#DesignMonth: Social Savvy


It’s said that teenagers spend on average 31 hours a week online so it’ll come as no big surprise that so many yearbookers are trying to incorporate social media styling into their projects. Last year we saw hundreds of snapchat collages going into books and there was a great celebration of all things social (and a little bit silly) about year groups today :) I expect we’ll be seeing even more snapchat photos in books again this year! 

The key to replicating your online profiles with your yearbook ones first comes down to colour choice. Picking the perfect palette is super important so to help you get started here are the ones you’ll need:


Twitter Palette


Snapchat Palette


Facebook Palette


Instagram Palette

When it comes to font choices, you’ll need to have a look at the fonts used on your social sites and find a close match. Look at the qualities of the fonts to do this- are they chunky or thin, curvy or more angular?

Constructing your page layout may take a little time to get just right and you might need to tweak your designs according to how much text you want to show, how many photos a person has and so on. To prove it’s really possible, here is a page I made earlier:


If you’ve got your heart set on a social media style layout for your yearbook, do give me a shout if you have any questions :) This theme will test you in terms of shapes and layering but the final effect is pretty darn close right!


We love


No that’s not a misstype! is a fab website for creating colour palettes that really work.You can explore which colours gel well and it’s gets bonus points for giving you the hex codes for each colour in the palette too :) If you go back to your book, you can build these hex codes into your theme with a simple copy and paste- hoorah for bright colourful pages that don’t make your eyes bleed!



Top Interview Techniques


Getting great comments from your teachers and school team is a really lovely touch for your yearbooks and after 5+ years of teaching you guys, they probably have a huge amount of stories and memories to share. To help you get the juiciest gossip for your leavers book, give these top interview tactics a whirl:

1: Make an appointment. As a general rule teachers are busy people! So you’re not grabbing short comments from people whilst they’re unprepared, book a suitable time to sit down with your tutor or staff member so you can have a real conversation. Alternatively, you can draft a nice email with your questions in so teachers can look over them and write answers down for you at their leisure.

2:Before you start to grill your teacher on who their favourite students are, it’s best to set them at ease with the scenario. For most teachers, having you ask all the questions is a pretty big role reversal so start with something personal like ‘what did you want to be when you grew up’  or ‘Did you always want to be a teacher?’. This is a great  conversation starter and shows an interest in what they have to contribute :)

3: Use open ended questions to ensure the conversation doesn’t dry up. Questions that start with how and why for example will keep people talking as they can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.

4: Remember those times in lesson when a teacher asks a question and nobody answers. Generally someone has to break the silence to stop that awkward feeling so sometimes being quiet can get people to contribute more. If you wait for 5 seconds after your interviewee stops speaking, usually that is enough of a silence to get them to think more about your last question and say a little more on the subject. If they don’t offer up any new insights you can move swiftly on to the next question.

5: Be prepared and have some questions on stand by. Some great example questions are:

  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • How would you describe yourself when you were at school?
  • What has been your favourite lesson to teach over the years?
  • When you think of our year group, how would you describe us?
  • Have you ever had a great comeback to a students remark that you couldn’t share? Can you tell us now?
  • We’re currently casting votes to see who the year thinks is the best teacher. Who do you think should win?
  • Have you ever given merits to your students in your own house group to try and sneak a few points ahead in the house competitions?
  • What are your predictions for this years exam results?
  • Who do you think will be the most successful member of our year group?
  • What’s your favourite student quote from this year?
  • How would you describe your teaching style?
  • What were your first impressions of our year group back in year 7? Has your opinion changed since?
  • If you could have a superpower, which would you choose?
  • Most embarrassing teacher moment?
  • Any words of advice for the leavers?

6: Always be respectful. If someone really doesn’t want to answer a question, move on to a new topic. Harassing for answers is a sure fire way to end the conversation!

7: Take notes and be sure to let your teachers know how their answers will be handled. If you need to snip some text out to meet your word count, do check that’s ok so no answers are taken out of context :)

Once you’ve got your answers, it’s up to you how you present this info in your book. You could create a profile style layout for your staff members  or go for more of an article style design. For loads of awesome design ideas, do check out our album on Facebook or on our epic Pinterest board:

Year group - 56

Budgeting for your projects

Hey everyone, how are we all feeling this week? I wanted to chat to you some more about budgeting for your projects and how to work out your estimates and get a quote this afternoon.  Getting started with your plans early on will give you less to worry about later in the year and you don’t want to miss out on our early deposit discount do you?!  Getting people engaged with your yearbook project is important for everyone involved and how you budget and present your yearbook to your year group will play a key role in the success of your project. Nowadays, leaving school can be quite pricey what with prom, yearbooks, hoodies and DVDs etc to factor in. That’s why we keep our prices as low as possible for you so you can rest assured your books are friendly on your wallet!!

