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Learn and Earn: These 20-minute recorded videos focus on a variety of yearbook topics. Think Yearbook Ted Talk. Once you register, you will have access to these presentations, and we'll create playlists for editors, designers, writers, photographers and social media addicts, so you can become an expert in the yearbook field of your choice.

[Click on the session title to access the video. Then log into the site with your email address and password. Some of the sessions include assignments to help you practice the skills you learn.]


Do you feel like you say it a thousand times and it still doesn’t sink in? We know visuals have impact on both an emotional and intellectual level. Color codes and tracking charts create visual reminders and serve as emotional motivators and that will keep your staff on track and help you to meet your yearbook goals.

– Elizabeth Doebler, HJ Rep

Assignment: Download here.


It’s not a blank page; it’s building blocks. This session will show you how to use Square One to easily plan and create a spread using the Swiss Grid. More people. More stories. More yearbooks sold. When you start with Square One you will create pages with style and content that your student body will want to see. 

– Elizabeth Doebler, HJ Rep

Assignment: Download here.

In today’s yearbooks, it’s more important than ever to avoid redundant design. Well, that process starts when planning your coverage. During the planning process, you need to map out various modes of coverage to help avoid redundancy, not only in your design, but in your storytelling as well. 

– Pete LeBlanc, Adviser, Antelope HS

You’re new. You get your first assignment: a mod on ____. Don’t fear. With this simple process, you’ll mod like a pro in no time. Learn to brainstorm, mine for professional inspiration and make it your own to add dynamic layers of coverage to your layout. 

– Lindsay Safe, Adviser, Sunny Hills HS

Assignment: Download here.

Headline Writing & Design: Next to stunning dominant photos, headlines are one of the main entry points on a spread. Through both writing and design, they set the tone, giving your spread life beyond a plain, obvious label. This session will help you create headlines that truly deliver.

– Erinn Harris, Adviser, Thomas Jefferson HSST

Assignment: Find a piece of a headline inspiration from a professional publication. Recreate the design exactly. Using the inspiration, write and design a headline for this dominant photo [16:15]. Include all three pieces in your finished product.

Make a visual impact using type. Understand and learn the concepts of typography to become a type designer.

– So Hee Tan, Adviser, Walnut HS

Assignment: Download here.

Words aren’t the only way to tell a story. Effective design communicates the theme and the story of the year visually to your readers. Your layout should guide the reader on how to consume the content of the page, using dominance, entry points and white space. We will cover the elements that make good design and how to compose a page to maximize coverage.

– Heather Nagel, Adviser, Christ Presby Academy

Just as we study professional writers and incorporate verbal techniques into our stories, so, too, must we take the deep dive into exactly what techniques professional designers are using. Creating a type package--main headline, sub-headline, byline, copy starter and body text--directly from a professional publication is an ideal place to start.

– Pete LeBlanc, Adviser, Antelope HS

Assignment: Find a professional layout where you really like how the type is done. Create that type packaging EXACTLY using your yearbook software. Turn in screen shots of both the pro example and your rendition of it.

Readers will have an easier time consuming the information and images you’ve selected to tell the story when you apply these basic principles of hierarchy to your design. Learn how to select and crop dominant photos, scale your display type, and use white space to guide your reader. 

– Robin Christopher, Adviser, Del Norte HS

Assignment: Find professional examples of each principle of hierarchy. Discuss why hierarchy works: how does  the designer. How would you use that principle in your book. Show an example.


If you're not using your secondary coverage (mods, sidebars, minis) to expand your verbal theme, you are missing an opportunity to complete the package! Let's play with your words so that your secondary pieces enhance your verbal theme.

– Carrie Faust, Adviser, Smoky Hills HS

Assignment: Brainstorm with the words of your theme. Match up the types of mods with their new name - make a list. List at least 5 pieces of content that can be told in each mod.

You would never read the same book over and over again, year after year. You want something different, and it’s the same feeling with yearbook copy. Tell the unique story of the year. We will cover techniques for reporting, interviewing and storytelling. Learn how to write a compelling lead that will make your readers care and feel like they are there.

