Color and Your Yearbook Design: What Your Choices Say to Your Readers

yearbook clipart art

While considering the psychology of color might not be high on your yearbook to-do list, this concept can actually have a huge impact on the way your audience perceives your yearbook. In fact, color is often considered to be its own language, simply because of the way people absorb and process each hue within their brain. For example, red is often considered a more engaging, stimulating color, while the color blue has the opposite effect, calming your mind. This makes it important not only for you to understand color  as a means of communication, but to use this knowledge as a tool when selecting the best colors to add to your style guide. Below, I’ll walk you through some of the ways different colors can influence how your book communicates with your students, and how you can choose the best colors to convey your message.

Colors and Content

Think of color as a compliment to the content you include on the pages of your book. It’s not going to do the talking for you, but it is going to help you set the right mood with your readers. The colors you choose can make your articles feel brighter and more energetic, or more calming and peaceful. As you consider what would make the best fit for your own book, think about the type of content you’re working on. Perhaps it’s highly journalistic. It might be extra creative. Or possibly, you’re working to convey the calm, collected environment of your school. The type of content you’re creating will influence the color choices you make, so consider this before finalizing your style guide.

The Meaning of Color

As you’re thinking about the type of content you’ll include in your book, read through the color descriptions below to get a better feel for what might work best in your yearbook. While different colors convey different thoughts to different people, I’ve listed some of the more generally accepted ‘meanings’ of colors, that the majority of your readers might feel.

  • Yellow: Represents optimism, clarity and warmth. This is an excellent color for content that is being used to showcase a sense of community.
  • Orange: Stands for friendly, cheerful and confident. It’s the perfect supplement to coverage on school events and pep rallies.
  • Red: A color that supports excitement, and boldness, this is one you would use for stories that go beyond the ordinary.
  • Purple: Depicts creativity, wise words and imaginative concepts. Use it for yearbooks that feature heavily creative content, or for schools with a big arts background.
  • Blue: Represents trust, dependability and strength. Excellent for features about your school as a whole, your faculty, or other stories you want to use to build trust with your students.
  • Green: Stands for peace, growth, and health. Use it for stories about your school’s successes, or features on students who are doing good in the community.
  • Grey: Depicts balance and calm. Different variations of grey and silver are excellent ways to supplement the rest of your color selections, you can modify the tone and opacity of the color to find the right fit.

Guiding Your Yearbook Design

Color is one of the most important aspects of your yearbook design. It’s what makes the pages of your book exciting. You can use color to draw attention to specific sections, and make others blend into the background of your page. Because it plays such a huge role in your yearbook design, you need to understand the full impact of your choices before you commit. Use this guide as a starting point, but be sure to do a little research on the colors you love before finalizing your style guide. For example, have they been used as main yearbook colors in the past? Do they depict a rival school’s colors? Is there a variation on each of the colors you select that match best with your own school colors?

By putting a little extra thought into the hues you select, you’ll be prepared to make the best selections, so that the content you create has an even better ability to communicate with your student body. And that puts you one step closer to creating the best yearbook your school has ever seen.

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