great background. This one is called abstract and you can find this in the background selector!

This design is more about introducing the subjects in the book and doesn’t feature page numbers as a standard contents page would. If you really want to add these in though just add a few more title text boxes and reduce the font size down before aligning them under the section titles.

DESIGN 3: THE JAUNTY JOURNAL

A strong design idea that people like to create year in year out. The journal look is, and always will be, in style. If you’re going for this theme, you’ll want to support it with handwritten style fonts and the perfect backgrounds.

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This design is super simple as the font really does the hardwork for you. This is Fredericka the Great (an awesome name I know and you’ll find it on page 23 in the font selector) and it works so well with the journal look.

To add the title to your page you’ll be using the add title button and adding each letter as a new title text box. Make your font as big as you can go for maximum impact and you can create contrast using alternating colours for each letter. Align each letter under one another in a slightly offset way and rotate each slightly by clicking on the circular arrow icon that shows at the top of the text box.

Now you just need to add in your section titles (again using the add title button). For a truely authentic design, stick to the old-school colours of black, blue, red and green. We all had one of those four-colour pens in our pencil case right?

WANT MORE DESIGNS?

Head over to our Pinterest board for more page type ideas and tutorials. Got an awesome idea that you want to share with other project editors? Let us know and we’ll share your designs as part of our #makeitmonday

Page types and how to make them!

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Wondering how to make your yearbook a little more interesting? If you’re ready to get stuck in, why not browse some example pages to see how you can use the page designer to create beautiful and stylish designs. From simple tips to meticulous arrangements, our Page types Pinterest board is brimming with ideas and know-how. Want to reproduce any of these ideas in your book but unsure where to get started? Every Monday we’ll be delving into different page types and we’ll show you how to make them with easy step-by-step tutorials and demos :)

If you have an idea in mind and want to get started straight away, email me (christina@allyearbook.co.uk) to chat about your plans and how to incorporate these elements into your 2015 yearbook :) Similarly if you’ve made a great looking page and want to share it with others, let me know! Your designs could inspire other yearbook editors and we’ll be tweeting the best using #makeitmonday

Follow AllYearbooks’s board Yearbook Page Types on Pinterest.

Navigating the page designer

It’s starting to get really busy now and we’ve introduced a few changes to the toolbar in your page designer to help streamline the process of adding content. Firstly you’ll see the add title text, add body text, add frame and add shape icons are now shown at the top of the toolbar. You’ll be using these pretty often so it makes sense for them to be nice and easy to find! You’ll also notice your toolbar now features icons for the different types of content you may wish to include, i.e. profiles, collages, awards and articles etc. If you click onto the profiles icon you will now be presented with all options relating to profiles, the same goes for collages and so on so nothings hidden away in another section. To help you use and understand all of the features of your shiny new toolbar, here is a quick overview of each of the features :D

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Profiles

  1. Profile group for spread – Allows you to set which of your groups appears on the spread.
  2. Profile questions - View which profile questions have been asked and optionally add more :)
  3. Flip/mirror profile slots - Allows you to mirror slots from the left page so you can alternate your pages.
  4. Profile Layouts - choose a template to fit your yearbook profiles, from a double page per person to 30 on a spread.

Collages

  1. Shuffle or scramble pics- shuffle to quickly switch all the photos on the page into the different frames in your collage or scramble to rotate all your images slightly for a scattered effect :)
  2. Quick collage grid – Build your own collage layouts according to many photos you wish to use
  3. Collage layouts – Some premade templates to help you drop photos into collages in super-quick time!

Articles & Other pages

  1. Custom page uploads – all the features we discussed yesterday about custom pages tied neatly into this section :)
  2. Article layouts – choose a template to quickly make article pages about trips and in-school events.

