United Yearbook Perceived a Need for Change Within the Yearbook Industry
Sarah Y. Tse, our founder, had no intention of making a name for herself in the yearbook industry. In 2006, a well-known yearbook company representative approached her about a new yearbook publishing company he was starting, through which he promised to give Sarah printing business. In anticipation of this, Sarah built yearbook prototypes for this man all throughout 2007, providing multiple resources. However, this yearbook rep took advantage of Sarah’s kindness and refused to fulfill what he had promised. Sarah had gotten a glimpse of the yearbook industry, and she did not like what she saw: rampant dishonesty between companies, bullying (i.e., slandering other competitors), and overcharging for services, all for lackluster, uninspiring end-products. The seed of an idea began to form in her mind in the first week of January 2008, with the idea being for her to build her own yearbook company. This seed grew even more after Sarah had a dream, in which Sarah obtained the name of her company, United Yearbook Printing. The very next morning, she went directly to the Recorder’s Office in San Bernardino, CA and searched for the name she had dreamt of. “United Yearbook Printing” did not show up in her search, which meant it was available, and so she immediately registered the company and began her unexpected journey in the yearbook industry.
As she began her journey, Sarah found scant evidence of creativity within the yearbook market; most products were nothing more than hardcover books with cookie-cutter formats and poor printing quality. But this did not discourage Sarah – rather, it helped her discover her niche. She decided that United Yearbook would be a unique company, providing schools with multiple options for all of their innovative ideas, and doing so within a shorter turnaround time than traditional yearbook companies. The decades of commercial printing, graphic design, and prepress experience that Sarah brought to the business made her well-equipped to lead the production side of her own company. With a knowledgeable and experienced founder at the helm, United Yearbook stood tall, ready to be a leader in the field of creative, innovative yearbook publishing.
Come 2015, United Yearbook ran into an obstacle – an Arizona yearbook photography company was selling the name “United Yearbooks” to other franchisees. Our company battled legal maneuvers over several years to regain its official trademark rights, which occurred in January 2018. We share this story to affirm that we are the only legitimate United Yearbook company in the world, and there is no one else like us!
Our Key Strength and Mission: Empowering Your Drive for Innovation
The first obstacle we experienced as a company was building a reputation for ourselves among schools, because our potential clients had become comfortable with bigger-name brands that gave them lesser-quality products. A yearbook staff is often unable to produce their dream book because their publisher does not have the expertise they need to print highly innovative products. United Yearbook meets these needs, which have been long neglected in the industry, and the school districts that first doubted our abilities soon discovered how our company was different.
Our specific focus, a “client above sales” oriented approach, empowers yearbook staff to pursue and create an out-of-the box, non-traditional book. In light of this, we often do a little extra for our customers, free of charge, so that they can receive the highest-quality product. Additionally, we allow our clients to finalize the quantity of their order one month prior to the submission deadline. While over-buying would financially benefit our company, we do not want our clients to overpay and have wasted, leftover books. Traditional yearbook representatives are usually paid by commission, so the more books that are printed, the more compensation they receive. As a result of this, clients are urged to order books based on a higher projected quantity, and the school is unable to adjust the numbers when sales decrease later on. We, on the other hand, allow clients to adjust their numbers closer to the submission deadline in order to decrease wastage. In fact, our clients end up selling more yearbooks with us than with other companies because we offer help with marketing and sales. We are directly involved in mentoring the yearbook advisors as well as their yearbook staff, guiding them step by step from design and creative writing to marketing and selling.
Valuable Benefits Await You
Clients were initially skeptical of whether United Yearbook could live up to its reputation or not, because their previous experiences with well-known companies proved to be negative: they were constantly met with repetitive designs, inflexibility, overcharging, and poor customer service, to name a few. Several clients started with us, went back to their previous publisher, and then returned to us once more because of our innovative products, flexibility, and unmatched customer service. The value of our labor speaks for itself – it is not necessary for us to offer bribes and non-educational incentives and perks. Although it has taken time for school districts to recognize us, our reputation sets us apart in the industry. Incoming clients can expect mentorship, complete resources at their disposable, motivational tips for the yearbook staff, design ideas, help with marketing and sales, and a long-term relationship with United Yearbook. As a part of our elite service, we also provide in-person workshops about journalism, creative writing, and team building. Eric Hartman, a veteran yearbook advisor from St. Anne School (Laguna Niguel, CA), explained it very nicely: “United Yearbook gives clients everything they could possibly need.” Our mission is to do exactly that, helping you fulfill your vision without overcharging or sacrificing creativity.