Magazines are a great place to get inspiration when you want your high school yearbook page layouts to break from the mold and take on a glossy, high-design look.
The problem, of course, can be finding the inspiration. After all, there are a huge number of magazines out there. Flipping through all of them would require an incredible number of subscriptions. And that’s why we wrote this post.
We spent hours clicking through Pinterest, finding the hottest magazine design trends that double as yearbook page layout inspiration, and pulled together four examples that really define those trends: like geometric shapes, mismatched photo sizes, black and white designs, and a big(ger than normal) embrace of white space.
Keep reading for great examples, why we love the trends, how you can use them, and where in your book you should give these yearbook page layouts a try.
Yearbook Page Layouts Idea #1: Geometric Shapes
Flip through any fashion or art magazine and you’ll see that hexagons, diamonds, triangles, parallelograms — you name it — are in right now. Basically, it seems like the more square or rectangular something is, the less likely it is to be cool. We say they’ll always be safe shapes for graphical elements, but don’t let that keep you from experimenting.
- Why we love it: Unconventional shapes pop on the page and allow for visually striking arrangements. We love the way these shapes can accent a page layout (like in this example) and we doubly love the way you can use those shapes to frame, splice, and crop photos on a page (also like in this example).
- How you can use it: If you’re looking to create a layout that features multiple photos, but no dominant one, piecing your collage together with geometric crops can help you create a dominant effect on the page, fit them together, and give a more cohesive look to everything. Even if you have a dominant photo, you might want to try cutting it into multiple pieces, leaving white space in between (like in the example above) for a contemporary avant-garde look.
- Where you can use it: If you’ve got a class collage page or a photo-centric page with little copy, this sure beats the traditional square and rectangle collection of photos. And if you’re clever enough to find a way to work this design element into your theme (or make it a building block for your theme altogether), we love the idea of using elements from this full page layout to create some killer profile photos within other coverage (senior spotlights, anyone?).
Yearbook Page Layouts Idea #2: Mismatched Photo Sizes
There are certain pages of your yearbook — like the class portrait pages — where a lineup of portraits should be a uniform size. In the rest of the yearbook, though, taking an unnatural approach to your portraits can create a level of visual interest that you’d otherwise struggle to create.
- Why we love it: Some portraits in this design are bigger than others, but no one portrait feels any more important than the other. It’s equally weighted without feeling like every other page full of headshots or profile photos that’s ever been created for a yearbook. We also dig the variety of colors and styles of photos. It lends a diversity to yearbook page layouts you don’t normally see.
- How you can use it: When you’re trying to show the faces of your school, and add some context around it, this approach can let you do both in a yearbook page layout that’s unlike the normal approach to yearbook coverage. It’s also a unique way to squeeze extra photos of students into the book without taking up much real estate.
- Where you can use it: Your senior superlatives spread is practically begging for this treatment, don’t you think? We can see it taking shape already. Photos in the middle, supporting information closest to the photos, superlative titles bolded. It’s clean and organized, yet distinctive. And why not try this layout in a mod? It’s perfect for highlighting survey responses and polling results.
Yearbook Page Layouts Idea #3: Black and White Designs
To those yearbook veterans out there, this idea probably strikes you as crazy. I mean, you probably remember the day when you were finally able to print a full-color yearbook. A funny thing’s happened since then, though, and that’s a design trend toward retro and nostalgia. (And you don’t even need to go sepia-toned to make it happen.)
- Why we love it: In a full-color yearbook, the classic combination of black and white is downright striking. People will totally stop in their tracks. And that’s exactly the reason we love it. Give your readers something to really reflect on.
- How to use it: If you’ve got some great photos with high contrast or underexposed elements, turning that photo into black and white could give you the anchor you need to create a yearbook page layout that really catches someone’s attention. Another thought: If you think you’ll have enough of those types of photos to use a black-and-white treatment repeatedly throughout your yearbook, you could create a theme around it.
- Where to use it: Section breaks strike us as the most natural choice to use black and white layouts. They’ll look best when the photos are large (a nice indication that you did this intentionally) and there’s little text on the page. Besides, a small splash of color from your on-page text will add to the drama and emotion that a black and white can create.
Yearbook Page Layouts Idea #4: More White Space
From tiny houses to downsized wardrobes, it seems like everyone is embracing the idea of “less is more.” And the minimalist trend isn’t limited to homes and closets — you can find it gracing the pages of almost any magazine on your newsstand.
- Why we love it: Check out the example layout above, and you’ll notice that there’s only one font, a few small pops of color, and…a whole lot of white space. The result? A really sophisticated look that lets your photos do the talking and keeps your reader’s eyes on the story you’re telling.
- How to use it: This might feel like an easy design trend to replicate, but you may need to work on restraint. If your yearbook page layouts normally have a lot going on, this look might feel empty or naked at first. Take a step back and compare it to examples like the one above. Let that be your guide. And a pro tip: These layouts work best when the photos in the spread exhibit a similar color scheme and hues. So, you know, filters might be helpful.
- Where to use it: Any yearbook page layouts that focus on telling a story through a narrative. We see big possibilities for using a layout like this to cover sports seasons, student life events, and activities and clubs.
Whether you’re using these design trends for your yearbook page layouts or scouring Pinterest on your own, remember to look at the big picture. Ask yourself what it is about the design that caught your eye and try to image your own yearbook content in the place of whatever’s on the page. Doing that will help you figure out whether there’s a spot for that layout in this year’s book.