Pulling together a great yearbook takes hard work, dedication, and an eye for details. Part of that focus on the details means going through all of your content with a fine-toothed comb once each section of your yearbook spread is in place. This final step goes beyond proofing for grammar and spelling errors: it’s an opportunity to visually proof your photos against your content for inconsistencies.
Photo proofing might not be a skill you’ve previously considered to be in your wheelhouse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be great at it. In fact, I’ve pulled together all the steps you need to visually proof your book with ease. And once you’re done, you’ll feel confident that everything’s in the right place, flowing perfectly from page to page.
Start With Your Yearbook Theme
Just like your content, the visual look of your book should work with your yearbook theme. Start by flipping from page to page to ensure that your content is, in fact, on par with the yearbook concept you’ve been bringing to life over the course of the year. Not every page has to be a direct representation of your yearbook theme, but the whole of your book should reinforce the central idea.
Check Your Facts
As you’re proofing each section of content, enlist someone on your yearbook committee to check the facts. Make sure each photo fits within the context of the page, and that each person is correctly named within the photo. Also, read through any text you’ve incorporated into your photos to make sure it’s appealing and appropriate for the page it’s on.
Spot Check the Content
As you’re proofing the photo against the page content, you need to make sure that the photo placement on the page makes sense with the text surrounding it. For example, if you’re dedicating a two-page spread to the homecoming dance, make sure the photos of the homecoming court are captioned or surrounded by content specifically referring to that part of the festivities.
Your headlines set the tone on every page, so you should proof your headlines twice: once when you’re doing an overall examination of the content, and a second time when you proof your visual design. The latter is when you make sure fonts are formatted correctly, and that headlines are sized proportionately to the rest of the page content.
Visually Engage the Page
When you visually proof your yearbook spread, you need to make sure every page is well-balanced and not overpopulated with content. Take a step back from the individual pieces of the page and just examine how it looks as a cohesive whole. Is there adequate use of negative space? Does the content all seem to fit together as you’re glancing over the page? Does it feel like something’s missing? This is the last step before finalizing your fabulous publication, so make sure it’s everything you imagined it to be!
Double Proof Your Yearbook Spread
To take a little of the proofing pressure off your shoulders, have another member of your yearbook committee visually proof your yearbook spread a second time. A second set of eyes will help ensure that you catch even the most minor mistakes. And that’s what can propel your yearbook design into a state of perfection that everyone oohs and aahs over this spring!