Custom Page Uploads

Sometimes you need real freedom to truly 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 beย  entirely personal designs made entirely offline that can simply be scanned and uploaded to the book.


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


Once you’ve click this you will see a screen like this one ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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.


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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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.

Selling advertising space in your yearbook

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. ย Here is a quick guide to help you get the ball rolling ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย 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, sounds much more professional than!

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Designing your own pages

Almost everyone designs some of their own pages for their yearbook, whether it is an introduction page, a review of the school play or a photo collage.ย  There are a few things you might want to consider when you start thinking about page design, one of which is a tricky thing called bleed!

In design terms bleed is when any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page and extends beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin.ย  Helpful eh and whats a trim edge?!

Basically what it means is that your pages are printed onto paper that is a bit bigger than A4 and then trimmed down to size. But this process isn’t 100% accurate.ย  If your page has a white background and no elements (photos, text, clip art) that go right up to the edges then you will never notice.ย  But if you do have an element that goes right up to the edge – say a pink page background, then when the page is trimmed you might end up with a tiny white margin around the edge of your page.

Designers get over this by making their pages slightly bigger than A4 and bleeding things like background colour into this area outside the A4 page.ย  If you want a page element to bleed off of your page, set up your page to be 216mm x 303mm, this will give you 3mm of bleed all the way round your page.

If you don’t want page elements to bleed or be trimmed then keep them about 5mm in from the edge of your A4 page.ย  This is called the margin (if you are now thoroughly confused skip to the end and look at the ‘really simple guide to page design’!)

Another thing to think about when you are designing a page is the gutter.ย  This is a wider margin 15mm, on the edge of the page that will be towards the spine of the book.ย  Because books don’t lay flat when they are open this margin needs to be wider so your important page elements don’t disappear into the spine.ย  Stitched folded paperback yearbooks are an exception to this (well there has to be one!) because they do lay flat when they are open so nothing is lost in the spine.

So things to think about when designing pages are:- bleed, do you want elements to bleed off of the edge of a page, margin, keep important elements 5mm from the edge of the page, and gutter, keep important elements 15mm from spine edge of the page. The diagram below demonstrates all of these things.

Lots of things to think about eh?

The really simple guide to page design

  • Keep all your important page elements (faces and text) 15mm from all the edges of your page
  • Make sure your page is A4 (not US letter size)

If you do this your pages will look great:-)ย  If you want to add bleed elements that’s great but you really don’t have to make a funky looking page, it is much more important to be able to read all the text!