Working those PNGs

Using Pngs

I know I’ve said it before but I’m so excited to see this new feature in action. New for 2016 is our great selection of stock PNG images which come pre-loaded into all books 🙂 This means perfect page embellishments are now readily available for everybody. Whether you want to add push pins to that message page, photo frames to your profiles or sellotape to those collage photos, you can really go to town with great high quality PNG images. Each PNG sports a transparent background for a seamless design finish so you don’t get those unsightly white boxes around your images- hooray 😀

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So how does it work? Well,  click onto Add pics in the Pics menu and you’ll find a selection of PNG and clipart elements that you can add to your pages. If you want to add ink splodges to your journal themed pages you can simply click the category here and it will show you all the options available to you. You can use these elements as many times as you need throughout your books and it really opens up the possibilities for even more page types. If you’d like to make an awesome infographic for example, just click onto the awards and infographics category for a host of great arrows, banners, icons and more 🙂

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The fun doesn’t stop there though, you can even incorporate the PNGs into your profile templates for some delightfully different designs! Take this profile layout for example – it uses some lovely watercolour paint effects to underline and highlight each students name and we’ve also got a great use of PNG imagery for the divider between the profiles. Everything about this design is just super girly and I love it 🙂

If you’re after more page ideas, do check out our gallery on our Facebook page for a whole host of beautiful designs that you can replicate in your books!

All new backgrounds!

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To help you keep your books fresh and interesting year after year, we’ve updated our selection of page backgrounds and we’re very excited to see them live in the system! Never fear, we’ve still got our old favourites but now you’ll have more choice than ever when it comes to designing the perfect yearbook pages. Perhaps you had a great Egyptian Day collage in mind, we’ve got a background for that. What about world book day- we’ve got a beautiful new Alice in Wonderland inspired design for that too! Whatever kind of page you’re making, you’ll be sure to find a whole host of design possibilities with us 🙂

Not started a yearbook yet? Come and have a look around! It’s completely free to set up a book online and explore so do come and say hello! Click the button below to get started:

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#Makeitmonday: Quotes Pages

A great way to fill any extra space in the yearbook is to include quotes pages. Yearbook quotes are a big deal and we know you spend a lot of time deciding what to put in your profiles. This is a slightly different take on traditional yearbook quotes but you can use them in just the same way to reflect your journey over the years 🙂

DESIGN IDEAS!

Let’s start by having a look at a few design ideas before we get started. I love typography and our font palettes mean you can combine interesting fonts to make a beautiful and stylish design. If you’ve got plenty of free pages, a full page will have a lot of impact and even simple designs will be eyecatching. Take the quote below for example, it’s inspirational which I like but short! By centring the text on the page and making the text run down the page, rather than across, we’ve filled the space. A lovely background, such as this one called Clouds, will enhance your design!

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When making a page like this, think of your quote as a collage. You’ll be piecing each part of the text together using individual title text boxes and this allows you to adjust the font used and sizing. Depending on the font, you might also find you can create further contrast by adding text in capitals rather than just lowercase. This can often give you the appearance of more than 5 fonts in the palette but it’s all just a clever trick!

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Some fonts will also have interesting ways to incorporate other shapes into your page, this one uses the > key on your keyboard to add to enphasise the left and right aspect of the quote itself. What’s more, the beauty of this kind of content is that it can be constructed to fit any kind of space, from leftover space on profile pages, to intro pages and collages!

Beautiful Backgrounds!

The busy season is in full swing now and thanks to your awesome organising skills and our new system, many of you are finding yourselves ready to print well ahead of schedule- Hooray! For those of you nearing the end of your project, you’ll be looking in more detail at your pages and making final decisions about designs and theming. Following high demand for the ability to have different backgrounds on each side of a spread, we’ve launched a nifty little tool that enables you to pick different backgrounds for left and right pages 😀

Here’s where to find it…

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First click onto the spread you’ve created, here you’ll see I’ve got an intro page alongside a collage and I’d love the collage to have a different background to create a little contrast and make the photos really pop! With the theme menu open, you’ll see ‘Use a different background for each side?’ under the background heading- if you click this you’ll see your background settings will look a little different….

