delicious design

Basic Yearbook Design + Terminology


Students will become familiar with basic yearbook spread design principles and create a layout using food manipulatives. 


Each student/small group will need the following:

1 x printed dummy sheet (in 9×12 size if possible so the objects fit, not the mini versions)
2 x graham crackers
2 x Airhead
1 x M&M (each color)
60-80 cheeze-its
6 x stick pretzels
2 x twizzlers
1 x chocolate chip
1 x white chocolate chip
4 x Fruit Loops
1 x Kit-Kat
7-10 x marshmallows


  • palette
  • photo
  • dominant photo
  • caption
  • eyeline
  • axis
  • headline
  • subhead
  • story
  • module
  • white space
  • balance
  • column
  • grid
  • swatches
  • direct selection tool
  • selection tool
  • text frame
  • image frame
  • stroke
  • fill
  • byline

I first made this lesson because I knew I was going to be evaluated and was searching for an idea that would have my students super engaged. I found a biology lesson that involved making a cell out of food items and thought it would be fun to adapt to a yearbook spread. It turned out WAY better than I ever anticipated, and became one of my favorite lessons to teach. 

It takes some time to prepare this lesson but it is worth it! 

You can get layout sheets in your book size for free from your publisher!
However, linked below is also a printable version. When printed, these will be much smaller than your actual book but they can be helpful when just learning terms and conceptual design, or sketching layouts.

In this download, you’ll find:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Colorful Projector-Friendly Student Guides


Take students through basic yearbook design. This will introduce the terminology needed to complete this lesson.

All of the food items are interchangeable for something else if you cannot find something specific. Swap the M&M’s for Skittles, use Fruity Pebbles for Fruit Loops, etc. Just be sure to change the directions. Count out the supplies or arrange them for easy pickup as needed. The Cheez-its are always what students end up needing to come back for. 

Place a yearbook at each student’s desk. Prep a set of food for each set of partners/small groups. Print handouts (page 2).


  • When someone looks at a yearbook spread, what do you think they should notice first? 
  • Look at at least three spreads – do you like the way they are designed? Why or why not?

Good designers begin with a plan. Creating a paper “blueprint” allows for creativity to flow and easy brainstorming. The connection between your brain and hand is much more natural than your brain and the computer mouse. 

Today we are going to look at how good looking layouts are made using food as the elements of the layout! We’ll also look into a few parts of the design software interface that will help us make these layouts on the computer.

Each food represents a certain element of a yearbook spread. Using the rules of design and your notes, create a great looking (and delicious!) layout. Once you get the OK from me that the layout meets all the rules, you can enjoy your snacks!


  • fettucini = eyeline
  • twizzlers = axis
  • graham crackers = photos 
  • Kit-Kat = headline & subhead
  • AirHead = story
  • Cheez-its = captions 
  • marshmallows = photo by
  • Fruit Loops = folio
  • M&Ms = swatches
  • chocolate chip = selection tool


  • Each photo must have a caption.
  • Captions must all be the same width, but can vary in height
  • Layout must have a two-column story space with a headline. 
  • Each element must start and end on a gridline.
  • Elements must have exactly one gridline between them. 
  • White space must be intentional and balanced.
  • Dominant photo must be 2-3x bigger than the rest. 
  • Dominant photo must have a stroke around it.
  • Module must have a stroke around it.
  • 7-10 photos total.
  • At least 1 sidebar/module.
  • Folio must include a page number on each side of the spread.

Shout-out to Kelly Juntunen for coming up with the title for this lesson!!

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