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Fast Track: These 5-minute recorded sessions focus on a specific yearbook skill and each includes a follow up assignment. Once you register, you'll have access to each and every title. 

Click on the session title to access the video. Then log onto the site with your email address and password. 


Make Your Stories Come Alive for the Reader: Use universal experiences, but particularlize them with a first person point-of-view. This versatile story approach will teach you to use specific sensory detail to make your stories come alive.

– Mitch Ziegler, Adviser, Redondo Union HS

Assignment: Find a person to interview [approx. 30-mins.]. Use one of the two examples mentioned to guide your own story.

Most readers don’t read past the lead of a story unless you catch their attention right away. This session will focus on different types of lead writing to get your stories read.


– Justin Daigle, Adviser, Brighton HS

Assignment: Download here.

Give readers what they need to know and what they want to know. Use simple guides and checklists to get the most out of interviews and write better captions.

– So Hee Tan, Adviser, Walnut HS

Assignment: Rewrite the caption in the video

[7:30] into a three-sentence caption.

Write profiles that tell students’ stories and increase coverage in the yearbook. Go beyond a simple Q&A interview by starting a conversation. Learn how to craft stronger questions, find the story angle and listen for more.

– Lynn Alvarez, Adviser, Temple City HS


Assignment: Choose a fellow yerd whom you do not know very well. Research and brainstorm a couple of possible news angles. Review and prepare interview questions. Use the interview and writing strategies to complete your profile.


Are your mods starting to feel...boring? Like they’re all the same? Like you never want to see another Q&A as long as you live? This Fast Track will show you how you can create a mod on ANYTHING in five minutes or less.

– Erinn Harris, Adviser, Thomas Jefferson HSST

Assignment: Find a piece of inspiration and

design a real mod about boredom.

For our theme this year, our students talked and we listened, getting a quote from nearly every kid on campus. So, how did we do it? Let me share with you our system and challenge you to do it better.

– Lindsay Safe, Adviser, Sunny Hills HS

Assignment: Come up with your own system to make sure there are no "ZERO ZEROS" in your book. 


You chose the perfect typeface for your book, now what? Learn how to analyze your typeface’s anatomy to set your type. This session will provide tips on how to set the perfect balance in leading and kerning.

– Evelyn Luu, Former EIC, Temple City HS

Assignment: Download here.

Designs are never done -- they are just due. When deadline is looming, here are five small design changes that can transform your designs from good to great and enhance the reader experience.

– Meghan Percival, Adviser, McLean HS

Assignment: Download here.

Struggling to create new and interesting mod design? You’re thinking too hard! A MOD Quickfire is just what you need to get the design ideas flowing.


– Carrie Faust, Adviser, Smoky Hill HS

Assignment: Find an inspiration mod. Mock it up exactly. Using your design tools, create the "final" mod for your book.

Place all your mods on a single document for the Q&A.

Work smarter, not harder! Learn how to efficiently format your ideas on paper before taking them to the screen.

– Evelyn Luu, Former EIC, Temple City HS


Assignment: Download here.

Your cover design is important, but one often-overlooked element is the spine. It’s easy to use the same design year after year, but don’t forget that when we put books on a shelf, all you see is the spine! Take the opportunity to have your spine design reflect the tone and theme of your book, just like every other design decision you make.

– Erinn Harris, Adviser, Thomas Jefferson HSST

Assignment: Design 3 different spines for your 2021 book. Include the must haves on each of the three. All should be inspired by the front lid of your cover.

White space is an equally important design element as type and photographs. Without the reader even knowing it, white space- -in this case specifically within your photo packaging--creates an organizational pattern and can help avoid visual redundancy oh, so, subtly.

– Pete LeBlanc, Adviser, Antelope HS

Assignment: Start a spread design. Focus on formation and placement of photos, and consistent internal photo margins.

Try adding an isolation rail within your photo package.


Learn how to set character styles in eDesign to give your book a consistent set of type styles.

– Alison Jones, HJ Rep

Assignment: Create a character style for both your body copy and captions. Also, create two other character styles of your choice that you will be using in this year's book, headline, subheadline, mod copy, photo by, etc. Style these on a page in eDesign and take a screenshot to show your work.


No, you won’t learn how to wear those new clothes you just saw on Instagram, but you will learn how to use paragraph and character styles in InDesign to make formatting copy, captions and headlines a whole lot easier.

– Dmitri Conom, Former Adv, Bellarmine College Prep

Assignment: Create a nested style for a yearbook caption with three elements: number, lead-in, caption text.


Learn to use Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to help your staff understand the purpose of yearbook. Once you understand your organization’s why, you will be able to set goals that propel your yearbook and your staff toward excellence.

– Robin Christopher, Adviser, Del Norte HS

Assignment: Brainstorm and come up with your WHY.

Set 2 SMART goals for your staff or your yearbook

that will help you achieve your why.


Composition rules and visual variety are key, but so is narrative — we’ll take a quick look at how to maximize your coverage and storytelling development through the creation of three-photo stories ready-made to use in mods and your book’s pages.

– Mike Simons, Adviser, Corning-Painted Post HS

Assignment: Shoot 3 photos that will be part of one story.

Most readers don’t read past the lead of a story unless you catch their attention right away. This session will focus on different types of lead writing to get your stories read.


– Jed Palmer, Adviser, Sierra MS

Assignment: Shoot and submit 2 headshots.

Option 1: 2 photos of the same person in different styles.

Option 2: 2 photos in the same style, of different people.

Choosing an Effective Dominant Photo:  A dominant photo is a game-changer. It determines the look and feel of a spread, so it is important that you choose the right photo to captivate the reader and pull it all together. In this quick session, we cover how to choose an effective dominant photo for your layout.

– Heather Nagel, Adviser, Christ Presby Academy


Assignment: Download here.

“If your photos aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” This session will cover the finer points of where to place yourself for the best chance of getting the one photo you never seem to be able to capture. It will cover how lens selection and environment will contribute to your success as a photojournalist.

– Chris Waugaman, Adviser, Prince George HS


Wanting ad set up assistance? Style and tiered pricing set up? Ad promotion tips? Herff Jones takes the work out of senior ads, making your job easier.

– Elizabeth Doebler, HJ Rep

Let the data do the work so you don’t have to. The Send & Sell email tool connects you to eDesign coverage reports and enables you to send targeted emails to specific groups, ie. freshmen students in the book three times or more or to all grades 6-12. But wait, there’s more. Find out all the features at your disposal in this powerful eDesign tool.

– Elizabeth Doebler, HJ Rep

Assignment: Download here.


A complete and accurate colophon gives the reader all the facts about your book’s printing. But it can be more than that – telling the whole story of how your book came together. Do you know what needs to be included? Where to find all the information needed? We’ll look at examples from award winning yearbooks, and, you’ll practice creating your own.

– Jose Caire, Adviser, San Marino HS

Assignment: Download here.

There are a lot of things that make your school different than other schools, but how do you make sure that your theme copy is different than it was last year? In this session, we will talk about finding universal experiences for students at your school that haven’t been mentioned in theme copy before. Then you will work to revise your copy with new specifics and then come back to get feedback on your work!

– Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, Adviser, Longmont HS

Assignment: Make a list of specifics used in your theme copy

for the past 3 books. To that list, add what your school

hasn't covered before. Use these specifics in your

draft of this year's opening copy.

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