Year group - 56

  • Setting a budget for your book is a good starting point in your initial yearbook meetings so first jot down how many copies you think you’ll need. If you’re unsure, start with the number of people in the yeargroup as a rough idea.
  • Now you’ll want to decide on the book style you want to go for. Budget paperbacks are great for smaller groups and keeping the costs down but do have a capped page limit of 40 pages. If your yeargroup has 300 students in it, this would certainly be a tight squeeze so may not be suitable! Standard hardbacks are the most popular book style we offer and are great for mid range budgets. You can go right up to 300 pages in these books so they are perfect for larger groups looking for a relatively beefy book! If you’re opting for a premium book style, do remember these have a minimum page requirement of 50 pages and minimum order quantity of 50 copies.
  • So now you’ve set your book style, think about how much space you want to allow for profiles.Do you want each student to have a full page in the book or half a page? Or perhaps you just want to show the names and a photo of each student in the class and go for loads of photo pages? Either way this will help you to determine how many pages you are likely to need. As a general rule, I would say what ever your profile page allowance, add 20 pages for other content to get your final number. You’ll be amazed at the amount of photos that can come out of the woodwork and you’ll probably have bags of ideas and events you want to feature.


Now you should know roughly your book size, how many copies you’ll need and book style so you can refer back to the pricing grid to get your price. There’s no VAT to add as printed books are exempt and delivery is free for UK mainland customers :) Once you have a quote it’s time to let everybody know! Sending out a deposit request letter will help spread the word and when people return a small deposit, say £5 each for now, this will give you a great indication of how many people are seriously interested in buying a book. You’ll also raise your £100 deposit in no time and if you send in your deposit before the end of the year, you secure those all important savings!!!


Celebrating Children in Need


Hey everyone, it’s great to see lots of activity for  Children in Need this week with fundraising and fancy dress days going on up and down the country. We’d love to see your charity fundraising efforts so do share your photos with us and we’ll give your school a shout out on our Facebook and Twitter pages :) If you’d like a hand turning your collection of photos into a lovely themed collage for your yearbook, just drop us a message using your chat box and we’ll be in touch!

Creating a Facebook Group to promote your yearbook


Setting up a facebook group is a great way to keep your classmates updated and remind them of deadlines for profile entries and awards voting etc. If you’re a whizz on social media, this may just be the marketing strategy for you  :)

facebookgroupClicking onto ‘create group’ will bring up a form like this for you to create your group :) Remember you don’t want just anybody to be able to join the group so make sure your book is set to Secret! Once you’ve created your group, you can get to work inviting all of your year group to join.



Collaborative working


Working together on a creative project should be a good laugh so today we’re talking collaborative working and getting the most out of your team meetings. When it comes to working as a team, you may find you have loads of ideas that don’t necessarily all work well together but always jot down your page ideas so you can refer to them later. You’ll notice there is space for notes and ideas in your info books so be sure to take this along to your meetings so you have everything together!

Sometimes an idea on paper isn’t quite the same, so don’t discount any ideas before exploring the online system to see how you can translate your theme into a workable set of templates and designs :) Some ideas may call for fiddly details so think about the time you have set aside for your project and how this fits in around your school work and other commitments :D Also make a note of school holidays and exam periods etc that will affect the time you have to work on the book so you can plan your workload in advance.

When you first start your book online, the first person to create the book itself will be listed as our main chief editor. We strongly advise you add other editors to your project with separate accounts so you can see who’s doing what. It also makes it easier for us to know who we’re chatting to and stops that baffled expression we get when we explain something for the 3rd time, not realising we’re talking to different people!  So getting back to your group, it’s best to assign roles to each team member so you know everything is covered. If you’ve got someone who’s super creative, why not set them the task of designing your cover. Another team member can track the profiles and make chase anybody who’s not logged in and another could oversee payments etc. Splitting the workload will help you progress your project with confidence and make the process super enjoyable for all.


When it comes to launching your project to the year, you’ll have a few options available to you:


Option 1: Cool, Calm and Collaborative

If you want to go for a full collaborative experience, choose to invite your year group online so they can be completing their own profiles, voting in awards and uploading photos to the book. This will make your life easier as an editing team as people are all doing their own bit and filling up the majority of the book with profiles :)

Option 2: The DIY or ‘design it yourself’ option

Your second option is to add members manually to your book and having your editors complete these on behalf of the student group. Perhaps you found it easier to collect your data offline? This would be the option for you as you can easily fill up those profiles and drop photos into place without getting everybody active online.

If you are of the superhero variety, you may want to take on the whole project on your own which is also fine. You’d do this in the same DIY way! What’s more, our support and design team can assist you regardless of which option you choose and are available by phone, email and instant chat too!! If you’ve not started your book online quite yet, click the button below to explore our wonderful system :D