Middle school and high school yearbooks are often designed by the students themselves, but elementary school yearbooks are typically put together by a team of parent volunteers. If you've been given the job of creating a yearbook for your child's classmates, you have a few options to consider.
Design Your Own Elementary School Yearbook
Digital scrapbooking software makes it easy to create a customized elementary school yearbook. These examples were created using Serif CraftArtist 2, but the general concepts can be duplicated in the program of your choice. All of the following examples use placeholder silhouettes instead of actual photos for layout suggestions.
Individual School Photos
A structured grid is best for displaying individual school photos. The example in the upper right hand corner places 12 individual photos per page, but you can adjust the size of your grid as needed to accommodate all of the students in each class.
Class photo pages do not require much in the way of embellishment. Limit yourself to a single piece of clip art. You can use the school mascot or a general school-themed design, such as an owl holding a diploma.
Even though it can be fun to experiment with creative font choices, readability should be your most important consideration in a yearbook design. Fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, Garamond, and Verdana are all good choices. This example layout uses Cambria 12 pt. for the student's names. You can make your text smaller if needed, but keep in mind that many people have trouble reading type that is smaller than 10 pt.
If your child's school does not provide individual pictures of each student, devote one page to each group photo and a brief description of what each class did throughout the year.
This example uses a simple frame and apple clip art to draw attention to the image. Again, Cambria is used for the heading and text to ensure easy readability.
To avoid embarrassing mistakes, remember to have at least three parents proofread the names in your class photo before sending your yearbook to print. Unfamiliar names are easy to accidentally misspell and no child wants to have a souvenir of the year with his or her name spelled incorrectly.
Class parties are an important part of the elementary school experience. Parties also provide the opportunity for great candid shots, especially if the kids are allowed to dress up.
Even though it probably won't be possible to get all of the children into candid shots, you want to avoid the appearance of favoritism. Try to make sure that no child appears in the candid shots more than three times. If you do not have enough photos to accomplish this goal, see if you can get additional images from parents who volunteered in the class that day.
This example layout uses one dominant vertical image and six square shots. The vertical image is approximately 4" x 6" and the smaller square images are 1 1/2" x 1 1/2". The darker background was chosen to distinguish this section of the yearbook from the formal class photos. Clip art was selected to reinforce the theme of the page. The text is written in 12 pt. Cambria.
Field trips are another must-have addition to your elementary school yearbook. This example layout showcases a Veteran's Day field trip. The large horizontal photo measures 8 1/2" x 4 1/2". The smaller square photos measure 1 1/2" x 1 1/2". The blue background separates the field trip section from other portions of the yearbook, but the repetition of the 12 pt. Cambria font adds continuity to the project as a whole.
If you don't want to take the time to design a yearbook from scratch, there are several different template options available.
- Shutterfly has a yearbook photo book option that would work well for many elementary school yearbook projects. Pictures can simply be dragged and dropped into the professionally designed templates. The link to order a finished book can be shared with students and their families, making payment and distribution a snap.
- Mixbook has multiple yearbook photo book designs for students. They offer volume discounts to help keep your yearbook as affordable as possible. Prices start at $19.99 per book.
- Memory Book specializes in school yearbooks and offers five different design program options, so you can pick what is right for your needs and skill level. They also provide free promotional materials so you can let everyone know when your yearbook is ready to purchase.
Memories That Will Last a Lifetime
No matter what approach you take to design your elementary school yearbook, it is sure to be a special keepsake for your child and his or her classmates. Looking back on the year's events will provide enjoyment for many years to come.