You’re planning for the school year: you chose a publishing partner, the yearbook team and curriculum are set, and the clock is ticking to the first day of school, better known as the first day of coverage. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? (We hope not!) Determining your yearbook’s page count is a quick win and a way to get the year(book) organized. Your school’s enrollment and your yearbook ladder are two ways most schools get set up. We’ll discuss the merits of both.
Use Your Enrollment to Determine Page Count
Math lesson: there are 380 students on campus and you want to ensure three-times coverage. With an average of 12 photos on each spread (that’s two facing pages for those of you playing along at home), you’ll need about one spread for every 16-24 students. That breaks down to:
- 50 students or less: 32 pages
- 50-300 students: 40 pages
- 300-500 students: 64 pages
- 800-1000 students: 80 pages
- 1000+ students: 100-400 pages
While it’s nice to have a range, that’s a fairly impersonal method of guestimating your page count. It neglects the nuances, personality, and culture of your school. Let’s look at a second option for determining how many pages you need.
Why a Yearbook Ladder Is Win-Win-Win
A yearbook ladder is a chart that represents the pages in a yearbook. To build it, grab the last few years’ yearbooks, the latest school calendar, and your team.
- Brainstorm the non-negotiable events, sections (people, arts, sports), and yearbook traditions
- Brainstorm features, specials, and theme-related content
- Decide if you will organize the book chronologically, topically, or a blend of both
- Allocate spreads
We love doing this digitally because it can be fluid. If your page count is looking overwhelming because of time or budget, combine some topics. If it is underwhelming, return to number two: what additional, meaningful content will you add to your yearbook?