We love Coolors.co

coolors

No that’s not a misstype! Coolors.co 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!

coolors

Creating a Facebook Group to promote your yearbook

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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.

facebookgroup_setup

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:

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!

Pre-order your 2016 sample yearbook today!

Exciting news everybody, our 2016 sample books will be ready in just a weeks time so don’t forget to pre-order yours now to ensure you’re the first to get your hands on a copy! This year we’ve kicked things up a gear and you’ll be receiving an epic hardback sample yearbook complete with profiles, awards page designs, confessions, quotes, timelines…. well you get the gist! Basically it’s a full mock up of the kind of yearbooks we pride ourselves on making 😀  What’s more, the entire pack has been lovingly designed using ONLY our online system to show you just how much is possible!

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What else is new I hear you ask?! Well you’ll also receive a paperback infopack that is filled with tips on how to organise, fundraise, photograph and schedule a yearbook project. Other companies may want to tell you that online systems are too much hassle but I say bah to all those naysayers! You don’t need to pay a designer to create a beautiful book when you can build it yourself with our fantastically flexible page designer.

SecondaryPack_sneak_peek

Depending on whether you’re a primary group or secondary, sixth form or corporate group, you’ll receive tailored information to suit your project- no unnecessary fluff that doesn’t apply, just straightforward tips and tricks from our experienced team. So now I’ve convinced you all to grab a copy, head to allyearbooks.co.uk/infopack to pre-order yours now. Books will be arriving in school next week but do message us if you have any questions at all in the meantime!

Bring it on Class of 2016, we’re ready for you 😛

Copy Design tool has arrived!

A creative process usually involves exploring lots of different ideas before you settle on your final design. Now you’ve made an awesome page, you’ll probably be looking for a super quick and easy way to copy theme elements to other pages. That clever font palette you put together for your profiles would look great on your awards pages right?! You might not want to copy a page layout and every aspect of it so this handy little tool allows you to select individual components and apply them to other profile pages, collages etc. copydesign1

When viewing the homepage of your yearbook, you’ll see COPY DESIGN in the grey toolbar at the top of the screen. If you click onto this you’ll get a little pop up window for you to use to copy colour palettes, fonts, backgrounds and headers & footers. Use the tick boxes here to select which features you wish to copy 🙂

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Now you need to select which spread to copy from. You can choose from any spread in the book so just click on the one you need 🙂 You’ll see this spread will now be highlighted on the yearbook home with a blue box around it and you get a visual preview of the spread in the copy pop up box too.

Now you need to select the spreads you wish to copy to. Again click onto the spreads you want to copy to and these will be highlighted in green. You can also use the select all option in the copy box if you want to copy to all pages in the book. Once you’re happy with the selections you’ve made, click the green begin copy button.

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Before your settings are applied, you’ll get a final warning message. If you’re certain that you’d like to proceed with the copy, click save changes. You wont be able to undo as such once this action has taken place (hence the warning) but you can always use the tool again to copy any elements you might have missed or update individual pages 😀

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 😀

menus

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 😀

  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 🙂