– Heather Nagel, Adviser, Christ Presby Academy

Assignment: Download here.


2021 may feel uncertain, but one thing we know that is certain is education will still happen in some form. Finding that traditional academic coverage may have to shift and look different. Learn how to brainstorm ways to include academic coverage no matter what setting (in person or remote) you are in. 

– Justin Daigle, Adviser, Brighton HS

Assignment: Download here.

The best stories are the result of the best reporting. But, it’s difficult to do great reporting when you are social distancing. We’ll look at how we can uncover stories that need to be told and do the kind of reporting we need to do from home. 

– Meghan Percival, Adviser, McLean HS

Assignment: Download here. See example.

We're going to need to be flexible as we organize our 2021 books. Planning coverage the traditional way won't be possible. A chronological format allows us to cover what happens, as it happens, and not what's canceled. We'll look at examples of books who've done this well and a five-week cycle for work flow on your staff.

– Mimi Orth, Workshop Director, Yearbooks@theBeach

Support Materials: The worksheets from the presentation

and the 5-week process are here.

A link to the Google folder for the ladder and rotation is here.

Lots of time is spent designing our theme pages and creating new section designs, but almost half of your book is probably made up of these reference pages. It’s time to rethink coverage and design to make sure that portrait sections are the best they can be. 

– Meghan Percival, Adviser, McLean HS

Assignment: Set a 5-minute timer. Draw a story web for your people section with no repeats from your 2020 book with as many ideas as you can come up with.

Next year, books are going to look different because next YEAR is going to look different. When you’re thinking about how to organize your book, maybe it’s time to give umbrella coverage a try. In this session, you’ll learn when you should use it, why you should use it and how to maintain your sanity through the process.

– Erinn Harris, Adviser, Thomas Jefferson HSST

Assignment: Look at your theme statement. Is there a thought that could be completed? List as many possible ideas for section topics as you can think of. Once you have some listed out, continue to complete the thought - how can you finish the narrative on spreads?

In today's diverse world, we need to be sensitive to and intentional about inclusion on our staffs and in our yearbooks. To do that effectively, we need to educate ourselves, check for representation, be diligent and transparent in reporting and use inclusive language.

– Kevin Arafin, former YBK Manager, Walnut HS


Discover how to manage and assign your candid photos and make them easier to find as you go through your candid library in eDesign. Assigning topics and keywords, while following a protocol will help you and your staff be more efficient as the year progresses.

– Alison Jones, HJ Rep

Assignment: Download here.


InDesign Libraries allow you to store and reuse mods, graphic elements throughout your layout, whether they’re text frames, linked graphics or groups of objects. Plug in these elements across spreads. You will learn the fundamentals so you can create a ton of mods or packages and have a place to store them for everyone to use.

– Dmitri Conom, Former Adv, Bellarmine College Prep


Did your designer leave you in a tough spot? Are you struggling with verticals and horizontals? Time to learn a few tricks to get the most out of the photos you have while keeping the structure of your book. We will spend a few minutes looking at the photography side, then a few minutes looking at the page creation side.

– Jed Palmer, Adviser, Sierra Middle School

Assignment: Create a mockup of a dominant photo package or full spread. Use 4-5 photo element pieces. Place photos in the photo element spaces that are enlarged and cropped appropriately. Use caption spaces to describe your crop thought process. Send in your files as a pdf.

Wide or telephoto? Huge crowd or personal portrait? The lens you choose for your DSLR can have a huge impact on the story you want to tell and the way you present it to your audience - come for examples and tips & tricks to maximize your storytelling potential!

– Mike Simons, Adviser, Corning-Painted Post HS

Cut out backgrounds (COBs) have been in yearbooks forever. There are so many ways to do it, and Adobe Photoshop keeps adding tools to make it easier. No one wants their hair to look like bad, so you will learn a few different ways to make sure those locks are flowing instead of looking like video game characters. 

– Dmitri Conom, Former Adv, Bellarmine College Prep

Assignment: Create an image with a cut-out background. Be sure to use a high quality image to start and save it as a jpeg.You can use an image from your book for last year, or any image that would work well. 