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You’ll notice there are now options for the left and right pages and you can click onto the background icon to change it for the relevent side. What’s more, you can also change the opacity settings for each side too 😀

#Makeitmonday: Guess the Baby Game

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Now this is a classic page idea that we see in lots of yearbooks each year! To show how far you’ve all come, a guess the baby game will bring some light-hearted humour (and a little embarrassment) to your book 😀

Making a guess the baby page is actually really simple despite having a several elements to the design. Let’s look at how this was created in the page designer….

Step 1: Once you’ve created a page, set a background by clicking onto the theme icon in the toolbar and then onto backgrounds. I really like this countryside design as it works perfectly for this style of page!

Step 2: Add your page title. Click the add title button to add in your page title. Be sure to choose a fun font for this to match the theming of your page 🙂

Step 3: Decide on how many photos you want to include. Create your first frame by clicking the add frame button and adjust the sizing accordingly. When you’re happy with the size, press ctrl + D on your keyboard as many times as necessary to duplicate the frame so your photos are evenly sized.

Step 4: Arrange the frames on your page and add a little rotation to each frame to create the jaunty, scattered effect.

Step 5: Click the add title button and replace the title text with a number. Now drag this over the corresponding frame on the page. Repeat for your other frames so each of them appear numbered.

Step 6: People will want to know who’s who so be sure to include answers in the book. You can add them to the page using the add text button and then rotate the text box so it appears upside down at the bottom of the page

Step 7: Add your photos 😀 Ta Da!!! You’ve created a beautiful baby photo collage with an added quiz game style!

A quick guide to font selections

Lots of you have been asking for a quick, visual representation of the fonts we have available so you can quickly put together a font palette to work into your yearbook themes. Here’s a guide to the font styles available and where you’ll find them on the font selector 😀

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If you have any questions about the fonts available through our online system, do speak to your yearbook coordinator 🙂

#Makeitmonday: Wordles

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Word collages are always a nice addition to a yearbook and make lovely cover designs, intro pages and dividers. Previously we have had to direct people away to external sites to create these and often the image output from these sites has less than ideal print quality. To make you happier with your finished books, you can now create beautifully sharp, high resolution wordle pages using the online page designer! Horray!

So how is it done? Put simply, you’ll need a lot of text boxes and a little time. Choose a palette of complementary fonts and colours to work with then get creative. For that true wordle style, you’ll want to use the rotate function on your text boxes to make the different words pop out! Your font choices and colours will help distinguish each item on the page too and help to incorporate school colours or a theme into your design 😀

Incorporating Fill Shapes

Every year, we’re suprised with the designs our editors come up with and this year is set to be just the same thanks to the new page designer and the freedom it gives to create awesome pages. New for this year is the ability to add fill shapes to your book so I’ve been playing around with some simple design tricks using these shape formations.dividerverticalband

Making divider pages is something we’ll be looking at as part of our #Makeitmonday tutorials but this example shows a very easy way to incorporate fill shapes into your book. You can add a long vertical shape to the edge of page and then add your section titles over the top. Tonal colour palettes can work beautifully in this style especially when teamed with a designed background in a complementary colour.

Another way to incorporate fill shapes is to use them in your collage pages. You can pop them behind photos for a simple splash of colour or you can use them to create contrasting frames for select pictures.polaroid

To help me make a few photos really stand out in this book, I’ve gone for a polaroid effect which can be made using the humble fill shape. Firstly use the add shape button to add your rectangular box to the page. Remember to set your borders to white too so it appears completely white! Now rotate it slightly so it pops out from the rest of the collage. Add a photo over the fill shape and rotate it too. A little description under the photo in a lovely handwritten font such Mr Bedfort (found on page 41 of the font selector) will enhance the design further and let your most memorable moments really shine on the page!

mazeA customer asked me to help with a simple maze design the other day and to be honest I wasnt sure if it would work out. I’m super happy with the results though and its a really lovely way to incorporate games into the yearbook, especially for primary groups! Again, this was created using fill shapes 😀

To create the maze, I first created two small rectangular fill shapes, one horizontal and another vertical. From these two shapes I could duplicate them (use CTRL + D) and shorten them into smaller rectangles forming each line of the maze. By piecing the maze together in this way, I could ensure everything was evenly sized and arranged just as I wanted!

So you see a simple shape doesnt have to be boring at all, you can really put these fill shapes to work if you think outside the box! We’d love to see how you’re using them so let us know your ideas and ask our support team if you need a little help bringing your pages to life 🙂

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.

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 😀 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!

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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!