Quick stat: 92% of teenagers use social media on a daily basis.
We thought that number was kinda low, too, but we do trust the Pew Research Center on things like this. And, anyway, 92% is really, really high. Which gets us to our point: you can weave aspects of social media into your yearbook to bring your students’ everyday world into the more traditional world of the yearbook.
Even if you don’t want to build an entire theme around the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, we’ve come up with 19 clever ways to add a more “social” vibe to your book. Check them out.
Using Social Media to Choose Your Fonts
One of your biggest style decisions is font choice. It’s an understated way to send a message and keep your book cohesive. Which means, if you’re looking to give a nod to social media without having it feel overwhelming, this is a great place to start. The fonts will feel familiar to your students, but they likely won’t be able to put their finger on why that’s the case.
Headlines: Social networking sites have cool and recognizable logos. Most of these logos have been created using a font that you can, in turn, use in your headlines. The results will be something that is cleanly designed and grabs your students’ attention.
(If you’re already using TreeRing, try these font/logo combinations: Sports Jersey for Facebook, Chubby Cheeks for Twitter, Open Sans Condensed for YouTube, and Lobster for Instagram.)
Body: The top three fonts for use as the main text or the body of an article online are Helvetica, Arial, and Georgia. Social media sites are no different (though they’re also fans of Lucida Grande). In TreeRing, you can go for the modern look with Arial or Vera, or pull a more traditional vibe with Garamond. The key is to keep it simple and legible, like your favorite websites.
Picking Yearbook Colors Inspired by Social Media
Social media logo colors can be just as evocative as the fonts. You can create an engaging palette, for instance, by using Instagram blue and Vine green. The simple, two-color combinations are endless. And good-looking. For a wider range, you could pull an entire rainbow out of the Instagram icon.
Formatting Your Photos Like Apps
Given how visual social media has become, photos are an obvious way to give your theme an Instagram influence (or Snapchat or Facebook or, well, you get the point). The hardest part of this isn’t incorporating it, but picking which to use, since each platform has its own layout and distinct characteristics. You can employ a few of these throughout your images or within mods.
Square Photos are gaining popularity because of Instagram. And what’s not to heart? You can frame this images with commentary as a way to include even more students within a single image.
Filters are as natural as breathing to the selfie crowd. They alter the tone and temperature of a photo’s coloring to give a more stylized vibe. While we wouldn’t want to add a filter to every single picture, a few touches here and there will add to the carefully curated look of your yearbook.
Pictures within Pictures is a way that students play with Facebook cover photos. In your yearbook, take photos of your students and layer them over silly backgrounds like their favorite food or a famous painting.
Caption with Text Overlays like SnapChat. At first, the point of this app was that the images were fleeting and would disappear after a few seconds. Now, everyone is adding captions in order to tell a story or to make their friends laugh.
Fake a Vine by using time-lapse photography. Granted, there are many stills within a six-second video, but you can achieve a similar result by placing several photos in a row that show action and movement. It’s a great way to show students jumping in the air or landing a backside heelflip on their skateboard.
Mod Ideas That Draw From Social Media
Mods and social networks use a lot of the same design principles: they pack a ton of information in a confined space and make it all easy on the eyes, so you can figure out the main point of the message quickly. There are many different free image generators available online that can help you bring these ideas to life.
Text Conversation: Instead of using quotes, you could recreate interviews by framing them as text messages between the subject and the interviewer.
Do You Follow?: Ask students who they follow on Instagram or Twitter and why they like their posts. Compile a list into a mod, and give students some social love by listing their @ names, as well.
Emojis: Who needs actual words to tell a story, anyway? Ask students to sum up their school years with a string of emojis. The results will make you chuckle, because you know these characters pack a big punch. 😉
Comment Threads: Many comment threads online can document the history of an event. You can recreate that within a mod. Nest the conversation the same way it would appear as if they were speaking to each other online, as a comment thread under a picture of the event.
Infographic: Which social network is most popular at your school? Put the debate to rest by running a poll and compiling the results in an infographic. You could even look to see if one network is more popular with one class than another.
Memes: We’ve come a long way since “I can haz cheezburger?” Yet, memes still follow that same basic format. You can create your personalized version with funny pictures and white type in the Impact font. You could recreate some popular memes of the day or go completely off-script. If it’s funny, it plays.
Extra Details to Pull It All Together
Like all themes, a social media one is enhanced by little details. Social media is all about making engagement fun and easy. Some ideas to punctuate your spread are:
- Adding likes, favorites, or hearts underneath a subheading or within an image
- Using author avatars or mini-headshots next to article bylines
- Running hashtags in headlines
- Displaying students’ @handles underneath their portraits
- Styling your page numbers to look like notification alerts
Think Outside the Page
Converting a digital experience to print is a fun and exciting creative endeavor. In addition to being timely, these ideas can be a great way to include many students on a spread by leveraging tagging, likes, and commentary. Whether you use some subtle touches to enhance a single spread or go all-in with a social media theme, these ideas can be a lot of fun.