I’m sure you’re all very busy getting your yearbooks finished up and ready to send it off to the presses. The to-do list is a mile long, there isn’t enough coffee in the world to sustain deadline days, and the staff is frantically gathering content, editing photos, interviewing students, and designing pages. All those templates with good intentions you made in the fall can sometimes turn into chaos once your staff is in production mode. Sometimes we sacrifice a spread looking it’s best just so we can consider it done.
So – before you hit “publish,” let’s take a look at your spreads and see if there are any (quick) ways you can improve them.
1. analyze element hierarchy
Make sure one photo is clearly 2-3x larger than all the other elements on the page.
VARIED PHOTO SIZES
Mix it up! Your spread should have a balanced combination of small, medium, and large photos.
2. GO ACROSS THE GUTTER
Make sure at least one element goes across the gutter so your design is one cohesive spread, not two individual pages.
3. MIND YOUR MARGINS
Do all elements fit within the margins, unless they are intended to bleed off the page?
- All elements should have “room to breathe” and not be too close to each other
- Consistent spacing between individual elements
- Larger spacing between modules/sections
Never force a story if it doesn’t naturally fit with the content. It will be hard to write (and even harder to read) – so tell the story in a different way!
Dig deeper and add a module that features a unique aspect of the spread topic. Even better if you can tie it to your theme!
POSSIBLE STORY FORMATS
Consider which formats would work best for your content’s main story and secondary story.
- Before, During, After
- Anatomy of …
- Extended Quotes
- Mini Story
- Numbered List
- Then & Now
- Fast Facts
- Interactive Content
- Photo Collection
5. headline design
DESIGN HEADLINES INTENTIONALLY
- Stack words individually
- Use different fonts (& weights)
- Use different colors
BONUS: Make something giant
JUST TRY IT
If you’re struggling to spice up a spread, try making one element huge and play around with layering to see how it looks. If you hate it – that’s ok! It can be helpful to see the spread in a different perspective.
- Use a full or partial background color
- Super large headline, layered over dominant photo
- Full-page sized cutout