Actions & Options

This icon will unveil a selection of tools to help you complete more general tasks in your book. You probably wont use these very often but it’s good to have the option right?! They’ll help you to complete those tedious tasks quickly so you can get on with the fun stuff :D

  1. Duplicate layout/theme – decided on a lovely colour palette or layout and want to use it on multiple pages? Transfer your layout and theme to your new spread using this handy little button!
  2. Delete spread – removes unwanted spreads from the book
  3. Highlight profile slots – Great for more complicated profile template designs this allows you to highlight the slots and check everyone’s entries match up with the correct person in the book.
  4. Reset defaults – restore the default palette and fonts to the spread.
  5. Snap to grid – allows you to turn off the snap to grid feature when designing your pages
  6. Keyboard shortcuts – some bonus info for the pros, use these keyboard shortcuts as an alternative to clicking buttons :)

Custom Page Uploads

Sometimes you need real freedom to truely bring your ideas to life and a custom page often fits the bill in these circumstances. Custom pages are made entirely offline using software of your choosing, i.e. word or photoshop, and you then upload them to the book :) You can make all sorts of pages this way and utilize familiar software to put together pages, you can even make pages on actual paper- Handwritten messages, doodles and photos cropped with scissors! Custom pages can be  entirely personal designs made entirely offline that can simply be scanned and uploaded to the book.

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So once you’ve created your pages, you’ll need to upload them for use in the book.  To do this click into the design and manage yearbook tab and then click the custom page uploads button (see red arrow)

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Once you’ve click this you will see a screen like this one :) Here you can browse for files from your computer and upload them to the site. Please note you can only upload PDF, JPG or PNG files. If you have files created in word for example, click the save as button when saving your file and select one of these options! If you’re unsure on how to save as a different file type using your software, consult the help section of your software program for tips and answers :)

Once you have chosen a file to upload, click the upload button. You page, or pages (if a multiple page document) will be uploaded to the book and a preview of each of these pages will appear at the bottom of this screen (see blue arrow). You can now click through to your page designer to start adding them to the book :)

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Set up a section in the book if you haven’t already and click onto the actions & options icon in the toolbar. You’ll see a heading ‘custom page uploads’ here which you’ll need to click.

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When you click onto the heading, you’ll notice your custom page previews appear underneath. Clicking onto the preview will apply the page by default to the left hand side of the spread. You can easily change this to sit on the right hand side though by clicking the R icon over the page preview. If you have a page that you wish to duplicate- a message page for example- you can click ‘both’ over the page preview and it will apply to same page to both sides of the spread.

For those of you who have used our system in previous years, you’ll notice a key change to custom pages in that you can add text and photos over the top of your page this year :D If your teacher sends over half a page of text on a custom page, you could now fill that blank space at the bottom of the page by adding a mini collage for example. Similarly you can use fill shapes as a quick fix for blanking out inappropriate text if you’re in final proof stages and can’t get hold of the original doc! If you have any questions as you start to use this feature, please do give us a shout- Message us on chat or drop us a quick email and we can pass this onto our developer.

Custom Colour Palettes

Firstly let me just take a moment to say Happy New Year everybody! Here’s to a wonderful yearbook filled 2015 :D To kickstart the busy season, we’re launching more new features to help you create beautiful designs unique to your school. Just before Christmas, we launched over 600 new fonts for use on profiles, collages and any other page for that matter and now we’re talking colours. As you know, we put together some lovely complementary colour palettes which can be found by clicking the theme icon on your page designer toolbar. We know that sometimes you may want to move away from these suggested palettes and focus on your own colour selections, such as your school or team colours, so we’ve introduced a wonderful new colour picker tool to use!

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When you click on the colour palette option in your toolbar you’ll see your current selection at the top and our suggested palettes underneath. To change the colour palette to your own colours, simply click onto one of the squares and you’ll notice the colour picker will pop open. Click in the main colour picker square to select your preferred shade or move to a new colour using the slider on the right. If you need to match your school colours exactly, you’ll want to pop the hex code into the box beneath the colour picker- just delete the current code eg. #14b1e7 and enter your own!

