Amazing alphabets

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In 2016, I noticed many of you using text boxes to create form intro pages but limitations on font size were restricting the possibilities. Without further ado, lets kick start the new yearbook season with some shiny new goodies to address this!

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You may have spotted a new selection of PNG images available in your graphics and clipart area which can be found when you click onto the Pics icon on the left of your screen. This year we’ve added a new label to this area for alphabets to help you make dynamic title pages and loads more. Handpicked by our designer, these new PNGs can be built seamlessly into your designs for professional and artistic results 🙂 Hooray! You can make them as large as you need, rotate them and layer them with other components on your page. I’ll be making some example pages using these fab new additions shortly so be sure to follow our Pinterest and Facebook feeds for these!

the AYB team

 

Font Pairing 101

The fonts you choose for your books will really influence the finished look of your pages so it’s worth spending a little time getting the perfect selection in place. First think about your theme for the book as this will probably affect your choices straight away. If you’re looking to create something really sleek and professional, formal angular fonts are great. If you want a more personal feel, selecting a palette of playful handwritten fonts will really help you create this affect. Whatever you choose, this will impact on the font family you put together and to help you get started here’s our 2 step plan to pro font pairings….

Step 1

Think about the areas of text you’ll have in your book. Probably profile answers will be the most text heavy areas so this is your first focus point. If you’ve only got a small space for profile answers, you might want to avoid smaller, ornate or swirly fonts. Whilst they look fab as big titles, these font styles can be hard to read if they’re too small and ideally you want to be able to read those profiles right?!

Step 2

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Choose a complimentary or contrasting font for page titles and larger text. Complimentary fonts as shown in the top example work in harmony with the main body font for a very smooth finish. You can always change the text colours to generate contrast in this instance 🙂 The bottom example shows two contrasting fonts, one thin and one thicker and curvier. Which do you prefer?

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If your heart is set on one consistent font throughout the book, you might like to try incorporating the same font in its various italic, bold and caps forms to help you keep things fresh and interesting. Next to a font name in the theme menu, you’ll see a drop down of any available alternatives for you to use. Just add the same font to two of your palette choices for example and set one to normal and one to italic.

Want more font ideas? Check out our typography board on Pinterest for some creative uses of text and layouts:

Pinterest for all!

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Like a lot of people out there, I enjoy Pinterest! It’s a fab site that allows you to save info and images to boards for reference later. If you’re in the process of deciding on a theme for example, head over and pop a few ideas in a search- you might decide that idea doesn’t work or you might find loads of cool examples to get your creative brain ticking 🙂 Either way, have fun and explore it I’d say. And if you’re interested, pop to our collection of yearbook quotes, typography and design ideas boards for more yearbook chat and tips! We’ll be adding to these throughout the year so do follow any boards that you’re interested in so you get updates on our latest pins.

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!

An eye for design: Proofing visual elements of your yearbooks

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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.