Remembering exchange students


Over the 5 -7 years you’ve been in school, there will be lots of people who’ve shared in the journey. Teachers, friends and family spring to mind instantly but don’t forget those honorary classmates from across the waters. Exchange trips bring a wave of interesting and often hilariously quirky people right into the middle of your life so give them a mention if you can! Rummage around those throwback photos and you’ll probably find some photos to make a page or two from 🙂

the AYB team

How to make a photo scavenger hunt page :)

Whilst everyone says ‘ come back and see us’, going back to your old high school isn’t really the done thing. I left school 16 years ago and to this day, I’ve not been back. To help you remember all of those fun and quirky things you loved and hated about your school, why not host a photo scavenger hunt for leavers! They’re super fun and everyone gets a camera full of happy snaps to remember the school by too 🙂


To make a scavenger hunt page for your yearbook, you’ll need to first put on your thinking caps and write a list of things to include. Things like your locker, school hall, the music room where you learnt to play a xylophone (is there anyone out there really playing these!?), the quad area and so on, will remind you of great memories with friends in years to come!


Now to design the page…

For this design, I’ve used these bold and beautiful banners and some simple text boxes – that’s it! You’re only making a list after all so there’s nothing too technical to worry about 😀

the AYB team

World Book Day collage pages

Untitled design

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying the literary delight that is World Book Day! This year marks the 19th year of World Book Day and we’re already seeing some amazing costume photos being uploaded to yearbooks. From Where’s Wally and Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland, schools up and down the country have outdone themselves again this year 😀 Congratulations to editors filling up their fancy dress collages as we speak- that’s another page done and dusted!!!

the AYB team


Staff proof-readers and why they are needed

Make Art Not War

This is a little post for all you yearbook editors who are confused about staff proof-readers and what their role in the yearbook is. You’ve probably spotted them mentioned on your To-do checklists or you might have been discussing this with your yearbook coordinator 🙂

A yearbook is a great way to celebrate the greatness of your year group and we hate to hear of people spoiling that experience for others with hurtful (intentional or otherwise) comments. A staff proof-reader can help you read over the final content of the book before it is printed to ensure everything in it is suitable. As a representative of the school, they will also be able to confirm they are happy with how the schools branding has been used and give final sign off to print.

If you plan to use your school name, logos or imagery, you will need to get a member of staff to confirm they will either:

A)  proof-read the yearbook on behalf of the school


B) authorise you or another student editor  to approve the content on behalf of the school

Failure to provide these details can result in delays to your print and delivery dates so it’s best to let us know who will do this for you as soon as you can.  We can ensure they have everything they need for when the time comes to print 🙂 Rest assured your project won’t be taken away from you and you can let us know who will do this via chat, email or phone. All we need from you is the name of the staff member you are nominating and their contact email (preferably their school email address for ease).

Remember teachers have lives too so telling us who your staff proof-reader is on the day of your print deadline will not be helpful. They will need time to proof-read and get online so it’s best to ensure they have access to do this at least a week before your print deadline just in case they suggest any changes.

If your print deadline falls over a school holiday, it is your editing team’s responsibility to check the staff proof-reader will be available to review the final draft during this time. They will need to log in to the book to click a confirmation button and if we cannot reach them, your project will be delayed!

If you’re set on making your book completely separate from school, you will need to create what we would can an unaffiliated yearbook. Click here for more info about this process

the AYB team

Free Download: 2016 Wall Calendar


Hi everyone, loving the latest blog posts? We spend a lot of time preparing resources for editing teams to help your projects run smoothly. We know there is a lot of stuff going on in the final year at school or uni so hopefully our downloadable resources are proving helpful! For those of you who haven’t check them out yet just hit the resources button which you’ll find when you click support in the bottom right corner of your yearbook screen. Our 2016 wall calendar is particularly great for scribbling key dates on and marking school holidays etc in your yearbook meetings 🙂


If you’re ready to launch your project, or just want to refresh everyone’s mind, you’ll also find a helpful assembly presentation template here too alongside promotional posters and more! Check it out at

the AYB team

Collage Don’ts: Avoiding common mistakes

Freedom is a great thing don’t you agree?! When designing your photo montages, you have complete control as to which images go where and how everything is presented. Sometimes though the range of possibilities can lead us astray so today I’m talking collage do’s and don’ts to help you create the happiest pages 🙂


Let’s start with everything that’s right and wonderful about this example. Firstly, the page feels full- there’s no glaring gaps of empty space and there is a nice balance of images across the spread. Each photo is nicely framed and centred and the images are all fairly well lit so nothing will print too dark. When you have lots of group photos, it is best to use fewer frames and make the images larger on the page. This will allow you to see everybody in the photos clearly; when you’re 80 and squinting at your book through thick spectacles you’ll thank me for this!

