In my locker….

locker

I remember my last day of school well and I especially remember saying goodbye to my old locker (well binning most of the rubbish that had found it’s way into there over my 2 years in upper school)! Your locker is an extension of you so why not investigate what’s in there and make some cool pages from your findings like these ones!

boyslocker

Boys Locker Page

Making a page like this is super simple to do. Just jot down what you want to appear and do a quick search online for some images. Once again, I’d suggest having a look for PNG files so search ‘pencils PNG’ as this will bring up more images with transparent backgrounds. You can then use the arrows from our PNG elements and title text boxes to annotate your page!

Girls Locker Page

Happy yearbooking everyone and I’ll be back soon with more yearbook chat and page ideas 😀

What a performance! Remembering your school shows and plays…

plays

When I was at school I had the terrifying experience of performing on stage a whopping three times. I was pretty much the opposite to a drama kid but my friends encouraged me to be in at least one school play over the years. I gave a somewhat wooden appearance as a narrator in Charlie and the Chocolate factory which was enough for me to decide that the stage was not the place for me!! For those of you who are into the arts and love to be in every show going though, creating a few montages for the performances is a nice addition for your yearbook. Cast and crew spend a lot of hours working to put these shows together so be sure to celebrate your talented actors in your yearbook montages 😀

Usually school have a few photos of the shows that have taken place so speak to your drama teachers about where to find these and then top up with those taken by friends and parents 🙂 Backgrounds with stars and red curtains are the most commonly used ones for performances and you can add titles and show logos in .PNG format if you can find them!

Preparing for Christmas Jumper Day!

jumperday

It’s Christmas Jumper Day this Friday which means many of you have been wearing your festive knitwear to school this week 🙂 If your school has hosted a great fundraising event, be sure to include lots of snaps for your yearbook and use our epic festive background pack to theme your pages! We’ve even got a Christmas jumper background for you- how’s that for forward planning?!

Making Trend Pages

102-page-001

You probably spotted our Trends page in your sample book so I was keen to show you all how to make something similar. First thing you need to do is make a note of what’s hot and what’s not right now. If you’re going for a trends page, think about the different games, apps and fashions that have been and gone over the years 🙂

Now hit the web and have a look for some images to go with your fads and trends. When you search online, try searching for your subject matter then add PNG file to the end of the search. This way you’re more likely to get images with transparent backgrounds so you’ll have more freedom to design and get creative with layering content!

Now upload all of your PNG files or JPGs to your book and play around with nice bright colours to add some vibrancy to the page! I’ve used the palette below and topped this with some bright orange PNG banners 🙂

HOTORNOTPALETTE

By adding coloured blocks and layering white text over this, we’ve created this slick cut-out effect that’s bang on trend with magazine style layouts and design! Having bold splashes of colour coming in from the sides of your pages will give your layout a really playful feel and you can develop these colour blocks into a theme for your whole yearbook 😀

Top Awards Ideas

Looking for inspiration for what awards to have in your yearbook? We’ve trawled our database of over 15,000 different awards and present to you the top 85 that we’ve found. If you’re loving what you see, why not come and chat to us about your yearbook plans. We’ve got a team of top support coordinators who’ll be happy to help you explore our online system.

– Most likely to become Prime Minister
– Most likely to be famous
– Most likely to become a millionaire
– Most likely to win a Nobel Prize
– Most likely to become a WAG
– Most likely to win an Oscar
– Most likely to take over the world
– Most likely to marry for money
– Most likely to get married first
– Most likely to become a model
– Most likely to become a nun
– Most likely to appear on Jeremy Kyle
– Most likely to win an Olympic Medal
– Most likely to rule the world
– Most likely to win X Factor
– Most likely to cure cancer
– Most likely to become a teacher
– Most likely to break a world record
– Most likely to become a comedian
– Most likely to win the lottery but lose the ticket
– Most likely to get ID’d when they’re 30
– Couple most likely to get married

– Best Hair
– Best Dressed
– Best Smile
– Best Laugh
– Best Couple
– Best Dressed Female
– Best Dressed Male
– Best looking Female
– Best looking Male
– Best Sportsman
– Best Sportswoman
– Best Dancer
– Best Bum
– Best Musician
– Best legs
– Best teacher
– Best Newcomer
– Best Artist
– Best Double Act
– Best personality
– Best Singer
– Best Party
– Best Driver
– Best Comedian

