Staff Proof-readers – Who needs ’em?

YOU DO!
We know your yearbook is something that you’ve all worked hard to make amazing, and we would hate to think that someone from your school is unhappy with the finished product. You staff proof-reader is there to help you make sure everything in the book is suitable, while also making sure the school is happy with the content.
If you’re making a yearbook with us, your staff proof-reader will either need to
A)  proof-read the yearbook on behalf of the school
OR
B) Authorise you or another student editor to approve the content on behalf of the school
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I know this may be a shock but teachers have lives outside of school too (!) so getting us their contact info sooner rather than later will give them plenty of time to get the proofreading done before your deadline.
We can’t go to print without their confirmation so any delay in getting us the info will result in a delayed yearbook –  none of us want that!
Don’t worry – no-one is going to take your yearbook away from you! Just send us the info over chat, email or give us a call – we just need their name and school email address.
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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!
Please speak to your coordinator if you have any questions about nominating a staff proof-reader. If you are making an unaffiliated yearbook you can read up on more information here.
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Proofing and print preparations!

Some of you editors may be nearing your print deadlines so I thought I’d send you a quick guide to proofing your final draft and what to expect when you’re ready to print 🙂 When you reach the stage where you think your book is ready to print, you’ll enter the final stage of production and it’s now a case of having a look over everything one more time.  We’ll also do the same from our side once you click the ‘request pre-print checks’ link at the top of your home screen.

So when it comes to proofing, there are a number of things you should be on the look out for. These are things such as image resolution warnings and text cut off warnings and more general things like legibility and header/footer text. To help you complete your proofing quickly and efficiently, we’ve put together this handy checklist of things to look out for.

Proofing Checklist

resourcesYou can find a copy of this checklist at any time by clicking the resources button which is found in the support box at the bottom of your yearbook screen.

So once you’ve requested your pre-print checks our team will then have one final look over your pages too. Another set of eyes over the project is never a bad thing and we can make you aware of any issues that may be problematic in print so you can adjust them. You’ll still be able to make changes to your book whilst this is being done so do make sure your queue yourself for pre-print checks in good time. We advise about 3 days before your print deadline so you have time to make adjustments if they are needed.

Once we have completed our checks, you’ll notice a new link at the top of the home area to review pre-print checks and send your book to print. As a reminder, your main editor AND your staff proof-reader will need to complete this process to ensure all parties agree the book is ready to print. This new link will take you to a new page on the system which allows you to review your final order details and submit for print 🙂

the AYB team

How computer set up effects your yearbook preview

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If you’ve used different computers throughout your project, you may have noticed a slight colour variation in your book depending on which computer you’re viewing it on. How you view the yearbook is affected by your monitor settings which results in this variation- things like your screens brightness, contrast and general calibration are constantly changing the way our eyes view data on screen so don’t be alarmed 🙂 Your colour palettes aren’t changing but we do recommend using one machine to complete your proof to avoid any confusion.

If there are a group of you working on the project, it’s best to get together and choose the colour palette together. If you’re all using different machines, what you deem the right colour might appear slightly off on your friends computer for example! Cue hours of discussion about the colour blue and no-one really wants that!

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As colour is so subjective, the best and most accurate way to colour match is to sample a colour you want to use and then use input the hex code straight into your colour palette for an exact match. If you’re unsure how to do this, do get in touch and we can help 🙂

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

OR

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

Collaborative working

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Working together on a creative project should be a good laugh so today we’re talking collaborative working and getting the most out of your team meetings. When it comes to working as a team, you may find you have loads of ideas that don’t necessarily all work well together but always jot down your page ideas so you can refer to them later. You’ll notice there is space for notes and ideas in your info books so be sure to take this along to your meetings so you have everything together!

