Introduction to page design

In this session, we will learn 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 will also learn at the following design principles.

Here is an example template created using these design principles in InDesign! Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.17.44 pmLink

Now it is your turn. Starting working on your own page…

  1. Download the template.
  2. Organise the pages – double page spread? Or single left? Single right?
  3. Use the following guides to design a layout for the page. Use shapes for photograph placeholders and text boxes for headings, captions and copy.
    1. The 10 Rules of Yearbook Design
    2. 8 column layout design made easy

Exporting your yearbook page

Today we will start building our rough printed portfolio for the yearbook, so we need to learn how to export our InDesign pages into PDFs.

Follow this guide to find out how!

As for error checking, this website has a useful tutorial on Live Preflight. It is quite detailed and not really necessary, but you might find it useful should you get stuck.

The following document is also accessible through Google Drive here.

Yearbook: Creating ‘beats’

Now that we have decided on our ladder, we need to determine who will cover what. A ‘beat’ is an area or topic that a reporter is assigned to cover – you will be assigned to cover a specific person, club, sport activity or event and it is your job to stay in contact with that person or people involved. It will also be up to you to find and generate the ‘stories’ of these activities as the year progresses.

Step 1 – Assign Beats

Look through the ladder and divide the pages. Think about which topics can be combined into a single beat. Then, think about how you could ‘cover’ the beat – Q+A, attend yourself etc… Put this into the ladder.

Step 2 – Get Ready!

If you are reporting on a sports beat:

  • Contact the captains and coaches of the sports teams and let them know you will be in contact with them for information. Tell them that you will be looking for interesting stories, scores for games, and anything else that can tell the ‘story’ of the event.
  • Keep a record of all games, opposing teams and scores.
  • Find out about particularly interesting games (or stand out plays / players during particular games)
  • Keep track of games and try to attend a game sometime.
  • Contact the MS and HS photography club and ask them to gather or share any photos for the sport they might have (or point you to where other photos might be!)

If you are reporting on a club activity beat:

  • Contact the club adviser teacher and let them know that you will be in touch with them for information – you are trying to tell an interesting story of the activity!
  • Find out about any upcoming events (both inside and outside of school)
  • Contact the MS and HS photography club and ask them to gather or share any photos for the activity they might have (or point you to where other photos might be!)

Step 3 – Research

Read some example stories and see what sort of information you need to gather.  Grab a ‘reporter’s notebook’ and plan your first visit.  Go out and get the scoop!

PS: There is also a middle school writing club – you could liaise with them also (i.e. give them some instructions and get them to write a story for you!)