Superlative spreads are the place that you’re most likely to…have a blast.
Once the ballots are cast and the votes are in, you will want to fix your gaze on how you present the winners in your spread. The components you’re working with are simple: photos, names, and superlative titles. But how you represent or combine them is where the magic can happen. We’ve pulled together some great inspirational ideas to make these pages pop, and make this spread most likely to succeed.
Frame it up.
This design, straight from Martha Stewart, shows how you can incorporate the superlative caption straight into the image. While we’re in love with this frame created with some cardboard and a little chalkboard paint, you could just as easily execute this idea using handmade signs or t-shirts.
Animate the crew.
Drawings and animation are not only fun and creative, but they’re ideal if you’re planning on keeping the superlative winners a secret. You might have to search around to find an artist, but the results can sincerely capture the overall silliness of this tradition. This design would work especially well if you decide to go with more nontraditional and creative superlatives. The animation just takes it to the next level.
Mimic the novels.
Did you know that Jennifer Echols has a series of YA novels known as “The Superlatives?” While we don’t know much about their content, we certainly do love their spine design. Seen at the left, these spines could actually make a pretty cool spread. You just need to swap out the colors and fonts with ones from yourstyle tile, and you’re in business. These look nice by themselves arranged in columns—but you could bring your A-game and design the spread to look like a bookshelf. Your “Most Unique” winners would fit perfectly as the bookends, right?
Unite the group.
The most common way to photograph superlatives is to divvy them up into each guy/girl pairing and shoot them as a duo. You can break this mold by pulling the whole crew together and doing one big group shot. The superlatives can drop in as text from above as seen at the right, or you can do your own thing and draw arrows to the winners. Regardless of your theme, you can make this work for you.
If you have a theme that plays into the superlative spread in any capacity, you should give it a shot. Say, for example, you have the theme “Life is the Great Experiment,” complete with beakers and hypotheses and the whole ‘mad scientist’ vibe. Well, apply that theme to your superlatives as well, by creating a periodic table of sorts out of the winners. The element names can be the categories, as in this image, with the elemental properties being specifics about the student: name, grade, the works. Never underestimate the power of a strong theme.
Overlay your text.
Why have separate captions when you can incorporate them right into the image? This trend is gaining more ground every day, thanks to social photo-sharing apps. With this design idea, you are creating something very chic. Or not—because that’s the fun of typography; you can convey all sorts of messages through your font’s personality. You can keep the design modern and minimalistic, fancy and antique, or you can mimic handwritten notes or snapchats.
A superlatives spread looks extremely polished when it looks like all the photos came from a single sitting. In the example at the left, each of the photos features the duo with a single prop on a seamless white background. The overall effect is charming. You can mimic this design idea by using the same backdrop and gimmick for each of your photos. It doesn’t have to be fancy; it’ll elevate your snapshots anyway.
Play with graphics.
There’s a certain level of whimsy that happens when you combine illustration with photography. (We can’t be the only ones nostalgic for a Mary Poppins jolly holiday.) With this design, you are only limited by your own creativity. In addition to the names and the superlatives, you can draw in some icons, props, or quotes.
Make it epic.
Take things to the next level by creating art specific to each superlative. “Most Artistic” could be immortalized a la Andy Warhol’s famous screen prints of Marilyn Monroe. “Most Likely to Succeed” could be emblazoned on business cards. “Most Likely to Win a Grammy” could have a customized album cover. “Prettiest Eyes” could be an image of the student’s eyes—and just their eyes. This design idea would create a deliciously varied collection of incredible images. In addition to showcasing the students, it would be entertaining to absorb.
Bringing Inspiration Home
With all these great ideas, we’re excited to see which one is “Most Likely” to grace your yearbook’s pages. There’s no shortage of inspiration when designing these pages. Now, your committee can take all these ideas and decide which one will work the best within your yearbook—taking into account your theme and general aesthetic. Most likely to succeed, indeed.