– Worst Driver
– Worst attendance

– Most gullible
– Most Sarcastic
– Most creative
– Most musical
– Most Blonde
– Most Hardworking
– Most Artistic
– Most annoying laugh
– Most caring
– Most annoying but loved
– Most Organised
– Most competitive

– Biggest Drama Queen
– Biggest flirt
– Biggest Gossip
– Biggest party animal
– Biggest Ego
– Biggest Poser
– Biggest chav

– Class clown
– Funniest Person
– Rear of the year
– Cutest couple
– Teachers Pet
– Loudest
– Nicest person
– Party Animal
– Funniest Teacher
– Funniest Laugh
– Nicest Smile
– Favourite Teacher
– Blondest
– Loudest person
– Quietest
– Prom queen
– Happiest Person
– The [name of school] prize for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence

Also, a word of caution: whilst awards like ‘Most likely to go to prison’ may seem funny, the person receiving the award may not be so pleased with it. In fact, we’ve had a case in the past of a parent nearly suing a school when their child was given this award – the page had to be replaced to prevent this. If in doubt, ask a teacher what’s appropriate and what’s not, and be aware that every school has their own rules.

Christmas Background Pack

christmas

Christmas is my favourite holiday of the year and I’m of the crazy variety that starts to wear festive jumpers in October 🙂 I am always very excited to see so many people donning their Christmas jumpers for charity so get involved and find the most cheesy ones you can. One with lights and music would be epic! Ok, calm down and let’s not get sidetracked! The real news today is the launch of our festive background pack- hooray.
Be sure to capture the winter ball, Christmas jumper days, snow days and more this winter and include them all in your yearbooks! We’ve also got a lovely 2016 background you can use for new years celebrations, prom and other events throughout the coming year 😀

the AYB team

Top Interview Techniques

interview

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:

Playlist Pages

playlist

Playlists are super easy pages to make as essentially it’s just a few text boxes on the page and a background to add. Grab a pen and paper and make a note of any top songs from common room, school shows and so on so you can include them. Don’t worry if you’ve not got a full page to work with either- you can just as easily include these in spaces at the end of profiles for example!

Get the Look: Try our School Smarts Yearbook Theme

schoolIf you really want to capture your school life in your yearbook, you can opt to work in a school theme to your cover artwork and page designs. Uniform inspired covers have been really big in 2015 and they’re set to be in high demand again in 2016! So starting with this cover idea, how is it done? Well, you just need to supply your school colours and logo for this design. If you can’t get hold of a high resolution logo from school, try laying your uniform on a flat surface and taking a photo of the crest on there. Again, this image needs to be as high resolution as possible as it’s quite a big feature for this cover! With this cover, design you also have a lot of room to play with on the back cover so you can add a photo, word cloud or your year groups names in the shape of a 16 if you like 🙂

uniform_palette

Setting your school colours as your palette is the easiest way to develop your school theme and personalise your book. Backgrounds such as paper textures work especially well but also ones like the chalkboard and pinboards look great in this theme.

custom background

Similarly, you can also ask us to create a custom background using your school logo 🙂 If you’ve got different house groups you wish to incorporate, you can easily create distinct sections in the book using the different palette colours and section dividers.

uniform_FONTPALETTE

When it comes to fonts, you’ll probably want to select a combination of handwritten styles and bold title fonts such as Graduate and Vast Shadow. Graduate has a really American feel to it so would be perfect if you’re looking to recreate American style yearbook pages! For your main body fonts, you’ll want to pick something a little smaller but do ensure it’s clear enough as a smaller font size. If you need to squeeze in a lot of text in 8pt font lets say, you’ll want to avoid anything too skinny or swirly which may be quite hard to read. For more info on fonts, check out my last post on font pairing 🙂

uniformcover

Halloween Background Pack

HalloweenWe always have a lot of laughs in the office about your fabulous fancy dress costumes so be sure to include your Halloween photos in your books this year 🙂 To help you create suitably spooky pages, we’ve put together a special collection of Halloween backgrounds for you all to collage and create with. 

Happy Yearbooking!