Even before the pandemic, the best camera was the one with you, which was your phone. This is more true now, since it will be difficult, if not impossible, to share staff cameras. Every staff member, and the entire student population, will need to become photographers as staffs find they need to rely on crowdsourcing photographs. Learn the basics of photographic technique and the capabilities of your phone.

– Mitch Ziegler, Adviser, Redondo Union HS


Chances are you probably weren’t born with the yearbook knowledge you have today. With multiple tips and examples, you’ll learn how to develop specific and relevant teaching pedagogy to effectively equip your staff with necessary skills, facilitate staff learning and growth and ultimately, pass on your wisdom and legacy to be an inspiring peer to your fellow editors and staffers.

– Kevin Arifin, Former EIC, Walnut HS

Assignment: Download here.

EICs/editors will learn important leadership skills to confidently and thoughtfully lead their own staff. Set expectations and routines early and create an open, inclusive yerd culture with hands-on learning and frequent feedback. Learn key strategies to lead your staff to collaboratively build a successful yearbook and have fun at the same time. 

– Lynn Alvarez, Adviser, Temple City HS

Our goal is to create the best yearbook our schools have ever seen, but it can’t be done alone. As a leader on your staff, you will need to give timely feedback to your staff in order to help them learn how to do their jobs while meeting deadlines. In this session, we will learn how to create a plan to give feedback that will produce results.

– Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, Adviser, Longmont HS

What are factors for a healthy yearbook classroom? Listen and consider how to motivate your editors by providing the right environment for lots of fun and growth.

– Rebecca Chai, Former Adviser, Walnut HS

Take it from a retired EIC, being an editor is more than what you see in the yearbook room. This session is all about what it’s really like to be an editor, from the struggles to the fun times, and finding balance in your life in and outside of yearbook.

– Trisha Marciano, Former EIC, Gabrielino HS

Assignment: Download here.

Wait, when is the spread due? And what photos do you need for that divider? Our deadline is tomorrow?! For 2020-2021, let’s make sure your staff is never in danger of missing a deadline. We will discuss the creation and proofing processes to make sure that work gets done before it needs to be submitted.

– Annie Gorenstein-Falkenberg, Adviser, Longmont HS

Wish your publication had more method than madness? Learn from a former yearbook manager about what it takes to create, manage and maintain organized chaos (now more than ever) with tools and tricks to create an efficient, award-winning staff that becomes better with every day, every deadline and every book.

– Kevin Arifin, Former EIC, Walnut HS

Assignment: Download here.

It takes a village. And, in yearbook, you’ll want to intentionally build strong relationships with others on campus who can simplify your work, approve requests, and help you navigate challenges. Having support from the registrar and the guidance team as well as the athletics and activities departments makes so much sense. And don’t forget the faculty, administration and support staff!


– Brett Riley, HJ Rep


Struggling with creating a social media presence? Get your community excited about your high school and the coverage they may see in your publication. Learn why and how to create a strong social media presence that will help you create your brand, increase reporting and yearbook sales/publication circulation.

– Justin Daigle, Adviser, Brighton HS

Assignment: Download here.

Discover three ways that HJ can help you increase your yearbook sales, all free of charge. By utilizing HJ Sales Assist, we can help you increase yearbook sales easily and at no cost. Let us help you by starting early, developing a plan and supplementing that plan with your existing social media.

– Alison Jones, HJ Rep

Assignment: Download here.

Having a great hybrid yearbook has less to do with your understanding of the digital world than it has to do with your staff’s preparation at the start of the year. Learn how to best set up your staff for a successful hybrid yearbook, where the web will be the home for your enhanced content.


– Chris Waugaman, Adviser, Prince George HS

Assignment: Create a QR code. Using an existing video, audio file, photo gallery, or other online content, create a QR code using the URL link associated with that content. Download that QR code image and make it a part of a mini-spread or module that might be in your yearbook this year. It can be as simple as a QR code linking to a quote that you record in an interview uploaded to a site like Soundcloud.

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