There are lots of fabulous backgrounds available through the system so you should always find a nice one to use in your designs that will complement the theme and content you wish to include. If you’re developing a theme throughout the whole book, why not try variations of backgrounds along similar theme sets. i.e. different types of papers for journal styles. If you love a particular background but feel it’s too busy or heavy for the page, you can always reduce the opacity so you have a lighter version of the design 🙂


When making any yearbook pages, you’ll notice there are some faint grey boxes around the edges of the page to guide you 🙂 These boxes indicate the safety margins on the page and whilst it’s fine to bleed backgrounds over this, you’ll want to keep important content within these lines to ensure nothing gets cut out in the spine of the book or is too close to the edges of the page. In the example below, we can see the title text goes across the gutter and the middle of the text is hard to read as it goes into the spine. This is the kind of thing to avoid where possible!

openBookbMoving on to our second example, you can see there is a big difference here. The images are scattered on the page randomly and it all feels a little haphazard! As you drop images into frames think about the frame size you’ve used. You wouldn’t put a portrait image into a landscape photo frame in real life so why do it online. By selecting suitable sized frames, you can ensure no one in your image gets decapitated (always a good thing)! Similarly avoid letting your photos go off the edges of the pages as these may be trimmed when the book is put together.

There is no magic remedy for dark and pixelated images so if you choose to include them, be aware that these can look pretty bad in print. Anyways check your print resolution PDF file to ensure you are happy with how they will look when printed and if possible, try to find alternative images for better results. Any extremely low resolution images will be flagged to you so you can discuss them with your team and make decisions accordingly.

So to repeat, a good collage =  well lit, good quality photos with group photos in prominent larger frames and photos centred! If you’re ever unsure about your page designs and need a second opinion, just leave us a chat message and we’ll have a look over them for you 😀 Have fun…

the AYB team

‘Me in a photo’ Quiz Pages

festival This is such an awesome page idea and we think this will be the big addition to many editors page plans this year! Summing up your personality, interests and style, each person submits one photo that really says it all…then you make a awesome quiz page and you get something that looks a little like this…


You can make this page so easily as a collage and is a fun twist on the traditional text based quiz pages you see in most yearbooks. So come on then, how well do you know your year group?

Happy Halloween!


Just a quick post today to say Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you’re all having fun and not  up to too much mischief! If you’re off to the school Halloween disco tonight be sure to take your camera with you and take a photo or two for your yearbooks. Our Halloween background pack is now live so you’ll find suitably spooky background designs for your pages in the theme area 🙂

Yearbook Photography


Now this is a big issue in yearbook land. Choosing which photos to use in your yearbooks will impact on how your finished book appears massively so it’s best to be selective and take a little time to make a plan. Most importantly, you need to decide if you want to include any professional school photographs in your book. You will need permission from the photographers in writing to use their images in your yearbook so it’s best to start this process early to avoid delays. Some photographic companies will charge you for use of their images in your book as they own the copyright for them so you’ll need to factor any charges into your budget and make a decision accordingly 🙂


Lots of photography companies that work with schools will provide low res proofs for their school data bases and we cry a little bit every time one of these images is uploaded. As they are such low resolution, they nearly always come out blurry, pixelated or both and the photography company can charge for these images so avoid this altogether and arrange a photography session in school. Nominate someone to take everyone’s photo or ask a teacher to help you get a more formal set up using your school stage and spotlights 🙂 Alternatively, choose your favourite photo of you from home. Over your lifetime, you’ll have amassed hundreds (if not thousands!) of photos of you so pick your best shot and use this as your main profile image! Simple!


Some yearbook templates do support multiple images so you can choose to include more photos of you and your friends from over the years. We often see people using a photo of them now and one of them as a baby for example to show how they’ve grown over the years which works really well and gives everyone a laugh on hand out day. When using images from back in the day, you’ll notice the quality wont be as sharp as more recent images- this is largely the result in improved camera equipment over the years but if you’re scanning old photos, be sure to scan them at the highest resolution setting for best results 🙂


 Whatever you decide to do, do communicate with your yearbook coordinator so they can help with your plans! If you have any questions about professional images, do get in touch with us and consult the copyright notification on the upload pics page 🙂 

World Teachers Day

teachersSo it’s World Teachers Day today which means you need to be super nice to your teaching staff and behave! If your school is doing anything special for your teachers, be sure to have a camera to hand for a few yearbook snaps 🙂 Have fun everybody!