Introduction to page design

In previous sessions we learned some key terms and some core design principles. For reference, the key terms are:

  • DPS – Double page spread – two facing pages
  • Caption – The copy that explains the who, what, where, when, how and why of action in a photo; plan space for every photo to have a caption!
  • COB – Cut out background – a photo where the background is removed (e.g. in Photoshop)
  • Dominant element – The largest eye-catching photo or collection of photos or elements on a spread. Often this will ‘sit’ or ‘hang’ on the eye-line and sit across the gutter, providing unity to the spread.
  • External margin – A frame of white or empty space that will frame the edges of the spread
  • Internal margin – A consistent amount of white space between elements on a page; usually one pica.
  • Copy – All the text on a spread – includes captions, headlines, stories. The copy tells the story of the year.
  • Eye-line – A one pica horizontal line that connects the left and right pages. Usually this is about 1/3 or 2/3 the way down a page. All elements should either sit on top of or hang below this line.
  • Bleed – When pictures or text extend right the way to the end of the page.
  • Headline – Words set in large type that attracts the reader to a spread. Traditionally set above copy blocks.
  • White space / negative space –  The absence of any element.
  • Gutter – The space where the left and right pages meet. Often one or two picas wide and folded as the book comes together.
  • Type / typography – Printed letters and characters
  • Logo – Artwork to represent a company; can also unify a yearbook
  • Pica – A journalistic unit of measurement, one pica=1/6 of an inch or 4.23 mm.

We also looked at the following design principles. Examine a peer’s personal page and  evaluate using the key terms and principles. What are they doing well? What do they need to improve?

Here is an example template created using these design principles in InDesign!

 

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“Tell Me a Story” Writing for the Yearbook – Part 1 (finding the story)

Why do people read yearbooks?

  1. A yearbook captures important events, touching memories, sentimental feelings that matter – the times that give meaning and life to a school year.
  2. The yearbook reminds us, years down the track, what it was like when we were younger.

Yearbooks without stories have a hard time of achieving these two goals. To achieve these goals, we need to write stories that are captivating and personal!

1. Read the following rules, then discuss whether our current yearbook follows these rules or not.

  • Focus on people, not events. Think about the stories you read – they are about characters overcoming problems and striving to achieve goals. How can you make your page more focused on the people involved in the event or activity?
  • Narrow focus to a moment or two that defines the topic, rather than trying to tell everything that happened. For example, tell a story that shows how the volleyball team was different this year. (Usually big games, finals, or important tournaments near the end of the season work well.) Use photos, captions and sidebars to tell the rest of the story.

2. In your activity/story groups, brainstorm the ‘Who, what, where, why, when, how’ of your story. How can you get the story for your page? What information do you need to find out?

3. Read this document to find out the various ways you can tell a story. Sketch out a rough plan for your page(s).

4. Go and get your story!

MS Chowa Introduction – Personal Yearbook Page!

Today we will learn the principles of effective page design by creating our own personal yearbook pages! You will need Adobe InDesign installed on your computer for this lesson.

Step #1: Make sure to check the ladder to indicate which teams / pages you will be working on for the yearbook this year.

Step #2: Access the following website to learn about the basics of page design. Then, have a look through our yearbooks from past years and evaluate them – how are we doing?

Step #3: Start your own practice page!

  • Download the InDesign template here.
  • Make a folder on your desktop called ‘Yearbook’. In this folder, make another folder called ‘Practice Page’. Put your template into this folder.
  • Gather some photographs about you to create a page with. It could be about you generally, about friends, hanging out, hobbies, sports, a recent holiday… Download these photos into your ‘Practice Page’ folder.
  • Follow this guide to create a practice page, remembering to follow the 10 rules of design!

Step #4: Evaluate our pages

  • Review the 10 rules of basic design here. Then complete this checklist for a friend’s page. Has the person:
    • created a double page spread?
    • used columns?
    • placed a central or ‘centr-y’ / dominant image (that stretches across both pages; it can be ‘offset’)?
    • used consistent internal margins (i.e. is the gap between all elements equal?)
    • left some ‘white space’?
    • used the ‘bleed’ sparingly? (i.e. once in each direction)
    • put empty spaces on the outside (not the inside!)

NOW YOU ARE READY TO START CREATING PAGES FOR THE YEARBOOK!