Sometimes an idea on paper isn’t quite the same, so don’t discount any ideas before exploring the online system to see how you can translate your theme into a workable set of templates and designs 🙂 Some ideas may call for fiddly details so think about the time you have set aside for your project and how this fits in around your school work and other commitments 😀 Also make a note of school holidays and exam periods etc that will affect the time you have to work on the book so you can plan your workload in advance.

When you first start your book online, the first person to create the book itself will be listed as our main chief editor. We strongly advise you add other editors to your project with separate accounts so you can see who’s doing what. It also makes it easier for us to know who we’re chatting to and stops that baffled expression we get when we explain something for the 3rd time, not realising we’re talking to different people!  So getting back to your group, it’s best to assign roles to each team member so you know everything is covered. If you’ve got someone who’s super creative, why not set them the task of designing your cover. Another team member can track the profiles and make chase anybody who’s not logged in and another could oversee payments etc. Splitting the workload will help you progress your project with confidence and make the process super enjoyable for all.

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When it comes to launching your project to the year, you’ll have a few options available to you:

 

Option 1: Cool, Calm and Collaborative

If you want to go for a full collaborative experience, choose to invite your year group online so they can be completing their own profiles, voting in awards and uploading photos to the book. This will make your life easier as an editing team as people are all doing their own bit and filling up the majority of the book with profiles 🙂

Option 2: The DIY or ‘design it yourself’ option

Your second option is to add members manually to your book and having your editors complete these on behalf of the student group. Perhaps you found it easier to collect your data offline? This would be the option for you as you can easily fill up those profiles and drop photos into place without getting everybody active online.

If you are of the superhero variety, you may want to take on the whole project on your own which is also fine. You’d do this in the same DIY way! What’s more, our support and design team can assist you regardless of which option you choose and are available by phone, email and instant chat too!! If you’ve not started your book online quite yet, click the button below to explore our wonderful system 😀

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What’s next? A brief guide to finalising your project :)

finalisingyourproject1Hi everyone 🙂  it’s been super busy in the office so I wanted to grab your attention for a moment or two to talk through the final stages of your yearbook creation process. We know you’ve been working hard for months on your projects and a lot of time, energy and love has gone into putting it all together! Please do keep your print deadlines in mind as this is really when we need to send your book to print- sure we leave a day’s leeway in this to finalise artwork and do our checks but we do need this time! Before your books are sent to print we have to do all sorts of pre-printing checks to ensure everything is just right. We don’t want something to go awry and neither do you so please do your best to stick to the print deadline! Another thing we’ve had lot’s of this year is late artwork submissions. Submitting your cover artwork on the day we need to send your book to print is less than ideal so do try to get your artwork in early- this will give you time to review your draft and make any changes BEFORE the print deadline 🙂 This is what happens next:
  1. So once your happy that everything is done, double check! You might have a blank page that needs addressing or a photo that could be cropped differently. Check out our article about proofing the visual elements of your yearbook  to see if you can improve your design in any way 🙂 When you get to the stage where you’re happy the book is ready to print please let us know; whilst we try to check in on as many of you as possible we cant always get round to everyone so shout it from the rooftop and let us know you’re done by email, chat or drop us a call 🙂
  2. We’ll then prepare a confirmation email for you that is sent to both the lead editor and your staff proofreader. A common misconception is that this is a stock email that we fire out to all customers but we don’t work this way! We’re dedicated to providing you with the best possible books so we meticulously go through every page of your book and create a very detailed and personalised email for you. We’ll cover the basics such as final number of copies and pages, delivery details and also flag any areas in the book which may need to be addressed. Please be patient when waiting for your email, this process takes time and whilst your eager to get everything done, we don’t want to rush and miss anything important.
In order to send your book to print we must receive a reply from both the lead editor and the staff proofreader for your project. Failure to receive a reply from one or both of you will mean your book is unconfirmed and wont be sent to print. This can cause delays to printing and delivery dates so try to keep on top of the project until the book has definitely been sent to the printers! When this is done, take a deep breath and relax 🙂

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.