When it comes to designing your yearbook, the headline is usually an afterthought.
The words are important, yes, but a yearbook headline’s design can set the stage for an entire spread, and even does some heavy lifting when it comes to introducing readers to the vibe of the page.
The main thing to remember is that you need to engage in a little consistency across the pages. You may use the same headline style or placement for every spread in a section, or you may decide that every spread that follows a certain template will get the same headline treatment.
Whichever you decide, you need to give your readers a little predictability when they’re devouring the book.
Of course, if you’re using a style tile, you’ll have most of those guardrails built in. Here’s where you’ll have some wiggle room to play with design:
- Font Choice
- Color Choice
As you can see, the design options for your headlines can really begin to add up. So, let’s take a closer look at some examples of each, shall we?
The Five Ways to Tweak Your Headline Design
Capitalization: The look of your headline can change drastically by simply altering the case of the words. Title case is pretty standard, as is using uppercase for the whole shebang. A less conventional option would be to emphasize the meat of the headline by using uppercase for the main words and lowercase for the insignificant articles.
Spacing: Unless your layout dictates otherwise, there is no reason that your headline has to fit all on one line. You can try a few different versions to see which you like best. Or you can have a few stacking versions in your back pocket if the layout needs a few tweaks to make everything work on the spread.
Secondary Font Accents: A great way to add some visual interest into your headline is to use a secondary font to make some words stand out more than others. There are some fonts that pair wonderfully together. You also may be able to achieve this result by using italics or emboldening some words.
Color: Another design element in your headlines is color. Your style guide will give you a primary color and a handful of secondary colors to choose from. Within these parameters, you can decide where to use each color to create accents, and whether the color is used on the font itself or as the background.
Placement: The most common placement for a headline is above an article on the spread. But another option is to embed the headline in the middle of the article. This style is based on a popular layout for pull-quotes, but it works just as well for headlines. You can also embed the headline within a group of images or as an overlay over a main photo. Rotating the headline to run it vertically up one side of the spread can work great for headlines that are simple labels.
Making a Statement With Your Headline
With only the options presented above, there are two thousand two hundred and forty different combinations you can use to forge each headline. With so many unique options, it works best to select a few different design choices and then use them in predictable ways.
Your headlines have the potential to draw the reader in using more than words. Know your options and flex your design muscles to create something that adds some snap to each and every spread.