For the past few days, I have focused on yearbook template design. Today, I focused on what my yearbook students will need when we return from Winter Break - the final style guide.
Yes, students could use one of the templates I created this week, but the reward would be greater if the design belonged to them by completing a final Style Guide. I will share how the final decision will be made in a future blog post.
A style guide encourages students to be creative within a set of parameters so that the yearbook has a consistent and professional look.
In 2016-2017, our yearbook class was assigned a different teacher. Students made the yearbook (yay!), but the teacher did not set parameters. Some pages were incredibly creative, while others were hard to read with random colors. Every student had different fonts. The colors did not match. No one agreed on an image layout.
The other extreme of a yearbook class is giving the students a teacher-made template they fill out like a worksheet. Creativity is not encouraged, and completing the yearbook becomes a menial chore.
A yearbook based on a style guide is the in-between. The students and the teacher set the expectations based on student-led discussions. The result is a cohesive yearbook with font pairs, a color palette, and multiple image placeholder layouts. The style guide should be revised as needed to guide the yearbook graphic design. The best part is if a student graphic designer leaves the class, the plan will not go with that one student.
Teaching the concept theme - one idea affects the entire design - is difficult. Last Fall, I sent my junior high school students to this page, gave them a style guide template, and said, "Create a style guide by visiting these links, and then create a two-page layout."
Not good teaching . . .
The students struggled, and I struggled as I helped individual students complete what should have been a creative and engaging task. I tell students that we learn best through failure. Thus, I today created a new Style Guide and returned to the Color and Fonts pages and break them into smaller lessons.
More work is needed; however, with New Year's Eve tomorrow, I will take a break and return in the new year. Prospero año, everyone.