Gripping Yearbook Headlines: Craft the Best From Start to Finish

You already know that your yearbook headlines are the first step towards creating great content for the pages of your publication. Not only are they the perfect place to start tying your theme together, but they’re the essential attention grabbers that engage your readers. This means the headlines that appear in the final version of your own book need to be stellar! Since it can be hard to create brilliant yearbook headlines off the top of your head, I’ve pulled together a small guide that you can use to brainstorm, build, and edit your page headers below–along with some helpful little examples to get you started.

Brainstorm Your Top Word Choices

To start, brainstorm some great words that can be tied together to build a few amazing headlines. These are the words that will make your headline pop, and what your text should be centered around. Use your storyboards as a guide to come up with words that fit each page. For example, if you’re writing about the sports that students participate in at your school, compile a list of action words like kick, throw, bump, spike or hit. If you’re working on an art class feature, try words like paint, craft, mold, or draw. When you’re reviewing content for your classroom pages, seek out modern adjectives that speak to your students, like sparkling, splendid, clever or adventurous.

Create a Headline

Once you’ve chosen the key words to use within your headline, it’s time to pull them together into a one-liner. These lines of text don’t have to be perfect, but rather a good start to what you ultimately want your yearbook headlines to look like. Use your layout to focus the headline towards the planned content in each spread. (Once you determine the final content, you can tweak your headline to fit.) Here are a few ideas to get you started, based on the words we compiled above:

Kickin’ It With a Winning Team

Molding Imaginations for the Future

Mrs. Brown’s Clever Adventurers

Edit Your Yearbook Headlines to Perfection

Yearbook headlines are easy to edit down once you’ve finalized your content. As you give them that final once-over, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Consider your audience: When you’re in “brainstorm mode,” it can be easy to come up with concepts that sound fun and spunky, but in reality may not be the perfect fit for your audience. Consider who your main readers will be and think about how to make your headlines best speak to those individuals. For example, Molding Imaginations for the Future would be a great headline for an elementary school art class, but might be a little juvenile for a middle school yearbook. Instead, you could evoke the same feeling with a more mature tone, like Mold Your Imagination or Molding the Future.
  • Relate to the content: While your headline doesn’t need to be an exact depiction of the content that students will find, it should relate to it. Kickin’ It With a Winning Team would be an awesome headline if you were doing a laid-back feature on what the members of your state championship soccer team do in their free time. If the content were more focused on how the team worked their way to the state champion title, a headline like How We Kick It would be more appropriate.  
  • Check your space: Your headline needs to look great within the design of your page as a whole. Many times, you need to see the headline in action to give it the final nod of approval. If a longer headline like Mrs. Brown’s Clever Adventurers looks too dominating on the page, consider modifying it into two lines, like a heading and sub-heading:

The Clever Adventurers
Mrs. Brown’s Class

As you work on more elements of your design, you’ll find that it becomes easier to craft great headlines from the start of your process. If you’re working on your yearbook with a committee, remind them that it’s a fluid process, and there’s a learning curve with headlines–even great writers struggle to build the perfect combination of words. But with some practice, they’ll be pros before they know it. And that’s a skill they can take with them through high school and beyond!

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