Personalizing the Yearbook

Updated: Feb 12

With remote learning, it can be hard to believe that it's possible for your school’s yearbook to feel personal – after all, what about all the fun events that have been cancelled? However, there are plenty of ways to make your yearbook special, even with online learning.

Notes to Self

I am thinking about how to trick-or-treat with social distancing restrictions; what costume do I want to wear to represent this crazy time?

Reach out to students per grade level for selfies and for a note they may want to write to their future selves, or simply a note they may want to write to themselves in general (e.g., Note to Self for 10/16/21: I am thinking about how to trick-or-treat with social distancing restrictions; what costume do I want to wear to represent this crazy time?). The layout could include the selfie and the note to self on a post-it note graphic, with these two images sitting side by side.


Technology Trauma

Use full-length figure cutouts of students juxtaposed with their stories in a 2-page spread.

Collect student and faculty stories (from all grade levels) about the challenges of technology – for example, you could collect stories about cracked cell phones, drinks spilled on laptops, Wi-Fi blackouts, Zoom meeting interruptions, the most unusual places you’ve logged into class from (e.g., in the car on the way to the ER--wow!), or most embarrassing presentation moments. Use full-length figure cutouts of students juxtaposed with their stories in a 2-page spread. Cutouts of pieces of technology could also be included.


What’s in a Name

Reach out to students and staff/faculty for their stories about how they were named.

Consider the importance of your name and the act of being named. Reach out to students and staff/faculty for their stories about how they were named. Fun full-length cutouts of individual students and faculty could be paired with doodles that match the idea of either the name itself or the naming process. You could also include data about the names in the 2-page spread – for example, how many of each name is part of the student population, how many similar sounding or rhyming names are there (e.g., Sara/Sarah/Kara or Kayley/Kayleigh), are there friends that share the same name, and what are the most popular names per year?


Games on the Page

Visualize how the ice-breaker exercises that are used to build community might look as 2-page spreads.

Sometimes the simplest ideas pack the greatest punch. Visualize how the ice-breaker exercises that are used to build community might look as 2-page spreads. Some exercise examples include 2 Truths and a Lie (each set of statements would accompany the picture of the individual), 6th Degree of Separation (learning how people are connected through other people), Shout-Outs (a way to celebrate random acts of kindness), AHA! (sharing and learning something new), and Birthday Lineups (list people who share the same birthday).


These are just a few ideas of how you can make your yearbook unique and special. If you want more tips like these, let us know and we’ll create a Part 2!


Lucy McHugh, Yearbook Leadership Mentor


Lucy comes to United Yearbook Printing via a 38-year career in public and private school education. She was a former yearbook adviser at Xavier College Preparatory High School. She earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska in 2000. And in 2014 earned a Certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Loyola Marymount University. Lucy taught K-12 Art and was awarded the 2001 Nebraska Art Teacher of the Year, and in 2010 she was awarded Nebraska Elementary Art Teacher of the Year. Most recently Lucy was awarded the 2017 CA High School Art Teacher of the Year.

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