Yearbook Layout tips

6 Jan

Yearbook Layout tips

to give your book a professional feel

Layout is how you arrange your elements- text, photos, illustrations, etc. on your pages. Sometimes, it can be daunting to start with a blank canvas and know where to go. The temptation is there to ‘throw’ everything you have onto the page and move on to the next one. This is not a very good idea as the yearbook you end up with will look amateur and careless. The good news is that it is easy to create professional looking layout by following a few simple guidelines.


A great way to start with your layout is to create a grid. If you are using computer software, there is usually a facility to create a grid or you could just draw a grid onto graph paper and begin laying out your pages.

Using a Grid

You can set up a basic grid: three columns, five rows for example. From this grid, you can then try to place your elements within this grid. Remember to leave a gutter/margin between each grid area. Some elements, for example imagery may take up four sections of your grid while others may take up just one. You may decide to leave certain sections free of content.

Rule of Thirds

A basic rule in design is what is known as the rule of thirds. Divide your page into three either vertically or horizontally and aim to keep elements within this division. This gives the page a pleasing look in comparison with a symmetrical grid divided into two.


Remember that each page is part of a spread, not an individual element so be sure to design your pages with the spreads in mind. It is an idea to design your pages as spreads instead of pages. This will make the overall look of the book easier to read and more connected.

White Space

Ensure that you have enough space around blocks of text, images, etc. Try not to have the page cluttered. Sometimes leaving extra space around an object gives it importance and draws the eye towards it. It always a good idea to leave lots of space between elements. Don’t be afraid to use large margins or spaces, as they will help to de-clutter the page.


Make the most important elements bigger. The biggest item on the page is seen as the most important by the reader. Use size to show the readers what you want to emphasise.


Group items together. If images are of the same thing, put them together. Put captions close to the images so the connection can be easily made. It is of no usr to have a caption that people don’t know what it refers to.


Try to come up with a heading that is interesting and grabs attention. As the heading will be larger than the rest of the text, it will be the first thing that people read. It must make you want to read on. Try to give more than one word headings. You can also use sub-headings to explain the main headings further.


Only use a maximum of two different font types per spread. Otherwise the spread will look cluttered and confusing. Leave a good amount of line spacing in blocks of text. This will make it easier to read. Blocks of text should not have long lines stretching the length of the page. Use your grid to create smaller columns of text that will be easier on the eye.

Get inspired

Become a collector of magazines and other layouts that you like. Tear out anything that inspires you and create a layout book by gluing in bits and pieces that you find. If you look at magazines, you will see that they have short length lines, well-structured grids and there is plenty of white space. You will also find that there is usually just one key point to each page. Learn from them and try to imitate their style in your yearbook.

Be Creative

Be creative with your layouts. Creativity and exploration are vital to create impressive yearbooks. Try things out a number of different ways before deciding on the final layout.


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