Like the idea of complementary colours but not keen on our suggestions? We wont be offended, we cant possibly show all the variants out there and we’ve found this nifty little site Coolors which generates lovely 5 colour palettes. It also rather handily provides you with the relevant hex codes so you can incorporate them into your page designs :) Horray! If you’re working with a certain theme in mind, do also chat to your coordinator as they may be able to suggest colours which would work well :)

Fantastic Fonts

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Customising your yearbook is central to making your book unique and personal to your school or group. To help you get the most out of your designs, we now support over 600 different fonts ! That’s a huge increase from the 31 fonts we supported last year :D Horray! To view and apply these new fonts to your font palette, simply click on the theme icon in the toolbar and click onto a font dropdown. At the bottom of the list it will say 600+ more fonts and you can click this to see what’s new! If you’re looking for a specific style of font, chat to your coordinator and we’ll be able to suggest ones that might work well with the design and theme of your book!

new fonts

You’ll notice a font selector will now show on screen and this allows you to select fonts to use on the various elements of your book, i.e. single lines of text and body text generally as well as the individual text components of your profile template.  To apply your new fonts:

1: Select which area of your book you want to use the font on from the drop down at the top of the page (see red arrow)

2: View available fonts in the font selector. As there are hundreds to choose from it’s not possible to show them all on one page- you can view more by loading the next page of fonts using the page dropdown (see blue arrow)

3: Some fonts may also have their own bold or italic versions and you can select these by clicking onto the relevent example alongside the regular font (see green arrow). If you would like to use a font straight from the list, just click onto it and the font palette in the toolbar will be updated.

 

Have fun and we can’t wait to see what new designs you’ll come up with over the Christmas holidays!

Christmas office hours

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It’s been great chatting with lots of you over the past few weeks and we know it can be hard to collect in payments with school holidays and lots of events on the go. With this in mind, we’ve decided to extend our early deposit discount until the end of January – a little Christmas bonus for our lovely customers who are working hard on their projects already! If you would like invoices sent over to your finance teams, just give your yearbook coordinator a shout and they’ll be happy to help :)

Now if I’m honest, I’m super excited about Christmas. I have my christmas playlist on repeat and I’m ready to watch a dozen or so last minute festive films once the term ends. If you’re working on a project over the holidays though, we will be here to help :) Whilst our office may be closed, you can still contact your coordinators using the instant chat. We’ll be picking up messages and emails throughout the Christmas period so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re looking for answers or stuck for ideas! From all the team here at AllYearbooks, Happy Christmas and here’s to a wonderful 2015!

P.S. Don’t forget to take your camera along to your school performances, end of term parties and christmas lunches- you can make lots of lovely Christmas themed collages from them later :D

Give a gift, give a yearbook…

20141212_140433The countdown to christmas has begun which means it’s about to get hectic. Before you start fretting about your christmas shows and what outfit to wear to the end of term party, pop over to your finance office and ask them to add your yearbook collection onto their ParentPay system before the holidays. Tell them it’s your christmas wish and you’ve been good all year!

Christmas is a time for giving and most parents (mine included) will get a little stuck for gift ideas. Now is a perfect time to ask for a special gift, one that you’ll treasure forever – no not that scratchy xmas jumper- but your yearbook! Think about it guys, ok you might have to wait a few months till you get the book itself but you’ll know your deposit is paid and you’ll have more cash to spend on your prom tickets later in the year :) Bonus!!!

From an editors point of view, this means you can be collecting payments over the holidays. No need to go to the finance office or chase your editing team around the campus! It’s just a suggestion but it could make life easier in the long run :)

Getting ready for Christmas!!!

xmasWhere did this year go?! It’s just a few weeks until Christmas now and I expect you’re all looking forward to the Christmas holidays :) For those of you collecting payments for your yearbooks already, do send in your deposit ASAP if you can. We’re offering an additional early deposit discount of 5% for people with deposits in before the end of December so don’t miss out on extra savings!

It’s great to see so many of you have really worked out a page plan for their books this year and it looks like you’re all getting the grips with the new system changes :) If there are any features you would like to see added, please do get in touch to see what’s possible. Development of our system is an ongoing process and your request may be on our to-do list already – we’ll be able to give you updates as to when new features come available if we know what you’re looking for!