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How to Create Vintage Yearbook Themes & Retro Covers

As you’re starting to think about the best yearbook theme for your team to build upon this year, you might be struggling to come up with a unique theme that will get everyone excited about what’s coming in this year’s book. But when it really comes down to it, it’s not all about the theme you choose – it’s about how you use the theme to create a great end product. A vintage yearbook theme may not be new – but you can make it unique and sensational if you’re willing to get creative. Find fun ways to photograph students with the theme in mind throughout the course of the year, or utilize fun photo effects during the editing and printing phases. You can make this fun theme fit your school – and in the process generate a ton of buzz to boost yearbook sales!

Recreate Old Photos

One unique way to go retro and bring some of the past into the present is to have students submit old photos of themselves and their friends from elementary and middle school events. The yearbook committee can select some of the best ones and have the students recreate them in the present day! Encourage participating students to find clothes in their closet that mimic what they wore back in the day – props and all. Then you can feature the old photo next to the recreated version in the final yearbook. It’s a great way to incorporate memories into the book, as well as let students have fun with the whole vintage yearbook process.

What Happened In…

Part of the fun that goes into a vintage yearbook theme is remembering what was going on in the world in students’ past. So create a one or two page spread that focuses on what was going on in the world five to ten years ago – from the bands that were popular, to the fashion trends everyone was wearing. The key in a section like this is to keep it positive and light. You could also ask students to submit their favorite world memories from that time – that will ensure that students will love reminiscing with their friends when the yearbooks are distributed.

Don’t Forget School Dances

While you probably won’t get the homecoming committee to align their school dance theme with the yearbook’s, you can probably convince them to let you set up a fun photo station that encourages students to pose like homecoming couples from past decades. Display photos of traditional homecoming pictures from each decade spanning the 50’s to the 90’s and let students pick which one they’ll model. Then create a retro spread in the yearbook highlighting the best shots of students modeling like homecoming couples of years past!

Decade Days

Many schools incorporate fun dress up days that promote inclusivity and school spirit throughout the course of the year. Try setting up a day that encourages everyone to dress from a different decade, like the 80’s. The students will have fun displaying the hairstyles and funky clothing choices from yesteryear, and the vintage yearbook team will have a great day of snapping fun photos for the yearbook. It’s a win-win!

When it comes to choosing a yearbook theme, the key is to have a lot of fun with everything that you do. The more creative you get with implementing your idea, the better the overall yearbook will turn out. Even if your theme choice is similar to something that’s been done by other schools before, making sure you’re bringing the theme to the school throughout the year – instead of just presenting it on the last day of school – will help to generate buzz, encourage everyone to have fun and get involved with what goes into the yearbook – and help boost yearbook sales to support the school.

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